“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27, KJV).
As we start to conclude our weekly study of the Proverbs 31 woman, this verse seems to state the obvious.
- She works willingly with her hands (v. 13).
- She is like the merchants’ ships, bringing her food from afar (v. 14).
- She provides food for her household (v. 15).
- She plants a vineyard (v. 16).
- She has a high standard of excellence (v. 18).
- She works with all her might (v. 19).
- She helps the poor (v. 20).
- She has planned ahead for the winter (v. 21).
(I won’t go into all these details here, but you’re welcome to visit our archives for Proverbs 31.)
In Matthew 25:14-30, we read about a master who entrusted sums of money to three of his servants, according to the abilities that he knew they had. Then he left on a journey.
Two of the servants were wise with the money, reinvesting it and making it grow. The third servant was afraid of the responsibility he’d been given, so he ignored it.
Wouldn’t you have loved to have been one of the wise servants, to have heard your master applaud you? “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
What better words could a wife and mother hear? “Good job, Mom! You were faithful with the little jobs around your house, your hands were gentle and caring toward others, you worked with all your heart.”
It is very encouraging to know that when we are faithful in the small ways of a household, in the little things that no one sees, God will reward us with responsibility over greater things. (See Luke 12:48.)
1 Timothy 5:14 says that the younger women are to “marry, bear children, guide the house,” so that the enemy will have no opportunity to slander believers.
The words, “guide the house,” are one word in Greek: oikodespoteō. This word means to rule a house, and to rule means to have dominion over and absolute authority.
We know that as women, we don’t really have absolute authority. We have delegated-absolute authority. First, our husbands often delegate much of the everyday running of the house to us. But more so, our Heavenly Father has delegated this arena to us.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground'” (Genesis 1:26, NIV).
God created us in His own image, and He also has a dominion, a kingdom. He rules, but He has delegated the authority for His earthly creation to men and women.
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6, NIV).
Do you ever feel that changing diapers and doing dishes is just drudgery and has no eternal meaning at all? Do you wish you could do something that really mattered, something important for God’s kingdom? It’s normal to feel that way, for before you were born, God “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiasted 3:11, NIV). You were made to long for eternity, to do something big for God.
What you need to realize is that the small task God has given to you today IS something big for God. He has given you “dominion” over a tiny kingdom, and He’s watching to see if you’ll be a “good and faithful servant”
Interestingly, our verse from Proverbs 31 says that we do this by not eating the bread of idleness.
Just as the third servant displeased his master by simply trying to avoid the task set before him, we often procrastinate on the unpleasant things. We reason that there is something more important to do.
But God wants us to rule well over our households, to be wise and faithful in everything He has delegated to our authority.
Some day we’ll stand before our King, in His holy city, and we want to hear Him say, “Good job, Momma. You weren’t lazy. Instead you were industrious and caring and fruitful. I have big plans for my new world, so I set aside a nation of kings (and queens) and priests (1 Peter 2:9). Would you please be Queen of ___ for me? I know you’ll do a great job!”
“As it is written:
‘No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him'” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV).
You go, Queen! Throw laziness out of your heart! You’ve got a kingdom to rule! “Give of your best to the Master!”