I think it’s awesome when God gives us a guidebook.  Sometimes He spells out what He wants us to do.  Although most of Proverbs is primarily a guidebook for men, there is a section that is for women.  We all benefit from all verses in the Bible.  Sometimes though, God gives each of us a little bit extra.  You know, the extra slice of cake at the end of the meal.  Well Proverbs 31:10-31 is the extra slice of cake for women.  It’s rich.  It’s sweet.  It’s worth picking up every crumb with your fingertip.  It’s lick-the-platter-clean good.  And, there is more to it than being perfect.   

                                                                                                                        

Most of us have read this passage from the perspective of the “perfect wife.”  Oh gag.  If she was real, she probably was a waif with every hair in place even while battling a bilious baby, tangling with a teenager, or interceding with insolent idiots.  Please don’t let these verses make you want to give up.  She is a model.  We are real people.  We strive to be the best we can be at doing what our Lord wants us to do. 

 

I want to look at this sideways.  What is God teaching us about our health.  Our health?  Yep, our health.  I believe that there are four major areas of our health: spiritual, physical, mental/emotional, and financial.  In fact, most of this website focuses on the four types of health.  It is so easy to just focus on physical health since we are bombarded daily that we don’t measure up.  Physical health is important.  We should learn how to care for the bodies—nay, temples—God gave us.  But there is more to us than our tickers.  In this passage, God alludes to all four types of health and gives us a goal.  Because of its length and depth, this will be a two-part series.  First, we will identify and examine spiritual health and physical health found in this passage.    

 

Proverbs 31:10-31 AMP biblegateway.com

10 [a]An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.

 

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.

 

12 She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.

 

13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.

 

14 She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure];
She brings her [household’s] food from far away.

 

15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And assigns tasks to her maids.

Physical health (She has stamina to be up at dawn providing food!  Clearly, she is a mother to a preschooler or a teenager with band practice before school!)

16 She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently];
With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

 

17 She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.

Physical health (She is physically fit because she works at it.  I bet her arms don’t wave at her.)

18 She sees that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].

 

19 She stretches out her hands to the [b]distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].

 

20 She opens and extends her hand to the poor,
And she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
 

Spiritual health (She is willing and able to minister to other people’s needs. She takes what she has and shares it with people who need it.)

21 She does not fear the snow for her household,
For all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].

 

22 She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.
Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].

 

23 Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

 

24 She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them;
And supplies sashes to the merchants.

 

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure;
And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].

 

26 She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].

Spiritual health (She knows her Bible and is in tune with God.  She shares what she has learned to disciple and encourage others.)

27 She looks well to how things go in her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

 

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying,

 

29 “Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],
[c]But you excel them all.”

 

30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.

Physical health (She focuses on inner beauty rather than her physical image.)

Spiritual health (She knows her place in God’s plan, and reverently follows Him and His direction and people notice.)

31 Give her of the product of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city].

 

 

 

 

This passage is great even for a surface read and a deep study to examine all the woman’s jobs and the jobs’ standards of excellence.  When you dig deeper while looking at it sideways, you can see other nuances such as health.  God wants us to be healthy especially spiritually healthy.  He encourages women to seek Him to be spiritually fed.  He tells us in this passage that we can seek Him in daily tasks, walk and grow with Him, and be spiritually healthy.  If we do, we get amazing blessings.  Some of the blessing we enjoy are 

1) the joy of helping others

2) kindness in our hearts

3) wisdom to share

4) praise from those who observe us

 

Have you ever had your family suddenly praise you?  Wow!  Now that is a blessing to treasure in your heart.  Have you ever had a spontaneous complement from someone?  They catch you off guard and you probably blinked before gushing thank you.  God knows that you need to be spiritually healthy. He encourages you to keep on going in praise from others.  Empty flattery? No.  Rather, praise about things you do based on observation. 

 

How do we stay spiritually healthy?  For starters, pray!  Prayer is so hard some days.  Real prayer, where you are actively engaged in your mind and spirit is tough for a woman with a 1000 things to do.  Do you ever wander off in your mind and make a ‘to do’ list while others are praying? Or perhaps you start having pretend conversations with people and realize oops, I was supposed to be having a conversation with God.  Maybe you have your routine prayer for the morning and another one when your head hits the pillow at night.  You hope to finish before you drift off to sleep.  That is not going to get you healthy.  Short, routine prayers are the same as a few sips a water all day and no otherliquids.  That would make you so sick.  Drink deeply and often.  In future posts, I plan to share some tips and ideas to revitalize your prayer life. For today, take the challenge to pray often.  You could put a tiny dot sticker on your watch or phone.  Every time you see the dot, stop and pray.  Nothing fancy.  Just pray.  See where God leads you. 

 

As for physical health, yeah well, I am one to talk.  I struggle with this tremendously as anyone who has looked for very long at the blog can see.  I am sad to say that Americans are no longer spreading from sea to shining sea but rather are stretching their seam to bulging seam as they spread out on the sofa.  We are getting so fat!  We can all try to make our physical health a better priority.  If you are looking for one suggestion today, drink nothing but water or milk.  What?!  No coffee?  No tea? No soda? No smoothie or latte? Yep. Why?  You don’t need any of that.  The Bible teaches that the only thing people actually thirst for is water.  It’s true.  We need water.  You don’t need stimulants such as caffeine and sugar.  You need water.  You need the Living Water, Jesus.  Try today to talk to God when you take a sip of water, even if only a second.  See where God takes you.  Feed your body and your spirit.

 

These are my challenges for us today:

 

1.  Increase your prayer time. 

2.  Stop drinking junk and only drink water and milk.  Especially water!  Keep checking back because I hope to publish a book soon which includes lots of information about water and other drinks in the Bible.

3.  Get off your mat and walk!  Okay, that is not exactly what God commanded the lame man to do but you get the picture.  Walk some every day.  Take the stairs.  Do something physical every day to start taking better care of your physical health.

 

Did you take the challenge?

Which part of the challenge was easy to start?

We will take a closer look at Mental/Emotional health and Financial health next time.

 

Check out my Resources for worksheets and suggested books and other materials to help you along the way.  Some of them are free!