About three months ago I became convicted that I was spending too much of my time online and not enough on task; and, with a renewed focus, I began taking extra effort to not “eat the bread of idleness” (see Proverbs 31:27). The changes I made were spurred on by nothing more than a simple desire to live out the Word of God. I gave no thought to what the rewards of obedience might look like (or even if there would be any); but, I must testify after the fact that there have been benefits of “look[ing] well to the ways of [my] household” (Proverbs 31:27)–benefits that go beyond the obvious pleasure of having a neat, clean home.
They say that a mother’s work is never done–and, indeed, it isn’t. There is always “just one more thing” (or twenty) that we could do. So, no, a mother’s work is never done. But… it can be over.
There are for me certain tasks that almost have to be completed before I can call it a day. This has only ever been a problem for my family when too much of my work spills over into the evening hours because I failed to work hard enough during the day. Too much of my day wasted in idleness meant that the time of day that should have been spent relaxing and enjoying my family (evening) was instead spent doing the most necessary of the stuff that should have been done earlier in the day. The elimination of this problem has been the greatest reward for my increased efforts to “look well to the ways of my household.”
At the end of a busy and successful day (where success is measured by the number of items checked off my list :-)), I not only have fewer tasks that must still be done but I also have greater peace in just being done. I know that I have accomplished much during the day, and I know that I will be working hard to accomplish much again the next day; and that allows me to see my work–while never “done”– as simply “over” for the day.
The peace and joy I feel in my heart each evening while sitting carefree on the floor enjoying my kids and engaging with my husband is just another confirmation to me that God’s ways are better than mine. I have eaten the bread of idleness, and I have tasted the fruit of hard work. With God’s help, I’ll stick with the fruit.
“She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)