She’s that illustrious goddess of domesticity. Her husband is crazy about her, the kids adore her, she is business-savvy, Martha Stewart, Paula Dean, Mother Theresa and Jackie Kennedy all rolled into one. The epitome of poise, her house beautifully decorated, her table laden with healthy and delicious foods, her family’s needs all met, and her entrepreneurial spirit bringing in a little extra cash. At least, that’s how we usually picture the Proverbs 31 woman.
The air was a bit close in the room where they all sat, stuffed around a low table, relaxing as the meal came to a close. The candlelight flickered off the walls of the little abode, and the conversation has dropped to a low murmur. The door hesitatingly creaked open, and a small woman slipped in, carrying a vessel in her hands. Eyes followed her movement across the room, past the men, and to the head of the table. She was intruding in a man’s world, this small woman with her small box.
Down through Bible history, we find women who waited. Should we think it strange when we have to wait for what God has for us?
When we use the word ‘hope’ today, we usually mean that we ‘wish very hard’ for something to happen, although you might have varying degrees of intensity to your wishing. “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I hope they put chicken on sale.” “I hope to get married one day.” The Bible use of the word ‘hope’, however, is vastly different.
Armed with her GPS, her glovebox stuffed with backup maps, and a full tank of gas, Sheila headed for the turnpike. “Ah, I love road trips!” she said, windows down to the spring breeze and her favorite artists singing through the stereo. Entrance ramps ahead, she glanced in her mirror and changed lanes. “WAIT! Where am I going?” she thought.
And thus begins February, the month of love. Chocolates, flowers, hearts, everything pink and glittery and romantic – all pointing to one particular holiday that some of my friends like to call “Single Awareness Day.” Perhaps the most depressing day of the year for a single girl, one might feel like all the married people are taunting with their relationship status. Every decoration, every bunch of roses, every couple with starry gazes just reminds you that you are yet single and unattached. There’s no one to send you chocolates and flowers.
The whole family is gathered together. Twinkling lights reflect in children’s eyes as they gather around and Grandpa reads the Christmas story. There is hot apple cider to sip and fresh cookies to munch. Then the fun begins – it’s gift time! The gifts are distributed, and soon it is your turn. You open a soft, lumpy package from your Great Aunt Martha. It’s a… sweater! Yes, a sweater in a color that you despise, in that odd 90’s style that is definitely not modern, but not yet vintage, and hence, a style you would not be caught dead in. Worst of all, there are rabbits embroidered around the bottom edge. Too kitschy, too outdated, too childish, too UGLY. Now what happens?
I think one of the hardest things that a single woman struggles with is the whole issue of security. It is a many-faceted problem, and one that we often think would be solved by getting married. “If only I had a husband, then I would have someone to take care of me, someone to share my burdens. If only I was married, I would have financial security, a place to live, someone to love me unconditionally, and someone else to just be in charge and make the decisions for me!”
Dear Sisters, we all have the wonderful opportunity to be pictures of silver and our friends can shine like those golden apples. But it all starts with being that friend that is fitly spoken. Can I encourage you to set a goal to pray that God will bring someone into your life that you can make shine like apples of gold? Ladies, God has made us so special and given us many different and amazing talents. Let’s go forward and use them for God’s glory.
How often have I been lovingly encouraged not to over analyze. How often I have tried to fix my problems by thinking, and thinking and thinking them out. Have you ever wondered why we think overanalyzing is going to help a situation? I have found myself having to make a phone call and pondering what exactly I’m going to say and what the other person might reply. As women we really do tend to over think way too much!
In praying for what topic I should write this month’s article on, I kept drawing a blank. But then while I was reading in Deuteronomy I came across the verse that begins with this statement: “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee…” After reading through the chapter, I couldn’t let go of a question that had begun to rise up in my heart. “As a woman what is required of me?” In my job, in my family life, in my daily routines there are many things that are required of me. But what does the Lord require of me?
Sometimes in life, we come to stages of time where we have never been before. And it is in these times where we might not be exactly sure where to go from here. The image of the Israelites walking in thousands across the wilderness comes to mind. They had no way of knowing where the next water supply would be. All they knew was that there was a Pillar of Cloud in the day and a Pillar of Fire in the night that they were to follow. When we come to these stages of life, we all need to slow down and take one day at a time.
A few weeks ago, I was reflecting on situations I have been facing. And in truth, I was upset that things weren’t going as I had planned. I continued to have my selfish attitude as I drove to work. My selfish attitude blamed God for not doing things the way I wanted. Oh, how my gentle Savior works to sweetly yet firmly rebuke me for my folly. The Holy Spirit began to stir up this verse in my heart. Matthew 5:13-14 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
Jennifer Byerly was one of our authors for many years, and we very sorrowfully gave her up in 2010 as she married the love of her life and moved to …
Think about the days you spend as a single person. You work hard, have big dreams and desires, and often imagine your future life. It’s a time of “finding out who you are.” Many a single struggles in this area of not knowing who they are, or being OK with who they are. Perhaps it’s due to failures, complacency, unthankfulness, or discontentment. You can discover who you are and God’s perfect plan for your life.
Think of someone you know who grew up in a Christian home then once they turned 18 headed deep into the world. I personally have known several people, both guys and girls, who have done just this. They grew up hearing the same Biblical principles, memorizing the same Bible verses, and often had godly parents who were actively involved in the church. Why, then, at the first chance do they choose everything opposite of what they have been taught?
Have you ever thought seriously about how important friends are to you and how greatly they impact your life? There is so much more to friends than liking the same styles or foods, playing the same sports, or even being the same age.
In the Old Testament, Moses taught the children of Israel to acknowledge that everything they had come from God by giving at least a tenth of it back to Him. Tithing was an act of worship as well as obedience.
We all have deep-rooted attitudes about money, many of which rob us of happiness and peace of mind. What’s worse is many of these assumptions are myths!
“…he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15b
Life is full of ups and downs. It can be unpredictable at times and even feel like things are out of control. It is at those times we must exercise the joy of the Lord. So, what is the joy of the Lord? It is being thankful and content is the circumstances of life. The opposite of joyfulness is frustration. Frustration sets in when we become unthankful and self-centered. A lack of joy can easily turn into bitterness. We have much to be thankful for—don’t forget the daily blessings of God and become a sour, unhappy young lady. Joyfulness, especially in a women, is attractive as well as an inspiration to others.