If you’re at all like me, it’s especially because she was always up before daylight that makes the virtuous woman so unlikable! By nature, I’m more of a night owl. I don’t (naturally) enjoy getting up early. And having to jump right into tasks tends to make me grumpy and stressed. My husband, however, is up at the break of dawn. One of those annoyingly cheerful morning people! 😉
Well as you can imagine, this Night Owl hasn’t always gotten on well with Mr. Early Bird. Just picture an owl glaring at a morning lark chirping away first thing in the morning, right outside his hole! I’m sure I’ve given such bleary-eyed glares, many a time!
But all joking aside, this actually caused a lot of stress in our early marriage.
Like the times my husband, full of that aggravating pep and early morning vigor, would ask me to run errands for him. And of course, model wife that I am, I would cheerfully agree. Um, not quite! Through blinking, sleep-blurred eyes, I’d mumble, “Huh? OK, sure.”
But there was one problem. The words didn’t register. My brain, still in sleep mode, blocked the entire conversation! Which made for rather tense evenings. “So, where’s the bank deposit receipt?” he’d ask. But I’d answer with a blank, confused stare.
Let’s just skip the rest, OK? It’s enough to know that over time, he figured out that I wasn’t just being lazy, or some frightful liar. And that my brain does not engage well in the morning. I could carry on entire conversations, without even knowing it!
But there is hope even for night owls!
Because what counts is the spirit we set to work with. Not WHEN we tend to our job!
The virtuous woman cared about her family, and was highly committed to meeting all their needs. Farmers, the most common work of those times, had to rise early. So this good wife made sure that he and his workers didn’t go off to harvest grain on empty stomachs. Good thing I’m not married to a farmer! I’m glad my husband keeps office hours. Civil, decent office hours!
But through the years, Mario and I have worked out a system. He lets me wake up slowly, sitting quietly with the espresso he’s fixed. And he asks any favors in the evening, or leaves a note! And I let him snore the evenings away on the couch, without pestering him. Needless to say, our best communication takes place at lunchtime!
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight to overcome our natural tendencies.
It’s good that Mario’s not a breakfast eater. Good for me — but good for him too. No one would want food I fixed at that hour! But I do push myself to get up by 7:00-7:30 to have coffee with him. You couldn’t say that I’m chipper and hopping, but I work at not being grumpy either.
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens, (Proverbs 31:15).
So why do such things, if they’re such a struggle?
Because, like the virtuous woman, we care about our family and want to meet their needs. But fixing breakfast at dawn is not necessarily important. What’s important is our family not going hungry. And tending to our job with a right spirit means doing more than the bare minimum.
It means being committed to building up our marriage, family, and others around us.
It’s going beyond merely meeting needs. And making that extra effort for things that are important to them. Like in my case, having morning coffee together. And who doesn’t appreciate having others go out of their way, just for them? But aren’t you glad you don’t necessarily have to get up with roosters?
And for the single woman:
Isn’t it good to know that so much of the virtuous woman teaching works in all situations? You may not have either a husband or children to care for. But we’re all surrounded by people who need us to go that extra mile for them. Sometimes it’s as simple as going out for coffee with a friend. Even if, after a long work day, you’d rather go home. Or sitting up all night with someone who’s grieving. Or grocery shopping for a friend who’s sick. It just means being committed to building people up, and helping them. And we can all do that — married or single!
Doing what’s best for others isn’t always easy, but well worth it! It shows them how important they are to us!
What little things do you do to show your commitment to your family or friends?