By bro Lee Tian Seng
In Singapore, according to the Government's report "Labour Force in Singapore 2019", 118,700 or 61.2% of female residents (aged 15 and above) are not in the work force because they are caring for their family member(s). Many women have given up their careers to stay at home to take care of their children. We should appreciate their sacrifices and hard work. Being a full time, stay-at-home mother is not easy. They take care of almost everything at home and work 24/7 for their family. They are not paid a salary, do not take annual leave and have no employees’ benefits like sick leave.
On the other hand, women who are holding on to jobs and at the same time caring for their families are not having it easy either. Consider sending your children to a child care centre at 7am before rushing off to work and then picking them up before 7pm after work, and then having to cook dinner and clean up the house. It is equally challenging.
The book of Proverbs chapter 31 describes a woman who is a virtuous wife and a wonderful mother. There are a few lessons we can learn:
The virtuous woman provides clothing, food and manages the household. She wakes up before sun rise and does her duties diligently. There is an endless amount of housework to do.
Proverbs 31:13 - She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. 14 - She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. 15 - She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.
The virtuous woman possess a remarkable character. She gives to the poor (v. 20), speaks words of wisdom and kindness (v. 26) and fears the Lord (v. 30).
Proverbs 31:25 – Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Because of her love and care for the family, her children respect and appreciate her. Her husband praises, honours and rewards her.
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 - “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” 30 - Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.