the heart of her husband {1}

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…  

Proverbs 31:11a. 

Safely trust means to be secure or have confidence in.

While I have heard and read and agree that this entire passage [verses 10-31] is a collection of the Virtuous Woman’s entire life’s work, this one thought is the crux of her virtue and can only be achieved through daily diligence

All the days of her married life, 

her husband’s heart is safe in her hands. 

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There is so much that could be said here. Indeed, I have read several books on this subject. 

But I will suffice it to say that if I, as a wife, must

be sober [in control of my senses]

love my husband [be his friend, lover, confidant]

love our children [be affectionate and nurturing]

be discreet [in control of my desires]

be chaste [modest in all things: mind and body. other descriptive words: demure, undefiled, ladylike]

be a keeper at  home [having a guarding spirit: guarding your home from worldliness- both for the sake of your children’s minds and for your husband’s reputation. also, the physical well being of those in your home: cooking, cleaning, creating a place of warmth]

be good [useful and pleasant to be around]

be obedient to my husband [this is my God-given RIGHT to be UNDER my husband’s authority] 

that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

[I would be terrified to know that the way I lived my role as a wife/mother caused someone to speak reproach on Christ]. 

Titus 2:4,5

then my husband’s heart can be safe in my care.

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no need of spoil {2}

…so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Proverbs 31:11b

The term spoil usually carries a negative connotation. There are many ways to describe it, but I love concise definitions. Spoil: an excessive gain at the expense of another [most commonly used in reference to war].   *Are we at war with our husband? I certainly hope not!* {But we are at war FOR our husbands!}

If his heart is safely trusting in me then he can be content with the life we have -and not ‘need spoil’ from ‘out there’–wherever that is. Now, I realize that his contentment truly lies in his own relationship with the Lord, but much of how a man views his life rests in his wife. The more I am the wife God wants me to be – the woman He created me to be – the more my husband can be the man God created him to be. 

{it is CAUSE and EFFECT}

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good and not evil {3}

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:12

Here we see the phrase all the days of her life.

It is implied in verse 11 that this is a continual, diligent process: my husband’s heart resting safely in me [I am overwhelmed every time I think of that]. But here we truly see that the heart issue is the part that is my lifelong task. 


Oh, my heart- so full of wickedness that I am full of conviction as I type this.


This virtue of my husband’s heart being able to trust in me IS doing my husband GOOD.

And I must strive for this all the days of my life!


If I act or speak in any way that causes my husband’s heart to loose trust-no matter the ‘minuteness’ of it-this is evil towards him. This is what I must not do. I must guard my own heart against it.


How often I fail! So many times I speak words that are not sweet, that may cut his spirit. How often do my actions wound him? For a moment I have done evil towards my husband. 


While I know that I will continue to fail {we are all sinners}, I am so thankful that God’s mercies are new every. single. day.


It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, 

because his compassions fail not. 

This I recall to my mind, 

therefore have I hope.

They are new every morning:

great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23


And I rejoice that my husband strives to be the man of God for me-which means he forgives me. And then together we have another opportunity to get it right.


Only you, dear reader, can know what this good and evil will look like in your own marriage. But my prayer today is that we will seek God’s face and strength for this monumental daily opportunity.

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working willingly {4}

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

Proverbs 31:13

The main emphasis of this verse is the this lady works WILLINGLY with her hands.

This thought encompasses many of the following verses and is the heart issue of them.

Though we will look at her specific tasks, the BIG issue is that she is willing to do what needs to be done during the different seasons of her family’s life. 

Seeking wool and flax implies that she either gathers the raw materials to create fabric, or she acquired the fabrics needed to make clothing for her household. Linen comes from flax and was used for various undergarments, inner tunics, and lamp wicks. Flax seeds can also be ground and used in breads or can be eaten whole and are very nutritional [another topic]. Wool was used more for outer tunics which could also be used as a blanket on a cool night. 

In thinking of these uses of flax and wool {and there are more!} we can see different  responsibilities that this implies. 

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As a wife and mother it is my responsibility to

…clothe my family.

Whether I buy fabric and sew or purchase ready-made items, finding durable, modest, attractive clothing for my husband, myself, and our children is within my realm of duty. [This is not to say that my husband and said children have no say in their clothing!] Being frugal and finding deals, thrift shopping, and handing clothing down [or accepting second-hand clothing] all fit into this category. 

…feed my family healthy foods.

[I am not legally qualified to speak of nutrition or recommend certain foods over others, but there are many resources online for studying it, and I have friends whose study I trust when they recommend certain plants for consumption.] You must rely on your own research for this.

Personally, I do try to have fresh fruits and veggies available for snacks, but more often find that frozen or canned are more in my price range, and simple cooking methods can elevate even canned peaches to a scrumptious dessert [with no added sugar!].

