Proverbs 31:12 - Humble Attitude Trumps Duty

"She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
 ~ Proverbs 31:12

good adj. ~ 1) morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious; 2) of high quality; excellent; 3) well-behaved; 4) kind, friendly; agreeable; pleasant; 5) honorable or worthy; 6) financially sound or safe; 7) genuine, not counterfeit; 8) reliable; dependable; responsible; 9) healthful; beneficial; 10) not spoiled or tainted; 11) cheerful; optimistic; amiable; 12) free of distress or pain; comfortable

harm n. ~ 1) physical injury or mental damage; hurt; 2.moral injury; evil; wrong

Sometimes I look at the Proverbs 31 woman and think, "Okay, I quit! I can't do it! She's too perfect!" But then the Holy Spirit reminds me of the God’s truth:

"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28-20

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
~ 1 John 5:3-5

"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
~ John 16:33

I am comforted as I remember that I must live based on what God says, and not based on what I feel. We can't always trust our feelings and do what the world says, "Go with whatever is on your heart." This of course, completely contradicts what God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 17:9-10. What we think are opinions. What God thinks are facts. Can I get an amen?

As I consider my Heavenly Father's words to me, not only am I comforted, but I'm renewed and ready to go wherever He chooses to lead me! I know I can be a biblically submissive, Proverbs 31 woman! Why? Because I've created a God-honoring list of things I've decided I'm going to accomplish this week? Perhaps it's because I've repented and promised to participate with the work of the Holy Spirit by crucifying my rebellious desires? Maybe it's because I've resolved to be in God's Word more and meditate on them throughout the day so that I may be fully armored?

While all these things are admirable and good, I will never accomplish any of it if I do not humble myself before my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ and say, "Lord, I can't do it, but I know you can. I am your handmaiden. Take my life and do with it what you will."

In order to live out Proverbs 31:12, I realize that my attitude is more important than my actual deeds. For if my attitude is one living without faith and dependence on Christ's strength, then my service to my husband, children, friends or anyone for that matter, is all in vain. If all my deeds are done in my strength, I will inevitably wear myself out trying to be the perfect woman for my own satisfaction, thereby attributing no glory to God. (1 Peter 4:11)

Isn't it reassuring to know that you don't have to measure up to the perfect standard God requires because our Savior and Lord already did it for us? I believe if I thanked God with every breath I take from this day on, all through eternity, it will never be thanks enough for who He Is and what He's done for me in His Son.

Our main job as wives and/or mothers is to be honest with ourselves and crucify our rebellious sin nature that constantly justifies itself and refuses to submit. We need to humble ourselves as we truly examine our hearts and see it as God does. We can never repent of a sin that we never admit exists.

Our husbands and children are often a good litmus test of our attitudes.

Questions to ask self: 
  1. How's my husband's vigor, is it strong, mediocre, depleting or depleted? 
  2. Does my husband enjoy coming home? 
  3. Are my children obedient and respectful (not perfectly), and consistently practice honoring me and my husband? 
  4. Do I spend the hours necessary every day training my children in the love and admonition of the Lord? 
  5. Is my house in order? Maybe not perfect, but at least picked up? 
  6. Did I include a love (not teaching) note in my husband's lunch? 
  7. Was I up and ready to serve him when he awoke? 
  8. Do I take every opportunity I have to teach my children, not only with words, but through my actions, how to honor and respect my husband? 
  9. Is my husband satisfied with my wife and motherhood? 
  10. Has he made request I refuse to honor, not because he's asked me to sin, but only because I think his requests are unnecessary, unreasonable or to my mind, unimportant? 

These are only some of the questions I ask myself daily. I regularly ask my husband if he sees any place in which he thinks I need to improve, things in my life I need to let go, and if there's anything he enjoys that I'm neglecting. I also ask my kids the same questions.

When my children were between the ages of 12-18, on average, I used to spend approximately one to two hours per day, chatting and playing with my boys separately and about four hours per day with them together regarding anything that’s on their hearts.

When they were younger (elementary-aged), I spent much more time than that. It's kind of funny now that they’re 20 and 18 because if they don't see me for awhile, they come looking for me. It's like I got lost or something. It cracks me up! It cracks all of us up! When this happens, my kids tell me it's because I had them in the 90s and they didn't make cordless kids back then (meaning their umbilical cords are still attached, that's why they have to stay so close). Don't my kids have a great sense of humor?

Okay, that was a fun little story to tell, but now I digress.

The reason why I take the time to visit with my sons prior to my husband returning home is to ensure that any bad attitudes or baggage from their day is lovingly dealt with so they’re ready to honor and love their Daddy when he gets home.

In addition to these chats, I do other "little" things that help set a peaceful and loving atmosphere in our home: always answer the phone when my husband calls and answer with a loving tone and loving words (I make sure the way I speak to my husband is very different than how I speak to anyone else). I also honor my time with my kids by not taking phone calls when I'm with them; which means, it was a rarity for me to take a call.

When our children were school-aged, anyone who knew me knew not to call me in the morning because I'm making the kids breakfast and having our breakfast devotional time together. I didn’t answer the phone during our drive to school or when I picked them up either. It usually took about an hour per child to finish telling me about their school day and all that they witnessed of the Lord working in their lives and the world around them. And I wanted to honor that time the Lord gave me with them.

I don't do a lot of BIG things for my family...after all, I'm only a small woman (only 5’ 4” tall). But all the little things truly do add up, as I have more occasions to participate in the little things than the really BIG events in their lives that are few and far between.

I find that knowing I achieve these little daily acts of love, submission and service to my family helps me not to become discouraged by the seemingly overwhelming task of being the perfect wife and mother. Besides, that's really all we can do isn't it? Bring our little offerings to our awesome God and watch him make it something great...after all, He is the Great I Am and we're not.

May the Lord our God bless you today as you seek to humble yourself before His presence. May we all have attitudes like Ruth (we’ll cover this in Week 11) and fall prostrate, full of gratitude that God would look upon us with such love, compassion and mercy.

Praise You Lord God today. Be well pleased as we seek Your will over ours. Teach us Lord to do good and not harm to our husbands all the days of our lives. Help us Father crucify all that hinders us from lovingly submitting to our husbands which is so beautiful and precious in Your sight. May the praise of our husbands bring glory and honor to Your holy name. By the precious blood of Jesus, we come and worship You. Amen.

Biblical Perspective, Practically Applied:

  1. Memorize and meditate on: Proverbs 31:12 and 1 Peter 4:11. 
  2. Ask yourself, your husband and kids the questions I've listed above. And if you can think of anymore, then add those too! Wow your family this week with your passion to bless Christ by blessing them! 
  3. Research Scriptures about Christ’s humility and how He displayed it in different circumstances so you can please Him by following His example (John 13).

"And the world is passing away along with its desires,
but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
~1 John 2:17, ESV