I love to build things. I love to have all the parts organized and put something together one piece at a time until the finished product proves my capability. It’s a challenge, the outcome is tangible, and the self-control I learn in the process is priceless. Mind you, most of the time the self-control is learned slowly and after failing miserably in that department, but nonetheless it is a growth process.
I have tried to put difficult things together without instruction and it has turned out backward, with missing parts, or just plain wrong. Sometimes when I have the instructions it still doesn’t quite work out and I have to redo it.
I was reading Proverbs 31 this morning and was reading about what a good wife is like. I’m not a wife anymore (maybe someday I will be again), but I think it still makes sense for women in general. Proverbs 31 is a bit like an instruction manual for the life of a woman. I actually have trouble liking the Proverbs 31 woman because I’m so unlike her! Let’s look at a few traits that make up this woman:
“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for the household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls…She is energetic and strong, and a hard worker…She makes her own bedspreads…She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns…She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.”Proverbs 31, various verses
These are just a few of the amazing things this woman does. Believe it or not, I actually know a few women like this. My mother is one, my pastor’s wife is another, and some of my friends are good examples of this type of woman. I, however, am not. Yikes.
I don’t feel like this is a dig from God, but I feel like it’s a call to improvement. A call to have good character built into my already amazing and fearfully made self. I’m just saying. But, the instruction manual is not being followed as closely as it could, which is probably why I have the flaws I do and probably why my house is a mess sometimes (more times than I care to admit). It suffers from my laziness.
Slothfulness is not one of the fruits of the spirit. And yet, here I am. Going my own way, doing my own thing, thinking of my own desires and putting off that which God has called me to steward. I know I’m not alone.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”Isaiah 53:6
What’s amazing about our God is His great patience. I’d have scrapped me by now – like, let’s just call this one a wash and move on. But, how good He is to show me my faults in love and give me a chance to take apart the areas I got wrong or backward or left out and put myself together right, with His leading and instruction.
I looked at the Proverbs 31 woman and decided I will be trying to put into action those traits she possesses. I figure if I can be faithful in those things, God will give me bigger things or bless the stewardship to those areas I’ve willingly improved.
I considered that faith is obedience. And obedience is better than sacrifice, though obedience always requires sacrifice. So I’ll see what comes of the sacrifices I make in my obedience to the Lord to show Him my faith. I know it can only be good.
What are you leaving out of your character-building with the Lord? Have you skipped any of the instructions? Left anything out or added anything that didn’t belong in the original plan? Time to take it apart, repent, and start over – or at least at the place you made the mistake or left off following the instructions. God knows the plans He has for us. He has good for us. Only good. Only peace. Only joy, hope, love and growth. Let Him lead you. Let Him instruct you. Try to put into practice just one of the things the Proverbs 31 woman possesses in her character traits and see what happens.