I use flax seed in my bread, and there are many other grains/seeds that can be added to flour to make bread more wholesome. Again, your own study must guide you in that. 

 

imagescover my family when it is cold and provide a light source when necessary.

Do we have enough blankets for the colder days? Is there an adequate light source to finish tasks or read a good book when the sun has gone to bed early? 

[There are many other areas that could be discussed, but many of those are brought out in the next few verses and will be left to their own post.]

While it is truly {thankfully} not necessary that I herd sheep and grow/harvest flax to accomplish these tasks, it IS necessary that my heart is right in order that these tasks bring glory to God and cause my husband’s heart to safely trust in me.

Seeking his counsel and knowing his preference in any of these areas {I like his input on my own clothing as well as my children’s. To know what he likes and to try to accomplish that is doing GOOD to him.} is just another way of loving him.

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acquiring food {5}

She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

Proverbs 31:14

As a straightforward interpretation, this verse means exactly what it sounds like. This woman will find her food any place she needs to go to find it. She travels around, trades and seeks foods for her family. 

The best modern resource that I can equate this with [personally. –I would love to hear more/other opinions from you!] for a ‘modern woman’ is couponing and/or shopping sales for as much of your food as possible.  

{I am not saying that you HAVE to use a coupon or sale for all your shopping, BUT I do believe that planning meals around foods that can be gotten on sale that week is prudent.}

And if you have the time to get/cut coupons and match them to sales, YEAH! for you. I have some friends who do this very well. Sadly, I am not one of them.

Because, I must also tie into this endeavor that I must still do good to my husband.

It may seem contradictory to say this, but if your husband tells you that he does not want you taking your time to devote to coupons and sales adds, then don’t.

To bare my soul, couponing is frustrating for me {[I know, really?]} so, I do not use coupons often. I do not acquire or study sales adds. But I also do not buy many ready-made items for my family to consume.

I make things. I use the time I would be frustrating over coupons to make the foods from scratch that I would maybe, possibly, use a coupon for. 

I also try to buy extra things when they ARE on sale, provided we have the space to store them properly until we need them. I buy dried beans, instead of canned. I cook and then freeze sale meats for future use. I cut and freeze certain produce, when I know it’s going to be used in soup instead of used fresh. I make spaghetti sauce, etc.

So. for you, for me: remember this is a heart issue:

Am I using my time and our money wisely when acquiring food for my family?

And do my pursuits in this continue to do my husband good?

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rising early {6}

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 

Proverbs 31:15

This verse is probably the hardest for me. I know you can train your body to awake at a certain time, but some people are naturally early risers. And I am not one of them! 

As usual, this verse means more than what it says. Yes, it does mean to rise early and prepare for the rising of your family-both physically and spiritually. But this is as much a heart issue as it is a area of domesticity. 

Domestically, I do need to be sure my children have a healthy breakfast [or healthy snack for break at school as my eldest does not always feel like eating as soon as she wakes up]. I need to be sure there is something readily available for my husband to eat if he chooses. [Yes, my husband gets up alone, earlier than I do. But he’s OK with that. We’ve tried the getting up together, but there is very little I am good for before 630.] 

cinrollsI sometimes make a pan of cinnamon rolls and refrigerate them so a few seconds in the microwave and he has his favorite! Or I make a batch of cheesy sausage biscuits. Or I just make sure his favorite cereal is stocked in the pantry. And don’t forget to keep the coffee can FULL!

And then there are her maidens [servants]. Wow. I wish I had servants some days.

But then I was reading here and there in preparation for this verse and another lady {I’m sorry that I have no idea who she is} was also lamenting the lack of servants. And God prompted her, which in turn spoke to me through her writing.

I have many servants. And some I do not utilize to their full potential. My servants include but are not limited to: washing machine, dryer, slow cooker, computer, etc. When I do get up, giving a portion to my maidens could include: put a load of clothing in the washer, put food for supper in the slow cooker or at least know what and when I will cook for supper. Then sit down to my morning Bible reading-with my online Bible and devotion studies. Then, when more people are awake, I can be a little noisier and empty the dishwasher. 

slowcookerOf course, as I type this, my sink is full of dirty dishes and my dishwasher is full of dirty dishes, because I forgot to turn it on last night. And my washing machine is empty, though the dryer is full of dry clothing! I have yet to really contemplate supper and it is fully 9:00 AM! But, my husband and daughter got out the door with good lunches and snacks for the day. And I was up to hug and kiss them both before they left.

Domestically, this verse will look different in every household. And today, I am behind-not an unusual occurrence, but one I do try to change daily. 

Spiritually, this verse is even harder to apply. Is my attitude one of a servant upon my first waking moment? Is my spirit as that of Christ? 

