“She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).
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; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21).
“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, and 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.
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48.)
1 Timothy 5:14 says that the younger women are to “marry, bear children, manage the house,” so that the enemy will have no opportunity to slander believers.
The words “manage the house” are one word in Greek: oikodespoteō. This word means to rule a house, and in this verse, it means 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 mankind.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26).
God created man in His own image, but God 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).
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet…” (Psalm 8:3-6).
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” (Ecclesiastes 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, Mama. 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!”
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
You go, Queen! Throw laziness out of your heart! You’ve got a kingdom to rule! “Give of your best to the Master!”
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.