Friday, February 25, 2011


A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. (Proverbs 31:10-13, NIV)
Continuing our look at the Proverbs 31 woman, the next adjective that describes who she IS connects her character with what she does (which is sometimes what we focus on instead.) She is eager. In verse 13 her eagerness is connected with selecting wool and flax and working with them. We're pretty familiar with wool - collected from sheep and spun into yarn or thread to make clothing. Flax is a type of plant, and it's fibers can also be used to make thread that is used to make linen. We'll see later in this passage (verses 19-24) that this woman makes thread, and uses the thread to make fabric, and uses the fabric to make clothing both for her family and as a business to sell linens to the shipping merchants. This is HER WORK. I can't remember the last time I made thread from wool or flax...actually I never have, though I have seen a spinning wheel in action and have friends that do some weaving. I've tried doing a little sewing (though I'm not brave enough to make any clothing yet) but generally just purchase what we need off the shelves of local retailers. The point is that she meets her work with eager hands. What is my work, and am I eager about it?

Eager is not a word we throw around these days, so I spent some time looking it up and considering what it means. According to the World English Dictionary eager means:
  • impatiently desirous (of), anxious or avid (for)
  • characterized by great desire or expectancy
  • feeling great desire or expectancy
The word eager in the NIV (willingly, KJV) is translated from the original Hebrew chephets (khay'-fets), which means pleasure, desire, a valuable thing and is derived from chaphets (khaw-fates'), to incline to. She takes pleasure in her work. She desires to do it. It is something she values. Given a choice she is inclined to work.

I have several different kinds of work: childcare, cooking, housework, office work, writing, and volunteering. Some of them I am eager about: cooking and writing, for example. Others I would rather disregard and go read a good book...housework probably falls in that category. Nonetheless I know that all of my work is valuable and necessary. I think I'll be looking for ways to make my work desirable, and something that I look forward to with expectancy. Perhaps if I ask God, He can show me how to be eager about it. I also think I'll be even more grateful for the work that is already pleasurable. How good that God planned for work to not be drudgery, but enjoyable.


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