“She rises while it is yet night...”~Proverbs 31:15a
Proverbs 31:15 says that a Proverbs 31 woman will rise while it is yet dark. But does it mean just when it is dark outside? Is King Lemuel's mother only referring to the time of day rather than the attitude and conviction of a woman's heart?
By understanding how God made the world, the sun, the moon and the stars, we can say with assurance that the point King Lemuel's mother was making when she wrote Proverbs 31 verse 15, was that heart and attitude of how she rises is far more important than what hour she rises. Look how God caused the earth to rotate around the sun, as well as how the moon rotates around the earth. Due to these rotations, the sun rises at different times, and for different lengths of time all around the world.
One example of this, is Alaska. One of its city's, Barrow, which is located at the very top of the state, has a two-month winter period in which the sun doesn't rise..at all. For a biblically submissive woman who lives in Barrow, to approach verse 15 only by the time of day, rather than the attitude of her heart in which she rises...well, to say the least, this would be a horrific and impossible task to achieve.
In order for a biblically submissive woman living in Barrow, to be obedient to "rise while it is yet night" would require her to stay awake for TWO MONTHS straight!
Though we ought not use this as an excuse to lack self-control by staying up too late into the night or be lazy and sleep late into the morning, it’s imperative that a biblically submissive woman understands that there is a time and place for every activity. God is a God of order and all things we do must be done unto the Lord Jesus. Therefore a godly, Proverbs 31 woman will know when is the best time for her to rise in the morning so that she can make the best use of her time; and will set herself a bedtime accordingly.
One of the greatest gifts we have from the Lord our God is the gift of sleep. To be able to sleep peacefully every night and rise, refreshed, with renewed strength is truly an abundant blessing from our Father who is in Heaven (Psalm 4:8). God commands His children to work and to rest.
God created work for us so that we may enjoy the fruit of our labor (Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:13). God also created our bodies to require rest, so that we would always acknowledge our weaknesses and never consider that we are like God—who neither requires sleep nor does He slumber (Psalm 121:1-4).
Now that we are clear that Proverbs 31:15 is not concentrated on the actual time in which a woman rises, but more on the attitude in which she rises, we may move on to what this attitude of a godly woman looks like.
According to Scripture (Matt 6:33, 10:37-39, Ps 1:2, Lk 10:39 & 42, Mk 5:33-34, 1 Pet 3:4 and 1 Thess 4:11-12) a biblically submissive woman will rise each day with an attitude that:
- Fully demonstrates that Jesus Christ is her first love and her foremost desire as she loves Him with all her heart, soul, mind and strength by rising in His Word and seeking His face first, every day.
- Acknowledges and confesses her passion for Christ Jesus our Lord in all that she does and says.
- Allows her abandoned devotion to Christ to spur her on toward love and good deeds through serving and loving others above and before herself.
- Does not entertain idle chatter, nor will she condone gossip either by speaking in a manner that is not beneficial to others or by even listening to gossip from others.
- Does not fear what man can do to her, but thoroughly trusts God's goodness and sovereignty over her life.
- Loves the unlovable and is generous and kind to those who hate her and have done evil to her.
- Forgives personal offenses as well as sins committed against her to prevent the seed of bitterness from taking root in her heart, so the flow of God's Living Water; the Holy Spirit, can flow effortlessly throughout her life.
Basically, a biblically submissive wife should rise with the attitude and mindset of our Lord Jesus Christ:
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."~ Philippians 2:5-8
If Christ Himself, who is God, made Himself a little lower than the angels in order to rise to serve us without any consideration for Himself or what He might gain, then how much more shall we do the same? For are we not, as wives, created by God to be the beautiful, earthly representation of Christ's pure and holy love for God through our submission to our husbands?
Biblical Perspective, Practically Applied:
- Memorize and meditate on Proverbs 31:15 and Philippians 2:4 during your praise and quiet time and throughout the day.
- Look up EVERY Scripture reference in this lesson and read the entire chapter in which the verse/passage is found to ensure you’re reading God’s word in the context in which He wrote it and not by the finiteness and fallibility of your mind, understanding or emotions.
- Find the Scripture(s) that support the attitude in which a biblically submissive wife should rise from the list above, numbers 1-7 and make a note of them in your journal. You can also type them up, print them out, make magnets of them, etc. so you can hang them up throughout your house so you can continually be encouraged by God’s living Word. Rise up early to read & meditate on God's word, pray as the Holy Spirit leads you. If you need suggestions for devotionals, please refer to the Appendix.