Household Management! · women's ministry

Proverbs 31:13

Proverbs 31:13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

Do I work with willing hands? I work. I clean my kitchen several times a day. I vacuum, or dust, or clean the bathroom. I teach my children how to reduce fractions and what the latin root word onym means. I put in a load of laundry and wipe the toothpaste crust from the sink. If I only ask myself the question, “do I work?” the answer would be a rather emphatic yes. In fact, I can’t think of time before being home with my children when I ever worked so hard.

But how do I work? Is it willingly? Imbedded in that word is “will”. It carries the implication of submission to what God has called me to in my work. Willingly, not begrudgingly. Willing, not complaining. Willing, not expecting a payback from the people I’m serving. Even beyond simply complying, am I serving joyfully? The challenge isn’t so much whether or not I will work, but in what way I will carry out my work.

I remember something C.J. Mahaney wrote on the TG4 blog:

“My challenge each day is not so much working hard, but cheerfully working hard.  If I understand Scripture accurately, I will not glorify God simply by working hard. To truly bring Him honor, I must labor with a cheerful spirit. Therefore, I must not only serve my family each day, but I must serve them with joy. I must not only prepare a sermon, I must do it cheerfully. I must not only labor faithfully in the church, I must do so happily.  Merely working hard is not sufficient. It must be done with gladness.  It is for my good and His glory that God has given this sweet command, ‘Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).”

How is this possible for a gal like me who is bent to serve self, and when serving others is tempted to complain or expect something in return? It is not possible apart from the gospel. The gospel is this: God, the Son, who could create the entire universe with His words came to earth and served willingly with His hands. Jesus spent time on earth as a carpenter making chairs, tables, and dishes from the very trees He spoke into existence. It is mind-boggling, really. It was with willing hands that Jesus healed lepers. It was with willing hands that he broke bread with sinners. And those same willing hands were pierced through for our transgressions when He suffered the wrath our sins deserved by dying on the cross. Jesus makes it possible for me to walk in the footsteps of the Proverbs 31 woman. May I keep His work ever before me while I attempt to do my own.

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5 thoughts on “Proverbs 31:13

  1. It’s almost uncanny that I would read this post on the heels of yesterday. No kidding, I was “over my head” with housework (typical Monday) and special event planning and errands. I put on my timer to race the clock as I put away dishes first thing in the morning. I said to myself something like, “You’ve got SO much work today,”– and this resolve to workhardandfastanddon’tletanythingoranyoneinterruptyou began to rob me of joy.
    Next second the Lord whispered, “Are you glorifying Me?” That’s all He said. Well, it immediately freed me to put aside my expectations for the day and be open (and WILLING, as you so aptly focused on here) to work as unto Him, and if interruptions came, to accept them willingly as well. I sort of got this goofy grin of a feeling inside knowing that the Master of the Universe cares about me and my attitude and my work.

  2. Great encouragement, Zoanna. Thank you for sharing it. I want to keep in mind today that I am to live for His glory as I work.

  3. Save that last paragraph for the book(s) you’re going to write some day. That was quote worthy, Laurie..truly an amazing gospel connection that you are soo good at making for the rest of us. That is something I’ve got to spend some time meditating on. Thank you!!

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