“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.“
“You need a man who will provide for you”. I cannot tell you how many times I had heard that throughout my life, growing up and dreaming of who my one-day husband would be. I probably heard that more than I heard “you need a man who will lead” or “you need a man who loves Jesus”. For some reason, our culture tells us that the man is the provider of the family. I wrote about this recently, in my blog post “The Bread Winner”. If you haven’t read that one yet, I hope you do. I have chosen not to focus on what the world tells me about marriage, but rather I focus on who God’s Word directs me to be in my marriage. I think it’s so important for us as wives who are trying our best to serve God, and our husbands, that we remember to seek our advice from the wise counsel of scripture before anything else.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
Considering that Proverbs 31 describes a woman who gets up early, makes breakfast for her family, plans the days work, goes out and makes financial decisions and investments, makes an earning, and a profit, I think it’s safe to say that a woman can be a provider. In two short verses, somehow this Proverbs 31 woman can complete more tasks than I feel I have in a lifetime. My first impression was “how?!”. I sat there staring at the page in my Bible, wondering how on earth I am supposed to be so productive in a single day. It seems impossible, doesn’t it?
Well, ladies, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a staff of servants in my home and I certainly don’t know a thing about planting a vineyard. I am a one woman show, doing the best I can to keep my house somewhat clean, maintain a career, pursue my goals, and provide for my husband in ways of love, support, comfort, and encouragement. I laugh as I write this, thinking about making a plan for the day, and remember the classic line from Pheobe in the hit TV series “Friends”. “I don’t even have a pla-…”.
So, I thought, let’s start with the easy part. Breakfast. You may have already read that blog post, but it’s one simple way to connect with my husband each morning and provide for him. I don’t always make a full spread, sometimes it’s just a cup of coffee, but it’s one way I can be a wife who cares for her husband. I would encourage you to consider how such a small gesture could mean something big for your marriage. What’s next? I guess we should consider the whole planning the day ahead thing. Maybe we are delegating tasks to others, maybe we are jotting down a “to do” list. Sometimes planning the day ahead for me is knowing that I have to take a shower, walk the dog, and pay a bill. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan to be a plan. Taking the pressure off of doing everything to the extreme sure does make being a wife who provides, in our own ways, a much more reasonable request.
As for turning a field into a vineyard, maybe that’s your thing? It’s certainly not mine. I like to enjoy the scenery of a vineyard, or the products it creates, but I surely do not have any interest in the manual labor a vineyard calls for. Yes, I read the scripture and at first thought, “God wants me to plant a vineyard?”. You might be laughing right now, that’s okay, I am too! It’s hysterical to think that God would call each and every woman to plant a vineyard. Can you imagine how much grape juice and wine we would have? More than necessary that’s for sure. But ladies, God does want us to plant a vineyard, our own kind. God wants us to take something bare and nurture it into full bloom and grow to it’s potential. We can nurture a career, a hobby, a house that is becoming our home. Even better, we can grow our marriage and our calling as wives into a beautiful vineyard full of the good kind of fruit. Stepping away from the literal for a moment, our vineyards are whatever it is God is calling us to grow. That, my friend, is doable! God is the vine, and we are the branches, it is only through Him that we can continue to grow. (John 15:5). Increasing our faith, asking God to do so for us, will increase our ability to serve Him and our husband and be more like the woman described in Proverbs 31.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5.
Maybe you are the wife who has made her house a home, full of beautiful décor and furnishings. Maybe you are the wife who can cook like a master chef, who’s breakfast is more than a yogurt and cup of coffee each morning, but more like a gourmet meal. Maybe you’re a wise investor and financial guru, mastering the budget and saving the profit. Maybe you’re the encourager, cheerleader, and best friend. The one who is willing to get up early and do all the things so your husband can do all of his things. Whoever you are, whoever you have been called to be as a wife, you are providing for your marriage in ways that God already knew you would.
Feeling like you could do more? I have often felt that way myself and asked God to reveal to me where I can improve in this department. If God is the CEO, I am the employee sitting down for constant review meetings, asking for new ways and ideas on being better. Being the “new hire” wife is quite the learning curve, I experience that firsthand on a regular basis. If I want to pursue my calling as a wife and to the best of my ability, I need the counsel of God. So, I seek Him through prayer and through time in His Word. I pray for my marriage and my husband and who God is calling me to be, and I follow His lead. That right there is doing more. Prayer. You are providing for your husband and marriage in the most powerful way of all.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8.
I think as wives we forget this part. We are so busy trying to live up to everything that being a wife seems to be, that we forget to step aside and pray. We can’t possibly provide in any other way if we aren’t first seeking God in helping us with it all. That’s something I can assure you the Proverbs 31 woman does. In fact, I know she does because I know she fears the Lord. (Proverbs 31:30). Do you fear God? Do you seek Him first and ask for His hand in it all? Is prayer right there on the top of that “to do” list when it comes to providing? He provides for us and cares for us, and so, we can provide and care for our husband.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way. Psalm 37:23.
The Proverbs 31 wife seems to be able to do it all. She seems to be able to provide a comfortable and loving home, meals for her family, earnings and financial gain, and makes wise decisions. She is someone to admire and aspire to be. We cannot forget though, she first seeks God and allows Him to direct her steps, work through her, and lead her. We too, can do it all, but only if we walk hand in hand with the One who does it all for us.
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13.