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She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
Proverbs 31:15 (ESV)
A look at Proverbs 31:15
If you would have asked me ten years ago if I was a morning person or a night owl, I would not have hesitated and said easily “a night owl”. I loved to stay up after everyone else went to bed and have some “me time”. Time watching TV or in my art studio, time to just be.
As I have evolved as a wife and even as a mother, and have put my focus on being a Proverbs 31 wife, I have found that going to bed earlier and getting up earlier has made a huge difference in how my home runs and, in my marriage.
Now, I’m usually in bed by 9pm or so and up at 4:30am or 5am. As much as I resisted this change, it has made my days more productive and has blessed me in numerous ways.
Going to bed early and waking up early are good habits for both adults and children. While it may be hard to get your kids into the habit, with enough patience they’ll eventually catch on. In addition, going through this process is a great chance for you as an adult or parent figure in their life to model how committed you are yourself when it comes down not only raising them but also taking care of yourselves too!
If you have a poor night sleep, depend upon the Lord for your strength. I have an old and godly friend who can only get four to five hours of sleep every day but she has chosen instead of complaining about it to be thankful for what little time she does spend asleep so that when he wakes up each morning her faith in God is strengthened rather than weakened. She’s one happy person with enough energy left over from all those short nights to do some much needed work during the days!
Let’s take a look at Proverbs 31:15 and what it says about the Proverbs 31 woman rising early:
If we look at Strong’s concordance, we see some further explanation on this verse and the meanings within it.
Rises – Strong’s 6965 – קוּם – quwm = to arise, to stand, to be set, to fulfill, to establish, to endure, to stir up, to carry out. Often used with a sense of rising in preparation or rising in power.
Quwm does not refer to getting out of bed, which is an entirely different word in Hebrew (shakam). It refers to rising up with a plan and a purpose. This is what we see the wife of noble character doing.
The first two items on her daily agenda are to feed to her household and attend to her servants.
1. Gives food to her household – We’ve already seen in verse 14 that she is diligent in selecting and purchasing choice foods for her household. Here we see that she supervises the meals as well. Does she cook them herself? We don’t know. The passage doesn’t tell us that. What we do see is that she pays attention to all aspects of feeding her family.
2. Gives portions to her servants (or maidens as is found in some translations) – Two words are of interest here: portions and maidens.
Portions – Strong’s 2706 – חק – choq = an appointment of time, space, quantity, labor or usage. Commandment, custom, decree, prescribed task
Maiden -Strong’s 5291 – נערה – na`arah = girl (from infancy through adolescence), young woman, marriageable young woman, maid, female attendant, female servant.
Proverbs 31:15 in Today’s World
Ok, ok. I can hear you groaning and see you rolling your eyes. Servants? Who has servants? We know from the text that the Proverbs 31 woman is well-off, so yes, she probably has servants, but here’s what I want you to focus on: She gets up early and has a plan for her day. Do you?
We probably don’t have servants, but each of us has a list of things to do in our lives that is mostly likely an arms-length long. In any given day, we might need to:
- Wash, dry and fold the laundry
- Cook the family’s meals
- Run the dog to the vet
- Dust the living room
- Wash dishes
- Help the kids with homework (or homeschool)
- Run the vacuum
- Wash the dishes
- and on and on and on
Our to-do list may look a bit different that the one of the woman described in Proverbs 31:15, but this woman gets up early and has a plan in place to get it all done. One of the best ways that I’ve found to make a plan and have a more productive day is to establish routines in the morning and evening.
We can’t take a trip without an itinerary or map, so why navigate through life without one? Routines can help you navigate through your days and make your days (and home!) run more smoothly.
Proverbs 31:15 – Rising Early
So, we’ve established that to be more like the woman in Proverbs 31:15, we need to make a plan for our day, but what about this getting up while it is still dark business? I know, dear friend, that this can be a tough one. Especially if you are more naturally a night owl. Here are a few tips to help you get up earlier without compromising much needed rest:
- Don’t hit the snooze button.
Hitting your alarm’s snooze button doesn’t give you more restful REM sleep. Your body and mind aren’t recuperating. You are just wasting time. Personally, I noticed that regularly hitting snooze made my thinking even cloudier when the alarm went off. Your mind starts to ignore the alarm bells.
2. Wake up at the same time everyday.
Your body becomes conditioned to this and regulates your sleep patterns accordingly. You get more of that precious REM sleep, and when you have a regular wake time, your body actually begins the process of waking up long before your alarm sounds.
3. Create Some Accountability
Partner with a friend to keep you both accountable. Agree to text or call each other when you wake up. Years ago, I met a friend at the gym at 6:30 am. I knew that if I didn’t get up on time, I was letting her down, too.
4. Start Small
If you normally go to bed at midnight, shoot for 11:45 pm for the first few days of this change. Then go to 11:30 pm, etc. Do the same thing in the morning. (If you normally get up at 8:00 am, set the alarm for 7:45 am). Keep it going until you get to the sleep and wake time that you are working towards.
5. Pay attention to what you eat and drink.
I used to be able to drink coffee at bedtime and have no problem falling asleep. Now, drinking coffee after 2 pm prevents me from falling or staying asleep. Are you drinking caffeinated beverages? Perhaps, stop drinking them earlier in the day. In addition, eating food that is good for you (as opposed to processed, fried or other heavy foods), is better for your body and will help you sleep better, as well.
Get excited about your day, and you’ll jump out of bed. Don’t drive yourself with guilt about why you have to be rising early. Make waking up early something you get to do. Of course, the joy of serving your family can drive you.
But don’t be afraid to motivate yourself by doing something fun in the morning. Exercise, spend time in God’s Word or time with a hobby that you enjoy. Even better, think of the benefits that your husband and family will receive from you getting up early.
You can also keep track of your progress and reward yourself when you reach a milestone of getting up early for so many days or weeks in a row.
You can also print out Proverbs 31:15 as a reminder of why you are choosing to get up early.
What steps can you take to get up earlier and have a plan for your day? Do you already get up early? What benefits have you enjoyed because of it? Tell me in the comments! I want to hear from you.
For more on the Proverbs 31 woman, see one of the following:
If you want to dig deeper, check out my book, The Complete Proverbs 31 Wife: A Verse by Verse Exploration of What it Means to Be a Proverbs 31 Woman in Today’s World.