Christian singer Rebecca St. James faced a test of faith the year her family moved from Australia to Nashville, Tennessee. Two months after they arrived in America, Rebecca’s father lost his job. Rebecca, her parents, and her five siblings were left on the other side of the world with no other family, no close friends, no car, no furniture, no income, and a new brother or sister on the way. They felt lost and couldn’t help wondering if God knew what He was doing.
But the St. Jameses didn’t give up on God in their time of crisis. They responded in the only way they knew how—by sitting on the floor as a family and praying. Soon after, the Lord began providing. Groceries and furniture were delivered to their doorstep. A family donated a car. An anonymous friend even paid for Rebecca’s new sister, Libby, to be born in a hospital. God did have a plan.
When your children feel discouraged or that their lives are out of control, talk to them about Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” When they are afraid, show them how to pray as David did: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7). When they are anxious, teach them to put their burdens before God to find the holy peace that guards hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6–7).
We’ve offered several tips this week about how to provide security and stability for your children. The best advice we can give you, however, is to remember that the true source of security for children and their parents is always our loving and merciful God.
After saying that he came to accomplish the purpose of the law of Moses, Jesus continued:] “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.”— Matthew 5:18 NLT
Are you ever intimidated by the “Proverbs 31 woman”? Sometimes I am. How can we compete? Here’s a woman who brings her husband “good, not harm, all the days of her life”; gets up before the morning light; feeds her family; shows good judgment in her purchases; works “vigorously”; helps the poor; has time to make bed coverings for her household and garments for sale; has enough faith to “laugh at the days to come”; “speaks with wisdom”; has no use for idleness; and earns blessing and praise from her husband and children!
Let’s be honest, we can’t compete… but maybe we don’t have to. I’m not convinced, for example, that the woman described in Proverbs 31 is one literal person. Or, if she is, that she achieved all her accomplishments during the same period of life. Rather, I think that through the writings of Solomon, the Lord has provided us women with specific examples of the behavior to which we should continually aspire—just as all Christians aspire to be like Jesus, even though we’ll never actually reach His level of perfection.
I believe that the key to understanding Proverbs 31 is found in verse 30, the next to last passage in Proverbs: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” According to this verse, a “woman who fears the Lord,”—who seeks His will for her as wife, mother, and follower of Jesus—is the Proverbs 31 woman, no matter how a particular day or season of her life is going.
My encouragement to you as a wife is to seek God and submit to His direction—and add a dash of love in the process. I promise you that you’ll please your Maker, bring honor to your husband and family, and find a personal contentedness that will never be matched.