July 6, 2015

The book of Proverbs is synonymous with wisdom.  Written by King Solomon, Proverbs is full of guidance for everyday life.  Sure, Solomon wasn't perfect, nor was he a mother or a homeschool parent.  In fact, it's unlikely that he had a ton of one on one time with most of his children.  (1 Kings 11 tells us that he had hundreds of wives ... family game night probably wasn't on his agenda!)  Nonetheless, he was incredibly wise and walked with God for much of his life.  His walk with God and his wisdom introduce us to the Proverbs 31 Woman. 

Proverbs 31 for the Homeschool Heart

The Proverbs 31 Woman has earned a spot as the role model for us all.  A quick internet search on her would lead you to plenty of Bible studies, commentaries, merchandise, and more.  And all of them would remind you of the importance of being her.

Some think she was a real person and that she's the essence of all a God-loving woman should be, yet some think she's an ideal and that she sets impossible standards.  Either way, Solomon's Wife of Noble Character has something to say to the homeschool parent. 
Let's consider what Proverbs 31 looks like through the homeschool lens.  Indulge me for a bit: let's *pretend* Mrs. Proverbs 31 is indeed a homeschool mom.  What does she look like and what can she teach us?  (Before jumping into the scriptures, let's note that most homeschools are led by mothers, but these things could easily apply if the roles are reversed and dad handles the homeschool.) 


She's competent. 

Don't get me wrong.  That doesn't mean she's got it all figured out and never has a moment of befuddlement, but her husband knows she's going to manage their home and manage it well. 
"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."
~Proverbs 31:11
I love how The Message translation words verse 11: her husband trusts her without reserve and never has a reason to regret it.  She can be trusted to take care of the matters at hand.  Since Mom is usually in charge of the homeschooling and homemaking while Dad is providing income for the family, he needs to know that she's got things under control.  He can be informed or as involved as he'd like to be, but he needs to know that her decisions and her execution of the day to day can be trusted. 
In homeschool speak, that means she's diligent in her teaching and preparation.  She's careful in choosing and frugal in acquiring the needed resources.  She's leading their children prayerfully and intentionally down a path that honors God and he's well aware of that. 
Proverbs 31 for the Homeschool Heart

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
~Proverbs 31:25
Homeschool days can be long and tiring, but even on the not-so perfect days she can face tomorrow with a smile because she knows He's called her to this homeschool life.   That doesn't mean managing home and homeschool is effortless and it's nothing but sunshine and smiles.  Instead, it means that the source of her strength and joy comes from God and God alone.  It's what equips her, empowers her, and sustains her on the good days and the bad. 


She's diligent.

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
~Proverbs 31:17

Let it be known that Mrs. Proverbs 31 knows what needs to be done and does it.  No matter what.  End of story.  There's no shortage of verses in this chapter to back it up, either.  She prioritizes carefully and knows that daytime television, social media, or any other distractions can't dominate her day.  She's too conscientious for that.  She may check up on those things later on if time permits, but her ministry to her family comes first.  

Proverbs 31 for the Homeschool Heart

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."
~Proverbs 31:21

We know from this passage and others in this chapter that she plans ahead and has what she needs when she needs it.  She's thoroughly prepared for whatever comes her way.  She knows her lesson plans and has the supplies ready to go.  She's on top of that ever-expanding grocery list.  When the budget is tighter than usual, she's not shaken.  She's got what she needs for home and homeschool because she anticipates the needs of her family.


She's intentional.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 
~Proverbs 31:26
She reads, guides, and leads her children from subject to subject in a typical homeschool day, but the greatest lessons they learn from her don't come from lesson planning or teacher's guides.  Her words matter because she naturally weaves her love for the Lord into her instruction, conversation, and guidance throughout each day.   She doesn't speak to hear her own voice; her words shape her children to be who God has called them to be, right now and in the future.  She uses them to train them to be responsible adults who are ready to make a difference in the world around them. 

Proverbs 31 for the Homeschool Heart

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
~Proverbs 31:27
Knowing your people takes time and intentionality, but she knows her people and knows them well.  She faithfully listens to the hearts of her children and her husband all while managing the home they share together.  When homeschool is added to the mix, it doesn't trump hearts or home.  It's not easy, and there's a great deal of effort involved, but she knows that this balance is the very heart of her calling. 

She sets the bar pretty high, huh?  It's high, but I don't think all of this is completely unattainable.   Here's the thing:  being a wife of noble character isn't about dressing to the nines 24 hours a day, only preparing organic and nutritionally calculated meals, keeping a spotless home, or even gleefully attending to each child throughout your homeschool day. 

There's nothing wrong with those things, but being a wife of noble character means living with purpose (Tweet This).  It's about knowing your people, what they need, and planning accordingly.  When put that way, she doesn't sound so intimidating, does it?  Sure, she's idealized by God-loving women all over the world, but the best part of turning to her for inspiration in leading our homeschools and homes is knowing that she's not so unlike the rest of us.   

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