Everyday life: It can be a drain. It can get discouraging. So many big plans for the future. So much to do but no way to get there. How does one climb stairs? Duh. One step at a time. How does one achieve future goals? Let’s try one step at a time. Goals vary depending on who you talk to, so let me specify that herein I intend to focus on a certain goal: Fulfilling the Dominion Mandate.
What does the Dominion Mandate look like in terms of everyday life? What are things we can do here and now that will bring us closer to the larger goal? I was raised to believe that young women don’t belong in the workplace. While I firmly believe a woman’s first responsibility is the cultivation of her own home, I also believe there are times when we find ourselves in the workforce – whether out of necessity or whatever other reason one may have. This thus raises the question: How does a young lady fulfill the Dominion Mandate in the workplace, in a decidedly feminine manner?
Let’s look first at Proverbs 31 and ask this question, “what is the mark of a virtuous woman and how can it be applied in the workplace?”
First: “She…worketh willingly with her hands.” She’s a diligent, hard worker. The application here is pretty obvious but it is interesting to note something here: verse 14 “she bringeth her food from afar.” which would imply she leaves home and serves (at least in part) as the breadwinner.
Second: “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” This may be a stretch but I believe it is still applicable: A virtuous woman cares for others before herself. Not just her own household, but others around her who are unrelated (familially) to her. Perhaps this include her physical neighbors or coworkers. Furthermore, I don’t think this can be just applied to physical nourishment, but must include spiritual as well. It is her duty to make sure those around her are fed spiritually; edified, encouraged, and uplifted.
Third: “She considereth a field and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” Possibly a stretch here as wellbut still worth considering: when we speak of the Gospel we call it “sowing seed.” As a result of sowing that seed, the Fruit of the Spirit grows. Seed has to be planted in the ground – a field – and we’re made of dirt. Could it be that we are to sow the seed of the Gospel in the workplace, and help to cultivate (encourage) the ground (person) in which it was planted?
Fourth: “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.” No “merchandise” (work) will be perceived as good, unless it is done right and well. We are always to be pursuing excellence in all that we do – including in the workplace. As a friend once said “excellence is the journey, not the destination.”
Fifth: “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” Tapestry, silk, and purple were often associated with royalty because typically they were the ones that could afford it. As Daughters of the King, we are royalty. Are we dressing in a manner befitting daughters of the King? Clothing is not just physical covering, it is also spiritual adornment. Are we “clothed with righteousness”? (Isaiah 61:10) Purity, honor, integrity, and wisdom? These are all part of spiritual adornment.
Sixth: “She… eateth not the bread of idleness.” She isn’t lazy, or slothful. She’s alert, diligent, and industrious. Always on the move. Always doing something worthwhile. “Boredom” is not in her vocabulary.
Seventh: “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” This dominion mandate does not have as its purpose earning praise but rather living in a way that every thought, word, and action bring glory to God. It is then, and only then, will you be praised.
We often hold Proverbs 31 up as the model for homemakers, but it’s also our model in the workplace. The Dominion Mandate extends to all situations and circumstances. Proverbs 31 is the standard for biblical femininity and is the story of a woman whose life was purposed and lived to glorify God in all she did, in and out of the home. Note that her home was the center of all her operations. The home is our “domain” as women. It’s the launching pad for every other occupation we are engaged in.