When it comes to meeting your family’s needs, shopping just might be considered biblical.
Some women love to shop. Some women hate to shop. Regardless of where you rank on a shopaholic scale, Proverbs 31:21-22 includes an interesting detail of a woman’s life:
“She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.”
If you’re the woman of your house, chances are you’re meeting your family’s needs and paying attention to your family’s belongings – even down to their clothing. And that, my friend, means shopping.
While this is a biblical concept, it’s also common in everyday life. In fact, 9 out of 10 moms are the primary shoppers in their homes.
The First Step
When it comes to her family’s clothing, the modern-day Proverbs 31 woman plans ahead. She’s not afraid of snow days coming, because she’s already bought snow pants and mittens for her kiddos. She knows what her family members will need to wear … and she makes sure they have it.
While it could be tempting to let older family members like husbands or teenagers fend for themselves when it comes to wardrobes, wives and moms are great at making sure everyone has everything.
If, for some reason, you feel overwhelmed at the thought, discuss the division of labor and responsibilities with your husband. If this area isn’t your strength, it’s OK … just make sure your bases are covered. In a lot of families, though, women pay attention to details, are opinionated, and have a knack at keeping everyone on track.
Before a back to school shopping trip, know how much new underwear and socks your children will need. Know what’s outgrown and needs to be passed along. Know what your family’s current clothing and shoe sizes are.
I’m speaking to myself as much as to other women. Last summer my daughter insisted on wearing her favorite shoes for months, until I finally realized that her feet had grown two whole sizes and she had been smooshing her feet into her uncomfortable favorite shoes … and she didn’t want to run and play because of the tight shoes. What a bad mommy moment for me. I was quick to realize even when my children try so hard to be independent, I still need to pay attention to when they are growing and changing.
While you’re making sure that your husband and children have enough clothing to wear, also pay attention to what they’re wearing.
- Are there appropriate messages on shirts?
- Do your daughters wear modest clothes? Do you?
- Is anything too holey, stained, or wrinkled? Ask your children to change if necessary – or help them patch the holes, remove the stains, and iron the wrinkles.
If you have young children, it’s the perfect time to start teaching them about modesty … and that not everything sold in clothing stores is appropriate to wear.
Don’t be afraid buck tasteless trends and choose age-appropriate clothing. I’m not talking about shapeless, long-sleeved, floor-length dresses – you can encourage your daughters to choose to be fashionably modest.
As a clarification, it’s healthy to let your children choose their own outfits – and it’s an important part of the maturing process.
But letting your toddler daughter mix and match a variety of colors and patterns is one thing; letting your teenage daughter leave the home in short shorts that could be best described as underwear is another thing.
When you’re choosing presentable clothing for yourself and helping your family, it doesn’t matter where you shop. You can find tasteful, God-honoring outfits anywhere from affordable secondhand stores to schmancy department stores and specialty shops.
As long as your children are living in your home, remember that you’re the mom. You have influence, you have authority. Your children may not like everything you suggest, but you don’t have to allow inappropriate or offensive clothing.
As I write this, I think of my grandma who raised seven children. Her strong-willed daughter tried to wear mini-skirts every day in the ’60s, yet every day Grandma would make her change her outfit.
Like my grandma, don’t be afraid to be a mom with an opinion and standards.
Clothed In Scarlet and Purple
Proverbs 31 is very detailed in explaining that the woman’s family was decked out in scarlet clothes for her family, while she wore purple linen. Both colors signify wealth, prestige and honor.
Purple’s long been associated with royalty – in the story of Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, the rich man “habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day.”
When Jesus was mocked in Mark 15, the battalion of soldiers “put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.”
Second Samuel 1:24 describes, “Oh daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.”
Many Bible commentators believe that the scarlet clothing meant a type of double wool clothing – so the family of the Proverbs 31 woman was warmly dressed for winter.
All of the descriptions of color and fabric help illustrate one point – the Proverbs 31 woman cared about what she (and her family) wore. She took care of her appearance – and she looked nice.
As women, we would be wise to care about our own appearances. Like it or not, the clothing we choose to wear reflects a lot about us. While we shouldn’t obsess over our wardrobe to the point of pride or vanity, it is a good thing to be mindful with what we wear.
Scarlet & Snow
And, while this is admittedly a stretch, think of the way that believers describe Christ’s forgiveness of sins –we’re washed by His blood, right? His scarlet blood has washed us white as snow. We wives and mothers should try to influence our family to be clothed in scarlet – as a description of being covered with the scarlet blood of Christ.
As keepers of our homes, we need to point our families to Christ:
- Pray for them.
- Speak the truth of the Word to them.
- Disciple and shepherd them as best as you can.
- And trust God for His plan in your family members’ lives.
It’s Not Just About Clothes
While clothing was a definite area of attention for the Proverbs 31 woman, so were the furnishings in her home: she made bed coverings for herself.
If you’re resourceful or crafty, turn your home into a welcoming haven with your decorating style.
But if home décor isn’t your forte, scour Pinterest for ideas. When you find something you like, copy it in your own home. Try to make your home lovelier with your decorating touches.
Becoming more and more like the Proverbs 31 woman may be easier than you think – beginning with your shopping and including the way you gently and persistently shepherd your family.
As you shift your focus to caring for your family, make sure you’re meeting your family’s needs … and paying loving attention to them!
Take a moment to look through your closets and look at your furnishings. Do you need to make any changes? What are some of your family’s needs that you need to address?
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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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