I thought I would change things up a bit this week and share with you a struggle of mine that I used to have. I know for all of you who are homesteading ladies, you might have had the same struggle at some point in time.
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”
We all long to be a wife of noble character. The Proverbs 31 wife was indeed a superwoman. She did it all, didn't she? My quest is to be like her, this picture perfect woman who can also “laugh at the days to come.” (Prov. 31:25b)
Sometimes I think about what I am doing, like some heavy work that requires strength and/or profuse sweating, and I wonder if I should even be doing this. I mean, I'm a woman for crying out loud! But, in Proverbs 31:17, she has strength for her tasks and she goes about them vigorously.
Ladies, I know our tasks on the farm can be strenuous and require much strength. Shoveling manure, loading hay, carrying 50 pound bags of grain, hoeing the garden and many other challenging tasks can leave us feeling somewhat manly. Then, we feel guilty for feeling that way and think that as a woman, we shouldn't be doing those tasks in the first place, right?
Wrong! These are the tasks that have been given to us. Our husbands cannot do it all, especially if they work outside of the home. My sons are 13 and under and although they can help, they cannot physically do it all. My oldest daughter does her fair share of heavy work and yes, she is one strong gal!
The heavy and dirty work is sometimes required of us and we must work vigorously and use our physical strength to do it. Look at the verse before verse 17.
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.”
Now, you know this wasn't a small vineyard. Whether she had help or not isn't the point. The point is she was there planting the grapevines which is no easy task either! We planted sixty vines last year and it took strength and endurance to get it done.
Homesteading requires a different kind of Proverbs 31 woman then what most people think of. Many see her as this industrious woman who flutters about the home overseeing what gets done and she has servants to do most of the work. Although this might be partly true, she still worked and she worked hard!
Do not feel guilty for somehow thinking that you are doing tasks that only a man should do. Yes, there is a time and a place for the husband to do these things, and most of the time he will be the one to take on these difficult tasks, but when he is incapable and there is no other option, we need to step up to the plate and get it done. There are some things that we physically cannot do. Our strength is not equal to a man's! But, I'm sure we are capable of doing many things around the farm.
Are we still woman enough even when we are doing what some would call “a man's job?” Most certainly! I used to struggle with these thoughts. I felt as if I were stepping out of my God-given role as a woman, yet I enjoyed doing what I was doing. That made for some mixed emotions and I struggled with identifying with other godly women. I really do like heavy work(to a point)! Always have. That is how God has made me. My motives are pure in that I do not do it to prove myself to anyone(unless I am wrestling a buck and need to prove my dominance). I just enjoy it. If you struggle with feelings of inadequacy and your hard work is done out of selfish ambition, I encourage you to take a step back and pray earnestly for a pure heart and motives.
After really studying Proverbs 31 did I realize that it doesn't matter what type of work we do here at home. What matters is that we step to the plate and work vigorously with our God-given strength. Verse 17 means something different for everyone. There are no specifications as to what type of work she was doing, but those were her tasks that needed to be done.
She doesn't gloat about her strength or complain. But, her husband has confidence in her and praises her. That is what matters.
We will get to a point where we can delegate some of these jobs to our children. If they are old enough and/or strong enough, it is time! This doesn't mean we take over our husband's job at home and do everything, but we are here as helpmeets to our husbands. This also does not mean we condone any lazy behavior! We know what our husbands are capable of and normally what they have time for. If he comes home after work and sees that he has to unload 1000 pounds of grain, mow the lawn, fix a fence, work on a car and so on and so on, I think it is time we step up to the plate and see what we are capable of doing out of that list to help him out.
If you are like me and have to do manly jobs to help out, you are doing what God has called you to do. If you enjoy heavy work at times when other women balk at it, you are who God made you to be and there is no need to feel guilty or judged by others.
Keep your motives pure, and God and your husband will honor you!
Now for the link up!
I'm always excited to see what you all have to share! My simple rules are:
Link your post(s) back to Our Simple Farm and please read some of the other wonderful posts that everyone else has linked. And, of course, keep it family friendly.
You can post as many as you want.
Ideas include anything having to do with homesteading, biblical living, sustainable farming, bartering, income ideas, homemaking, homeschooling, DIY projects, recipes, gardening, frugal ideas and anything else you think would fit! I would love for you to grab my button too!
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