A Woman After God's Own Heart
A Christian woman faces many struggles - add marriage and kids to the mix, and it can quickly become overwhelming! It's no wonder, then, that many women are plagued with depression, suicidal thoughts, and have low self-esteem as a result of trying to balance it all while maintaining faith. To add insult to injury, the Bible has much to say on what a wife's duties are, which doesn't always speak to a woman's strengths or capabilities, leaving such a woman feeling inadequate to manage her home.
Wisdom in Proverbs 31
Proverbs 31 is an account of a virtuous woman. With her careful and critical eye, frugality, usefulness, and diligence in all things, she's a Biblical Wonder Woman. But here's the thing. There's a little of her in ALL women, even if they don't get things right 100% of the time. Because what it all boils down to is a woman's willingness to submit her life to God, and in so doing she approaches each task in a loving manner. The fruits of the Spirit will abide in her, allowing her to think clearly, plan out the day without wasting it, and still have some down-time at the end of the day to reflect - alone, with her children, with her spouse, and with God.
Equipping a Woman Begins in Toddlerhood
Stress will creep in from time-to-time, but it won't keep a strong woman down - if she's surrounded by the loving community she needs and the resources from which to draw. That is why teaching a woman how to prepare for her future (whether married or single) at an early age is vastly important. Without the skills for tomorrow, any woman will resort to laziness, leading to excessive spending, and eventually an endless cycle of "why me?" and dissatisfaction - in both the Christian and non-Christian population.
It doesn't mean a woman has to become a homemaker (nor does it mean a man has to be the sole breadwinner). Sometimes it doesn't work out that way, because their domestic skills, cooking, or manual labor may be lacking. Still, that's no excuse not to do them anyway, so your children will learn the basics. How else are they going to find out what skills are their strongest and weakest? They need the practice now before they are adults! Things like financial planning and automobile care are invaluable skills any human being needs to know - whether from Mom or Dad - if they are to become an independent adult and functioning member of society. Of course, this goes for both woman and men, but for the sake of this article, I am just stressing how it pertains to women.
Schools can help do their part by continuing the home economics programs they have often cut due to budget relief efforts. Not only does a young woman learn how to make something (from scratch) on her own in such a class, but it is where she also learns how to follow a process as a group, both of which will help her in a future workplace or home setting.
Having a strong faith-filled foundation is also key for a woman to draw upon when times are tough. Without having a childhood of biblical lessons and instruction, it can be hard (but not impossible) to even consider what the Bible suggests she do for happiness and fulfillment. Without that understanding of where those all come from, it can be confusing for a woman reading them for the first time, and she may end up being resentful of religion as a whole.
But when a woman has been equipped with all of the information she truly needs when she approaches adulthood, she will have a good head on her shoulders, possessing knowledge from Christ, and will have the ability to choose a good match in a husband. Her husband will have skills that complement hers, so that together they can build up each other and trade their weaknesses for the other person's strengths. When that happens, the wife of Proverbs 31 can and will become a reality. And while there's no guarantee for a "happily-ever-after", there will be that sense of satisfaction that comes from following God's will, even through the mistakes.