Proverbs 31:18a - "She makes sure her dealings are profitable;"
I have had many thoughts over the past several days as I've thought about this verse and what God is showing me through it. However, before I share, I want to do what I've done previously, and that is to define words. It's all good to know we should be "profitable", but what does it mean? We all know what we think it means, but have we ever read the definition to see exactly what it entails? Does it really mean what we've always thought? Let's find out . . .
PROFITABLE: 1.) beneficial or useful; 2.) affording gain, benefit, or profit.
BENEFICIAL: helpful in the meeting of needs
PROFIT: 1.) monetary gain; 2.) advantage; benefit; gain
In everything she does, God's woman actively seeks to make sure there is something to be gained. After reading the definition of these words, I've realized that it's more than just a financial thing. There are things in life that will not bring about a monetary gain, but there is profit to be had anyway. The direction God has sent me is that of my relationships, namely, my children. I spend my entire day with them. Is everything I do with and for them profitable? Is there a purpose to my dealings with them? Or am I just surviving the day while anxiously waiting for bedtime?
Okay, so it may not be quite that bad. We spend time together during the day talking about colors and learning the ABC's and 123's. We read together and cook dinner together (sometimes!). These things are definitely profitable. These are things they'll need at one point in their life or another. However, God has shown me that it's deeper than that.
Matthew 18:26 says, "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?"
Basically (in light of what I've been learning), what point is there in learning ABC's and 123's and how to cook and all that other stuff, if they're not learning the truths that are important for their salvation? The truth is, no one will ever spend eternity in hell, separated from God, because they couldn't read or write or cook.
Please hear me! I believe it is important to teach them these things and so many others, but if that is where our focus is, we have got it all wrong.
Malachi 2:15 states that the purpose of marriage is to bring about godly offspring. It takes WAY more than teaching letters and numbers to reach this goal. We MUST live each day "on purpose", actively seeking ways to point them to Christ. It's not enough to talk about Him when they say things to direct the conversation that way. We must direct the conversation that way ourselves. Praying over dinner and before bed and going to church on Sundays is all good, but it takes more than that. It is a lifestyle.
The only way to make sure this lifestyle is being lived and we are gaining a profit in all our dealings is to make sure we are consumed with Him in all things. Just like we can't teach our children the ABC's and 123's or anything else if we haven't learned it, we also can't expect our children to be consumed with God Himself if we aren't. We must make God our lifestyle and "gain profit" in our personal lives before we can be profitable with our children.
In 28 years I don't think I've ever made a New Year's resolution, and I'm not exactly starting now. I'm not asking you to either. What I'm suggesting is something that will last much longer than just 2013. It will go on to affect future generations. It is a daily commitment to live on purpose and to be profitable in our dealings with our children, beginning with our own lifestyle.
Will you join me?