She Strengthens Her Arms – Proverbs 31:17
She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms.
“She girdeth her loins with strength,…. Showing her readiness to every good work; and with what cheerfulness, spirit, and resolution, she set about it, and with what dispatch and expedition she performed it” (Gill’s Exposition).
I have to admit, when I was younger I was lazy and loved to be served. When we would spend a couple of weeks each summer with my parents in Door County at their cabin, I would mostly let my mom do all of the work. I rarely offered to help and I wanted to be waited upon. I have disciplined myself to not be like this anymore. I work at home to keep it clean and tidy now. When I have company or family stay with us, I love to serve them and make them as comfortable as I can. I have found a lot more joy in serving and working hard, than being lazy and expecting to be served.
As godly woman, we should want to serve others and work hard. My best friend recently told me that she is always thinking about saying and doing the right thing. She ponders her words before she speaks them and her ways before she acts upon them. She wants to go about doing good and she works hard in her home and helping others. She’s always been an inspiration to me as long as I have known her. Everyone prefers to be around a person who is generous and loves to serve rather than someone who wants to be served.
“…and strengtheneth her arms; does all she finds to do with all her might and main, as the church does; not in her own strength, but in the strength of Christ; to whom she seeks for it, and in whose strength she goes forth about her business; by whom the arms of her hands are made strong, even by the mighty God of Jacob” (Gill’s Exposition).
As many of you know, I spent 25 years in pain and suffering while I was raising my children. My children learned very early that suffering was a part of life. There were times when I had no idea how I was supposed to raise four children the way I felt but I have learned that God always provides what we need when we need it. His strength absolutely works in and through us. I found that the joy of the Lord was my strength and I can look back and marvel at the way He carried us through those difficult times.
“She girdeth her loins with strength. This seems at first sight a strange assertion to make concerning one of the weaker sex; but the phrase is metaphorically expressive of the energy and force with which she prepares herself for her work. Strength and vigor are, as it were, the girdle which she binds round her waist to enable her to conduct her operations with case and freedom. So we have a similar metaphor boldly applied to God (Psalm 93:1): ‘The Lord reigneth, he is apparelled with majesty; the Lord is apparelled, he hath girded himself with strength’ (cf. Job 38:3). Strengtheneth her arms. By daily exercise she makes her arms firm and strong, and capable of great and continued exertion” (Pulpit Commentary).
As wives and mothers who work hard at home with children in the home, we don’t have to worry a whole lot about working out for hours every day since we get a lot of exercise raising children and caring for our homes. If some of you young mothers weren’t raised to keep clean and tidy homes and weren’t taught to make daily goals that they must accomplish before going to bed, try a few of them such as making your bed every morning, cleaning the toilets, wiping down the bathroom counters and mirrors (Norwex cloths are great for this!), keeping the kitchen floor swept, making sure the kitchen is clean before bed, and the house is neat and tidy.
After this becomes routine (it takes 30 days to make a habit), then add more specific things like decluttering a cabinet each day, then a closet, and so on until your home is organized and you have a place for everything. Your children don’t need many toys. Have you noticed how quickly they get sick of them? They will find many things to play with besides toys and it uses their creativity! All of this will make it a lot easier to have a clean and tidy home but you must be willing and determined to not be lazy but work hard in your home and serve others as we are admonished throughout Scripture.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:13, 14
13 thoughts on “She Strengthens Her Arms – Proverbs 31:17”
I love how you said to do the basic cleaning first, then move on to declutter etc… Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start/how to go about something. Right now I have a little storage room FULL of things that need to be sorted through. At this point in life, it’s all I can do to keep the kitchen and bathroom clean, food made, and six children taken care of, haha. 🙂 So I’m learning patience with that room. At least it doesn’t inhibit our normal daily lives, but I know it’s there and it bothers me immensely! You’ve encouraged me to keep at it!
Mrs. Lori, you don’t need to post this comment, but I just wanted to let you know that the title says, “She Stretches Her Arms” instead of strengthens. 🙂
Enjoy your day!
Ooops, I meant to put ContentWife. These things happen to all of us! 😀 😀
Thank you for letting me know, Rachel! I sure do appreciate it and I fixed it. 🙂
Yes, basic cleaning is the most important and with six children I can see how decluttering would be difficult. Can you have them help you? Although most children don’t like to part with anything so that might not be a good idea unless you use it as a training lesson about being able to give away or throw things away that are no longer used as a lesson in NOT being a hoarder!
Most of the things just need to be put in their proper storage tote, although I’m sure half of it will be donated. But YES, I really want to teach my kids not to hoard things! When we moved into this small apartment from a bigger house, I HAD to learn to do with less. And I am just so GRATEFUL to the Lord for that! It really is a kind of bondage to own too much, and there is such freedom in living a simple, decluttered life.
Well, off I go to get things done. 🙂
Well, she is stretching her arms in the picture. 🙂
I have heard from a few friends that the one thing they like about moving often is they have multiple times to declutter and decide what they really need! (But moving often sure is a lot of hard work.)
It’s why I chose the picture! I forgot that it was “strengthening” and thought it was stretching. 🙂 I have a very short term memory.
I really enjoyed this post. I have to thank you, Lori, for introducing me to Flylady on one of your previous blog posts. I work outside my home for now, but it is still very important to me to keep my home as clean and tidy as it would be if I were home all the time. So the Flylady system really helped me create some simple morning and evening routines that keep my home ready for company all the time. The laundry is always caught up, the kitchen and living room is always clean and tidy, and the bathrooms are always clean and ready to be used by guests if needed. Because I must work full time right now, every hour that I’m with my family is precious to me. So I never feel the need to go do a time-consuming strenuous workout, because I move around a lot at home keeping my home clean and tidy. After my kitchen is scrubbed down, my arms feel very strengthened! Haha. Thanks for your blog. I truly enjoy it and am challenged by it.
My mom always said that a dirty house breeds discontent. I honestly find that to be true…don’t most arguments occur in a messy atmosphere? Also, the age old “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” really applies here! I have always liked to be busy, although I do understand that some folks enjoy leisure time more. I always feel out of sorts if I am not busy. Part of that comes from being a farmer’s daughter, now a farmers wife..but also from a mother who taught me Godly principles. I really liked this post!
Maybe you were thinking of the verse “She stretcheth forth her hand to the poor…” ?
Thank you for the post, Lori. I keep our home clean and tidy daily. It’s a blessing to be strong for our family and for the Lord.