Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chapter 8 {A Pattern for the Household}

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
 That's why we call it the present."

"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to her maidens."
Proverbs 31:15

If you are even slightly like me this verse makes you almost cringe.  Although I tend to be more of a morning person, the thought of waking up while it's still dark is not my favorite thing to do.  As soon as I see that it is still dark, this girl normally will head back to her warm bed!  Now that I have a job, there have been a few mornings where I have to be out of the house and on my way, but I've always seen sunshine when I opened my eyes. =)
This verse is definitely something I have put on my "Need to Conquer List".
In this chapter there are 3 disciplines taught to us by a woman who lovingly cared enough for her home and for her family, that she rose while it was still dark in order to ensure that everything would be prepared BEFORE her family awoke.

Discipline #1: An Early Start
When Proverbs 31 was written a woman got up early for several reasons.

Tending the fire at home--
First she would tend the lamp, this lamp had to stay lit all night so that it could help start the fire the next morning.  It was also the ideal time to get a head start on the meal preparations for that day.

Tending the fire of her heart--
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
A Proverbs 31 woman not only tends the fire of her home, but she also ensures that the fire in her heart has also been tended.  She rises while it is night to find a quiet spot to spend with her God.

Tending the fires of their hearts--
The Law of Moses instructed each mother to teach and to train her children God's law.  The Proverbs 31 woman first fills her own heart with God's truths, but also teaches her children the same truths all day long.

Discipline #2: Food for the Family
This woman's daily bread needs for her family was a major reason in rising early.  Her family depended on her to provide the most important mainstay with each meal.  The bread!   But there is an exciting image behind this verse!
"The Hebrew word used here for "food" actually means "prey" and refers to the prey of a lion.  God's beautiful woman here is being likened unto that of a lion hunting for the prey it needs to survive.  She is pictured as lioness prowling at night to obtain food for her household.  Besides being an army (verse 10), a warrior (verse 10), a worker (verse 13), and a powerful ship (verse 14), she is now a lioness (verse 15)!  The image of this woman continues to point to a woman with tremendous strength and courage.

Discipline #3: A Plan for the Day
While it's assumed that God's Proverbs 31 woman gave her maids a portion of the food in which she had prepared she also gave them work.  She issues them a decree or a work "ordinance" which outlines their daily work assignments.  This woman also has her own daily work to plan and organize, but her maids also need their daily portion for the day.  Eager not to lose a minute of time, she has to be ready for them--early!

See you soon!
Sara Rose <3

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