The following is a guest post by Carol Schultz (read her full bio below):
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies“. Proverbs 31:10
So who is she? Is she June Cleaver? Alexis Carrington? In my own pondering of the T.V. role models I think Barbara Stanwick from Big Valley may fit the role. Certainly it is not Peg Bundy or Roseanne.
I cannot remember a Mothers Day church service that did not extol the importance of the Proverbs 31 woman and give honor and thanks to the women and mothers in the congregation. But are we really ready for her?
Early in life I made it one of my goals to know whom this woman was. I studied the scriptures to find godly women and their accomplishments. I read every book and commentary I could find. Most importantly I meditated on the passage of scripture from verses 10 – 31 and prayed them daily, year after year.
Who is she? What does she do? And, does it tie in any way to finances?
She is a trustworthy and honorable wife. Her husband will have no need of spoil. Hmmm…so, if she is doing what she is supposed to and he goes looking for spoil what does that say? I guess we can look to one of our past presidential candidates for the answer to that.
She is busy and hardworking. Up early, not afraid to get her nails messed up, and shops around for the best deals on food. Sounds like many of the frugal blog readers.
I’m sure we are all on the same page so far but this is where it gets to the part that might make some people start to get a little squirmy.
She wakes early prepares food for her family and for whom? Her maidens. These are the young women that work with her to maximize her time and activities. I had not seen this in action except among the rich until I went to the Philippines.
When a young woman was out of high school if she did not go to college she went to work for an established household and there she learned the skills she needed to one day run her own household. In the home I stayed there were three young women fulfilling this role. One was in charge of cooking, one cleaning, and the third laundry.
Assistance with children would be another function if the home required it. They received their meals and a modest income. The woman of the house was then a manager of the home and not expected to do all things. If she had an education she might go to her profession or if she did not she may pursue various entrepreneurial activities.
In this country we have babysitters. This is much the same principle applied but to a much lesser degree. Through this experience the mother is freed to run errands or have an evening away. The teenager has the responsibility of taking care of the children knowing that the mother is close by if assistance is required.
One of the biggest complaints I have heard among young people is boredom. Because of this they often get involved with hanging out with the crowd, talking for hours on the phone, and entering motherhood much earlier than expected and without any skills to run a home.
What an opportunity it is to have these young women stop after school and help out with running the home. A small financial consideration may be appropriate based on need and ability but in my experience there are people out there that are happy to stop by if given the chance and invitation.
A young woman used to come over and help me clean stalls. I offered her money on a couple of occasions and she refused. Finally I insisted that she take something because I felt it was due. Soon she just stopped coming over. What she was offering was affection and companionship and I had tried to place a monetary value on it.
This thirteen year old taught me a valuable lesson much to my regret.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it… I have written this out specifically so that you would not think I was exaggerating. Men, what would you do if you came home from work and your wife said, “Honey, I bought a rental home today and I plan to manage it”. Or, “Honey, I think I could make an income growing blueberries so I just went out and bought 5 acres”. You would probably be shocked and hit the roof.
You might be hurt, surprised, or outraged that she had made the decision without telling you. I know this because of the reaction I got the first time I bought property ;-).
Says that she girdeth her loins with strength. I’m not sure if this is for the work to be done or in response to her husband’s reaction 😯 .
She is making something to sell. It is merchandise. Verse 19 speaks specifically about using a weaving machine. She has a small business. Verse 24 expands on this subject.
She works with the poor. There are so many ways this could apply, whether it is involvement with churches, organizations, or individually by being aware of the needs within her community.
The remainder of the chapter speaks of her household management, spiritual life, and personal character; and that is where we will pick up tomorrow with the second half of this study.
This is a guest post from Carol Schultz, the author of In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship . Carol is a former manager and procedural analyst in banking. Her career came to an abrupt end when she resigned to care for a terminally ill parent. As the family finances plummeted, the single-parent family ultimately moved to the rural town of her forefathers where they fixed up a 100 year old homestead, raised animals, planted vegetables, chopped wood, home schooled, and embraced the self-sufficiency lifestyle. She wrote a book about her experiences and financial survival tactics to help others who might end up In The Trenches. Carol maintains a blog at inthetrenches2009.blogspot.com.
She endeavors to write and instruct others to return to sound Biblical financial principles and live a financial lifestyle that is more independent from the world system that we might retain our freedom as long as possible.