Well we’ve arrived – its the last week of the series, and oh my what a series!!! Who would have know the amazing blessings, encouragements and inspiration we would have got from these 16 weeks when we started? We all started off feeling a bit condemned by this “perfect woman”, but over the weeks we have come to see the heart behind why this passage was written – as advice from a mother to a son – and that it was never meant to be interpreted by us in that way.
None of us are future Queen’s, and so many of the characteristics described are not transferable. And yet God, in his awesome wonder, can use these words to equip us in our roles as chosen wives and mothers. When I look back I see many more ways in which I can be a great wife, and see the many ways that I am already fulfilling this role for my husband. But I also see ways in which I can spur my husband on, delegate more and not interfere, and focus more on my family’s spiritual health as well as just physical needs.
This week was no different, and with our final week we meditated on this verse:
“Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” Proverbs 31:31
At The City gate
This was the first phrase that jumped out to me, as once again it is one that has been used in the passage before (in verse 23 where her husband is “respected at the city gate”). The city gate was an important part of the city, where things entered and left but also where men gathered, big decisions were made, news was shared and criminals punished. As I read more about the city gate, a lot of negative things came out – punishment, noise, control, taxation, intimidation. How odd I find it that here the topic that is to be shouted out at the city gate is one of honour and praise! It is positive! This serves as another reminder that our God is back to front, upside down and out of this world. Bathsheba wanted her son to be more like God, to be counter-cultural and instead of using the city gate for his dirty work, she wanted him to use is for good. And who else would be better to influence culture than the future king?
what is our city gate?
So how can we be counter-cultural in our worlds? What is our “City Gate” (as we obviously don’t have a physical gate in most of our communities where men gather!)? One of the amazing mums in our Facebook Community mentioned that the school gate is quite similar – a gathering of people, all the noise and chaos, mums and dads chatting about the news and issues of the day, possibly gossiping about things or moaning about their kids. How can we be different in this situation? Or maybe the break room at work is your city gate, or the toddler group. Lets praise and honour those in our lives and be a positive influence in these places rather than joining in with the negative.
what are you being praised for?
Initially I was very confused as to why her works would be the thing praised at the city gate and not her character. But then the Mummy Meditations Community came forward with some great thoughts – that our actions are the outpouring of our character, and so good works are the result of that noble character. Also, that perhaps this was counter-cultural too, that women wouldn’t normally be praised for what they’d done, just kind of expected to get on with it, so this would be really odd. Finally, it was suggested that “works of her hands” might refer to her sons whom she had raised, and that they would grow up to be upright men who have a seat at the city gate too.
So, food for thought on our final summary post of the year!
- Do your works reflect your character? If not, what needs to change?
- How can we be counter-cultural and praise others when they would normally be mocked? Maybe this is our kids (its quite normal to moan about them in our culture and how hard parenting is) or our husbands.
- How can we ensure that our kids, “the works of our hands” grow up to be great members of their community in the future?
Next Year (and two actions for you to do!)
As this is the last post of the year, and the next series doesn’t start until 6th January, I don’t have a next verse to share with you all. What I would love for you all to do is have an amazing two weeks of rest with your families, read whatever you want in the bible, and if you stuck for ideas then check out my “10 things to do in the Christmas Break” post. I do have two small actions for you to do right now (pretty please!):
- To make sure you get the announcement for the next series then do join the Mummy Meditations Facebook Group and sign up to the e-newsletter via this link. The new verse will be announced on the 6th January, but there will be new resources in the shop, testimonies from some of our amazing members and much more before it starts! Why not invite a friend to join us?
- I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on Mummy Meditations, what difference it has made to you and how I can make it even better. So please fill in this quick survey and share your thoughts.