Encouragement for Women

The Proverbs 31 Woman – A Model to Imitate

Proverbs 31 woman

Today’s devotion is one of the 150 biographies included in A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible by Elizabeth George!

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Notable Accomplishment: Model for all women
Meaning of Name: Unknown
Main Text: Proverbs 31:10– 31

A Little History

The last chapter of Proverbs begins with a young prince learning from his mother what should characterize his reign as a godly king. Then this godly and wise mother gave a description of the kind of wife the young prince should look for. She asked, “Who can find a virtuous wife?” This mother points out that such a woman is rare but explains how finding such a woman is worth both the time and effort it takes.

Her Story

Her marriage — Proverbs 31:10-12

This amazing woman demonstrated impeccable loyalty to her husband and earned his trust and confidence. Because of her thrift and industry, she added to her husband’s wealth and reputation and her family’s comfort.

Her behavior — Proverbs 31:13-24

This enterprising lady was compared to a merchant ship that travels to distant lands to seek clothing, food, and items to be bought and sold for profit. She was a “realtor” who bought, improved, and sold land. Her physical strength and endurance seemed inexhaustible as she rose before dawn and worked far into the night caring for her family and household, which were her foremost priorities.

Her character — Proverbs 31:25-27

This magnificent woman was said to be clothed in “strength” and “honor,” which described her character. Her inward character gave her the outward confidence to face the future with its unexpected challenges. She took what she had learned and passed it on to others with wisdom, all the while displaying a heart of kindness.

Her family life — Proverbs 31:28-29

Because of her unfailing love and ceaseless energy, the Proverbs 31 woman was highly respected, not only by her community but most importantly by her family. There is no greater joy for a mother than for her children to grow up to praise her as a source of the wisdom that made them godly. But her highest praise came from her husband who said, “You excel them all” (v. 29).

Her spiritual life — Proverbs 31:30-31

The book of Proverbs begins with a reference to the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. As the book concludes, this same quality is again seen in the life and heart of this exceptional woman. She may have been hardworking and an exceptional businesswoman, but her true source of power was her devotion to God.

RESPOND

Lord, right now I commit my life and my day to You. Create in me a fiery love for You and Your Word. Lead me to make choices that move me toward living as a woman after Your own heart. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible – With 365 daily devotions, 150 biographies, a reading plan, and more … this Bible will encourage and inspire you! Pick up your copy here.

A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book  –  Help your daughter become a girl after God’s own heart with this interactive gift that will teach your daughter Scripture.

REFLECT

Models are to follow. God did not include this woman in the Bible to be rejected as an impossible standard, but to be accepted as a model for every woman’s growth and fulfillment. No mountain was ever scaled until the first step was taken. God is asking you to take a first step as described in the life of this remarkable woman. What first step can you take toward becoming a woman of excellence?

 REMEMBER

Our inward character gives us the outward confidence to face the future with its unexpected challenges.

Raising Children Who Love God

Raising

Do you desire that your children love God with all their heart? Here are three ways you can go about raising them to help plant those seeds:

Pray

Mom, praying for your children will make a difference in their life. It took me awhile to discover the power of prayer—and I’m so glad I did! As a young mom, I’d made the decision to stay at home. And there were many times when I felt useless and ineffective. But when I was introduced to the idea of prayer as a ministry, that changed my perspective. I began praying for my children, around my children, and with my children. And what a privilege it was to teach my two girls to pray

Talk

Then be diligent to live a life that reveals your love for God. Ephesians 6:4 says to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” There’s a very simple way for this to become second nature: talk of the Lord.

Talk about Him when you’re at home and in the car, before the kids go to sleep, and as soon as they wake up. A woman — a mother — who loves God is a light in darkness. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men [before your children], that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Read

Last, spend some time each day reading the Bible. Share its life-giving truth with your children. It requires the sacrifice of time and energy, but the years you have with your children fly by so quickly. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart.”

Your time in prayer, talking about the Lord, and in God’s Word is time He’ll use to make you a mom after His own heart who raises children after God’s own heart. It’s time well invested!

RESPOND

Dear Father, let my lips sing praises, speak requests, and make frequent mention of Your mercy. Give my children ears to hear of Your goodness so that they turn to You, their heavenly Father, with ease and delight. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book – Pre-order this beautiful and fun coloring book to help your daughter meditate on powerful Scripture verses included on each page.

