"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Proverbs 31: 27-28
This is an often quoted verse, especially on Mother's Day, especially the part that reads, "Her children arise up and call her blessed." (I actually used it in my last post.) However, I decided to look in depth at this and read some other translations. My favorite is from The Message translation:
"She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise."
So, now we have another element to this lady's virtue. Not only does she keep busy and work hard, but she teaches her children to do the same thing!!! She teaches them to be busy and productive!! Now, we can all agree that we've ran into young people who are pampered and spoiled and when they say, "Jump," their parents ask, "How high?" I am not a fan of this type of parenting. Neither were my parents. One thing that they taught me that has never left me is a strong work ethic. For me, there is always something to be done. My children know this, too. They know to clean their rooms, make their beds, do the dishes, vacuum, etc.
(Let me insert a disclaimer here, though. This does not mean our children are our personal servants and they do not need to have fun. It means that we teach our children to be responsible but allow them to be children. They need to have fun and just be kids. Not only is that healthy, but it provides a balance in their lives that they take with them when they get older and move away from the nest.)
When you read The Message translation, note how her children still respect her after she has taught them the value of work? You have heard it several times, but I will say it again. Our children do not need more friends, they need parents. God has called us to "train up our children in the way they should go, so when they are old, they will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) Even though they don't want to admit this, our children desire us to take the lead and show them how to behave and act responsibly. They want our guidance so they will be equipped to function in this world. They want us to watch out for them and to lift them up when they fall or make mistakes. (Okay, this was a parenting freebie, so take it for what it's worth.)
Because of this wise woman's hard work and care for her family, her husband's respect for her grows. He respects her for taking the initiative and being the source of strength to not only him, but to their children. He can see the fruit of her labor in the way his children act and behave. Her actions have brought peace to their home.
It may seem like an impossible feat, but we can take this godly lady's example and apply it to our own lives. It may be a work in progress, but with patience and prayer, we can start being the example to our children and others right now.