She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
No wonder Santa dresses like that! I never realized that you should wear red when it’s cold!
Okay, so this verse sent me to the commentaries. Apparently the word translated as “scarlet” may also mean “double,” meaning that her family isn’t necessarily wearing red, but probably just wearing extra clothes. In fact, the CJB translates the second line this way: “Since all of them are doubly clothed.” This makes more sense to me, despite the few commentaries that work very hard to make “scarlet” make sense.
Jewel’s family, then, doesn’t have to worry when the temperatures drop. Mama planned ahead. Far, far ahead. I wonder how long it would take to make extra overcoats for everyone in your family when you have to start with a sheep!
Frankly, I can’t relate. She probably had to start in May to be ready for October, when I can just run to the store when I need to, even at the last minute. It’s helpful to me, then, to extend the core of this message — preparedness — to other areas of my life.
To me, this verse boils down to anticipating the needs of your family. There are things we know, like the fact that the baby needs milk and diapers. We also know that it’s usually cold at a certain time of the year and warm at another, and that we all need to dress appropriately. The mortgage payment is due at the beginning of the month. We all really need toilet paper and soap. Oh and cheese. For the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT run out of cheese.
These are things that are not surprises. If we’re caught unprepared, it’s because we simply didn’t prepare! Remember your English teacher saying that failing to plan is planning to fail? Or what about this one, “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”? Well, she was right! Yes, I had that English teacher, and yes, I was that English teacher!
(That doesn’t mean that I’m always perfectly prepared!)
YES, I sometimes call my husband and ask if he will bring home dinner, pretty please, because I just didn’t get it together that day.
YES, I have taken my baby to Walmart in his very last diaper, praying for no explosions before getting back home with a box!
YES, I have completely run out of baby food because I just kept procrastinating and failed to make more.
YES, I sometimes faced a new school day with no idea what I was going to have my students do.
YES, I have a lot of other examples, but this is good enough.
The bottom line here is that your family looks to you to take care of them. It’s easy to resent that, wondering why it is always you who has to be sure you have toilet paper and cheese, but just because resentment is easy doesn’t mean it’s helpful. Daddies have a list of things that they could wonder why it has to be them, but it doesn’t go over so well if they hem and haw about taking out the trash or mowing the lawn, does it? So neither do we have the right to have a bad attitude.
Instead, we can view our responsibilities — mommies’ and daddies’ — as privileges. Mommy makes sure the bathrooms have toilet paper so everyone can be clean and healthy. Daddy makes sure the grass is cut to make it more enjoyable to play (and to avoid fines from the city). Mommy checks the fit of winter clothes in the fall so no one gets hypothermia, and Daddy kills the spiders so that everyone will just come on in and chill out about it. (Or you know, whatever jobs work in your family.) God gave us our spouses and children to love and to care for. This is an awesome and humbling and terrifying and amazing job.
Let’s try not to blow it by running out of cheese.
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My Love, don’t answer that question about me.
My Lord, thank You so much for the lessons You’ve taught me in my last seven years of marriage, and especially in my last year of homemaking. You are so patient and gentle and wise, nudging me to truths and revealing to me my purpose in my home. Give me a teachable spirit and show me more and more the beauty of loving and serving my guys.
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