"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar." Proverbs 31:14
...the health of her family...
She is obtaining food from afar. She must care about what her family is eating. Upon taking this verse literally in modern times, I see a woman getting in her car to drive really far to go grocery shopping. I am sure some of you have taken a weekly or monthly shopping trip to buy the finest organic foods that are only available at the Whole Foods Market. You do this because you want the very best for your family.
I have seen women more often than men concerned about eating healthy foods. I am prone to concocting all kinds of healthy recipes and brews for my family pretty regularly. I will spend hours researching on the internet the different foods that heal different kinds of issues. If I have to drive a hundred miles to obtain a box of coconuts-I will not think twice about it. I never have done this, but I think I would go anywhere to get something if I knew it would help my family. A virtuous woman actually puts a lot of thought into her journey. She would make sure she did not waste the trip. Planning ahead is a virtue in itself. Making sure you get all the things needed in one trip will also save precious resources.
Searching for the finest foods to feed our family shows that we care. We do not just run to the store to buy the easiest, instant, and processed foods that do not build health in the body. It is a blessing to a husband when he has a capable wife who feeds a well balanced diet to the family. He trusts that they are getting the nutrients they need while she figures out how to prepare it so it also tastes good.
Getting "Healthy" to taste good is half of the battle. Make sure your healthy food still tastes good. For instance, no one in my house likes to eat a bowl of fresh kale, even though I know kale is really good for them. I hide it in foods so no one knows it is there. That is fair game in my book. If I can not grow kale, I will drive far to get some good Kale. I put it in my blender with some water, grind it to very small particles, and add it to different entrees. I add it to spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, baked goods, smoothies, soups, casseroles, or salads. No one knows. They do not ask. I do not tell them. Case closed. Health without the fuss.
Everything in balance, ladies! Healthy foods are great but we can push it too far. Some women, including myself, have pushed the health thing until I became the "Health NUT". Early in my marriage, I was like a tyrant in my own kitchen, rationing and commanding. Controlling and getting down right angry when they did not like my healthy food. I would force my family to eat strange things that just did not taste good at all. It literally forced my husband to have a secret stash of goodies that he could eat when I was not looking.
And I would cry buckets of tears over the mountain dews, the boxed cereals, and the hostess cupcakes in his glove box of the work truck. That was a sorry mistake. I was not being a virtuous wife. I was being a brutish woman, treating him as a child. That was not okay. It is not okay to cry over this. A typical conversation would go something like this...
"Did you drink mountain dew today?" as I glared at him.
"Yes," he would say reluctantly knowing I was going to give him a good scolding.
"Why???? Why would you drink poison???? That Mountain Dew is filled with poison, high fructose corn syrup, and all kinds of preservatives! You are going to kill yourself, slowly over time, not to mention what a horrible example you are being to your children. Next thing you know, they are going to be drinking that garbage!"
It was after I decided to get a grip and let him eat what he wants, cook what he likes, and be more forgiving when he would sneak bad foods, our relationship blossomed into something wonderful. Years of me laying down my own will for his loving lead, gave fruits that were far more valuable than ones I could have concocted by force. Eventually, my husband began enjoying healthier options and he even asks me to add the kale into the smoothies for that extra health benefit! He knows I add it to things and he actually buys it or grows it because he wants me to make sure I do add it to things. It is truly amazing how a sweet and submissive spirit can soften the hardest of hearts. It is a miracle he stuck with me when I was such a difficult woman to begin with.
A Virtuous Woman is concerned about being frugal.
It costs a lot to buy fine organic foods. Some ladies are members of co-ops and travel a distance to unload the truck and divide the spoils. They buy in bulk to be more frugal.
It is a lovely thing to be frugal. Watching sales and being a good steward of the money you have been given is a good thing. If a husband is working a job that provides income to his family, it is an honor to him that his wife spends it wisely. She makes wise decisions on purchasing food that is both nutritious and inexpensive at the same time.
What is a Merchant Ship?
A Merchant ship is a large vessel that carries goods from one place to another on major waterways.
These merchant ships carried precious cargo for others to buy. When this passage was written, a merchants' ship was a very special thing. People could not grow certain things, so exotic fruits from other lands would come via these ships and people could enjoy the strange luxury of eating foods that were imported.
Now we have grocery stores the carry food that has been imported from all over the world. It seems a luxury to buy locally grown foods.
As I was researching things about the merchant ships and why a woman would be compared to one, I ran across this beautiful writing that I thought would be a real encouragement to all of us...
Merchant Ships Must Have a Pilot--
~by Dr. Fred John Meldau
- A true Christian mother has Jesus Christ as the Pilot of her heart and home.
- Merchant Ships Are Guided by a Compass and the North Star &--;
- True Christian mothers guide their lives and homes by the Word of God.
- Merchant Ships Bring Precious Cargo From Distant Lands--
- True mothers transfer the blessings of heaven to the lives around them.
- Merchant Ships Endure Storms at Sea--
- True mothers have divine protection when moral and spiritual storms threaten the welfare of her children.
- Merchant Ships Are Ever Active, and Well-Stocked for Long Journeys--
- True mothers are always on duty to cheer and comfort, exhort and encourage.
- Merchant Ships Head for a Harbour to Unload Their Cargo &--;
- True mothers seek to bring those around them into the harbour of safety and security in Christ. They want their children to be prepared for the high seas of life.
- Merchant Ships Keep Nothing for Themselves. What they carry is for others. Reaching their destination, their goods are unloaded for the benefit of others--
- True mothers are unselfish and sacrificial, whose lives are spent for the enrichment of others, and who never fail to deliver the best of goods to those around them. Home, is ever a “sweet home” to its inmates when amid all harassing circumstances, when its queen is a woman after God’s own heart.