Here is my confession: I started this week not really wanting to study this verse. After an amazing week looking at a verse that spoke right into my heart as a mother and wife (check out Naomi’s summary post from last week) I wasn’t very inspired by our next verse. I seemed pretty straight forward. She buys a field. She plant a vineyard. BORING!!! Not much to learn here. But I knew that God has called me to lead to discussion on this, to inspire and encourage you mums to dig deeper into each verse, and so thats what I needed to do. I hope you are challenged by what God revealed to me this week about his verse:
“She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16
Five characteristics to aspire to
After finally sitting down to think over the verse, I realised that it shows us five things that an amazing wife will bring to the party that will enhance the lives of her husband and family. She:
- Plans ahead
- Thinks of the whole picture
I’ll quickly go through all of those and hopefully link in some of the great thoughts from our Mummy Meditations Community too!
The word “considers” stood out to a lot of us as we first started to meditate on this verse. The importance of taking time over decisions, carefully planning and analysing instead of just jumping in and doing the first thing that comes to our heads. I think we all know that if we want great things to happen in the future we have to actually consider them and decide on a how to do them before they can become a reality. Only if we take time to look will we find the best.
How often do you sit down to consider your family’s future? How often do you consider different ways to overcome your problems? How often do you look at all the different options before making a decision?
This woman understands that in order to get something of value in the future there is a sacrifice to make in the present. In this metaphor she is saving her earnings to be able to take on this vineyard venture. But it might not be that for you. Perhaps you are sacrificing being at work to stay at home with the kids – a lot of us identified that this is a way of saving and putting something into our families. With saving money you know that you can’t buy anything with it for a long time, that for a while you will have nothing to show for that sacrifice. Perhaps we need to give ourselves that grace in parenting too – as we save and sacrifice to input into our children, there may a long time before that ever pays off or shows something. But it is being kept safe for the future.
Think about what you are sacrificing right now for the future. Make a note and remember that it is being kept safe for another time even when it feels tough now. How often do you consider what you are financially saving for the future? Maybe now is a good time to actually consider your financial situation and make sure you are doing that.
So considering and saving are all quite passive and worthless if you don’t then do this next bit – she invests! She doesn’t just sit on her nice pot of savings (how nice is it when you look in the bank account and there is a pot of money there for a rainy day?!). She does something with it. When the time is right she spends it. Not just on sweets and presents and shiny things, but on an investment that will pay off in the future. I think about the many times that I fritter time, money, energy and more on things that have no meaning in the future – what a waste! Here this woman is spending her savings on something that will pay off. Again we saw a really big link between this characteristic and our roles as mothers. We are literally investing all of our hearts, time and energy into these little people, and boy will that pay off in the future!!!
What can you invest in now that will pay off in the future? What things do you have at your disposal to invest – is it time, money, energy, material things? Are there some new projects or ideas you need to step out in to and rather than just considering and talking about them, actually INVEST in them?
She plans ahead
Similar to considering, this woman makes sure that she is future-proofing ( a great word that we use in my job as a fundraiser!) her family. When she invests it is not a short-term thing. Perhaps she would get a quicker return if she planted corn in her field – she could harvest it the next year and get more money. But that is not what she is after here. She already has money, she already has enough for her family to get by day by day. Here she is looking long into the future. Vineyards would have taken years to become established enough to provide a good harvest of grapes. And they aren’t really the kind of crop you grow just so you can have a delicious snack or a nice drink in the evening with your husband. No, this a crop you grow to sell and trade and give your family more in the future.
In what ways are we looking past our immediate needs for food, water and shelter, and looking at what our family might need 10, 20, 30 years down the line? How can we plan and provide for that? What might our family’s physical, spiritual and mental needs be that far in the future?
she thinks of the whole picture
As I’ve been writing this, it has been so easy to think of the financial and physical things that me and my family might need in the future. Perhaps a car for the boys to learn to drive in, university tuition fees, school trip money. All of things are good to plan for, but if we truly want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman then we need to look at the whole picture. As with all of this passage, this verse is poetic and uses a very clever metaphor. One about a vineyard. When we dug deeper into this, we saw that vineyards are used in many places throughout the bible, including Isaiah 5, John 15:5 and many of Jesus’ parables.
“I am the vine; you are the branches” John 15:5
A vineyard is not just a vineyard. It represents two main things in the bible – the nation of Israel and spiritual health. And really these two things are linked! So by saying she is planting a vineyard, the writer is saying that she is prioritising keeping the nation of Israel going and looking after the spiritual health of her family for the future.
How are you as a mother and a wife looking at the whole picture? How are you planning for your kids spiritual health and security as they grow up as well as their financial and physical health?
Next steps forward
As I mention every time that I write on Proverbs 31- this is not a to-do list, but an amazing role model to aspire to. I have put in italics some questions for us to consider this week to put this verse into practice (and I am actually amazed that there is so much to consider out of one tiny verse!!!). Maybe sit down and write what you would like for your family in 5, 10, 20, 30 years times, and then you can work from there and start planning on how to achieve that. Make sure you consider financial, physical, mental and spiritual goals and ideals and pray for wisdom whilst doing this. I would love to hear how this goes and if God reveals anything new to you through this.
Now it is the turn of the night owls to gloat as we look at this verse!
“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.” Proverbs 31:17-18
Naomi will be leading the discussion over in our Facebook Community and we would love for you to join in the conversation and share what God is revealing to you! If you need any help getting started or some great products to aid your weekly meditations then hop over to our etsy shop here.