The Proverbs 31 Woman (31:25-27)

Posted by on Jan 27, 2009 in Blog Posts | 2 comments

I have been contemplating the woman described in Proverbs 31 lately. Most recently I have pondered over the Proverbs 31:25-27.

The ESV reads this way,
“25. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

At some point I want to come back to the first two verses you see above. For today, I want to look at that third one. The last part has convicted me in the past as I would be in a local bread/coffee spot almost every day meeting someone. At the time, I was the president of the boys’ school’s parent association. Once that tenure ended, I still would frequent the shop way too often and did not accomplish much at home. I was literally eating the bread (bagel) of idleness. That’s better now and I don’t abuse the frequenting any more.

Before that bread of idleness part, I have really been struck by the fact that she looks well to the ways of her household. “Household” could be family and servants. It could also be the care and maintaining of the house, the shopping for groceries, and the cleaning to name a few, in our cultural context today. Although I do not have a housekeeper nor a cleaning service, I do have a washer/dryer, dishwasher, electric and gas appliances. In a way, they are my “housekeepers” and I am very happy to have these things. They save me much time. I don’t have to haul my clothes to a creek somewhere and beat the daylights out of the fabric with rocks, lye soap (that I don’t make) and frigid water. So yes, I am thankful for my “servants”.

As I hone in more on my strengths and flaws as a woman looking well to the ways of her house, I keep coming back to the grocery shopping, mainly the grocery bill.

Let’s be honest, as we watch our economy do odd things we’ve never experienced before (unless you grew up in the Depression) aren’t you a bit more mindful of how you’re spending your money? Are you as surprised as I am when you go to the same grocery store for an eco-friendly green bag full of stuff and realize with surprise that you’ve spent over $100, and on what? It’s ridiculous. I have left many times since Thanksgiving thinking that I must do something different.

Today is the day! I am going to be the Proverbs 31:27 woman today and hopefully for years to come. I have already called a friend who is very wise in this area and left a message asking her if I can come over for a tutorial in shopping for groceries wisely. Yes, I’m a home ec major, but my friend has been a wise steward of her money and will be able to tell me if milk IS cheaper at WalMart or Publix or Winn-Dixie. I must learn some skills. Check! I’ve made that call.

Next, I’m headed to the superstore (which I have been a snob about far too long) to scope out the layout and map it out (what’s on each aisle), give the pharmacy my prescription card for “just in case”, ask them if they do double coupons like Winn-Dixie and honor sale flier prices from local grocery stores, and compare some prices on some typical items (milk, bread, etc.). My strategy is to get in and out in 30 minutes, looking neither to the right or left (that’s biblical and a good shopping strategy for this chick) so I won’t be distracted like Madame Blueberry as she shopped in “Stuff Mart”. Uh oh. Now I’m thinking that I don’t have that on dvd and I sure would like to watch that one for some motivation. But alas, I shall NOT pick up the dvd to purchase. It’s not needed. The strategy is in place. Check!

Other things I’ve begun doing to save some money are:
– turning the lights out when I’m not going to remain in that room. The decorator in me wants the room to be pretty and lit even when I’m not in it, but it’s not seeing well to the household.
– using up the make-up stash. Y’all, this is a BIGGIE for me. I love me some new make-up. I have resisted the urge to see what’s new for spring and purchase. I’m trying to use up what I have.
– buying good face/skin care products but not at the department store. I did my research in Paula Begoun’s book Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me and realized just how suckered in to the lie of more expensive is better I have been. It’s a lie, ladies. Don’t get me wrong, some of the cheap stuff is also cheap quality and not good for your skin. But, there are affordable, good quality products out there.
– eating lunch more at home rather than out. I’m eating the leftovers. If there are leftovers for more than one person, they get stored in the frig for leftover night or in the freezer if it’s enough for four.
– using coupons on products I actually use. Most of the time I buy storebrand canned and frozen foods as well as paper products. I like the sales flier at Winn-Dixie and take notes of when they have good BOGO (by one, get one free) buys on meat and stock up.
– consolidating errands so I’m not always out shopping.
– considering if I really need something now or can it wait til the next time out? Also, is it a need or a want?
– trying not to frequent the book store as much. That is really difficult for me.
– considering magazines, chips, and soft drinks as luxury items.
– using and laundering cloth napkins I’ve had forever rather than spending money on disposable paper ones to toss.
– the family decided to not take a planned trip to Savannah during an upcoming long weekend. We’ll save the money instead. I was looking forward to seeing Paula Deen, but she’ll survive without us.

You get the point. The Proverbs 31 woman was smart about the house while in it and shopping for it.

I know God has taken me out of my comfort zone. I plan to please Him and in the learning process, and hopefully be a blessing to my man and household. While I’m out, I may put in my resume at the superstore. Do you think they’ll give me time off to teach Bible study?


  1. Salesman #1: We represent the Stuff-Mart
    Big stuff, big mart
    Lots of stuff, lots of mart
    Stuff stuff stuff, Mart mart mart

  2. I enjoyed your post today. It is always so helpful …Thanks

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