"Hey babe, where is the wrapping paper?”
I hear my brother-in-law ask in the background during a recent telephone conversation with my sister.
A short time later, he interrupts again- this time in an exasperated tone he declares- “I hate wrapping gifts, maybe I’ll just pay the kids to do it for me!”
My sister and I have a good laugh because this exact same conversation happens in my house every single Christmas.
Husbands complain about having to wrap a few gifts for their wives.
Meanwhile, the women are left to carry the laboring oar of the holiday season for their household.
Hear me out..
I know this isn’t 100% true in every household but, I believe many would agree that it’s the women that handle the majority of the below…
Decorate entire house for the holidays- complete with tree and all the trimmings.
Make plans for the holidays- traveling to visit family/friends or hosting? If traveling, make all travel arrangements. If hosting, send out invitations and plan accordingly.
Make sure all holiday activities are planned and on the calendar for all family members.
Update holiday card list, get cards made and mailed.
Stock wrapping paper, tape and name tags.
Budget and make a master gift list.
Shop for your entire family, friends, co-workers, husband’s family, friends & co-workers, boss and don’t forget your stylist and others that need to be thanked this holiday season.
Wrap every single gift that needs to be given (except your own).
Make sure out of town presents are mailed timely.
Take kids to see Santa and get the traditional Santa picture.
Plan and finalize the holiday dinner menu.
Start baking the week before Christmas and spend days in the kitchen!
Clean the house.
Prep food on Christmas Eve and finish baking.
Make sure Santa has his milk and cookies.
Clean up all wrapping paper, boxes etc. after the whirlwind of opening gifts.
Cook the entire holiday meal and set the table to rival Martha Stewart.
Serve the meal and clean up the dishes afterwards.
Fall over from exhaustion and finally relax!!!
Meanwhile, husbands complain about wrapping a few gifts? Really?
This could make even Mother Teresa resentful!
The thing is… Women… WE WERE DESIGNED TO HANDLE ALL OF THIS AND MORE-
we were designed to be Women of Valor!
(Exhausting I know!)
Over the last few weeks, we looked at a few distinguishable women of the Bible that exhibited remarkable qualities including: courage, leadership, character, kindness, faith, hard work and peacemaking.
Characteristics that ALL woman can strive to achieve but, what about women that have the added responsibility of cultivating a home for her husband and family?
Ladies, don’t dismiss this because it really is important.
Actually, the most important job you will ever have…
becoming a woman of valor…
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. -Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)
I know I’m not up while it’s still dark! Ugh!
But, don’t get discouraged or think this sets back women’s rights by decades!
Actually it's pretty simple.. a Proverbs 31 woman is a woman that selflessly puts her husband and family first, she works hard, she takes on the laboring oar with a positive attitude and never gives up! She has wisdom and makes wise choices that are in the best interest of her family and ultimately in her best interest! Her role of wife and mother is a coveted title that she takes pride in- knowing that her efforts are pleasing in God’s sight!
Read the poem again… did you catch that the only directive is not to the woman rather to others? The directive to “honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
So, let’s comply!
If you know a woman of valor in your life that selflessly puts her family first, who works hard and takes on the laboring oar to create a welcoming home, who does her best to raise her children with love and respects her husband- then.....
Share this blog with her… let her know her efforts are not in vain!
Take the time to recognize and thank her; so that she knows she is worth far more than rubies... she is an irreplaceable priceless treasure!
The greatest gift you can give her this holiday season is your gratitude!
Father, we are so thankful that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are so thankful that you take special delight in creating us to be strong women that can handle complex tasks with diligence and grace. May we strive to be women of valor and accept our divine labor as a privilege and honor in serving you and our family. May you strengthen us to accomplish our tasks and may we stand before you one day and hear “job well done my good and faithful servant.” I pray that those who know a woman of valor will acknowledge her efforts with love, respect and gratitude.
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. – Proverbs 14:1