A Merchant Ship

Wahsington DC

“She is like the merchant ships;

she brings her food from afar.”

(Proverbs 31:14)

A few years ago we went to Washington DC.  We had a fantastic time and were able to see many sights and enjoy our nation’s history on a relatively limited budget.  In order to cut costs and watch our pennies, we planned everything.  It helped that the museums we visited were free.  Maybe not free since our tax dollars help to keep the museums open, but we did not have to pay at the door to get into any museums.  We had saved up our hotel points so we could stay for free, and our hotel provided breakfast.  Our room had a refrigerator, so we could keep food cold.  For lunch every day, I would pack a back pack with the food we would need for the day including snacks and each of the girls had to carry a small back pack with their water and anything else they might need.  It was actually quite enjoyable to be able to stop when we were hungry, and eat our lunch rather than have to search for somewhere to eat.  When we were done with our day, we would find somewhere for dinner and have a hot meal.  We would not have been able to do take this trip if we had not planned in advance.

“She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar.” (Proverbs 31:14).  This verse is referring to our planning as women.  In order to provide food of high quality for our families, we must plan.  Being like the merchant ships this lady would travel around and trade what she had for what she needed.  She did not settle for what was convenient, but rather she searched for what would be the most beneficial for her family.

Characteristics of a merchant ship:

  1. Captain/Pilot – each ship would have a captain/pilot. As a Mom, our Captain who guides us should be God.
  2. Rudder – each ship has a rudder that is controlled by the pilot, and is used to turn the direction of the ship. As Moms it is extremely important to spend time in God’s Word, our rudder, each day to receive guidance and direction from our Pilot.
  3. Wind/Storms – these will come into our lives and the lives of our families. As Moms we must protect our children or help our children through these storms.  We are the protectors of our precious little ones.  We should never be the ones that actually cause the storms in the lives of our families.
  4. Head into harbor to unload their cargo – moms and other women should be seeking to bring others to the safety and security of Christ so these individuals/children will be prepared for the seas of life.
  5. Cargo – the ship goes to the different ports and gets the cargo, and returns to its harbor and all the cargo is unloaded. The ship keeps nothing for itself.  I tell my daughters when they are involved in something, i.e. a soccer game or a skating competition or anything they set their mind to do, “Leave it all on the field.”  In other words, give 100%.  As Moms we should be willing to give 100%.  If we are spending time with our Pilot every day and reading the Bible, we should be refreshed and rejuvenated each day to give 100%.

(Adapted from Dr. Fred Joh Meldau in a “Mother’s Day Article” from Christian Victory magazine.)

None of these things could happen without planning.  If a ship set out with no purpose, no plan, and simply let the wind propel it, the ship would end up going in circles.  As Moms and women we must live our lives with a purpose.  Will we be like the merchant ships who are looking to our Creator for direction, are actively planning throughout the day, and are willing to give what is needed so our children can handle the rough seas of life?  Maybe we would rather be compared to a rose or a lily, but God chose a merchant ship, so let’s go be a ship today and make our Pilot proud.


  1. Read Proverbs 16:9 and evaluate how this verse fits with our verse today (Proverbs 31:14)?
  1. Is your time with God a priority every day?
  1. When you spend time with God every day in His Word, are you doing it to check the box?
  1. When you spend time with God every day, are you looking for a verse to meditate on and put into practice throughout the day?
  1. What can you do today to better plan for the everyday tasks of the day?

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