“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls” (Proverbs 31:15).
This scripture has always fascinated many Christian women because they were expected to wake up early on top of handling all the other responsibilities of a so-called Proverbs 31 woman. I have always been an early riser, so that part doesn’t fascinate me like the fact that she had servants, but I digress and will get back to that point in the next post, Lord willing. But even though I rise early and find it beneficial to my day, I think there is a larger principle at work in this scripture. The Proverbs 31 woman rose early so she could begin to handle her business and the business of her family before having to interact with her family. She used the time of day best for her to be singularly focused on family business and not on family members themselves.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Ephesians tells us to use our time wisely, or as some translations say “redeem the time,” “because the days are evil.” This phrase suggests that there is so much turmoil in the world that it can be easy for the Christian to focus on their pain and suffering, whether that pain comes from attacks against Christianity, the work that goes into keeping a daily routine or physical ailments that we are all prone to. But our focusing on our pain should not be all-consuming because we miss the ability to make “the best use of the time.” Our time is supposed to be used to accomplish “the will of the Lord.”
“For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen” (Romans 11:36 NLT).
Because we were created for God’s glory, we must spend our time giving him glory, which means focusing our efforts to display that we belong to God and so that others will come to know Him. Each of us is called to do this but in different ways, according to our gifts and talents. So if we are spending time to accomplish anything other than giving God glory, we are not being wise; we need to seek the Lord to understand not His will, because I’ve told you that, but how He wants us to accomplish His will. Knowing how to accomplish God’s will helps us to be that Proverbs 31 woman, and doing God’s will is the only way to use our time wisely.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith