I try to surround myself with amazing people, one which is my dear friend Alicia. We were friends long before our husbands caught our eyes, and before we became mothers. Alicia has many talents; she's unbelievable smart, a wonderful mommy, a Bible wizard, and is one of the most caring people I know. However, she (and her sisters) are probably most know for their ability to cook the pants off the rest of us girls! Seriously, she has a special gift! I will say she had an advantage with a Chef as a father, she's been taught well. ;-)
If you're anything like me, cooking is a struggle. It's not my favorite thing to do, actually it's probably on the bottom of my list next side to doing the laundry. It's an area I need work in because it's something I should be happy to do according to scriptures.
“I don’t cook.”
The statement rolled off her tongue as if she’d chanted it a thousand times before. Despite how often I’ve heard these words, it always strikes a chord within me. My mind floods with the inevitable consequences to a statement like this. Although I enjoy eating out, doing so every night would add up to a ridiculous amount of wasted money. And although I do keep a stash of frozen pizzas for those crazy busy days, I can’t imagine how unhealthy it would be to consume a diet like that on a daily basis. And the very thought of raising a home of picky eaters who prefer chicken nuggets over filet mignon makes me shudder.
Cooking at home can be quick and easy! It can be extremely healthy! It can save so much money! Cooking at home offers endless possibilities of deliciousness without leaving the convenience of your own home. And dare I say it…Cooking for your family is Biblical! The revered woman of Proverbs chapter 31 in the Bible is an extremely capable, intelligent, hard-working wife and mother who works willingly with her hands.
Consider the statements made in Proverbs 31 about this woman:
She bringeth her food from afar. A wise woman knows where her money is best spent, whether that means travelling to the meat market, farmers’ market, Aldi, Wegmans…you get the idea.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household. Childhood memories of my mom early in the morning loading up her crockpot come to mind. Slow cookers are a wonderful thing. Only one dish to wash, juicy meat falling off the bone, pleasant aromas wafting through the house when you get home, and did I mention EASY?!
With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. You don’t need to live on a farm—I have seen women with small yards grow a decent amount of fresh herbs and veggies by making the most of the space they have. There’s something truly satisfying about eating your own homegrown food, not to mention it’s both free and organic!
Her candle goeth not out by night. Again, memories of my mom come to mind. I’m not sure I ever saw her sleeping when I was a kid, because she was always up way before us and stayed up way after we went to bed. She homeschooled us while earning money babysitting and cleaning, cooked well-rounded meals every day, canned and baked, and kept the cleanest house I’ve ever been in despite having four kids and a golden retriever running around. No matter your situation, the key is to do all things to the best of your ability to the glory of God. He promises to never give us more than we can handle, and as Paul the Apostle said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Beyond the command to tithe, the Proverbs 31 woman gives to the poor and needy. There are countless opportunities to give all around, if you just look for them. In the context of cooking, there’s plenty of people who could use a home-cooked meal, whether they just had a baby, have an illness or had surgery, or any other struggle they may be going through.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. The Proverbs 31 woman works hard for her family. This is evident throughout the chapter. Part of contributing to family income consists of being resourceful. Although I love roasting a juicy beef tenderloin, that’s not economical on a regular basis. Chicken thighs and legs are a favorite go to of mine. Just about everybody loves chicken, its versatility and ease in cooking is fantastic, and they’re under a buck per pound! Potatoes of any kind are also very affordable, as well as versatile. Ground beef is also an inexpensive meat option, and it can be turned into burgers, meatloaf, tacos, meatballs, stew, meat sauce, you name it! If you put a little thought and creativity into it, you can make hearty, healthy meals on a low budget. With most foods, it’s all in how you cook it, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.The Proverbs 31 woman is strong, fit, and clearly energetic. A healthy diet is essential for this!
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. If purchasing real estate, planting vineyards, making and selling goods, ministering to the poor, and getting up to cook at night didn’t get the point across, verse 27 says that she is not idle! This God-fearing woman’s own works speak for her, and the Bible says that the heart of her husband safely trusts in her.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.When it comes to feeding your family, do you seek to work willingly with your hands? I have found the Proverbs 31 woman to be an inspiration and challenge to me in all aspects of being a woman—as a wife, mother, Christian, and even as chef for my little family!