She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)
My title is not talking about gaining weight. But as I encouraged the men yesterday, I would encourage women to also increase their “circle of concern” beyond their family. The Proverbs 31 woman was caring very well for her family, providing food (v. 15), tending a garden (v. 16), and making clothes for them and to sell (vs. 19, 24). And in the midst of all this, we read she also extended herself “to the needy.”
How did she do all that? First, she understood that God’s expectation for her life was being a blessing to more than just her family. Subsequently, she trusted God for the strength and grace to love her family, but to also enlarge her life, so that she could love others too. And she obviously didn’t have much time for herself (v. 27). But she knew that those who lose their life are the ones who find the abundant life God intended (Matthew 16:25).
This lady did not wait until her children had left the home to serve others, but made her home a place where ministry was a part of life, and where her children learned along the way that this is how God intended life to be. Again, we can set our sights on being a nice “Christian” family, or being “a wife of noble character” (v. 1) who elicits the praise of her husband and children (v. 28) partly because she serves more than just them.
Seek God on being fully faithful to your family, but having additional opportunity,time, desire, and strength for ministry to others. Do not be consumed, overwhelmed, or content with merely a happy husband and children, but “extend [your] hands to the needy” as well. God will help you, if you are willing.