The Proverbs 31 Woman: Self Control

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.

Proverbs 31:17-19

Why self control with this section of Scripture? Well, what do you think it takes to stay up all hours of the night making things to sell? TONS of self control!


Of all the character traits one could consider, self control is the one that makes me want to run screaming. It’s one of my weakest areas and I know it. Despite years of prayers, I still struggle. Don’t we all have those areas? I think at least a few of you would agree with me that self control is an area of struggle in your life. Whether it be eating, your words, exercise, finances – self control is often a weak point. When I read Proverbs 31, deciding on the character qualities I was going to highlight this section of verses stumped me at first. But then in considering what it would take for me to stay up all night, working! (watching Netflix, different story), it hit me. The Proverbs 31 Woman has a deep well of self control.

The definition of self control is the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires. Throughout this chapter, we see The Proverbs 31 Woman demonstrating self control in her actions. She works diligently and exudes gentleness. She gets things done. So maybe self control isn’t just the perfect words at the perfect volume. Maybe it’s time, moms, to see our work (the mundane, dirty, mom kinda work) as a base for the self control that He is giving us and teach our daughters that the boring work is good.

While I know we all love our children and all that – let’s be honest. We don’t always love the work that’s involved in mom-ing. One universal example – the seasonal clothing switch. I have four daughters. We like clothes. The seasonal clothing switch is something similar to what I imagine it would look like if a delivery truck full of clothing exploded in my living room. I’ve shared photos on social media, just so people knew to come looking for me under the piles if I was never heard from again. It is not a fun job. I sneeze a lot. Nothing else gets done. There’s crying. It’s just a mess.

So why in the world do we do this to ourselves? Simple. Self control.

You are doing a job that needs to be done, even though you don’t want to do it. Because no one wants to do the seasonal clothing switch. But it gets done. You keep control of your finances by not blowing a week’s paycheck on new clothes. You keep control over which clothes go into your kids’ closets. You keep control over the waste your home produces. You explain the need to budget, save, and reuse items to your children which teaches them the beginning ideas of self control as well.

All those things that get done each day, even though you don’t want to do them? Those are the seeds of self control that God is growing in your life! The schoolwork that your children don’t want to do – opportunity for learning self control. It’s so easy to just see all the areas that we want to improve and be more like Christ. But today, take a moment to thank God for the areas of self control that He has grown in you. Getting up earlier? Planning our your menu or weekly budget? Taking a  breath before responding to the toddler’s 87th question before 6am? All self control!

No printable this week, sorry! Just take some time to really think about how God is building self control in you, even if it’s just baby steps! I’d love to hear from you about how you see God teaching you self control. You can email me ( or leave a comment here.

Me? I’ve started going to bed at a decent hour and waking by alarm recently. And seriously, I would much rather just burn the candle at both ends – stay up late when it’s quiet and then get up just early enough to beat my kids out of bed. But it wasn’t healthy for me to not be getting a decent night’s sleep. I felt like I was being sent to bed as a punishment for the first few nights, but now I love how awake and ready for the day I am even before my alarm goes off in the morning.

One thought on “The Proverbs 31 Woman: Self Control”

  1. Hmmm…self-control, that’s a tough one for me….I suppose in the past few years I have grown in menu planning and grocery budgeting. I’m also seeing work in me on buying more fresh produce. Areas where I need work desperately….daily devotions and prayer time, exercise, and waking earlier….I set the alarm and go to bed early, but still struggle to drag myself out of bed and shower before the boys wake. Sigh…

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