We’re back for this week’s installment of our Proverbs 31 study. I’m so sorry that we missed last week’s study…..last Saturday afternoon I came down a cold. Finally, over a week later, I’m feeling much better and am catching up on my to-do list! 😉 If you’ve missed out on the earlier Proverbs 31 posts, you can check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. This week we’ll be looking at what Proverbs 31 has to say about fear. The Scripture verses we will be looking at are:
- When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (vs. 21)
- She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (vs. 26)
I don’t know about you, but turning on the news strikes fear into my heart. What with the conflict in Syria, the anniversary of 9/11 last week, and then the shooting two days ago in Washington D.C., I’ve seen and heard enough to make me want to hide in a cave and never come back out. It makes me second guess my motive for wanting to start a family as well…..do I really want to bring a child into this world?? Is it ever going to get any better?
We like to think of our lives as being safe and secure, but events like the Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting at the Navy Yard are sharp reminders of just how fragile life is. It causes us women to want to cling to our loved ones and never let them walk out the door into that big, scary world. But obviously, we can’t always protect everyone we love. So how do we manage our fears?
One way we can keep our fears at bay is to be prepared. The Proverbs 31 woman clothed her family in good quality clothes so that when the snow came, she did not have to worry about whether they were staying warm. For example, if you’re scared of a fire in your home, come up with an evacuation plan and practice it with your family. Make sure all of the outlets in your home are functioning properly. Test your fire alarm periodically. Don’t leave the stove unattended while cooking or candles burning while you’re not in the room. You can’t completely eliminate the chance of a fire in your home, but you can take precautions and educate your family on what to do if there ever is a fire.
For me though, this is not a satisfactory answer. You can prepare all you want to, but trouble can still catch you by surprise. So I started digging a little deeper into the spiritual application of being “clothed in scarlet”. I happened to stumble over a daily devotional at Christian Unlimited Ministries and I loved what they had to say about this phrase. The New Testament references a scarlet wool used by Moses in the Old Testament and parallels it to the blood that Jesus shed on the cross for our sins. So if we look at that verse as a spiritual application and not a physical application, we could say that the Proverbs 31 woman made an effort to make sure that her family was following the Lord. When we are following the Lord, we don’t have to worry about “snow”—dark times, tragedy—because He is there for us.
This interpretation goes right along with the 26th verse of Proverbs. In order to be clothed with strength and dignity and laugh at the days to come, we have to place our full trust on Jesus Christ and His will for our lives. This doesn’t mean that we won’t ever see sadness. But it does mean that He will be our comfort in times of sorrow. It means that we can live our lives for Him without fear of the evil in our world, because we are His and when we reach our last breathe, we will go to spend an eternity with Him.
As wives and mothers, the best thing we can do for the ones we love is to be a living example of Christ in our homes. Teach your children about God. Tell them about the love of Jesus. Pray for them often. If your husband is not saved, pray for him and be of good character so that he will see Jesus in you. When we know that our family members are living for the Lord, we don’t have to worry about their future—no matter how scary the world looks outside.
One quick note: I’m not blind to the fact that you can raise a child right and he/she still not follow the Lord as an adult. This can make it extremely hard to just trust God, but it is so important that you do if you are in this situation. Continue to pray for your child constantly. Do your best to show them love. God works on our behalf and sometimes we don’t even see it, so don’t give up hope! Hang onto the promise in His word: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) It may take them ten, twenty, thirty, forty years, but don’t ever lose hope!
Thoughts for the Week:
What does the spiritual health of my family look like? Am I doing everything I can to make sure I am teaching my children the ways of the Lord? Am I keeping my relationship with Christ strong through prayer and studying His Word? Do I truly trust Him with my future? With the future of my family?
Prayer for the Week:
Lord, sometimes it can be so hard to trust You. It seems like our world is spinning out of control and I often find myself fearful in the middle of it. But today, I ask that You take that fear out of my heart and replace it with Your peace. Give me the strength to be bold as I go through life. Be with my loved ones as they venture out into the world. Help me to be a godly example in their lives and draw them close to Your heart. I know there is no fear in You, so help me to live under that realization. In the moments when my heart races with fear and my mind starts to create “what if’s”, help me to know Your peace and replace those “what if’s” with Your promises. I love You so much, thank You for always being there for me!