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The Proverbs 31 Woman

By Susan Sikes

“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.”
Proverbs 31:14

As women, one of the most important responsibilities we take on is food provision for our families. If we do not stay on guard, we can come to see this as a dreaded duty instead of a blessing to the ones we love so dearly.

I like to look at the Proverbs 31 woman as a daily example. To what length did she go to provide food for her family? It says she brought her food from afar. Think about how it must have been. There was no real mode of transportation or fast food restaurants on every corner. It would almost seem as if you would have to take what you could get. However, she went the extra mile to bless her family. This can be very convicting since there are times that I have to force myself to go to the local Wal-Mart.

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I also like to think about the desire she must have had to provide her family with the best. Their favorite meals may have required things that had to be “brought from afar.” She must have known the awesome feeling of pleasing her family! Pleasing your loved ones is worth the extra effort because as you know, in bringing your family pleasure, you are the one who receives the real blessings. Even though I enjoy cooking, there have been times that I was either too tired or just not in the mood to prepare a meal. However, when the time came to sit down to eat with my family, any “ooos & aahs” made it well worth the effort! Knowing you are bringing them pleasure allows you to see your service as a privilege and honor.

Here are a few tips to keep food provision on a positive note:

1. Keep God in your kitchen. P.B. Wilson talks about the importance of this in her book, God is in the Kitchen too.
A. Pray about your meals, your attitude, and for your family as you prepare and go about your daily responsibilities.
B. Display a Bible verse in an area of the kitchen so that you can meditate on it while you work.
C. Remember that Jesus came to serve and we are called to be like Him.

2. Plan ahead.
A. Start each week or month off with a full menu. Keep this posted on your refrigerator door as a reminder.
B. Make a grocery list according to the prepared menu, and purchase all items in one shopping trip.
C. Wash, cut, and prep all produce when you bring it home from the store.
D. Check your menu each night to see if anything needs to be thawed out or prepared in advanced.

3. Keep your kitchen orderly.
A. Make sure your kitchen is clean before you begin preparing food.
B. Run a sink of soapy water before you begin. As you finish with a dish or utensil, drop it into the water.
C. If you have a dishwasher, make sure all clean dishes are unloaded. D. Have needed ingredients and items nearby.
E. Have a trashcan near your working site.

4. Look for quick and easy tips, ideas, and recipes. Do not misunderstand, being in the kitchen is a joy. However, the faster you are finished, the more time you have to spend with your family.
A. Use a slow cooker when you can.
B. When you will be away for a short time, prepare your meal and preset your oven to come on while you are away.
C. Look to websites for quick and easy, but delicious, meals.
D. Share ideas with friends and family members.

By using these tips and keeping your focus on blessing your family, you will be able to guard yourself against seeing this most important service as a dreaded duty. I pray that in serving, you will find joy in the kitchen.

© Susan Sikes
Susan is the author of the book, "A Woman of Noble Character." Her ministry, Out of the Nest & Beyond, equips and encourages women in the area of homemaking. She sends out a free e-newsletter "News from the Nest" each month, which includes a devotional, tips, and recipes.


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