Let this mind be in you, 

which was also in Christ Jesus:

who, being in the form of God, 

thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

but made himself of no reputation, 

and took upon him the form of a servant, 

and was made in the likeness of men: 

and being found in fashion as a man, 

he humbled himself, 

and became obedient unto death…

Philippians 2:5-8

If Christ, who IS GOD, can have a servant’s heart towards me[!], then who am I {His creation!} to balk as such an idea of being a servant to my family? 

Do I rise [not specifically with it being dark outside] and make sure my family has ‘morning fuel’? Is my attitude one of being my family’s servant? {not slave-I must train my children to be obedient and respectful as well as to do their own chores and to have their own servant’s heart}

Do I use my ‘servants’ to the best of my ability and to their full potential [household gadgets]?

~~~ As a side note: much of my daily preparation is done the night before, because I know that rising before a certain time is more than likely not going to happen. ever. So, after my children are in bed and before I go to bed, I try to be sure my sink is empty [obviously there are days that doesn’t happen] and the dishwasher is running; and I make sure there is something in the refrigerator ready for hubby and daughter’s lunch boxes the next day. And before SHE goes to bed, my daughter’s responsibility is to pick her clothing -from socks to shirt and all underneath- for the next morning, and we’re working on her making sure her homework is back in her bag after I have signed it.~~~

Let us remember today to ask the Lord for His servant’s heart to be alive and working in us. And if we have trouble with the ‘rising early’ then may we be more pro-active and get ready for the day before we go to bed! [maybe another post another day]

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planting vineyards {guest blogger} {7}

WELCOME to Jill from

 Jill’s Home Remdies

 I asked if she were willing to choose a verse in Proverbs 31 to expound in a modern way, and she graciously consented to write about verse 16. Jill is a sweet Christian lady who writes…

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Proverbs 31:16 says She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

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The Proverbs 31 woman is someone that most of us strive to be.  If you, like me, feel you fall short in some area of this chapter (or even several ways), don’t give up!  There is always hope ~ thankfully, God’s mercies are new every morning.

This particular verse, 16, reminds me of a business woman; she was a homemaker and made her home and family her priority, and yet she made business decisions.

The verse above says she “considereth”, which means she really thought this important decision through; she was not hasty in her actions.  This decision was also made with her family’s best interests in mind.

This vineyard was used to help feed and take care of her family – it was not a selfish business decision. Her husband obviously entrusted her with this decision as verse 11 of the same chapter speaks of – this was the area of house management that she was in charge of, and she used wisdom.

Her husband knew that she would not waste money but would spend it wisely in a way as to benefit their family. She didn’t make this decision against her husband’s wishes – she had his approval and trust to make a financial business decision. How easy is it today to use our husband’s hard-earned money or credit cards to make selfish purchases for name-brand items that cost more than they are worth and have no benefit to the family?

I want to be wise with the money my husband works hard for, and though I don’t frequent the mall and make outlandish purchases, the “good deals” online or at the consignment shops can sure add up too! :O

We find this virtuous woman buying this field on her own and planting this vineyard. Some women make the mistake of thinking they don’t really need to apply themselves at school because, after all, they just want to marry and have children. Many things learned at school are used all the time as a homemaker, wife, and mother.

It’s a wise girl that applies herself the best she can at school to prepare for her future, whatever her future may be – it also builds and proves good character to do our very best in everything. And it is wise parents that ensure that their daughters get the best education possible.

Perhaps you won’t ever have the need or opportunity to buy a piece of property on your own and plant a vineyard, so in what ways can this apply to us today?  What “business” decisions may you have to make?

 

*We can use wisdom and carefully plan how we spend money for the things our family needs.

 *We can find ways to help our family financially if that is needed.

 Some ideas are~

*Planting a garden and selling extra produce at a place like a farmer’s market.

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*Planting an herb garden and selling extra. You can dry the herbs, make crafts with them, make tinctures, or sell them in a pot or small cup for someone else that may want to plant them.

*You could invest in chickens or cows and sell milk or eggs.

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*There are many women that make clothes to sell or do alterations for people.

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*You can make soap or other handmade products

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Well, I’m sure you get the picture! 😉

There are many ways and opportunities that we can be a wise and prudent wife in making financial decisions to benefit our family. Think of things that you enjoy and how you could bring in some extra income from home or use it to meet your family’s needs.

And hey, if your husband would like you to buy a field and plant a vineyard ~ go for it! 😉

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THANK you, Jill. It takes much Godly wisdom to use money well! May we remember to ask God for His wisdom even before planning our grocery shopping! Please visit Jill’s blog to learn more about her and her quest in learning about remedies God has given us in nature!

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strengthening oursleves {guest blogger} {8}

WELCOME to Angela from

 Hidden Treasures

