The Foolish Woman’s Hands – Part 2

Most of us are very familiar with the virtuous woman who is described in Proverbs 31. It seems that this dear lady has at least two sets of hands to accomplish all she does in a day’s time. She’s up before daylight and doesn’t go to bed very early in the evening. In those waking hours she has taken care of her husband first, then her children and her household. She’s purchased food and a field, worked in the yard, sewn clothes, has been helpful to the needy and done it all with kindness and wisdom. She is indeed a wise woman.
The opposite of wisdom is folly, meaning the short-term self-indulgence which marks out the person who doesn’t think about long-term priorities and goals but lives on a day-to-day basis, asking, “What is the most fun thing to do now?” This is the goal of the foolish woman. Rather than using her hands wisely to build, she’s found in Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. Here’s what a typical day of “plucking down” looks like:
The house is a wreck and needs a good cleaning, but she needs her beauty sleep today. Tomorrow looks like a good day to get those chores done. That Sunday school lesson needs to be read, but she got a novel at the library she’s been dying to get into. Laundry is piled up, but there’s a sale at the mall she’s heard about and she needs to run over there before she misses it. Everyone will have to just fend for themselves for supper tonight. Heaven knows, with all she’s had to do today she didn’t have time to prepare a meal too!

An old proverbs says, “Wishers and ‘woulders’ are poor housekeepers.” What’s keeping you from finishing the task you started months ago? Is the kitchen still needing the paint job to be finished? Did you start a scrapbook and not complete it? Is there a half-made baby afghan you were going to knit? A wise woman will finish the tasks at hand – dusting, dish washing, ironing, cooking; it will get done. Make yourself a list, ask the Lord to strengthen your hands today, then work wisely until the tasks are finished.
Psalm 90:17b…establish thou the work of our hands.

The Foolish Woman’s Hands – Part 1

As we continue to discuss the characteristics of the foolish woman; the particular things that make her foolish, look down at your hands. Think of all the things your hands do in a day’s time. They soothe, they pick things up, they dust, they wave goodbye, they welcome friends, they prepare meals, they hold a magazine, they dial a phone number, they start the washing machine, they cuddle a baby, they open your Bible.

What would set apart a wise woman and a foolish woman? Let’s consider the things that a foolish woman would do (or not do) with her hands. In Proverbs 7 we know that the foolish woman has met a man in the dark night. In verse 13 it tells us that “she laid fast hold on him…” There’s only one way to do that and that’s by reaching out and grabbing him with her hands. She is touching this man who is not her husband. He does not belong to her and she has no good reason to grab him as he comes near her.
This foolish woman is showing us that our hands ought to be kept to ourselves and not placed on a man that is not our husband. Putting our hand on his arm or leg to get his attention, even to speak to him isn’t wise.
I recently read a story about a woman that was floating on an inflatable raft on the Gulf of Mexico. As she floated leisurely along with her eyes closed she was enjoying the ride until she opened her eyes and found that she had floated a mile from shore. Shouting and screaming to people on shore did her no good. When the coast guard finally rescued her she had drifted five miles from where she’d started. She did not see the danger until it was beyond her ability and strength to do anything about it. If we’re not careful we’ll find ourselves drifting in dangerous waters as well. If we think these kind of precautions are “over-doing it” or “ridiculous”, we’d better be looking for the “coast guard’s rescue”.

A Personal Lesson in Choices

I am a very task oriented person. I’ve made lists since I was a little girl. I love being able to come back and check off the chore or assignment when it’s completed; it’s such a feeling of accomplishment! Yesterday I had a plan for the day, along with a long list of all that I was going to do. However, my daughter had needs, and I was the only one that could take care of them, so I did. My husband asked me to make a visit with him, so I did. My “to do” list lay flapping in the breeze of our busyness, unattended on the counter. There were no check marks to announce my accomplishments. Unbeknown to me, the Lord had written at the top of my list, “1. Learn the lesson of good choices.”

In the middle of the visit I thought, “I am choosing to make my husband my priority – no matter that this will keep me from doing what I had planned tonight.” I had to make a phone call and inform someone that I wouldn’t be able to do what I had promised them, but that I needed to care for my family instead.

