Posted by: mamaamy | April 7, 2008

Work, Work, Work!

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Work, work, work!

Sometimes it feels that all we do is work. Life is extremely busy and the daily tasks of life can be all-consuming and sometimes overwhelming. As I read Proverbs 31 recently what I heard was a virtuous woman works.

Does this seem unfair or discouraging? In this world of convenience and comfort, it doesn’t seem right that we should have to work so much.

As I thought on this, I feel like the Lord prompted me that love is work, but it is good work and not too much for me if I do only the work that He requires me to do. So many times I feel like I have gotten into the business of doing what I think my husband should be doing—his work– and then I am over-wrought! Or that I involve myself with stuff in the world and activities that are not essential or valuable. I believe the Lord is saying, “Do only what you see Me do. (John 5:19)” In other words, I need do only what the Lord shows me to do, not a bunch of extra stuff that I bring on myself to prove a point to my husband, or to be a super-mom, or be a part of a “ministry.” If I am doing the very work that He has ordained for me, it is still work, but it is good work and He will equip me with everything I need to accomplish it.

So what is good work? A word study of the Bible on good work is very enlightening (check out http://www.biblegateway.com and type in good work as a keyword search.) I also like what the author Wendall Berry, an economist, professor, farmer, writer of social criticism, and proponent of simple living, writes in his book, Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community: “Good work is small in scale, it is humble, and it involves much giving of honor.” If we think about these three criteria in terms of our work, we can use this as a judge of what we are doing. Is it small in scale: Are we looking to the affairs of our own households? (As opposed to getting all involved in other family’s business or the busyness of life, or ministries?) Is it humble: Are we doing the work without need for praise—as unto the Lord, and not needing the constant strokes of our ego? Does it involve much giving of honor: Does our work honor God by fulfilling what He has required of us? Does it bring our husbands honor in that wherever they are and whatever they are doing they can have “full confidence” in our ability to manage the household, train the children, and take care of anything that they may need? Does it honor our children, in that we are training them to be confident, obedient, loving contributors to the family and society? Does it honor ourselves by our confidence in the knowledge that we are in God’s perfect will as wife, mother, and friend?

Proverbs 31 proves that a true woman of God is not one to be served but to serve. She “works with eager hands.” She gets up early and “provides food for the family and the servants.” (As a friend of mine pointed out—she serves the servants!) She “sets about her work vigorously.” Her “trading is profitable.” She is “not idle.” Her words are “full of wisdom and instruction.” In other words, she sees that her family and those she is responsible for are clothed (laundry), that they are fed (cooking), she buys and sells for her household (grocery shopping, balancing checkbook, wisely purchasing household necessities), she is not idle (projects to fix up the house, organizing, cleaning), she is giving wisdom and instruction (teaching her children.) She is busy with the good work that God has prepared in advance for her to do. (Eph 2:10)

To be a help meet to our husbands is to be a virtuous woman. It is part of the good work that we are to do. As Debi Pearl mentions in her book Created to be His Helpmeet, “Her readiness to please motivates her to look around and see the things she knows her husband would like to see done. She would not use lame excuses to avoid these jobs. A husband would know he had a fine woman if she were this kind of helper.” (p.24) It is clear that there is no time for idleness or extraneous, unessential occupations in the life of a virtuous woman and help meet. (Don’t get me wrong, we must take care of ourselves and rest and take time to be healthy every day so that we can do the work.)

I feel that the Lord is asking me to take a good look at what is claiming my time and strength. Is the work that I am involved in the good work that He has given me? If not, I pray that He will show me what to eliminate. And as I see the work that I am to continue, I pray that I would do it “diligently, vigorously, and with eager hands”.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8.)

Mama Amy

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Responses

  1. Dear Amy-

    I enjoyed reading this article. It was very thought provoking. I often feel like there is just too much to do and then the ” poor me” attitude starts raising its ugly head. We watch an episode of LIttle House on the Prairie as a family a few nights a week. We thought this would be a good, wholesome show for the kids that would demonstrate gratitiude, respect and obedience. I think I have probably learned more than anyone else! Caroline Ingalls had a lot to do- much more than I do. She goes about her daily jobs with a smile on her face, gratitude in her heart and obvious love for those she serves. I hope to keep learning from her example and yours.

    Stacey

  2. Good article. There is much wisdom to your outlook on life. Thanks for sharing with us.


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