Whether Ye Eat or Drink
Proverbs 31:17 says, “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”
As little girls, most of us dreamed of the day we would meet our handsome prince, fall in love and marry him, to then live happily ever after. In our make-believe world, we were going to live in a castle, be very wealthy, and have lots of servants to do all our work. Although this sounds like a perfect world, I do not believe this would bring much contentment into our lives. There is something satisfying about hard work and accomplishing many tasks.
In the Bible, when we see the phrase, “gird up the loins,” it has the meaning of preparedness. When men were ready to go to war, they would gird up their loins, which meant they tucked their outer robe up into their leather belt to prepare for battle. Women also wore outer robes, and here in Proverbs, the virtuous woman is seen girding up her loins to prepare for the tasks ahead. The tasks that she is facing imply hard work, because she girds up her loins with strength. To reinforce this truth, strength is then mentioned again in this same verse in regards to her arms. I believe this is verse implies real, physical strength.
When I meditate on Proverbs 31 to learn just what makes up the character of a virtuous woman, I see a woman who is a hard worker. Not only is she a strong woman as far as her convictions and her character are concerned, she is also a strong woman, physically. She is someone who is not afraid of the tasks ahead, even if those tasks involve sweat and hard work. The virtuous woman is not one who waits for her husband to come home and cater to her needs; rather, she is one who accomplishes many tasks so her husband does not need to work quite as hard at home, after a long day on the job.
Sometimes young, married women become discouraged in their marriage. We have all heard the phrase, “The honeymoon is over,” and this phrase was probably coined due to the fact that reality has set in and that marriage is a lot of work. After all, young men often make their future wives feel so special with gifts, meals at restaurants, constant smiles, and terms of endearment. Young women can develop a fairytale mentality, and disappointment can result when the reality sets in that “Prince Charming” isn’t quite as “charming” as we originally imagined..
Let me remind you of the verse in Genesis 2:18, where we are told that God created the woman for the man, to be a suitable or fitting helper for him. We were created for the man, not the man for the woman. The husband has many responsibilities, and God’s purpose for us is to be the helper who works alongside him, so he can better accomplish these tasks. Sometimes our responsibility might involve shoveling the snow to help him make it into the driveway when he is coming home from work. Are you willing to set your hobbies aside to work in the yard alongside the man who has already put in an 8+ hour day at the office, or do you find yourself in the house pouting that he spends so much time on the yard instead of giving YOU the attention you “need?”
Another phrase that has been coined is, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Do you work hard to have a meal ready for your husband when he returns home from work? How about mornings where your husband is home for the day; do you work on making a hearty breakfast for him, so he will be sure to appreciate you for your hard work? When his schedule has been full, do you look for ways to make a special treat for him to encourage him along the way and show him that you are here to support him?
My husband is a hard worker, one of the hardest workers I know. Through the years, I have grown to love working with him when he comes home from work. There are many things that we do together, but when there are some tasks that only he can do, I try to show him my support by making a special treat for him. He loves brownies, especially fresh out of the oven with ice cream. I will share my recipe with you, and if your husband is a brownies-kind-of-guy, make a batch for him some time to show your appreciation for all he does for you and your family.
Deep Dish Brownies
3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and mix well. Stir in vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 13×9 in pan. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes.