A friend recommended a website called Girlfriends in God that has daily devotional emails. I recently subscribed to these and found them to be a blessing to me. This month, since it is the month of Mother’s Day, a lot of the devotionals have focused on motherhood, specifically the Proverbs 31 woman. I have really learned a lot through these devotionals and been reminded of what my role as a Christian wife and mother should be. I wanted to share some excerpts from the series thus far in hopes that they will be a blessing to you as they have been to me.
From “A Mighty Warrior”, the first in the series, I really liked this list of things to specifically pray for for my child:
“In my Bible, I keep a 4 x 6 laminated card with prayers for Steven that is my defense against the enemy’s attack. You, too, can pray that your children will:
Know Christ as Savior early in life. (Psalm 63:1, 2 Timothy 3:15)
Have a hatred for sin. (Psalm 97:10)
Be caught when guilty. (Psalm 119:71)
Be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives: spiritual, emotional, and physical (John 17:15)
Have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships. (Daniel 6:3)
Respect those in authority over them. (Romans 13:1)
Desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends. (Proverbs 1:10-11)
Be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
Be kept pure until marriage (as well as the one they marry). (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
Learn to totally submit to God and actively resist Satan in all things. (James 4:7)
Be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:1-2)
Be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places and that the wrong people cannot find their way to them. (Hosea 2:6)
A mother wears many hats during the years of raising her children. And while we take off those hats one-by-one as they grow and mature, there is one that will always remain – the hat of a mother who prays.”
In “How to Enjoy Your Family, Part 1″, I read something it is good for me to always be reminded of. Trust is something I always seem to struggle with. This excerpt specifically was an encouragement to me:
“Proverbs 31:11 tells us that “her husband has full confidence in her.” “Full confidence” literally means to trust, to take refuge in or to lean on. The Proverbs 31 woman spent a lifetime building trust. She trusted God and had a personal relationship with Him. We cannot be trustworthy if we are not trusting, and if we don’t trust God, we cannot truly trust others. If we are not “taking refuge” or “leaning on” Jesus Christ, when others take refuge and lean on us, we will crumble and fall. Trust shatters fear.
Psalm 56:3 “But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting him, what can mere man do to me?” (NIV)”
I enjoyed this sweet story from “How to Enjoy Your Family, Part 2″:
“From childhood, making the bed was one of my kid’s daily chores. I told them that one day a week, I would make their bed for them. It could be on a day when they were running late for school, when they were too tired or didn’t feel well. Whatever the reason, I would serve them by making their bed one day a week. One morning, I was running behind and in a hurry to visit my husband was recovering from an emergency appendectomy. I had been at the hospital day and night and was exhausted. I got up very early, took one look at my bed and decided I just didn’t want to make it. I went to take a shower, hoping it would wake me up. When I came out, Danna, our eleven-year-old daughter had made my bed. To love our family, we must serve with joy!”
“How to Enjoy Your Family, Part 3″ contains a lot of wonderful truths like the following:
“Psalm 141:3 ‘Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD: keep watch over the door of my lips.’ Before speaking, ask yourself the following questions:
T is it true
H Is it helpful
I is it inspiring
N is it necessary
K is it kind
Think before you speak. Use the five to one ratio when correcting – five positive remarks to one negative comment. The harder the truth, the more love we should use in saying it. It is our responsibility to use our words to train and instruct our family about the daily things in life, but more importantly, to instruct them about the eternal things. We are very concerned about providing for our children when we need to be more concerned about caring for our children. The greatest care we can give is to disciple them by speaking words of truth. Guard your tongue.”
“The final way to enjoy and love your family is to remember who your audience should be.
Proverbs 31:28-31 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
It’s so easy to live life before the wrong audience. The truth is that our audience determines how we run the race. Our audience should be God, our mate, our children and then others. One day we will stand before God as keeper of the family He has loaned to us for a short time. Will He be pleased? Will He say “Well done?” Will our family stand and bless us? Will others say this woman loved and enjoyed her family?”
“The Lighthouse” demonstrates how a mother is like a lighthouse beautifully. Here are my favorite excerpts:
“I have always seen a mother as a lighthouse, or beacon in a child’s life. Think about it. A beacon is a landmark that her children can always count on. She shines the light of Christ at night and she serves as a landmark by day. She is watching out over the sea of faces to protect her tiny fleet. Like the Proverbs 31 woman she ‘watches over the ways of her household.’ She is present. She’s available. And she’s on guard.”
“Her gaze is not a casual glance. She doesn’t just give her children a ‘once over’ before they rush out the door to make sure their hair is combed and their socks match. This is a mother who actively guards, protects, saves, guides, and attends to those precious to her.”
“Being physically present is not the mother’s primary goal. Having the greatest possible impact on her home is. You can be physically present and still not make a positive impact. You can be there, but not be all there. You can become so wrapped up in other pursuits, so focused on relational struggles, so preoccupied with keeping the castle clean and checking items off your “to do” list, so engrossed in television or a good book, that you are oblivious to the chubby fingers tugging on your skirt or the teenager who has become withdrawn and sullen. If you are going to be there – then be all there – mind, body and soul.”
I absolutely loved the verse “Oil for My Lamp”. To me, it was a sweet reminder of how as mothers we also respond to the nighttime needs of our children.
“Her lamp does not go out at night…” (Proverbs 31:18 NIV).
“I thought about the mariners who were so dependent on the lighthouse’s searching beam to lead them safely to shore. What if she ran out of oil? What if she didn’t shine? The ships were relying on her to be prepared and well supplied with oil. Then I thought about my own life as a mother. Suppose I ran out of oil, my light grew dim, or worse, burned out altogether. What would happen to my little fleet?
The blessed mother in Proverbs 31:18 also had a lamp. Scripture says that “her lamp did not go out at night.” I used to read that verse and think, “Doesn’t this woman ever sleep!” But then I realized that it wasn’t so much about her staying awake all night, as it was about her lamp. She never let her oil run dry.”
Anything else you would like to add about the Proverbs 31 woman? I hope these have been encouraging and uplifting to you as they were to me.