She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31: 27
The further we get into this woman’s life, the more we see how she was learning to be like Christ… just as we are.
Several places in Scripture we learn that part of keeping God’s commandments means loving our neighbour. And we learn from the story of The Good Samaritan that our neighbour includes all around us that need our assistance. This most definitely includes our household!
[Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5: 43′ 19:19; 22: 39; Mark 12: 31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8] [Luke 10:25-37]
Immediately, every single day, my household is my neighbour and needs me to look to their wellness.
What does looking to another’s wellness look like? I gather it looks like the areas covered in many previous verses:
This brings us to the last phrase… eateth not the bread of idleness.
She is never lazy, always productive. [ouch]
But before I overwhelm even myself… let us look at another example of what productivity can look like:
…he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. [Matthew 14:23]
…he departed into a mountain to pray. [Mark 6:46]
…he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. [Luke 6:12]
…went up into a mountain to pray. [Luke 9:28]
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint… [Luke 18:1]
A recurring theme is that Jesus went away from the people, even the disciples on occasion, to speak privately with His Father.
With Jesus being our ultimate example of good works and doing right, my take-away is that it is not idleness to stop the busyness of life to just be quiet, to allow God to minister to your heart. This can look like many different things: reading Scripture; praying in secret; listening to worship music; just being absolutely quiet and still-in private, away from those who crowd around, even in your own home.
Idlness is not when it appears we are “doing nothing.” Idleness is not being willing to do what is needed. It is being lazy and just choosing not to press forward with the day-to-day activities that can bog us down.
This is definitely an area in which I struggle. Some days are completely overwhelming… but I can be encouraged that taking time to spend with God is not idleness. And whatever He helps me accomplish that day is enough! Even if I still have laundry to fold when I go to bed.