Does a “Good Wife” HAVE to be “Crafty?” (Proverbs 31:24)

She makes linen garments and sells them; and supplies the merchants with sashes. Proverbs 31:24

As a newly married soon-to-be mom, I led a local craft group and told my “non-crafty” friends that they should come join us because “everyone is a crafter – some just haven’t found “their” craft yet.” I also spent umpteen hours daydreaming about my own Etsy shop or brick-and-mortar fibercraft store (that sold coffee and books as well, of course)!

Proverbs31craftywife

See, I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and I’ve always loved creating things. Some of my very favorite childhood memories are of making potholders and latch-hook rugs, friendship bracelets and hand-stitched pillows.

However, despite my hours of obsessive planning and practicing years ago, it has now been years since I picked up a pair of knitting needles or created a greeting card that doesn’t have a child’s handprint and copious amounts of glitter on it.

This reality would be SHOCKING to my 25 year old self. I mean, I had a CRAFT BLOG!!! (wanna see it? It’s super cute… haha!) I spent more time on Ravelry than checking email (or doing dishes, for that matter). I also felt like working with my hands was a way to honor God with my creativity, bless others with gifts, earn a bit of money, and enjoy community with other crafters. 

However, my oldest little man (now 6) did NOT inherit my love for being artistic. He didn’t even like to finger paint! He wanted to PLAY, and he wanted mama ALL the time. Slowly but surely crafting was edged out of my life. But you know what? It has been surprisingly painless giving up those crafty dreams I once constantly dreamed because I’ve learned/realized a few things along the way:

1. Adults expect their purchased wares to be of a smidge higher quality than loop-woven potholders. While I did get better the more I practiced, I still never produced anything State Fair worthy.

2. Evidently some people never find “their” craft, but end up with a mountain of odd supplies to prove they tried Every.Single.One. I never could stick to one type of craft long enough to make duplicates of anything. I wanted to find just the right craft that came easily to me so that I could mass produce something and make a million bucks. Turns out my personality that keeps me so enthusiastic over discovering new possibilities for the future also makes me completely incapable of mastering an art without way more self-discipline than I could muster.

3. Most importantly, I’ve learned that the most appealing aspects of crafting, for me, are not limited to handiwork.

And good news, I don’t think that glorifying God with our creativity is limited to handiwork, either. But you probably guessed that.

I may not be a “crafter” after all. But I AM creative!

I take after my daddy. :)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

God, the master Crafter formed us in His thoughts before the foundation of the Earth. He planned out every second of eternity including which of us would be talented in certain areas and how our lives would intersect. He made us the warp and weft of His great tapestry of the story of grace. Some of us are strong and stable, with even tempers and firm resolve. Others of us are spirited and flexible, changing colors here and always in motion. So, too, are seasons of life sometimes steady and sometimes full of twists and turns. Both together create fullness. Completion.

tapestry

And as His creation, we have things to do. He created us for work. Good work that He’s already plotted out for us.

Proverbs 31 lists about a million (ok, ok…) things that make up a virtuous woman. We’ve all read them. We’ve all closed the chapter feeling about tttthhiiiiiisss big. We know that we have a LOT of room to grow if we are ever going to measure up to her.

Can I tell you a secret?

You ARE her.

That's a distaff and spindle, btw.

That’s a distaff and spindle, btw.

I understand. You may not be virtuous in all areas (Heaven knows I’m not!). You probably haven’t created a “linen garment” recently. And if you look at Proverbs 31 like a checklist you are probably a bit cynical that such a woman could even exist this side of eternity.

And you’d be right.

Proverbs 31 isn’t about A women. She’s not Eve in the garden before The Fall or some real life historical figure recounted in Scripture.

Are you saying the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t REAL?

No. She’s real. She’s just not one woman in one point of time. I’m saying that Proverbs 31 is an Ode to Women. It’s God listing for us, through King Lemuel’s mother, all of the amazing things women are CAPABLE of. All of the things He created us to be able to do to make our mark on His grand design. All of the things listed in Proverbs 31 are wonderful things to aspire to over the course of your life – but not necessarily to copy exactly. I mean, you don’t really think you need to go find a merchant to sell sashes to, do you?

She makes linen garments and sells them; and supplies the merchants with sashes. Proverbs 31:24

You know what this verse tells me I need to be? Crafty? Not exactly. How about industrious.

I want to be a women who recognizes that God gave me hands (and feet, and a mind…) to use for good works. He also made me creative. He gave me the ability to see a need (hey – those merchants need more linen garments and sashes to sell!) and find a solution. He gives me the ability, through His strength, to work hard and produce quality results – the kind that I can be proud to offer and others will be blessed to receive.

For me, at this time in my life, that doesn’t mean knitting. It means writing, and making homeschool lesson plans, and cooking delicious chicken. It means using my creativity to do good for my family and others. It does also mean working from home for me, but for you it might mean gardening or making your own cleaning supplies.

So stop feeling like you are limited by the gifts God didn’t give you as a wife and mother at this time. Instead, make it your goal to study yourself and discover how much He did give you that you aren’t utilizing because you’ve failed to recognize how beautiful and capable you are in Christ. What can you do to be industrious today and creatively do the good works your Daddy has planned for you?

(PS. Consequently, after writing this I dug out my loom to do some weaving with the kids. haha! Absolutely not saying NOT to try to be crafty! It can be so much fun!)

***********

Set ApartWould you like to read more of what I, and other bloggers, have to say about Proverbs 31 and how it applies to your life?

Eleven of us recently took the time to really look at this passage of Scripture in detail to tackle why it is so very intimidating to most of us. We wanted to discover how we can be a virtuous woman in this modern world, and for many of us what we found was transformational.

We’ve come together to write a 28 day Proverbs 31 devotional with extra study questions and some beautiful printables to encourage you.

In Set Apart, you’ll find devotions that examine 22 different character traits that we can all understand and apply in our modern lives like DiligentSupportiveIndustrious, and Prepared. You won’t find a guilt trip – unless you put it there yourself. As sisters muddling through, we hope more than anything to encourage you for this journey.

The awesome contributors to this book:

Set Apart authorsKendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornielson, Beauty in the Mess.
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home.

And if you wait for just a couple more days, you’ll be able to buy it for PENNIES! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale starts THIS WEDNESDAY!! Get Set Apart, along with over 80 more homemaking resources for just $29.97!! Now that is an investment in yourself you can’t beat!

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  1. Thanks for inspiring me today!!

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