Proverbs 31: 15 -
"She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day's work for her servant girls."
If there is one thing about me that is known by everyone I meet it is that I am NOT a morning person! I despise it! It is my belief that God should have created each day to begin at noon. I am a night-owl. I enjoy staying up late. After about 10:00 PM, I get wide-awake and want to get up and do chores and clean and organize. That's just who I am.
I would rather stay up late and make any preparations for breakfast that can be done the night before. I would rather plan the next day's work that night. Isn't that the way God made me? Didn't He design me this way?
Or maybe this comes from habit. Maybe I was trained this way from a young age. After all, when we were kids my dad worked nights, or "graveyards", and my mom didn't want to be up alone. So she wouldn't put us in bed until she walked in the room and saw that we had fallen asleep in the floor while playing.
Whether I was created this way and this is one of my "thorn(s) in the flesh" that I have to learn to overcome or this is a habit that I have to learn to undo, I really have no excuse for ignoring this verse.
The truth is, God wants His women up before the sun. He wants us awake and fresh. He wants us up early to spend time with Him, to study His Word. He wants us preparing breakfast for our men who are about to head out into the world and need sustenance for the tasks He has planned for them that day. ("She brings her food from afar." Are we meeting his needs? See more here.)
He wants us up to plan chores for our "servant girls". Nowadays, we don't have "servant girls", we have children. Our children need chores to teach them responsibility. Now, this is an easy part of the verse to skip over. The majority of families I know have specific chores for their children each day. However, as a mother of young children that cannot do much, if any, of the chores, I need to be up planning for myself. There are things that are specific to life's circumstances. Is there out-of-town company coming? There are extra beds that need to be made up. Is someone coming for dinner? Extra places need to be set at the table. Extra food has to be prepared. Are you making a welcome-to-the-neighborhood dessert for the new people down the road or dinner for sick or elderly people or those with a new baby? Someone has to do all of these things. Are you going to do all aspects yourself? Will the kids help? Which kid is going to do what? Do you have a tighter schedule today? Do chores need to be done earlier than normal? Is there a child having trouble with a specific subject in school and needs to study longer? Someone may need to pick up his chores that night to relieve some of his pressure. Is there a child with extra homework? Someone might have to do her chores so that she can finish it all. Is somebody sick or out of town? Someone is going to have to have to pick up the slack that is left when another person is gone. Who is it going to be? Are there chores you're constantly forgetting about? (I am forever forgetting to thaw out dinner!) Put it in the plans for the day.
The point is, no household runs exactly the same every day. So while a specific child may feed the dog everyday while another loads the dishwasher after dinner every night, there are other things that come up to create more work. God gives this verse to help us out. He wants our days to run smoothly. He wants us to be stress-free. He wants us to feel that we've accomplished something in our households each day, and He has so kindly given us the formula to make that happen.
Now, there is no way to plan for every little thing that will occur in a day. Things are going to come up occasionally that will cause that day's plans to be thrown out the window. Babies are going to get off schedule. Your son is going to break a bone. Your daughter is going to have crazy hormones and emotional breakdowns and is going to need more of your time. (Most of us reading this are females. Haven't we all just needed a day to cry . . . for no reason???) Your husband is going to have a bad day at work and is going to call needing your undivided attention while he vents. Someone is going to throw up or bleed all over everything or wet the bed at nap time and create extra laundry. However, if the day's responsibilities are planned out, it will be easier to make adjustments than it would if nothing is planned out . . . I know this from experience!!!!
I "get" all of this. Where I struggle is "why is morning so important"? Why do I need to be "up before dawn"? I went to the Bible to see if God says anything about this. My Bible cross-referenced this verse with Romans 12:11, "Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically", but that is as far as I got. The rest of this is based solely on my opinion and what I feel God is telling me.
When I get up early . . .
1.) I have time to read the Bible uninterrupted. I can spend time studying God's Word and praying for my husband and children and extended family and friends without worrying that the baby is going to drop her bottle and cry for me to pick it up.
2.) I can get a shower without toddlers standing at the door yelling "momma!" and without having to worry that they are getting into something they shouldn't or breaking things. Our husbands are at work, many of them having contact with other women throughout the day. If my husband comes home from work for lunch and I'm still in my pajamas without my teeth brushed, Satan is going to continue reminding him of that picture when he is at work around other women. I know, I know. Men are responsible for their actions. Yes they are, but if I can do something to keep the temptation from being greater than it has to be, why not do it??? If I'm up early, I can be cleaned up when he comes home for lunch. I will also be cleaned up if someone drops in or there is an emergency (like a toddler drinking a bottle of Tylenol!) and I have to rush out of the house without preparation!!
3.) The day's work is planned and organized that morning and is fresh on my mind. When I make lists, especially for chores or organizing things, I want to get started on it right away. If I make it the night before, I'll sleep on it and lose my enthusiasm. If I get up early and make it in the morning, it's much easier to get up and get going.
4.) Staying up late and sleeping late causes it to be difficult to get into any kind of routine. Everything is based on what time I went to bed the night before and what I consider a "good night's sleep". Getting up early causes me to go to bed early which, in turn, helps me get up early again the following day. Doing this repeatedly will help create a routine - something I and my kids thrive on.
I have my opinion about why God wants His Women up early doing these things. The truth is though, my opinion doesn't matter. God says that's the way it should be and that's all that matters. Sometimes He doesn't tell us why He wants things a certain way. Sometimes we have to blindly obey Him. His ways are best, and because I know that to be true, I can learn to get up early. He has given this command to His women. What else do I really need to know?