Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Case for the Ultimate Survival Mom - Part I

Vermeer's Milk Maid

The Wife of Noble Character
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like merchant ships
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and she grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Every morning, after the men leave for work and before the littles wake, I spend time in my bible.  I read two chapters of wherever I happen to be at the moment and I read whichever Proverbs lines up with the day.  Today, being the 7th of the month, I read Proverbs Chapter 7. 
As I was reading Proverbs 31 on the last day of 2014, I was reminded again that it is the Proverbs 31 woman that I endeavor to emulate.  She is the wife, mother and woman that can and will see her family through the darkest of days with grace, humility and complete confidence.  Her faith is securely anchored in God and she lives her life in accordance with His wisdom.  Her way is secure.
One of the first things that I notice about the Proverbs 31 woman is that she is rare.  There are a lot of women in this world.  A lot of pretty faces.  But, the woman that embodies these qualities, the woman that you would willingly walk through the end of the world with, is very rare indeed.  In fact, her rarity makes her worth far more than the most precious jewel.  When you consider that, you might also consider the fact that this woman is very hard to find.  Just as rubies require significant effort to unearth, so a noble woman will have to be earnestly sought and won.  Yet she will be worth every effort.  She will be the woman by your side, preparing your house to weather the most ferocious storm.  She will train your arrows to be sure and true.  She will bring every good thing within your grasp and fill your home with joy and mirth.  
Men, if you want a woman to walk by your side during TEOTWAWKI, find a Proverbs 31 woman.  Women, become the Proverbs 31 woman.  Seek God.  Build character.  Acquire the skills to run a self-sufficient household.  Prepare for the storm then laugh at the days to come.


  1. Thank you. I always enjoy reading your view on things. Oh, and welcome back. You've been missed. Nice to know it was just the business of life and all are well. Once again, reading your posts is like visiting with a friend. I always take something away with me, something to ponder and usually a smile to accompany it. :o)

  2. Thank you for this post! I too view the Proverbs 31 lady as my model.

  3. Yes, in our materialistic culture it is a challenge for a man to seek a woman based on ability and not looks, and a further challenge to find one interested, able, and willing to put off the present and prepare for the future.
    I have been seeking one for many years and yet to find a woman willing to work with me in life; I pray that God will enable me to remain strong and not give in to the desire to find someone who doesn't meet this high standard.

  4. A few interesting things about Proverbs 31.

    In Hebrew Proverbs 31:10-31, it is an acrostic of the Hebrew aleph bet. This alone would imply a teaching tool of sorts, but not for whom you may think.

    When quoted, Proverbs 31 is rarely quoted in full. The first 9 verses read....

    1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
    2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
    3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

    4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
    5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
    6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
    7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

    8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
    9 Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    All of Proverbs 31 is motherly council given to a son on life and on choosing a wife. It is still a lovely scripture detailing the teaching of an older woman that we ladies can learn from, I have rarely ever seen this scripture used to advise young men, as was its original intent. Too often it is used to put women under the expectation of fulfilling the ideal picture a mother painted for her son.

    I dearly hope that my husband sees me as this wife of noble character even though I, without a doubt fall short. We all have/had things we looked for in a spouse. Chances are none of us found someone who was absolutely everything on those youthful lists, but those lists affected our choices in a positive way. They helped find a Godly spouse and perhaps even allowed us to soften our hearts to their weaknesses before we were ever married.

  5. I have my doubts about any sort of End Of The World As We Know It event(or series of events..yes, it's possible, but Doomsday predictions seldom come true), but there are the "ordinary" disasters that test everyone, male or female. Illnesses,death, natural and financial disasters-and most come unexpectedly. Having a good wife during any of these trials would be a blessing.
    On a related note (kinda), I think miracles are everywhere-most go unnoticed. A fer-instance. We've had nuclear weapons for 70 years, and none of the "planet wrecker" wars predicted ever took place. When I was in high school, it was a given that the USA and USSR would, at some point, play a very realistic game of Missile Command. No one predicted the Soviet Union would just fold up..You really don't have to look hard to find miracles, but you do have to look..

  6. Welcome, Enola! You have been missed. Thank you for sharing one of my most favorite portions of Scripture. My daughters and I have memorized this, so we can have it on our hearts, as we go throughout our day and remind us what we are striving to become. I am thankful for these verses, they are an encouragement, as well as a challenge.

  7. Enola Gay - It is good to see you posting again! I've definitely missed your insights, comments and news from your family.

    My wife of 32 years has tried to model her life on the Proverbs 31 Woman, although early on she was more than a little intimidated, or perhaps humbled by the prospect. In my mind the proof her Godly character and efforts have made a difference are found in a long, happy marriage, a wonderful home that is spiritually and emotionally healing, and three God-loving young adult children (26, 24 and 21) who still love both of us,enjoy spending time with us, and who still come to us for advice. Many acquaintances who chose more worldly models to emulate cannot say the same. God's wisdom is unquestionably the greatest and we have been blessed by kneeling at His feet over and over again.

  8. Nice to know you're still around. Hope things are well with you.

    I remember being beaten over the head with "The Proverbs 31 Woman," an example of perfection before which we all, girls and women alike, fell short. Most of us quit trying. Certainly she is the woman I want: I want to see her reflected in the mirror and in my home, I want to see her in my friends, I want to see her in my daughters.

    She's an example worthy of emulation (and it certainly is worth remembering that the entire verse is a wise mother's counsel to her son, something we should be teaching our boys). She's the kind of woman who can, some of the time anyway, stave off the poop from hitting the propeller by her diligence, prudence, and hard work.

    At the same time, I'm willing to accept that even The Proverbs 31 Woman had a bad day now and again-- a day when the thread twisted and she kept dropping stitches, the kettle boiled over, the bread burned, she snapped at the children, the floor just wouldn't stay clean, and all she wanted was to sit and spin the whole day long. Children she worried over, and years when the plants did poorly.

    Or so I tell myself on those days when I'm not doing so hot, anyway. Because it lets me face the next day without giving in to calling myself a failure and giving up.

    She's a great example-- like every other Godly example, as long as we do not forget GRACE.

  9. I am glad you posted Enola! I've always seen Proverbs 31 more as a guide post than a to-do-list. If we look at what she did in her time and culture and translate it to ours, it's a lot less about tasks and more about principles. Home life, support for her husband, community involvement and ministry sum up most of the points. I read a good book when single canned "What to do Until Love Finds You." In it the author encouraged single women to read and consider Proverbs 31 and apply it as we could to our pre-marriage lives. Sadly, as much as I've tried, my husband has concluded that he is not a believer and wants to end our 10+ year marriage. Like Anonymous posted on January 8th, TEOTWAWKI for some of us comes more from personal events. The positive things of marriage make me willing to consider remarriage if things don't work out or he comes to his senses and comes back to me, but right now I could use your prayers.