I asked her if she were willing to choose a verse in Proverbs 31 to expound in a modern way, and she graciously consented to write about verse 17. Angela is a sweet Christian lady who writes…

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She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 

Proverbs 31:17

We know that Proverbs 31 is not talking about any one woman in particular. Rather it is talking about the ideal woman. The “virtuous woman” is a measuring stick by which we measure our own selves. Do you want to be a virtuous woman? I do!

The best part of Proverbs 31, in my opinion, is that it was written by Solomon who wrote what was taught him by his mother. Whats so wonderful about that? Well, Solomon’s mother was none other than Bathsheba! Bathsheba is remembered for having adultery with King David. Not very virtuous, and yet, God used her to tell the world what character traits should be found in a “Virtuous Woman”!

How wonderful that God would do such a thing for her.

And just think what God can do with us if we let Him!

She girdeth her loins with strength…

The word gird literally means “to prepare for action”. Loins refer the parts of the body between the hips and the lower ribs. This part of the body has long been considered the seat of physical strength and generative power. 

…strengtheneth her arms. ~This seems pretty self explanatory. 

Women in today’s world don’t have the same requirements women in Solomon’s day had. We don’t usually buy fields, or make our own fabrics. My husband would flip if I informed him that I bought field while he was at work today! And then I would be strengthening my arms and loins to push mow an entire field since my husband doesn’t have time for it himself! I don’t think so!

So, really, how can we apply this verse to ourselves in today’s modern life style?

Let’s face it. Housework and child rearing isn’t easy as some may think. Some of our jobs may require muscle – a little elbow grease. If you have a job such as this you may need to strengthen yourself for that job. Yard work, gardening, canning, moving furniture (or the refrigerator) to vacuum under, organizing closets or the garage are all jobs that take muscles. However, most of my responsibilities don’t take muscle, necessarily, but stamina and will power. Patience and a good work ethic help quite a bit too! It has been said that a woman’s work is never done. I totally agree! I think that may be because we have so many different jobs and there’s never a time when we’re “off duty”. 

So, how do we strengthen (or prepare) ourselves for the jobs we have to do? 

We must trust God. Deuteronomy 33:25 says, …and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. I’m so glad it doesn’t say, As thy strength so all thy days be!!! I would have been dead with the birth of my first child! (or sooner!) God is good to provide us with the strength we need to continue (HIS strength!). Especially when it’s His work that we are doing. And raising children to love Him IS His work! Pray and ask God for His strength. He’s already promised it!

We can prepare ourselves for the work ahead by eating healthy food. (Don’t get me started on this! {you can read about it here} I need to stay on topic.) Eating healthy food is a must in order to feel well and do well at the things we are given to do. Did you know the Bible talks a great deal about food? God wants us to enjoy our food, but He wants us to eat the real food that He’s provided. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. You MUST take care of yourself if you plan on taking care of everyone else. I Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

*Take your vitamins or iron pills. I hate to spend money on iron pills; but if I don’t, my house suffers, meals are boring and the children fend for themselves because I’m useless. Dizzy and tired doesn’t get the house work or the laundry done. I used to try to buy the cheapo pills, but I’ve learned that they don’t work either. It may be expensive, but it’s worth it if it will help you get your jobs done well. 

*A good work ethic is very helpful! Have the washing machine and the dryer running while you are cleaning the bathroom and making your bed. Teach your children to help. At the very least they should be able to clean their own rooms, make their own beds and put away their own laundry. Not only will this help you around your home, but it is teaching them responsibility. 

Lamentations 3:27 ~ It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. If you don’t teach them to work hard now, they never will.

*We must learn as much as we can. I think we can safely assume that the “virtuous woman” was willing to learn more. Sometimes a few questions directed at the right person might help us to do better in certain areas. Do you have questions about cooking, or cleaning? Maybe you want to learn how to sew or plant a garden? Ask someone who knows or read a “how-to” book on the subject. Ask for help. Do what it takes to get your jobs done to the best of your ability. 

I Thessalonians 4:11 ~ And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands….

*Do your best with what you have! Be creative! If you don’t have a way to make money at home, the least you can do is save money! I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by making my own laundry detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, dish washing detergents, and plenty of other things. It’s so much cheaper and healthier to make your own cleaning supplies! Gardening and canning save me money every year too, as well as making my own bread. There are other things that save money too. I’m looking into raising chickens and bee keeping right now too. I don’t really have the money for such things, but I’d sure like to give them a try and I know God will provide them for me if it’s His will. 

I Corinthians 4:2 ~ Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

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THANK you Angela. We must indeed prepare ourselves both physically and spiritually for the tasks ahead of us each day. May we each take the time to to seek God about ways to strengthen our bodies and spirits so that we can fully and effectively take care of our families. Please visit Angela at

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to read her fun, encouraging posts about being a treasure hidden in Christ.

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