Proverbs 31:14 "She is like the merchant ships. She brings her food from afar."I have to admit I scratched my head about this one. Every verse in the chapter seems so clear. She is being diligent, willing, or trustworthy or something, but this this verse wasn't so clear to me. I thought about it for a long time, until I finally decided. Okay, time to go ask someone. So I talked to my Pastor's wife and Mrs. Craver about it. They were so happy to talk to me about it and gave some really helpful advice about the meaning on several verses. So, just know that they gave me direction on this! (Good idea to go to the older and wiser when in doubt. They give GREAT advice and they are always happy to do it!)
Alright, so it probably doesn't really mean she eats foreign food. I made that up. But in that day and age, they probably did have to go far for their food and stuff. And I would dare say that she did everything she could to provide the absolute BEST for her household.
In 2011, we are surrounded by advertisements, stores, fashions, sample booth people in Sam's Club, and salespeople trying to get us to invest in things that we really don't need. Trying to get us to by the latest flavor of Arizona Green Tea (AMAYZANG, btw!) or the newest lose-weight-while-you-eat-jelly-crackers. But, a P31W will go about her shopping with wisdom and discernment. She isn't going to be suckered into buying the most expensive clothing because of the name brand.
I've heard of women who coupon hunted so much that they could literally bring $200 dollars worth of groceries out of a store and pay on $17 dollars. A P31W is going to know how to get it done! (I'm really starting to like her.) She looks for coupons, goes to multiple stores, finds bargains, and saves money.
One of the many jobs of a P31W is to do her husband good and make his life easier. What do men do? Make money! So what does she do? Saves money! Girls, I can be a money spender. I admit. Especially since one of my love languages is gifts. BUT, as godly women we are supposed to put money aside and give a portion of it to God and be WISE with it. This, undoubtedly, will make your husband very very proud and in love. ;)
We must also consider the times we live in. I wish I could see the ultimate P31W living today. How would see be preparing for the future? We can't kid ourselves, eventually the US is going to be destroyed. And I fear we could see it in our life times. What would she do? How would she be seeking to store up for the future?
We can practice this at home - now. It's a good discipline to learn how money, taxes, eating out, grocery bills and make-up play together in the budget. It's also good to know how the economy is changing and what we can expect. So let's take a few practical steps.
-Grocery shop! My dad has suggested this before. This summer they might give me money and send me shopping. O.O *gulp* I just need to make sure I eat a five-course meal before I go, so I don't try to buy one of everything at Sam's.
-Open an account! Go ahead and open an account at the bank if you don't have one.
-Learn how to shop for low prices! If you haven't learned how to compare food prices by ounce, than you need to learn. And this goes for clothing too (and everything else). If you can buy the one at wal-mart that looks IDENTICAL to the one at New York and Company...go with the cheaper.
-Turn down things you don't need! I'm not condemning buying nice stuff every once in a while. It's okay, as long as you aren't doing it all the time and spending you money badly. Have you ever heard of "marginal utility"? It's an economics term saying that when you gain more and more of a product it doesn't increase satisfaction or meets your need like the first couple times - sometimes it has the opposite affect. Girls need to use this economic rule more. If you have 13 pink shirts, another one probably won't make you any more happy.
-Tithe! Everything we have is a gift of God. Tithing is just a way of giving back to him, and I think it helps us not to be too greedy too. This is a command guys, from the Bible. God will bless you!
-Give to others! "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Nuff' said.
-Look for coupons! They are out there and will they help your family. Your current one and your future one!
I can't think of anything else at the moment, but if I do I'll add them. Any suggestions?
A P31W will invest the right amount in the right things. This may be something we can work on in ourselves with a simple evaluation of what it is we find valuable!