Giveaways will be the topic of the third post in this current blog series on finances. I do not want to make too much parallel between pursuing godliness and participating in giveaways (as I am sure one could do a blogpost on pursuing godliness and not wasting your time on giveaways). However- for me personally, giveaways are a fun way to receive material possessions I would rarely intentionally purchase on my own. It is rooted in a mindset that does not spend money on things one cannot afford. The principle behind this mentality is worthwhile. Are we, as Godly women, working hard to make our husband’s money last? The Proverbs 31 woman demonstrates hard work and stewardship. Verses 12-22 illuminate her response to the financial gain of her household. It states,
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
This woman does not charge her credit card to provide for her family. She does not make her husband work harder to provide for her family. She does not purchase frivolous posessions that would harm her family’s needs. Rather, she uses her time and labor to make her husband and family look beautiful (fine linen and purple). She pursues several different avenues (a seamstress, a manager, a cook, a cleaner, a tradeswoman) to provide the best for her family. Overall, you can see her selfless aim to glorify God through everyday choices in the realm of her finances [For a more in-depth study of the Proverbs 31 woman, I highly recommend reading Elizabeth George’s book, Beautiful in God’s Eyes which highlights each verse of the text in various chapters.]
A few practical suggestions for modeling our finances after the Proverbs 31 Woman:
- If you have the time, participate in giveaways, or other fun free events. (Check this one out: http://mcrealestate.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/giggle-give-away/)
- Instead of purchasing items you desire for your home- make them (A recent attempt in my own home can be found here).
- Find an older, wiser woman who models her finances well and ask her to tea/coffee. You pay for the drink, and show up early with a pen and journal to soak up what has worked for her and what didn’t (Titus 2 is a great exhortation in this regard).
- In regards to food: When eating at home (which is almost always cheaper), try to make your meals stretch into another meal (freeze it or use it for leftovers). This will save you time and will allow for you to invest your energy in other godly pursuits. When eating out, consider investing in a coupon book to save you money (also drink tap water when you eat out and consider eating a snack before you go and sharing an entree).
- If feasible, sell your old, unwanted items on a local website (like craig’s list or gumtree) or give them to someone who can prosper from them. Consider using your talents to produce further investment for your family (if you make wreaths, sell one online; if you cook well, ask a friend to babysit in exchange for you making her dinner; if you organize well, ask a friend to make you dinner while you organize her home).
- Ask your husband to pray about which ways you can prosper the current financial state of your family at this season in your life (I am not advocating that stay at home moms consider getting a job; rather what ways can you change your activities in your current state to prosper your financial household). Maybe this means not going out to eat as much or avoiding the “splurge” items at the grocery store. It mostly boils down to this question, “What ways can I deny myself in order to make my family’s welfare better?” Usually your husband will be able to direct you towards helpful priorities and suggestions.
I hope this post was challenging to you (it is for me!). What ways have you prospered your household?
Thanks for reading!