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Over at The Homeschool Lounge I am involved in a monthly, verse by verse study on Proverbs 31. This month we are studying verse 21.
Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
When I first read this verse I saw two things
- the physical
- the spiritual
The physical realm
This mother, this woman was an industrious woman and this verse gives a glimpse not only to her industry but also a glimpse into her heart. She is at peace as a consequence of her productivity.
Snow is a harsh climate; it takes its toll on life, especially when you are not prepared. This woman is prepared. Her family are ready for whatever season is ahead, their clothing will keep out the cold, and they will be okay. So too will her servants, all that live in her household.
We have learnt from other verses in this passage that this lady didn’t just pop down to Target and buy these clothes, no, it took effort, she worked hard. To get the colour scarlet was hard work – it was a process so it required effort, but it was also rare so therefore expensive. She had worked hard to be able to afford this quality.
This woman had peace in her heart because she knew her family was looked after and safe from the elements.
What can we learn from this?
- It is my responsibility to provide for my family – I need to be aware of what their needs are, and ensure that things get looked after
- It takes hard work to provide for my family
- Though I may be able to pop down to Target I need to be diligent, and work hard, at using my money wisely.
- The reward of my efforts is not only the physical care of my family but there will be peace in my heart knowing I’ve done my job well.
The Spiritual Realm
As with a lot of things we can learn a spiritual lesson from a physical application.
Just as we don’t know what type of season we have up ahead – it could be a bad winter or a mild winter – we don’t know what is up ahead for our children. We don’t know the society they will live in, we don’t know the challenges they will face. And yet we have the task to prepare them, to dress them as it were so they will be able to live out the rough times.
Just as the woman in Proverbs 31 knew what her children’s needs where if they were to face the winter ahead, we too need to know what our children’s needs are, not only their physical needs, but more importantly their spiritual needs.
- Do they need salvation?
- Do they need a personal relationship with Jesus?
- Do they need encouragement to follow Jesus?
- Do they need to become more and more like Jesus?
We have been called to be spiritual mothers to our children just as we have been called to be physical mothers. We need to see them through their spiritual birth, we need to nurture them, we need to train them in spiritual things, we need to shoot them out to be workers for Christ just as we do all those things in the physical world.
The New Testament is always making the shift between the external, the things of the flesh, and the spiritual, the things of God all the time. There are a couple of verses that talk about us putting on, or getting dressed, in the spiritual sense.
Eph 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Eph 4:24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ
We are also told to ‘put on the armour of God’ – to be clothed in truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. (Eph 6:10-17)
Do our children put on the new man? Do they put on their armour every day?
Now we can’t orchestrate their salvation – that is a thing between them and God. So what can we do?
- We can pray for our children’s hearts
- We can ensure that nothing in our life is a stumbling block for them so that they will see Jesus
- We can be their teacher and disciple them in the ways of the Lord
The woman in Proverbs 31 was not afraid of the future. What does the New Testament say to that –
For you have not received the spirit of bondages to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father.
2 Tim 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Once again there is so much to learn from the Proverbs 31 lady.
- She knew the needs around her
- She knew it was her responsibility to meet those needs
- She worked hard to meet those needs
- She had peace in her heart because she had done her best.
There comes a time in all our lives that we are not in control – the woman in Proverbs 31 was not in control of her life. She didn’t know what the season was going to be any more than you and I know for sure what is ahead. And yet, she had done the things she was called to do – and she had peace in her heart. I too will not be afraid of the future.