We can’t predict what lies ahead of us. We don’t know what will happen next year, next month, or even tomorrow. But, we can prepare for things we expect to happen, even if we’re not completely sure that they will. Most of us, if not all, have heard about the virtuous woman (Proverbs 31), the worthy woman. As daughters of the Most High, we often strive to be this virtuous woman who seems almost too good to be true. There are so many things we can learn from her, one of which is preparation.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; and she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].”
(Proverbs 31:25, AMP)
In this article I’d like to mention a few key aspects of life we can start preparing for right away, so that we can also smile at our future. These are the emotional, financial, and physical aspects. Let’s see how the virtuous woman functioned in these aspects and how we can do so in our own lives.
1. Emotional preparation: Absorb – Think – Respond
At times when we express our emotions, we tend to go overboard (I can say this, I’ve been there too). It is therefore important that we learn to keep our emotions in check. This does not mean that we cannot express ourselves, it means that we learn how to express ourselves better, without (perhaps) offending or hurting someone. A good way to control your emotions is by taking a pause before you react to a situation. Allow the situation to sink in (absorb), pause and carefully think about it, and then respond. Learning this early in life will help you avoid many situations in which you wished you would have been reasonable. Let’s be honest, haven’t we all had a moment in which we responded too quickly emotionally and made things worse than they actually were? Plus, for those who want to get married, this also prepares you for when you get into an argument with your future spouse. Be that woman who knows how to respond, so that your husband (and family) will not be able to say negative things about you, but (t)he(y) will rather praise you. It is necessary to prepare yourself emotionally, so that in future circumstances, you won’t be led by your feelings and do/say irrational things.
2. Financial preparation: Stash the cash (and spend wisely)
I confess that I’m a shopaholic. I love buying new clothes, shoes, gadgets, books, you name it. At times, I’m hindered in my shopping, because my budget won’t allow me to spend more than I have allotted. Why? Because beforehand I set aside money for specific goals, so I can also save for other things, such as my future wedding. I can’t predict when I’m getting married, but I have faith that I will get married someday. So I’ve decided to start preparing. For you it may not be a wedding you want to save for, maybe it’s that dream house, car, or business. Whatever it is, it is important to set financial goals and to stick to them. Yes, it is very tempting to spend money on the things you want to do now, but it is wise to keep money apart for future purposes. Learn how to handle money, don’t just spend anyhow. It’s okay to treat yourself, but don’t forget that when you save money now, your future self will thank you for this.
3. Physical preparation: Put in some work(out)
Our mortal bodies won’t be here forever. However, God-willing, they will be here for a while. And if we want that while to be good, we need to take care of our bodies. If we want to be useful in life, for God, ourselves, and others, we ought to be healthy physically. The most basic things such as sleeping enough, eating healthy, drinking enough water, and exercising a few times a week will do the job. When we watch our health now, we will reap the benefits of this later. For those of us who want to become mothers some day: when we’re fit now and keep this up during pregnancy, we’re most likely to have an easier labour and to lose the pregnancy weight quicker.
The way I see it, preparing for the future only has benefits; it won’t be in vain. You cannot predict the future, but you can create part of your future through preparation.