You Always Have a Friend in Jesus (50% off when you order the Coloring Book!) – Your daughter will grow in confidence, faithfulness, and joy as she discovers her friendship with Jesus.

REFLECT

Do I connect everyday life to God’s Word and pause to pray with my children?

REMEMBER

Prayer for your children is ministry.

(Today’s devotion is taken from A Mom After God’s Own Heart Devotional by Elizabeth George)

Pray for Your Husband

Pray

Hopefully you’ve already had your husband as a key focal point of your prayers up to now. If so, your husband is a blessed man to have you as his wife! To make him your special “prayer project” for life, here is a suggestion to keep in mind.

Pray

Pray without expecting instant results. God is always at work … but God doesn’t work according to your timetable.

I’m sure you know this from firsthand experience. For instance, God has been patient with you so far, hasn’t He? And yet He has been at work in your life. You’re not where you need to be or where you’re going to be, but you also aren’t where you used to be!

Now you must apply this knowledge of God to your husband. And so you pray faithfully and forever for your husband. That’s your commitment of love. And, as you pray for your husband, don’t expect or look for any overnight miracles.

Past Encouragement

Learn a lesson from Monica, the mother of Augustine, one of the early church fathers. This devout believer and devoted mother prayed for decades before God opened her son’s heart and he embraced Christ at age 31. First Corinthians 13 tells us that “love suffers long…[and] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (verses 4 and 7). That, my praying sister-in-Christ, is to be our approach to praying for our husbands.

We pray no matter what. We pray—and suffer long, patient while we bear and endure all things, always believing and never losing hope. Don’t get discouraged in the course of your prayer journey. It’s exactly that—a journey! That means it involves time and takes time, even a lifetime. Be persistent yet patient as you pray.

RESPOND

Father God, I do not cease to pray for my husband and to ask that he may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES
15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband
 – You, dear wife, may be the only person praying for your husband. This wonderful book by Elizabeth George shows you how!

Prayers for a Woman’s Heart – Filled with prayers and devotions, this new resource will help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace!

REFLECT

Turn Colossians 1:9-11 into a prayer for your husband.

REMEMBER
Being a wife who prays for her husband is a unique privilege. And it’s a necessity because you, dear wife, might be the only person on this entire planet who is praying for your husband!

Sweet Speech

Speech

Fast talk, sarcasm, and banter can be fun. That would be something I would do if I didn’t continually ask God to “sweeten” my speech.

Sweetening My Speech

I can verbally spar with the best of them, but is that what God is asking of a godly woman?

Choosing words that build up and lift up yourself and others will bring praise to God. Those words will also bring a gladness that surpasses the momentary satisfaction of winning an argument.

Saying Nothing

When you speak, make sure your words “come from [an] upright heart,” and that your “lips utter pure knowledge.” Ask God for His help in curbing rampant, destructive, and ungodly speech. Proverbs 12:18 tells us, “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”

If you want to be wise, restrain your lips. Just say nothing. Try it for a day. It will be difficult, but it will be a day marked by wisdom— a day of glorious victory, peace, and self- control.

RESPOND

Father, help me remember to hold back from speaking the sharp words that come so quickly to my mind. Fill my mind with Your thoughts and my mouth with Your wisdom. Let my speech be sweet and encouraging. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible – this devotion is one of 364 daily devotions by Elizabeth George in this beautiful Bible. Pick up your copy here!

A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book – this interactive gift will help you teach your daughter Scripture. Add You Always Have a Friend in Jesus for Girls for 50% OFF when you PRE-ORDER this wondering coloring book today!

REFLECT

If you want to be wise, restrain your lips. Just say nothing. Try it for a day.

REMEMBER

Being a Godly Wife

Wife

Like the first-steps and the how-tos of cooking in the cookbooks I received at my bridal shower, foundational guidelines to spiritual growth and being a godly wife are simple.

Aren’t you thankful that God keeps it simple when it comes to such a mystical, mysterious element as spiritual growth? We only need to know what God says is the basic recipe for being a woman and a wife after His own heart…and to faithfully follow His recipe. That’s what “great creations” are made up of. And I’m praying that you and I will become just such creations as we faithfully follow these very few-but-simple steps for growing in the Lord!

