Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 16

1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32; Romans 3:9-31; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 19:13-14

Prudence. I see it in my daughters.

Prudence is defined as “provident care in management; economy or frugality” according to The American College Dictionary. Each of my daughters is a “prudent wife” who is “from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14). Sarah, Mary and Esther are increasing their families’ wealth and they have plenty to share with others due to their own prudence.

Sarah is an economical woman. She loves to save money. And with 5 kids ages 14 to 4 she needs to. Thrift stores are her best friends. She can spot a quality garment an aisle away. She buys groceries in bulk and cooks in quantity and stores in the freezer. Sarah and Eric have quite possibly never bought a new piece of furniture. Eric can sand and paint and Sarah can sew a beautiful quilt, and behold, a gorgeous bunk-bed set for Hannah and Naomi. Sarah has never seen a piece of high-quality paper—writing or wrapping--that she can’t use and re-use. She uses, and saves, beautiful wrapping paper because she loves to give gifts. Being prudent doesn’t mean being cheap! It means being generous.

At Mary’s house, you need to enter the guestroom cautiously because you never know who might be staying there. It might be a friend’s mother who lives in another state and “ran out of money in California” or it might be the family of a friend from work who has come from Germany for the birth of a child. It might be a friend who needs a place to live for 6 months “until the wedding.” Mary and Mike practice hospitality as no one else I know does. They live frugally, joyfully and generously. If you need a bed, I know a place you can stay! Mary and Mike vacuum regularly and pick up the toys every day so the house is ready to receive guests. Yes, and with four children ages 8 and under.

If you eat at Esther’s house, you may find that another meal just like the one you are eating was taken earlier to a mom who just had a baby or to a disabled wife and her husband. In this house, meals are made to be shared, and acquaintances become friends over meals at Esther and Ian’s house. Esther has regular days to clean and shop so that she can provide for others, even though she has 3 young children: Ruthie 5, Jonah 4, and Isaiah 20 months. She and Ian plan a budget and they stick to it. They make a plan for the summer months when he doesn’t receive his teacher’s salary and they still need to eat and pay the mortgage. She works hard at a couple part-time jobs (that pay well) so she can contribute to their household income.

Do you see why I am so proud of my prudent daughters? “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents (we hope that will be true for them), but a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14). I know Eric Marsh, Michael Matthias, and Ian McCurry agree with that.

May each of us choose today to be a prudent woman. May we place our family’s interest ahead of our own. May we not splurge on personal expenses we cannot afford. And may we be generous to others at all times.

- Nell Sunukjian

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