She’s that illustrious goddess of domesticity. Her husband is crazy about her, the kids adore her, she is business-savvy, Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, 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.
I remember quite a few years ago as I was reading through Proverbs 31, and I was struck by verse 12, “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
All the days of her life. From the day they are wed to the day that she dies, she will seek the best for her marriage and her family. She is not selfish, living her life for only herself. Everything she does brings good to her husband. But wait… it doesn’t just start the day they are married! All the days of her life. Does that mean even before she is married? Even before she is engaged? Even before she meets him?
Yes, I believe it does. Remember the instruction given in Proverbs 31 is from a mother, guiding her son about the type of girl he should look for to marry. He was to look for these qualities in the single girls around him as he chose his bride. Although the mother was showing the future of such characteristics (Her children arise up and call her blessed), she was showing him what qualities to look for now.
Did you know, single girl, that you can be a Proverbs 31 woman right now? Some of those future outcomes will not be evident in your life just yet, but you can plant the seeds of character now to becoming the queen of your own castle, Proverbs 31 style.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
There are only two options here – good and evil. Everything you do in your life is reflecting either good or evil into your future marriage. How so?
I do hope that you are guarding your body for marriage. The Bible teaches that intimacy is reserved for a husband and wife and should not just be given to whoever charms you for the day. Saving yourself for the day you marry is not only healthier for you; it is healthier for your future marriage.
But there is more than just sexual purity. What about physical fitness? Did you know that your health can have a great impact on your marriage? Spending your single years packing your body with junk food and not getting enough sleep will take a toll on your body, a price that might be paid out in later years when you try to have children. By being conscious of the things you eat, hours you sleep and exercise you are getting, you can set yourself up for an easier time after you are married. It is the selfish single girl who lives how she wants to now without any thought of how her actions might affect her future.
Living your life now as God wants you to is a good way to set yourself up for a great marriage. If you spend time working on your attitudes, listening to God, and cultivating your relationship with Him, it will only reap benefits as you move into marriage. As we’ve heard in marriage messages hundreds of time, it is as the husband and the wife individually draw closer to God that they will draw closer to each other. Working on your relationship with God now is a good way to build a strong marriage.
Submission is one area that a lot of women struggle with, both in and out of marriage. You can be practicing Godly submission now by building a strong relationship with your father, pastor, and other spiritual leaders in your life. Submission is not saying that they are better than you or that they always make the right decision – it is about recognizing the authority God has given to them and allowing them to be the leader. Building that into your life now will save you some rough days after you get married.
Too many single girls fall into the trap of wasting their single days in frivolous activities. Once they put college behind them, you are hard-pressed to find them cracking a book or learning anything useful.
Would it hurt you to start learning now about children? About gardening? About raising chickens? About changing the oil in the car? What if your child is born with dairy and wheat allergies? What if your husband wants to move to Japan for his job? Learn how to sew. Learn how to paint. Learn how to make ground beef 101 different ways. Doing a little research now about a broad variety of subjects will help you do your husband good should those situations arise.
One of the hardest things for girls to learn to do is to control their emotions, and sadly, many never even try to learn! Roller coaster emotions, temper flareups, random outbursts of volatility – these things never improve a marriage. Learn now how to relate to people without getting angry, how to communicate without getting frustrated and closing up, how to take criticisms and suggestions as helpful and not attacking.
One of the best ways to control your emotions is to be aware of what you are thinking. Use Philippians 4:8 as a funnel for your thoughts – Is it true, honest, just, pure, etc? If not, then you shouldn’t be thinking it or allowing it to change how you are feeling. Don’t let untrue, dishonest, unjust, impure thoughts take that kind of advantage in your life! You take control of that – no one else can do it for you.
There are probably many areas where we could each improve socially. Learn how to build friendships that last, avoid gossip and talebearing, and carry on conversations with strangers. Be an interesting and effective communicator, and learn how to ask good questions. Examine how you relate to men. Are you a flirt? Do you view every single guy as a potential mate and interact with him that way? Do you view every single girl as a threat to the guy you want to catch and allow yourself to get caught up in catty fights?
Basically, it all comes down to being aware of where you are in each of these areas, and making the decision to improve yourself. You are out of school and out of your parents’ care – no one else is going to take the responsibility to do it, unless you do. As we come up on this next year of 2013, take some time to examine what areas you want to improve and set some goals for yourself.
Remember, she does him good and not evil all the days of her life. Start today!
Very well written Rachel, and so true! I really needed this because how easy it is to let yourself relax after your married! Staying in check is work! Staying pure in thought and deed is work! Keeping our emotions in check is work! Thank you dear friend for the reminder. Love you!
Well-said, Rachel, and well-lived. Thank you for your testimony through the years which backs up this message.
Wise words! I love how you explained it in practical terms and showed examples. Thanks a lot for sharing this!:)
EXCELLENT article!!! Great admonition!!!
So good. I will be reading it several more times :). Excellent reminders, thank you!!