  • Read your Bible every day. Keep in mind that something is better than nothing, so aim for at least five minutes a day of Bible reading. That’s about how long it takes to read one chapter in your Bible.
  • Pray for your husband three times every day. Pray before he wakes up, at noon, and right before he comes home from work. Of course it will be easy to repeat this exercise every day for a week. Then, of course, you’ll want to do it for life!
  • Plan to go to church this week. Whether you are a little rusty on your church attendance, haven’t been going at all, or don’t know where to go, place this all-important “date” on your calendar. Then call neighborhood churches or friends to find out where to go, the times of the weekly services, and any other information you might need regarding a couples’ class or a program for your children. The night before, lay out your Bible, organize for a no-hassle breakfast, and get to bed a little early.

    It’s important that you talk to your husband about your desire to go to church. Ask him if he would like to go along with you. Tell him you value his opinions. Also share the information you’ve gathered and ask for his input. If he doesn’t want to go to church with you, that’s okay. Your assignment is to be friendly, excited, and to make a move in the direction of attending church yourself. God’s job is to work on your husband’s heart. And, of course, you’ll be praying for him!

  • Sign up for a Bible class or Bible study. I know you’re busy, but you should never be too busy to take care of your spiritual growth. This “little” exercise may require making a few phone calls, but it will be worth it when you experience the exhilarating joy of growing in the Lord, which is the most important way to make a big difference in your life and your marriage!
  • Purchase or borrow a Christian book on any topic. Ask your friends and other Christians for their favorite Christian book titles. You can’t buy every book, but you can create a list to remind you which ones to purchase in the future. And don’t forget to make good use of your church library. It’s been said that “by spending 15 minutes a day you can read 25 books in a year.” Now, can’t you scrape up 15 minutes today…and every day? As you learn from authors and teachers and scholars who share their knowledge and their passion for God and His Son, you, too, will grow in knowledge!
  • Write a letter of commitment to God. On paper, pour out your desire to grow spiritually. It will only take you about five minutes…but those few minutes could set in motion the direction for the rest of your life!

RESPOND

Dear Lord, I long to be a woman and a wife after Your own heart. Please guide me and help me. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Wife After God’s Own Heart  and A Husband After God’s Own Heart: these helpful resources reveal how you can have a wonderful  marriage filled with mutual love, friendship, and joy.

Enter promo code WEDDING to receive 10% OFF and a FREE marriage prayer guide (PDF download) when you purchase both books!

REFLECT

I suggest this schedule for your first five days of Bible reading:

Day 1  Genesis 1
Day 2  Genesis 2
Day 3  Genesis 3
Day 4  Ephesians 5
Day 5  Colossians 3

Then go back and begin at Genesis 4 and finish the book of Genesis one day at a time, one chapter at a time.

REMEMBER

3 Easy Ways to Help Your Marriage

marriage

I tried to learn how to play golf several times in my twenties, but I was never good at it. But I have often talked to real—and good—golfers who have said that whenever they start playing badly, they go back to the fundamentals of the game. Somewhere along the way, their swing or their putting had altered from how they were trained.

Marriage is likely no different. Getting back to those early days in your relationship with your husband may be all that’s needed to solve any problems you might be having. You started out as friends, became best friend, then finally committed to being best friends forever! So beyond praying, what can you do to rekindle your best-friends-forever status with your husband?

Some of these suggestions won’t be possible if your husband is not a Christian or strong in his beliefs. Don’t let that deter you! Keep praying for your husband whether he is a Christian or not.

Pray Together

Suggest to your husband that the two of your start small with brief prayers together. Jim and I keep a short list of people who need prayer. Maybe you can start in this simple way and see what happens.

Work on Common Interests

When you were dating, there was so much you enjoyed doing together. But with marriage, unless you both work at it, you can easily drift apart. Make an effort to do something together that you both enjoy.

Spend Time Alone Together

When our marriage hit the ten-year mark, Jima and I attended a marriage conference. One of the suggestions was that we date every week. We had a ton of excuses—money, time, babysitters, jobs. But we made time together—alone—a priority. Give it a try with your husband.

