Proverbs 31:27 Not the bread of idleness

How to Work at Home and Not Waste Time (Proverbs 31:27)

     Life is busy. It’s easy to get distracted and so caught up in our own thoughts and activities that we forget to plan for the future and focus on the current needs of those around us. I know this is an area where I need some growth. We all know that people are more important than to-do lists, but we don’t always live like it. The Proverbs 31 woman has many pursuits, yet through it all, she faithfully looks well to the ways of her household and meets their needs. Let’s look at Proverbs 31:27 and ways we can have the right focus toward our God-given calling!

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27

 

1. She Is Alert and Planning for the Future

    The Proverbs 31 woman is alert in managing her household. She keeps her eyes open to the current needs of her family. This verse says that she “looks well.” These words convey the meaning that she is peering into the future. Not only does the Proverbs 31 woman focus on current needs, but she also plans for the future. She looks to see that her family’s physical and spiritual needs are being met.

People making pizza

2. She’s Not Distracted from Her God-given Calling (Proverbs 31:27)

    This passage has listed a lot of different pursuits and interests that the Proverbs 31 woman has You can probably relate to this. I know that there are a lot of crafts and activities that I enjoy doing, and you probably have your own hobbies and interests as well. With everything that the Proverbs 31 woman has going, Proverbs 31:27 makes it clear that she still doesn’t lose sight of her God-given calling: managing her household.

     As Christian ladies, God has given us the responsibility of keeping the home and ministering to our families. It can be easy to get sidetracked from this calling by our own plans and goals. Let’s make sure that rather than being distracted, we are striving in the Lord’s strength to look well to the ways of our households.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Hand holding cell phone

3. She is Mentally Present

     Our own goals aren’t the only things that can distract us. In our media-driven, fast-paced society, distractions abound. In fact, it is generally easier to distract ourselves than it is to stay present in the current moment. Easier – but not best. When we are constantly distracted by our phones or something else, we miss out on the present moment. We can miss conversations we should be having with our families. It may also keep us from noticing the needs of those around us and being able to serve them. While it is okay to have times where you relax and are not focused, that shouldn’t be the way you live your life.

     There are a few practical ways that you make sure you are engaged. Keep distractions somewhere away from where you spend the majority of your time. Does your phone distract you? Try putting it in your bedroom out of sight instead of in the living room where you sit down to rest. Are you distracted by picking up a book when you should be doing housework or talking with someone? Don’t leave the book lying around where you can easily pick it up but put it somewhere where you can grab it at the right time.

     Another thing that can help is setting time boundaries. You could try being off your phone at a certain time in the evening so that you can be present with your family and ready to sleep once bedtime comes. Give yourself a time when you are free to relax and read so that you can do it guilt-free and not be as tempted to read when you should be doing other things.

4. She Manages and Organizes Her Household (Proverbs 31:27)

     The word ‘ways’ in Proverbs 31:27 can also be associated with procession or march. There are a lot of processes to learn in managing a household and caring for a family. Not only is there physical organizing to keep your spaces neat and tidy, but there are routines and schedules to organize.

     The virtuous woman takes the time to learn how to run an orderly household. She learns new things and implements them. At the same time, she doesn’t do something just because someone else does it or it is a popular trend. She stands up for the needs of her family and is more concerned about those than about what other people think. Trends are always coming and going, but the Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t let them distract her.

     She finds the schedules, activities, and organizational systems that benefit her family, and she sticks with those, whether or not someone else is doing them.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Proverbs 14:1

Open planner, glasses, hot drink, and flower

5. She is Not Lazy or Indolent (Proverbs 31:27)

     Running a home and raising a family is not as easy as some people might think. That, in and of itself, can be a full-time job and then some. The Proverbs 31 woman is fully aware of this, and she doesn’t sit around fretting about it. Instead, she willingly does the work that God has given her to do. This takes God’s grace and discipline.

     Unlike most jobs, homemaking doesn’t come with a boss telling you what to do and when to do it. But, in a way, it does still come with an overseer. God is watching us, and we are accountable to Him for how we use our time.

     Let me make a distinction here quickly. Resting and laziness are not the same things. Some of us are so driven that making ourselves rest can be difficult and feel like laziness. It isn’t. It’s important to get the rest that you need and not push yourself too hard. Breaks are a good thing! Another thing to consider is that we all have different abilities and limitations. Some of us are dealing with chronic illnesses. Just because you need more rest than someone else does not mean you are lazy.

     Let’s go in the strength of the Lord, seeking His wisdom and doing the jobs He gives. He always makes available to us the strength that we need for the jobs that He gives us. Let’s also find the right balance between working and taking the time to rest when we need it.

Red clock and pink flowers

6. She Does Not Waste Time

     Along the lines of resting, let’s think about wasting time. There is a difference. When you waste time, it means you are doing one thing when you should be doing something else. Often when we waste time, we are doing something that is not productive and doesn’t accomplish anything.

     Resting, on the other hand, is intentionally taking a break and doing an activity that renews and energizes us. It may be reading a book, taking a nap, going for a walk in nature, or any other number of activities that relax you.

     Think about the activities that you do on a regular basis. What benefit are these activities? Are there any ways that you are spending your time that have no benefit? It’s worth taking the time to evaluate and see if there are any activities you should cut from your life, or at least cut back on.

Ripe slices of watermelon on a plate

7. She Reaps the Reward of Her Labors

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:9-10

     The Proverbs 31 woman is faithful in her work and the responsibilities the Lord has given her. Because of this, He blesses her and rewards her for her labors. She eats not the bread of idleness but instead eats the reward of hard work and diligence. She earns the ability to rest with a clear conscience because she is doing what she is called to do.

     We will see in the next post in this series that she also earns the respect and appreciation of her family. While this may not always be apparent, we have a higher reward.

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Genesis 15:1

     Your work doing menial tasks does not go unnoticed. God is watching, and He will reward you for the works that you do for Him out of a pure heart. He is your reward!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

Simple Takeaway

  1. The Proverbs 31 woman focuses on the spiritual and physical needs of her family.
  2. She doesn’t let distractions keep her from planning for the future and meeting the current needs of her family.
  3. She is not lazy, but she intentionally rests as needed and gains strength for her calling.

Let’s Chat!

     What helps you to stay focused on your God-given calling? What are some of your biggest distractions? Do you have any tips for not letting them master you?

     Until next time, look well to the ways of your household and don’t eat the bread of idleness!

In Christ,

Bethany

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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Bethany! Thanks for sharing these tips; I needed them!

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know the post was a blessing to you, Lilly! I need these tips as well, and we have the promise of an amazing reward as we faithfully serve in the strength of the Lord!!

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