I wish I could say that I’ve always done that, and with the right attitude; I haven’t. However, with the Lord teaching me recently how foolish the foolish woman’s ways are, that truth was right before my eyes, and I could only obey! The result? Joy! (Blessing never precedes obedience) Because I had to stay home last night, I was also able to fulfill a promise to my daughter that wouldn’t have been done otherwise. My list of “to do’s” are still waiting for me today, and with the Lord’s help and strength they will get taken care of in His timing. God’s plan is perfect and His way is always right. I know I can trust Him.

Proverbs 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect:
the word of the Lord is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Poor Choices – Part 2

Think back to when you and your husband were first introduced and began to fall in love with one another. Do you ever remember “just happening” to be where you knew he’d show up? Did you wear an outfit you knew he liked, or a color that he liked on you? Did you share things with him that told him you thought he was the most wonderful man God had created…that he would surely fulfill all that God had given him to do? Doing these things was our choice. He was our choice.

There is one woman that is doing these things, but not for her husband…yes, you guessed it, it’s The Foolish Woman. When we find her in Proverbs 7 we see that she is doting on a man that she is not married to. She knows just when he’s going to be passing by, and she “just happens” to be there so she can meet with him. She talks smooth talk to him. She gives him her attention. These are all things that she should have been doing for her husband. What would have changed about her marriage if she would have reserved all this for the man she was married to? If she would have put this much energy into her own home, she would have had no desire to be out flirting with this foolish man. She’s made another poor choice!

What are you doing today to strengthen your relationship with your husband? Are you spending time with him? Are you planning time that you can have a date, to talk and just be his friend? Are you dressing sharp like you did when you dated? Are you talking with him in a sweet tone of voice? Do you smile and let him know that he’s the only one that makes your heart flip?

Don’t let your heart (and eyes) wander to someone else’s husband and think how easy it would be to be married to him. Pour your energy and creativity into your marriage today and watch what will happen to your home instead; it’s the right choice!

Choices – Part 1

Someone told me recently that they had enjoyed reading my blog until I began this series on The Foolish Woman! They were teasing, but the implication was that it’s not always easy to read things that hit home and bring conviction. I trust you’ll read on as we continue seeing the description of the foolish woman from Proverbs 7.

Proverbs 7:6-10 reads, “For at the window of my house I looked through my casement. And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her (the foolish woman’s) corner, and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot and subtil of heart.”

I see here that another foolish characteristic of this woman is the choices she makes. She’s going out in the evening when it is dark outside. This is a romantic setting and she is setting herself and this foolish man up for a huge fall by being out at this time of night. She has no concern how this might look to others who might see her standing on the street alone with this man.

What a warning this must be to us. We have to let our mind run ahead to look out for situations that could put our testimony at jeopardy. Some potential danger zones would be:

  1. Having a man in your home when you are there alone.
  2. Listening to a man tell you about his marriage problems or you talking to him about yours.
  3. Sending private emails to men (Why not send a carbon copy to his wife?).
  4. Having chats with men on the Internet.
  5. Riding alone in the car with a man.

Some may say, “My goodness! Are you suspicious of everyone?” No, but we need to make good wise choices before we are in a situation that destroys our testimony. What seems harmless could lead to other things. If we guard our hearts and are also thoughtful enough to protect the men around us, we will know that our choices will label us as wise instead of foolish.

(Now if I could just decide what to wear to get my picture taken today!) 🙂

Try this recipe this weekend!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

A friend shared this recipe with me in an email this week and it sounds so good and simple! I pass it along to my fellow chocolate lovers! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

The Foolish Woman – Part 3

Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hearts, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”
We snicker at that story, but we must also realize the truth in that story. Gossip is a sin many battle with. There’s just something about sharing “information” with someone else that is so tempting! But, oh, the destruction gossip can do! It is akin to slander; both sins that God hates, and that the foolish woman indulges in.
Proverbs 14:1 tells us that the wise woman builds her house, but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. It doesn’t require only that work of the hands to tear down a house. A wife can tear down with her words as well. When she says things to her husband that are demeaning and disrespectful she’s tearing down. When she isn’t building him up and encouraging, she’s tearing down.
What about the opening illustration? A church can be destroyed and pulled down by gossiping, murmuring, and angry words. A workplace is not helped by tongues that are out of control because someone is displeased with her boss or co-worker. A neighborhood is divided by unkind words spoken hastily.
Let’s get out our tools (encouraging, uplifting words) and do some construction in our homes, churches and workplaces today!
P.S. By the way, do you know what your pastor likes to do in his free time? I can tell you this; it’s not movie watching, cigar smoking or card playing!