Your marriage was founded on friendship. Make a plan with your husband to rekindle that bond. There comes a time in every marriage when we need to nurture that friendship “love” spoken of in Titus 2:4.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of my husband and our marriage. At times, it feels like we’re just going through the mundane routine of life and that we’ve lost touch with each other. Please help us rekindle our friendship with one another. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband —Discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures brings deeper unity to your marriage relationship and spiritually enriches you as you make it a habit to ask for God’s guidance in your partner’s life.  https://jegeorge.co/2kNdJLm

REFLECT

“…admonish the young women to love their husbands ….” (Titus 2:4)

What is one thing I can do today to rekindle my friendship with my husband?

REMEMBER

7 Steps to Enjoying Housework

housework

I smile every time I think about the results of a survey I took several years ago. During a teaching series entitled “The Wise Homemaker,” I asked a hundred women just like you and me, “What keeps you from getting your housework done?” Their answers fell in this order:

  • #1 Reason: Poor use of time
  • #2 Reason: Lack of motivation
  • #3 Reason: Failure to plan
  • #4 Reason: Procrastination

I’m smiling and nodding now because I can certainly relate! The items on the list make perfect sense to me!

So, if you’re like me, dear friend, you and I can both thank God that He has shown us His beautiful Proverbs 31 woman who uses her time—indeed, every second of it—and uses it well! Let me pass on some methods that help me “work up” a better attitude and even an eagerness about my work.

Enjoying Housework

  1. Embrace God’s will for your life—If you’re uncertain about what God’s will for your life is, you’re seeing it expressed right here in Proverbs 31. Put the message in your words and then own it, love it, tackle it, be committed to it, and dedicate your life to it!
  2. Stay in God’s Word—Allow the Spirit of God to energize your heart, mind—and strength—through the power of God’s Word.
  3. Develop a vision—Think for a moment about how your daily environment is a direct result of your vision for your home and family, your vision for the beauty and order of a well-run home and for peace under your roof.
  4. Pray for an eager attitude—When you turn off your light at night, pray about the work that awaits the next day. Ask God to help you greet the day with an eager attitude (see Psalm 118:24).
  5. Create a schedule—A schedule will help you plan your work. You’ll know what’s coming and where you’re going, and you’ll be able to anticipate the pace and envision your next task.
  6. Develop a routine—The more work you’re able to fit into a daily routine, the better. Those things you do everyday take less time when they’re part of a routine.
  7. Tackle the worst first—There’s no reason to live your days under a cloud of dread because of some challenging or unpleasant task you need to tackle. Simply do that task first! Having the monumental thing out of the way makes the day go more smoothly and easily.

I want you to experience the exhilaration and continuing motivation that come with such noble efforts. So please pause, pray, pour out your heart to God—with tears if they flow—and, relying on His grace, persist in the divine work God has given you to do for Him!

RESPOND

Lord, make us masters of ourselves that we may be the servants of others. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Beautiful in God’s EyesExperience a richer, more exciting spiritual walk as you embrace God’s design for true beauty in your life. This wonderful resource is a great guide!

REFLECT

“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” (Proverbs 31:17)

REMEMBER

All that stands between your goal
And the deeds you hope to do
And the dreams which stir your soul—Is you!

How Can I Be More Generous?

generous

God is generous and giving. When the disciples came with a need, Jesus filled the need by giving food to five thousand people.

Are you nurturing a giving spirit? Are you generous with your resources? Giving God and people your time is sometimes the most expensive, and most appreciated, gift you can give.

Generosity also includes little touches and activities you can do to brighten someone’s day, such as sending a quick note, making a cheery phone call, weeding someone’s flower bed, or delivering a bouquet of wild flowers.

I remember clearly the day I assessed my spiritual life and decided I needed help in this area. So I prayed . . . and continued to do so. Every day I asked God to open my eyes and my heart and to bring to my knowledge the needs of others. I consider it re-tuning my heart to God’s Word, God’s ways, God’s grace, and God’s generosity.

With His help I can meet the needs of others and reach out with His love. Why not make this one of your goals?

