Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31...Part One

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31, this is not something we Christian woman do just because times are hard, but it is a way of life. We are frugal, not cheap. We economize with a heart motive to help our husbands and families, and extend our hands to the needy.
I realize that many of us have lived in the prosperity of America but with all the talk of economic woes I thought I might share with those looking for a bit of relief.Growing up in a home with a mom and dad who lived through WWII we didn't have much trouble with learning how to live on little and then even less after dad died and this was in the early 1970's. How many of you remember hearing the following words?

"Waste not, want not."
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"A starving child in Africa would love to eat those brussel sprouts."

When I was a child living at home hearing those words, I often wondered if I could mail that child in Africa my liver and brussel sprouts, but knew better than to ask!

With gas prices and grocery prices and just about prices for everything else going up and up, I hear and read much talk about frugality. Many are not rich and live pay check to pay check. And from many polls it has been quite clear that these are the families that help support most that are in need because they understand the needs themselves. So I offer the following not as a way to make your vacation savings account larger but as a way of life described by our Creator that would help us care for those in need as well as our own families.

Whether you be a Christian homemaker now, or a woman who wants to become a full time homemaker God has already given us wonderful guidelines to help us on our daily path.

Proverbs 31 helps us as women to care for the household, the budget, and how to carry out our husbands instructions in matters of the home. The family would be clothed with warm clothes in the winter, and the lady of the home would wear the fine clothing she made by her own hands, as well as extending her hand to the needy, and many other insights into a Godly woman's life.

God's word is ageless! Let's look at the situation many find themselves in today in light of Proverbs 31.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10
And during these days of economic frailty it would be good to have one of these in the home. God is not speaking of a "Princess" here ladies, but a "Virtuous woman".... Actually a "force to be reckoned with", who is filled with strength of moral character.
A woman such as this has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and that makes her extremely expensive, far above the price of rubies. For such a woman as this will not be undermining her husbands character in her speech, or in her actions, and this is the sort of woman that a man can trust in. If you are not on the road to becoming a "Virtuous Woman, begin by reading your Bible and getting to know the Savior, Jesus who loves you very much.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11
Her husband will not have to go out and rob a bank to provide for an unfrugal wife for the finery she demands. As we read Gods word it sheds light on behavior that does not please God.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12
As wives we seek to do good and not evil to our husbands in all aspects of his life. He can trust that his wife keeps his thoughts in mind as she shops frugally, cares for the children and the household.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13 She does not wait for the expensive gifts of clothing to be brought to her, she seeks out fabrics to willingly make them with her own hands. Just think of the frugality in this one. No shopping malls! No designer clothing. Just looking for wool to make into yarn to knit or crochet. Flax is a grain that was used to make linen. Our time would be spent collecting the materials to make designer clothing for the family. I'm sure she hunted for the best prices on these supplies as well. Today we have fabric stores, and with a bit of practice we can put our hands to work at making clothing for the entire family and more, and by watching the sale flyers, ebay, and craigslist, we can even get the fabric at clearance prices!
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14
Today a woman must know her prices! We go armed with coupons and adds, hunting for the best deals on food and clothing and household items whether we purchase them online or in the grocery stores or from a farmers market. She is aware of the likes and dislikes of the family, of the health needs and concerns of the family, and for providing nutritious healthy meals.
Woman Cooking on Old Fashioned Stove by Walter Sanders
Woman Cooking on Old Fashioned Stove

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15
Ok, most of us do not have the old fashioned maid, but we do have washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, bread makers, crock pots, and so on. These "maids" do save us much time. We no longer have to drag our laundry basket down to the river to wash our laundry. Just think of all the time we now have to make our own clothing, and bake our own nutritious bread, and homemade batches of Kefir! We now have time to get up early and spend it in our Bibles and commune with God before we set our "maids" to working.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
Our first obligation is to our God our husbands and our families. Here we see a woman first "considering" and then buying a field, and then planting a vineyard. If we are careful with our grocery budget we can save a little at a time to purchase some land to plant a garden or a vineyard, or in many a case, some seeds and potting soil to plant out in the backyard or patio. Being frugal helps the family in many ways. Consider the purchase price, consider the time the work will take you away from your family. Will the children be able to help, and will it prosper them as well?

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Proverbs 31:17
If we are up early and working in a vineyard, and caring for the family and sewing and baking bread, and keeping all our "maidens" busy, and seeing well to the ways of our household, and doing the things the Lord asks of us we must walk in His strength of character. We would be dressed in a manner ready for the work ahead, and be ready to do every good work in a cheerful manner. In like manner we are to do these good works with all our might. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Put the Armor of God on daily and stand strong in Jesus!

Fruaglity tips for today:
Never pay retail.
Make it if you can.
Be content with such things as you have
If you do need to buy something shop second hand stores, internet, or yard sales
Keep a well stocked basic pantry
Make it, rather than buying fast food
Use cold water while washing and rinsing the clothes
Make your own laundry detergent
Bake your own bread
Buy grains in bulk to stock in pantry
Shop second hand stores, antique shops, or internet for the best price on an item you NEED.

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31...Part Two
© Monika Hardy

1 comment:

Eva Girl said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you so much!!!
I've read through Proverbs 31 many times in studying to be the wife and mother God would have me to be...may we shine the light of truth for all women : )


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