As I told y’all the other day, I have spent the past couple of months doing a lot of meditating, praying, and goal setting. I know who I am and who I want to be, but I've been trying to figure out what I want to do and how I’m going to get there.
As the name of this blog implies, I want to be Far More Precious.
"An excellent wife who can find? She is Far More Precious than jewels." Proverbs 31:10
I didn’t stop wanting to do all of these great things because I got overwhelmed with them, but I did want to figure out how to be a woman of strength and character while taking care of my family... and doing it all well. So I have been trying to think, in a very practical sense, what that means.
My major in college was business administration. It’s funny because I know that for any business to succeed, they have to develop their mission, their vision, and their core values and then filter all the things they do through that. This way, they ensure that their actions are aligning with exactly the business they want to be and where they want to go. I say it’s funny because I never thought of myself or my blog in that way, until now.
I need to define my Mission (Who I want to be) and my Core Values (What do I care about?) in order to have a filter for what it is I spend my time and energy doing.
So, what is my mission? What are my core values?
Well, I want to be Far More Precious. I want to inspire and encourage other women to be Far More! So, I went back to Proverbs 31. I went back to this amazing image of a woman who is strong and capable, who knows exactly who she is. A woman who takes care of her family, who brings respect and honor to her household. A woman who cares about the poor and injustice. I read Proverbs 31 over and over, and boiled it down to 5 core values.
Every single one of these values filters out through her faith. I didn't specifically write faith in as a core value because, to me, it's not just one of many values but the foundation on which they all stand. It seems very obvious to me that this woman loved the things that God loves. And so, each of these core values seep out through faith, and I believe that each of them are things that God loves and, as such, we should love.
1. A Strong Marriage
The very first thing that is used to describe this “excellent wife” is this:
“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life.”
Your marriage, right after your relationship with God, is the foundation of your life. It’s the foundation of your kids’ lives. Your marriage speaks volumes about who you are, about your character.
Obviously, marriage is a topic you can go on and on about, but the biggest thing I see here is this: Reward your husband with good, not evil all the days of your life.
Honestly, this is something that the Spirit has to do in each of us. When I treat my husband well, especially when he doesn’t deserve it, I am building a solid marriage and strengthening my character. I constantly pray that the Spirit would lead me to kindness and gentleness especially when it’s hard.
2. Steadfast, Hard-Working
“She rises while it is still night, and provides food for her household and portions for her servants.”
I feel like our culture has come to glorify this idea of working as little as possible so that you can play as much as possible. I think efficiency is great, and spending time having fun and enjoying life is awesome. You need that.
However, we were made to work. We were made to create, to think, to build. Before Adam and Eve ever sinned, they were put in the garden and were given the task of working it and watching over it. Work is good for us.
So, I want to be a woman who works hard. I want to create, I want to build, I want to work, and then I want to hang out with my family and play. :)
3. Compassionate & Generous
"Her hands reach out to the poor and she extends her hands to the needy."
It’s so easy to become so focused on our own life, on taking care of our family, on giving our kids great things, that we lose sight of people that need help.
It seems that so often people look at the homeless and think they did something wrong, they did drugs, they did that to themselves. It’s so easy to harden yourself against these people and think, “I don’t need to help them, they’ll probably just abuse it anyway.”
Or to look at pictures of children in Africa and think, “That’s a whole country of people, and so much that needs to be done. I can’t help them all!” And do nothing.
Or to hear about the sex slave trade going on in our own cities, and think, “That’s terrible!” And then do nothing.
Or to rail against abortions and the women and scared girls having them and angrily think, “They chose to have sex, and now they need to take responsibility for their actions.” And then do nothing to help them, to support them, to love on them, to give them encouragement, to actually help them follow through with a bringing a new life into this world and making sure that she and her baby can have a good life.
I want to be a woman whose hands reach out to the poor and extend to the needy. I want to be a woman filled with compassion, who gives generously, and loves without condition.
4. Confidence & Wisdom
"Strength and honor are her clothing and she can laugh at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue."
This woman has lived her life in such a way that she has a strong character, a strong work ethic, she is respected and appreciated. She can laugh at the time to come because she knows that if worse comes to worse, they’ll be able to figure it out. They’ll get through it.
She is wise and loving. She is one of those women that when you just don’t know what to do, you want to talk to her. You want to just spill it all out, and hear what she has to stay. She has a strong character, she has good relationships, she is respected and honored. She is some one to learn from.
I want to live my life in such a way that when I am older, when my kids are grown, young women will look to me and say, “How’d you get through this? How did you do that? What do I do here?” I want to open my mouth with wisdom and loving instruction from a life well-lived.
"She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: “Many women are capable but you surpass them all!”
Y’all, this one is the toughest one for me because it incorporates so much! It takes a lot to make a household run, and this woman has got it going on!
Just like I told y’all the other day, sometimes it is so easy to get overwhelmed with everything and become paralyzed by it. Sometimes it is easier to look around at the messy house and bury myself in Facebook or Pinterest instead of facing it head-on.
This verse encourages me a lot because this woman looks at her household and does what she can. Instead of giving up and spending her time idly, she accomplishes something. She takes care of her kids, she takes care of her husband, she takes care of her household. It doesn't say she does it perfectly, it doesn't say that she always gets everything done. It says that she looks to her household and she isn't lazy. She works hard to take care of all the things and people in her life, and is confident in her work.
Her sons grow up and call her blessed, her husband praises her. Y’all, it is the best feeling when one of my boys stops and says, “Thanks for doing that, Mom. I love you!” and when my husband tells me, “I’m so glad I’m married to you. There is no one else I’d rather spend my life with.”
And, you know what? It doesn't take perfection for that to happen! It takes work, it takes self-sacrifice, it takes love. It takes putting away my iPad, and choosing to work hard and do what I can.
I believe wholeheartedly that some one who has the respect of their spouse and their children, especially when they are grown, is often some one who truly deserves that respect and admiration.
You can have the respect of thousands of people, but they don’t know you like your family knows you.
This Proverbs 31 woman was held in honor by a lot of people, but more importantly, she was held in honor by the people who knew her the best, who knew her at home, in private. She had the respect of her family. That, I think, is a big deal.
So, these are my core values. These are the main pillars I want my life to stand on and what I want this blog to encourage you with. I want the things that I do to filter through these values so that I will be a woman and encourage other women to be Far More.
What do y'all think? What other values do you see in the Proverbs 31 woman? Let me know in the comments below!