Proverbs 31: Week 22 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week twenty-two of our Proverbs 31 journey. This week we conclude the virtue of resourcefulness and begin to consider being caring. If you'd like to return to one of our previous stops, let our "Wolfe Notes" guide you. 

  • In January we examined our value with the help of Proverbs 31 verses 10 and 29.
  • In February we learned what uplifting means by looking at Proverbs 31:11 and 23.
  • In March, we considered the virtue of respect by studying Proverbs 31:12 and 28.
  • In April, we trained to be hardworking with Proverbs 31:13 and 19 as our instructors.
  • In May, we are seeing what it takes to be resourceful by examining Proverbs 31:14 and 21. 
  • In June, we will develop our caring muscle by exercising Proverbs 31:15 and 22.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your June calendar with daily activities, the lamp for your feet (the Bible), and let's get going! We're journeying through the concluding poem of Proverbs and we're so glad you decided to walk along this road with us! Imagine that as we walk, we're talking about the daily activities. Our side of the discussion is outlined below. What would you add? How would you challenge us? (Ideas that are our thoughts alone are designated with an *.)

A loaf of bread in the background with Proverbs 31:15 text overlaid.



Contents:
*Connections between Proverbs 31:14 and 21.
*Altered Definition of resourceful.
*I am Resourceful because...
*Be Resourceful Setting and pursuing a goal to acquire something new.
Define Caring and describe how you relate to it personally.
Proverbs 31:15 Noting key words and phrases.
*Literal Meaning An initial interpretation of this verse's meaning.

*Connections

 Between Proverbs 31:14 and 21.

Proverbs 31:14: She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar.

Proverbs 31:21: She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

  • She - same subject: woman/Wisdom/virtuous wife/Christ's bride
  • is - what follows describes her personality
  • not afraid / afar - she faces the unknown with courage
  • merchants' ships / household - protective of a group
  • clothed / food - cares for needs
  • scarlet / afar - not easily acquired
*Connections: Both verses describe a woman who courageously undertakes difficult tasks (sacrifices herself) to extraordinarily supply for those in her care.

*Altered Definition

Of resourceful.

Resourceful: taking extraordinary measures to ensure your household's needs are abundantly and elaborately met for every eventuality.

*I am Resourceful

Because...

I adopt an always growing, seeking, reconsidering mindset. I try not to get caught in ruts and stay on the lookout for new techniques, ideas, and products that will better provide and protect my household, both practically and spiritually.
  • Personally, I consider the future and prepare as I can for it. I allow myself some decadent things (physically, intellectually & emotionally) I want while guarding against potential hazards - health, financial concerns, etc.
  • Relationally, I consider the needs and wants of others (physical, intellectual, emotional, relational, & spiritual) and try to safeguard dangers while working in fun and surprise - special foods, entertainment, time, etc. - in moderation.
  • Spiritually, I protect against evil by keeping in my mind that I am claimed and clothed in His righteousness. I look for, recognize, and celebrate the ways that God exceeds my expectations. Realizing that it is not because I deserve it, but because He wants to lavish me in His love.
*Disclaimer: These are more goals than consistently accurate descriptors.

*Be Resourceful   

Setting and pursuing a goal to acquire something new.

To help streamline my thoughts of "something new" to acquire, I chose to think of something that would nurture (food from afar) or protect (clothed in scarlet).
  • Personally, I would be intellectually nourished by finding something to help improve my writing. After researching on Goodreads, I selected and acquired (For free! through Amazon on Kindle. Which, I loathe reading digital books, but I couldn't pass up the price.) Deliberate Writing Exercises: Become a Better Writer in 15 Minutes a Day by M. Karma
  • Relationally, we would be nourished, and our relationship protected by celebrating our upcoming anniversary. I added to plans we previously considered, but never carried out, by choosing additional dining and lodging options. I have not yet booked though, because I need to figure out dates. Next on my to-do list.
  • Spiritually, my soul would be nourished and protected by having a physical reminder of being clothed in scarlet. I am here committing to searching for such a reminder when next we go to a clothing store.
It feels awkward, planning to acquire resources on purpose for myself, but when all add to my nurturing and protection, it feels worth it. So long as I don't go to the point of excess.

Define Caring

And describe how you relate to it personally.

From Merriam-Webster: feeling or showing concern for or kindness to others.

I relate too well to this word. Whenever someone describes me, I hear words like "nice, sweet, kind," but interpret them as "pushover, boring, unrelatable," So, I think my challenge comes in learning to recognize and embrace what others see as strength instead of weakness.

Yet, even though people describe me as "nice, sweet, and kind," I struggle to see myself this way. I "feel concern" and "think kindness" better than I "communicate concern" and "speak kindness," and none of them all the time. In fact, when I reflect on my faults, I often am frustrated by my impatience, irritability, and cranky disposition.

Proverbs 31:15

Noting key words and phrases.

She riseth also / while it is yet night, / and giveth meat / to her household, / and a portion / to her maidens.

 Key words: riseth, night, meat, household, portion, maidens


*Literal Meaning

 An initial interpretation of this verse's meaning.

A woman gets up super early to provide nourishment for her family and those who work for her.

Final Thoughts

Rounding up resourcefulness reminded me that because God pours out His love to me, I can pour out my love to others. My "love tank," as Priscilla Shirer calls it in Resolution for Women, is never going to run on empty because God Himself fills it. I don't need to be stingy with my love. Yet, this first verse on caring is already challenging me. I care, but don't think I'm ready to commit to a predawn level of caring. I like my sleep. Yet, I know this verse, as is true of all scripture, is not about me but about God, our Heavenly Father.

Thank you, Father, for lavishing us in your gracious love and working through the night so we can slumber in peace.


Growing with You,

Ready for week 23?

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