Proverbs 31:16

Proverbs 31:16 

MSG: She looks over a field and buys it, then with the money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

AMP: She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it (expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties).  With her savings of time and strength, she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

CEV: She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard.

I love what the Amplified says because I have seen women who neglect their duties at home, to ‘do the Lord’s work.’  They haven’t learned that for a mother (especially of young children), ‘the Lord’s work’ is for her to be busy at home, taking care of them and the house.

Let me address those who may be forced to work outside the home.  I realize that some ladies are submitting to their husband by working outside the home.  In that case, part of doing ‘the Lord’s work’ would be your occupation, because by doing it, you are submitting to your husband.  I would like to encourage those of you who are working outside the home to pray diligently for God to make a way for you to be able to stay at home.  

Many times we want to pray for God to change our husband’s heart if we don’t like, or don’t agree, with his way of doing things.  Before you start praying so hard for God to change your husband’s heart about having you work outside the home, pray for God to help you to be joyful in your occupation while you wait for Him to open the door for you to be home.  You need to realize that God may be testing you to see if you can learn to be content in whatever circumstances you are facing.  He may be testing you to see if you will willingly and joyfully submit to your husband’s wishes for you to work outside the home.  He may be testing you to see if you are going to harbor resentment against your husband while you are working.  Sometimes we want something so badly that we fail to learn the lessons that Father desires to teach us while we await His answer.  We are too busy praying to be delivered, or praying for God to change our husband, when it may be that God is desiring to change US!

At one point, I was prayerfully considering a business venture to try and make some money while I continued to be a stay-at-home mom.  Before I bought this ‘field,’ I had to pray about it, talk to my husband about it, and wait for God to give me a release in my spirit before I went ahead with any plans.  I knew that buying this ‘field’ would require some money up front, with no guarantee that I would even break even, let alone come out ahead financially.  As I discussed it with my husband, he felt that it wouldn’t be worth the risk, so I knew that through his words, God HAD spoken, and He spoke through my husband.  I felt a complete peace about it once my husband said ‘no’ to this particular ‘field.’  In a matter of only a few months, I found an even better way to supplement our income, yet still be able to keep on top of things at home, and homeschool Rachel.  This new ‘field’ is even one where Rachel is able to help me, and she even sees where some of the money goes.

The Message Bible mentions the money she has put aside.  Every time I have a garage sale, the money I make is put back to use for my spending money to buy gifts for my husband, or to use in purchasing clothing for Rachel.  Some of the money also gets put aside into my homeschool fund.  When have a garage sale, I will often make cookies to sell.  All of the money goes into my homeschool fund.

When I felt the leading of the Lord to homeschool, I was shocked when I saw the costs involved in paying for books.  I told the Lord that if this was what He wanted me to do, He would have to provide the funds for it.  Setting aside an envelope, marked for homeschool money has been a great way to fund this venture.  Every time I sell something related to homeschooling, I put the money in that envelope, to be used later on purchasing new school books.   When I take my mother out to run errands, she always gives me gas money.  That money is also put aside for my homeschool fund.  As I have a few extra dollars at the end of the week, I will add to the fund.  It adds up quickly, and it has been amazing to see how with my own creativity in saving, I have been able to pay for all of the school supplies without asking my husband for any money.

Another thought on this portion of scripture is that the field to which it refers could represent the field of our children’s heart.  We need to tend and nurture that field so that our planting there will reap a good and plentiful harvest in years to come.  Just as a vineyard requires many years of tender care before it yields forth its fruit, so our children require many years of tender care.

 

We can see in this verse that she invested in different things.  We often need to check our investments.  Where are we investing our time, talents, energy, thoughts and affections?  Do we need to change our inventory?

© 2004, Stacy R. Miller

** If you look at the copyright date above, you can see that this was written nine years ago.  Since that time, my husband’s business was greatly affected by the economic crunch, forcing me to find work outside of the home.  So for the time being, I am investing my time and talents in a different “field.”  I have been very blessed by the Lord to find favor in my new field.  At the time I applied for the job, over 200 applications had been turned in, and she was only going to hire two people.

While working outside the home, I have kept the frugal mentality at the forefront of my mind.  I take my lunch with me every day because I figure that every time I take leftovers, I have just given myself a “raise” because I’m not spending money eating out or buying cafeteria food every day.  It is another way I “plant a garden.”

I also keep that frugal mentality in the area of clothing.  I rarely pay full price for any clothing items.  We are blessed to have some fantastic resale shops in our area where I can buy like-new items for a fraction of the cost.

Another way to “consider my field” is to be mindful of errands that need to be done.  I try my best to get all errands done in one day, and in a manner where I’m not wasting a lot of gasoline to do it.  I pass most of the places where I need to run errands on my way home from work, so it makes sense to get them done before coming home so that once I’m home, I can stay home.

Even with working outside the home, we have still managed to homeschool.  It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.  We are currently in our final year of homeschooling.  So this “season” will come to pass in just a few months.

As you can see, sometimes our “field” will change over time.  Yet God is faithful to lead us and strengthen us to work whatever field He gives us.

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