Last year I shared Sunday Scriptures each week, and they helped me grow in God's word and pushed me deeper into His heart. In 2015 I'll be sharing "Domestic Reflections" each Sunday - scriptures, photos and thoughts about being a Christian woman tending her home in the 21st century. This will be a special journey during my Year of Gentle Domesticity; wandering along the country roads of my heart, searching for the beautiful wildflowers to display, whilst being diligent to remove the ugly weeds that have overgrown my path. And there truly are weeds.
Each month I will have a theme that we can study together, so during the four Sunday's of January we'll look at what the Bible tells us about our hands, beginning with today's verse, Proverbs 31:13.
This scripture is well known by most of us; it is a portion of the 'Virtuous Wife' description found in Proverbs 31. King Lemuel's mother sat her son down and gave him very clear and uncompromising thoughts on what he need look for in a wife he could value 'far above rubies'.
She describes a future spouse as needing 'eager' hands. (NIV)
The Hebrew word used here is chephets which in its full definition stems from a word meaning pleasure.
So if I am to grasp the fullness of what King Lemuel's mother is saying, it might sound like this:
"Lemuel, she would work with eager, willing, delightful, purposeful, pleasing hands..."
Wow - isn't that beautiful?
But then I look at my hands, and I ask myself, "do my hands work eagerly, willingly, delightfully, purposefully, and with pleasure?"
Sometimes they do, when I'm working at what I enjoy. I smile and sing when I wash dishes, embroider, or iron my husband's shirts!
But when it's doing the mundane things around the home, or if they are required for service outside of my comfort zone, my hands rarely crack a smile.
I can honestly say I have no memory of working with delight whilst scrubbing the loo or cleaning polished wood floors. In fact, I put those floor chores off for weeks at a time and then when I can't find a new excuse not to do them I grumble and mutter under my breath while I work. Gulp.
Maybe you are always eager and delighted when your hands are working at a given task, or maybe you're like me and there seem to be more un-willing and un-pleasurable responses than eager and delighted ones?
This week let's stop and take note of everything our hands can do. Give thanks to Him for your hands and the tasks they are able to do and which we too often take for granted. God gave them to us to be purposeful, and what a gift it is to have a purpose!
I'm going to start by being very girly and give myself a manicure this afternoon. I want them to look good when I set them to joyful endeavours on Monday. What about you?