“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25 NLT
The woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31 is humble, smart, organized, wise, kind, worthy, strong, and—guess what—she knows how to laugh. But, just how might she have handled life under stay-at-home orders with her family in a global pandemic?
If we were to modernize her, I’m sure the Proverbs 31 mom would have a ton of followers on Instagram and Pinterest—because she inspires us in so many ways. She manages a lot, both within her household and within her heart. She is the kind of woman who knows how to flawlessly fold fitted sheets AND fiercely fight fear! Did I mention she laughs in the hard places of life?
I think we can all agree there is nothing funny about the global crisis we are facing. Sickness, fear of sickness, layoffs, lock down, and death are no laughing matters—not to mention moms are having to add schoolteacher to their long list of roles. Moms are coping with kids begging for snacks every 10 minutes, fights over toys, and Elsa fans asking to watch Frozen for the 100th time. Teenagers miss their school friends, feel bored and agitated, and are worried about schoolwork.
Would the Proverbs 31 woman be laughing through these moments? Maybe—but not the laughter that indicates something is funny. Laughter can be an expression of deep joy, a reaction to receiving some good news, and the effect used to show hope and trust even when life is hard and unrelenting.
During this time of unrest and restriction, moms are in need of a way to find rest and live free. Let’s turn to the wisdom of Proverbs 31 when the worries of Covid-19 strike. There are encouragements hidden in the values that filled the heart of the woman described in this passage. See how well they fit your life and responsibilities today.
“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household” – v. 15 (NLT)
This is a great time for moms to pull out the cookbook or log on to Pinterest, grab the griddle, and try out a new breakfast recipe for your family. Let’s be honest, pancakes just make hard days better (especially when they are topped with strawberries and Nutella).
“She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong” – v. 17 (NASB)
It sounds like this virtuous woman was into push-ups and planks. Of course that is conjecture, but the idea of increasing energy and building arm-strength is not a shabby idea. Try to incorporate some form of exercise into your day to care for yourself and build the mental and physical strength needed to care for your family. Try rhythmic movement (left to right) to get out of numb or shock states. Exercise is also proven to reduce stress hormones. Invite your children to join you, turn on the video camera, and make some memories.
“She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy” – v. 20 (NLT)
Helping others is often a useful way to manage a crisis. Look for creative ways with your children to help someone in need that meets the social distancing restrictions. Bake cookies and leave them on a neighbor’s porch, write and mail letters to those in nursing homes, donate to your church or another organization, or pray for hurting people during the bedtime prayer routine.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” – v. 25 (NLT)
Moms often battle attacks against their esteem and worth. Put on strength and dignity by writing encouraging notes to yourself, make a list of all your strengths, and reflect on a time you felt strong in your life. Fear is also not an uncommon feeling for moms. Make a list of all your fears and worries during this time, then take a black sharpie and cross each one out and write “Peace.” Visualize God roaring at all your future fears or singing over you with songs of peace. Don’t be surprised if a smile dances across your face and you begin to laugh at the very fears you trembled at a minute ago.
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness” – v. 26 (NLT)
This is a time to speak truth and be careful of words that are full of fear. This is also a time for moms to give instructions on keeping the family safe and wisely explaining the global crisis to younger hearts and minds. Kindly instruct your children on proper handwashing and how to keep socially connected while remaining safe. And for the moms feeling frustrated with their argumentative child/teen while helping with homework, remember, “instructions with kindness.”
“She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness” – v. 27 (NLT)
Find activities to keep the children/teens productive and check in on how members are doing throughout the day, especially teens who naturally will want to isolate. This does not mean being a helicopter mom. Don’t forget to incorporate rest—it is a productive activity and does not equal laziness. Laziness is ignoring opportunities to use your energy when it’s wise to do so.
“Her children stand and bless her” – v. 28 (NLT)
It’s no secret—sometimes motherhood is a thankless job. Much of what you do will go unnoticed and unappreciated, and that can feel awfully discouraging. You may hear a lot of begging, complaints, whining, backtalk, and hurtful words from your children during the national lockdown. Stay encouraged knowing your role during this crisis is a blessing to your family and one day—when you least expect it—your children will thank you for how you laughed at the future and the fear brought on by Covid-19.
A Mom’s Prayer:
“Dear Lord, each dawn that I arise, clothe me with Your strength, fill my mouth with Your wisdom, and put laughter in my soul. Teach me how to manage my household and my heart during this crisis. Show me all the things I fear today (pause in silence). Give me, and other moms like me, power over all fears of the future—and may we instead laugh. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
From one mom to another, I pray you continue to find rest and live free. And, remember: PROV-31 over COVID-19!
Leatisher (“Tish”) Granville, MS, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
With a B.A. in Psychology from Kent State University and an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University, Leatisher has been on the clinician staff at Emerge Counseling Ministries for 10 years.
She specializes in trauma/PTSD, attachment disorders, family dysfunction, and anxiety and depressive disorders, and also serves on the Clinical Leadership Team and Emerge HelpLine.
She is married and has two children.