Did you ever think you could find inspiration about grocery shopping or meal planning from the Proverbs 31 woman?
Proverbs 31:14-15 shines the spotlight on how she fed her family:
“She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.” – Proverbs 31: 14-15
I appreciate the description of the work of a woman of the house in verses 14 and 15 – feeding her family is her responsibility. I’m not sure what role her maidens played in the household or kitchen, but if the Proverbs 31 woman was raising a family today, she would:
- Plan her family’s meals.
- Make a grocery list.
- Go grocery shopping.
- Prepare meals.
Bringing Her Food from Afar
If you’ve read anything about the merchant ships of long ago, you’ll know they were loaded with exotic treasures from far-off places. (My imagination wanders to pirates intercepting merchant ships at sea … or colonists getting their shipments from the British East India Company.)
That’s what the Proverbs 31 woman was like after her grocery trips. She sought what her family wanted and needed to eat. She wasn’t afraid to go and get it.
And when she returned home, she had plenty to feed her family.
I often think of her example as I go out of my way to find organic, real food at a great deal. I could go to the grocery store that’s five minutes away from my home and buy healthy, organic food for a ridiculous amount of money. Instead, I’ve gone out of my way to visit stores in a thirty minute radius, and I’ve found my favorite places that have the best deals on the best food.
By driving twenty minutes away, I’m able to find organic food for a mere fraction of the price of what I could find in a typical grocery store. And two minutes from my organic bargain hunter’s paradise, I buy our local, grass-fed meat at a reasonable price, along with local, fresh produce.
When I’m done with these shopping trips, I feel like I’ve brought my food from afar. My car also feels a bit like a merchant ship, because it’s loaded down with culinary treasures.
Some of my friends travel much farther to buy specialty food for their families – and for them, the deal or the specific food they’re shopping for makes the trip worth it. This same scenario is fleshed out when women travel to Sam’s Club or Costco and stock up on food for their families.
Early to Rise
Since my natural preference is to be a night owl, the clarification in verse 15 that she “rises while it is yet night” makes me groan … but I realize that I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up earlier in the morning to care for my family.
The Proverbs 31 woman knew she could jump start her day’s productivity if she would get up early. (Can’t you get so much more done when you get up before your family?) And so she did.
By getting up before the rest of her family, she was able to prepare breakfast so her family and servants could eat once everyone started their days.
Personally, this is the toughest description found in Proverbs 31. I battle myself daily for an early start. Sleeping in is such a sweet treat for me, and each morning I need to muster up enough self-control to wake up while it’s still dark and start my day. I absolutely love the results when I choose to get up early – I get so much more done and am a cheerier woman. Yet it’s still oh so hard.
(When I was in different sleep-deprived seasons of my life – like being a mom of an infant and a toddler – I snatched sleep when I could get it. Even when it meant sleeping as late as my early rising youngsters did. So if you know you need sleep, please get it when you can without guilt.) Morning people can rejoice, though – use your early morning hours to your benefit!
Providing Food and Portions
Once the Proverbs 31 woman was awake, she was busy providing food for those in her home. Today, you might use early morning hours to focus on making breakfast for your family while also packing lunches or sticking something in the slow cooker for dinner.
It can be easy to map out your family’s meals for the day early in the morning. Simply think about what you’ll feed everyone, and then start any preparations you need – take things out of the freezer to thaw or jot down a list for a quick grocery trip.
Need help figuring out how to make a menu or plan meals? Here’s exactly what I do to make the process quick and easy in my own home.
That tiny bit of early morning preparation will help you throughout the day when you’re frazzled and wish you had some more time.
By the time your family wakes up, you can help them start their days with a smile … and some breakfast. And by following the Proverbs 31 woman’s example, you can wisely provide and prepare food for your family.
When it comes to meal planning, how are you doing? Do you have a good system in place, or could you use a little help?
Instead of only wondering what Christian homemakers, wives, and mothers could or should do, Proverbs 31 details it for us. The best part? The Proverbs 31 woman’s examples completely apply to life today. And they can help you manage your home.
In Hilary Bernstein’s eBook, Becoming a Modern-Day Proverbs 31 Woman, readers dig into the biblical example of Proverbs 31 woman. The instant download includes 16 insightful chapters that will help you learn how to respect your husband, become an excellent wife, and glorify God with your life. Buy your copy now!
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