RESPOND

Father, show me the big and little ways I can share my resources, including my time. Help me think of others before myself when I have free time and some spending money. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible – this brand new resource by Elizabeth George is filled with this devotion and 364 others short devotions to draw you to God’s Word and give you hope, wisdom, and understanding.

REFLECT

Read John 6:1–14.

Who can I be generous toward today? Name two specific ways to show generosity.

REMEMBER

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Envy

 

From the earliest time of biblical history, envy was a problem for mankind. Cain envied his brother Abel for receiving God’s blessing. King Ahab of Israel envied another man’s property (1 Kings 21). And the Jewish leaders envied Jesus and His popularity, and later envied the disciples because the crowds were responding to their message about Jesus. In all these cases, the sin of envy or coveting led to murder. No wonder God included covetousness in the Ten Commandments: “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17).

God’s Wisdom

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are not to set our desires on anything that belongs to someone else. Envying others and their possessions is a pointless exercise for Christians. Why?

Because God has already promised to provide everything we truly need. Like the apostle Paul wrote, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)—not out of His riches, but “according to His riches.”

God’s Riches

God’s riches are limitless, and therefore His provision is limitless. Each day remember to purposefully think about what you do have and be thankful. And stop thinking about what you don’t have. Don’t fall into the world’s trap of envying others. Trust in God’s limitless provisions. Pray and strive to be content. 

RESPOND

Eternal Father, before time You were, and You are, and You will always be. You have no needs and are totally sufficient. I need Your help to know that I am sufficient in Your sufficiency. Yet I admit, in my sinfulness I often covet what others possess. Whether it is health, appearance, education, fame, or fortune, in times of spiritual weakness I envy others.

Help me eliminate envy and constantly be thanking You for what I do have. Lord, I know that You have already granted to me all that is necessary for life. I am blessed with the greatest possessions of all—an intimate knowledge of   You and Your Son, Jesus, and eternal life. I praise You that You are my shepherd and that with Your sufficient daily provision, I shall want for nothing. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Prayers for a Woman’s Heart (BRAND NEW!) is filled with this and other devotions and prayer to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace!

BOGO FREE GRADUATION GIFTS! Help the young man and the young woman in your life to think biblically about their decisions, assuring a more fulfilling and successful life after they graduate.

REFLECT

“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

Pause right now and give thanks to God for five things in your life.

REMEMBER

Raising Kids According to the Bible

Raising Kids

Any parent will tell you that raising children is one of life’s greatest joys. They will also tell you it is a challenging and difficult undertaking. Parenting children at any age, whether a baby, a teen, or a young adult, is a huge responsibility which can be scary and confusing. The good news is that parents don’t have to do it alone. Psalm 46:1 proclaims that “God is our refuge and strength.”

Parenting Instructions

Take comfort. God gives you direction, and His Word is always available to guide you each step of the way. Moses gave the children of Israel parenting instructions before they entered the Promised Land.

Like Moses, your major task, and the one with eternal consequences, is to take every opportunity to impart God’s precepts before they are needed, to “teach them diligently to your children, and… talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

Instructing Parents

Unfortunately, you cannot impart what you do not possess. Committing yourself and aiming at obedience to your heavenly Father will help you raise children who are obedient and possess the knowledge—and an example—they need to walk through this world and live according to God’s Word.

The apostle Paul said of his disciple Timothy, “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). And moms and grandmoms, take notice. Timothy’s mother and grandmother had devoted themselves to teaching young Timothy God’s forever truths!

Your calling as a mother or grandmother is to faithfully live out what you know and believe in front of your children. Your careful, repeated instruction lays the groundwork in your child’s heart to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.

RESPOND

God, I depend on You each day for wisdom and energy and conviction as I raise my child. Lord, I want to be a diligent student of   Your Word so I am a godly role model for my children. And I want to be diligent to follow Your instructions to teach them Your precepts. Help me to be an avid prayer warrior on behalf of my children, praying diligently and passionately for their salvation, praying that they will walk faithfully in Your ways, praying to be the parent You want me to be! How I need Your help! Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Prayers for a Woman’s Heart (BRAND NEW!) is filled with this and other devotions and prayers to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace as a mom and as a woman after God’s own heart!

REFLECT

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

In what ways does my life reflect my love for God and His Word to my children?

REMEMBER

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Elizabeth & Jim George


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