“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21 (NIV)
“She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.” Proverbs 31:21 (NLT)
“She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.” Proverbs 31:21 (Message)
Deeply ingrained in me are the habits of a busy beaver, always doing something. It takes more effort for me to choose to slow down and focus on the Lord each morning, making the decision to put Him first. It seems much easier to roll out of bed, throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, pick up the stranded Lego pieces along my path, make a quick assessment of things that need to thaw for dinner, scan the grocery list and hop in the shower. All that doing seems to come naturally.
It was through the eyes of busyness that I first read this verse. In my mind I thought, “a Proverbs 31 woman is always prepared.” The verse mentions snow and warm clothes. A Proverbs 31 woman must make sure that her family has their hats, mittens, boots, snow pants, scarves, sweaters, extra blankets on the bed and winter survival kit in the vehicles.
I’m a mom who lives in Minnesota. I understand what it is like to raise a family in a snowy environment. With two kids I experience the daunting task of mitten & glove control – having a matching pair prior to leaving the house in the morning for school. We’ve fallen to the frantic mitten search many mornings as the clock ticks away and anxiety rises. Regardless of what climate you are raising a family in, it’s easy to relate to the effort expended to prepare your family for facing the world.
It seems almost instinctual to read Proverbs 31:21 and think that a noble woman is prepared for all situations. She is ready for whatever the world throws at her. She doesn’t need to be afraid because she is organized. This was the track my thought train was on. How about you?
At this point in my meditating, I was already starting to feel tired. With little effort my thoughts seem to stem to worries about all of the things my family will need to be prepared for this coming winter, but wait, the kids will go back to school first so my mind rumbles through all the supplies they will need. Now, I’m feeling mentally exhausted!
Is this what a Proverbs 31 woman feels like? Is it her role to worry about her family and every situation they may face so that she may prepare in advance in case it happens?
Deuteronomy 13:4 (NLT) says, “Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.”
God + me = Proverbs 31 I shall be
Eyes upon God. Mind upon God. What does God tell us about preparing our families? What must we do?
“Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.” Psalm 34:9 (NLT) When we have respect and honor for Him, we will have ALL we need. I’m sure our all knowing God encompasses warm clothes for winter in the word ALL. He is by His nature good and seeks to care to the tiniest detail, mittens included.
“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” Proverbs 19:23 (NLT) God knows the harm that can arise from the climates in which we live. He knows how to help us thrive in any environment and any circumstance. We must come to Him. Time with Him brings life, an abundant life (John 10:10).
“They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” Psalm 112:7 (NLT) A Proverbs 31 woman trusts the Lord to care for herself and for her family. She does not become consumed with worry about potential bad news. She knows today, without a doubt, that whatever bridge God will ask her to cross in the future, He will be there to guide her across it.
We need not place our confidence in shaky circumstances, but instead should place them in an unshakeable God. “Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” Proverbs 19:23 (NLT)
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT) To me, this is the best part. “with His LOVE, He will calm all your fears.” God has strength, might, power and is filled with awesome wonders. Yet, what drives out fears and gives that confidence? God’s love for you!
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 1 John 4:18 (NLT) God’s love for you is perfect. His love is strong enough to distinguish and rid you of any fear you have, for yourself and for your family. As a spouse and a parent, some of the greatest fears I face are for my family. God desires that we receive His love, in all its fullness, so that we can experience that confidence in Him and His provision for our needs.
I hope and pray that you are able to receive the gift of God’s love. Open yourself up to the best of your ability. It might be awkward at first, like the hug of a stranger. Don’t give up on going to God. Just turn to Him, where ever you are at, because He is already there. He’s got open arms for you. He’s not looking at what you have done or haven’t done. He’s just seeing you. You are His creation. You are His masterpiece. You bring Him pleasure and put a song in His heart. Not because of your accomplishments, but because of His.
Soon the embrace of His love won’t feel so awkward. It will feel comforting in ways you can’t even put to words. You may not be sure why, but you long to have that feeling again. Just keep coming to Him. Talk to Him, share the tiniest detail of your day with Him. He’s eager and excited to listen.
Before you know it, that hug of God’s love for you will be like that of a dear friend who has been with you through the years. When good things come before you, you will long to share them with God first. When struggles come, it is to Him you will turn because He has been there so many times before, seeing you through circumstances that you considered impossible.
God loves us so much! His love can cast out the fear, the doubt and the worry. He can replace it with trust and confidence in Him. God can take a fretful wife & mother and transform her into a Proverbs 31 woman. God can take a man consumed with business affairs & achievement, and make him a foundational rock upon which God will build for generations to come. God can take a man and woman so different & unique, and unify them together as one. He is mighty. He is amazing. He is filled with wondrous marvels. God loves you!
Thank you for loving us. Thank you for meeting us where we are at. What a blessing that Your love is perfect and that it is powerful enough to drive out all of the fears that we have for us and our families.
May we not be consumed with fear or anticipation of what the future might hold. May we be overwhelmed by Your love for us that it would bring us great confidence and trust in You.
Make our lives rich with a burning desire to come before You, to spend time with You and to give all that we have for You. In doing so, may we experience your wealth of knowledge, wisdom and provision for every circumstance.
You love us the best, may we give You our best love in return. In Jesus name, AMEN.