|Image: katerha @ Flickr|
The Proverbs 31 woman sets some pretty high standards for us to live up to, but learning to walk in her footsteps can be as simple as learning a few new habits, one small step at a time.
- Commit to Never Speaking Ill of Your Husband – She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12) Many women today not only have a habit of defaulting to negatively-toned gossip when they get together, they've also cultivated a club of husband-bashing. Even if it seems humorous to compare all the mishaps of faltering husbands, don't do it. Find ways to praise him instead and see if you can't turn your conversation toward honoring your husbands instead of demeaning them.
- Learn to Grocery Shop Wisely – She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. (Proverbs 31:14) There's so much to say on this one that it may become a week-long series. There are tons of resources available to help you learn to shop smart and feed your family well. Make sure you understand the basics of finding good deals, planning a weekly menu, and feeding your family a healthy, balanced diet.
- Get Up Before Everyone Else – She gets up while it is still night (Proverbs 31:15) If you're not a morning person, this one might take some practice, but in time you'll wake up first out of habit without even needing an alarm.
- Grow Your Own Food – She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16) Even in an apartment you can consider your windowsill and plant some herbs. This has been on my to-do list for years, but hopefully you'll see some gardening posts popping up here in the future.
- Maintain a Budget – She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. (Proverbs 31:18) When you're aware of not only where your money comes from, but exactly where it goes, you'll be able to live comfortably within your means, without worrying at the end of the month if there's enough left to pay the power bill for another month.
- Get Involved in Charity – She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (Proverbs 31:20) There are so many wonderful charities, you can find something to get involved in no matter where your interests lie. Find a way to give back that uses your talents and benefits something you're passionate about.
- Practice Emergency Preparedness – When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (Proverbs 31:21) God will always find new challenges to help us learn and grow in faith. Being prepared allows you to face them without fear. This could mean packing an emergency kit for your car, keeping road salt in winter, or stocking up on food and water for hurricane season.
- Support Your Husband – Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23) There are so many ways that a smart wife can help her husband advance in his career. Support him, encourage him, and help him in everything he does. (Beside Every Successful Man is a great resource on this)
- Learn to Speak Wisely – She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26) If you feel like you just don't know what to say, there are two very simple ways to fulfill this. Refrain from speaking just to fill the silence, and begin reading the bible and memorizing verses that will come to your aid.
- Keep Busy – She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27) Set a schedule for housekeeping so you can stay on top of everything. Organization is essential to watching over your household wisely.
Embodying all the aspects of the perfect Proverbs 31 woman can be intimidating, but picking one or two small habits to add to your routine is so much more manageable. What little steps will you take to become more like the Proverbs 31 woman?