When your hands are busy, so is your mind. We've all heard the saying, "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop." There is a lot of truth there! But it's not just about busyness, it's about needing to be busy with a purpose.
We need to be busy equipping our children (and ourselves) with tools to help develop their character and abilities. Learning any type of handiwork or skill takes determination, self discipline, patience, attentiveness, and perseverance just to name a few. It's not so much about making a quilt or baking a cake, but do you have the character to see it through and do your best? Do you have the skills to do it correctly? That is how handiwork can build virtue in us and our children.
Let's look at a few verses in Proverbs 31 about handiwork. After all, she is the ideal wife:
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
Does your husband trust you to be a good steward with the finances and possessions? Are you wasting time and money? Are there gifts you could be working on throughout the year to save money at Christmas and birthdays? Are there more frugal options in your meal planning and preparations? Are there things you could learn to help your home run more efficiently? Are there activities that you could eliminate to free up time to do more important things? This list could go on and on. :o)
Although I do not work a job outside our home, there are dozens of ways I help save money and make money from home. My husband trust me. He knows that I take my job as his wife seriously.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
In today's culture we may not need to go out and sheer the sheep or weave our own fabrics, but we are to be busy with our hands. The key word in this verse is "willingly". The Virtuous Woman has a willing attitude, not one of drudgery or resentment. I love this verse. It clearly states that we are to be creative; we take something in its simplest form (using wool and flax for example) and we willingly, eagerly, work with it to produce something useful and hopefully beautiful!
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
As I said earlier, it's not just about being busy, but about creating something "good". In order to create something good it takes determination, self discipline, patience, attentiveness, and perseverance.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Again, she is creating with her hands and selling her goods. There are countless items you can make to sell. Note that she is not the merchant, but she is selling to the merchant.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Striving to be a Proverbs 31 Women and keepers of our homes (Titus 2) we have to put a lot of time, energy and love into caring for our families and keeping our homes. It takes a lot of planning and hard work. To do our job in a fashion that pleases the Lord there is no time for idleness. Let us be careful to instill this in our children while they are young, but even more so while they are teenagers. Limit their time of entertainment and folly. Give them resources to inspire them, but most of all parents need to leed by example.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Build a good reputation in the gates (publicly) of being a woman of virtue. Do not be guilty of being a busybody or a woman of vanity. Be a woman that does not waste her life chasing the wind or being idle. Look after your family, keep your home, and reach out to the needy; this brings glory to God, because you are obeying His ways.
For resources to help you learn to do some handiwork visit our website Teaching Good Things.