5 Ways to Minister to a House Help: Tracking the Proverbs 31 Woman Series 20

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” (Prov.31:15)

Let’s take one more day, or is it blog post? To reflect on verse 15 of Proverbs 31; a verse that’s loaded with lots of value for you and I.

Incase you missed two other blog posts I wrote reflecting on this verse, you can find them here and here.

We want to reflect a little more on this woman’s relationship with her servant girls.

I want to begin by stating what I think is vital to understand as we talk about the role of servant girls.

When I think of a servant girl, I think of this girl who comes alongside us to help us to do work that anybody else can do in order that we might be released to do the work that nobody else can do, but us.

Whether you are a single woman or a married woman, you might just need a servant girl perhaps at some point in your life.

You might find yourself having lots of mundane tasks that are hindering you from doing what you know to be vital and of greater value.

For the married woman with children, this could be spending time with children, training and investing in them, or simply having that much needed time to spend with your family and meet some of their heartfelt needs that only you can meet as a wife.

For the single woman, you might have very little time on your hands to spend on an activity that could help you generate income because of a demanding job. You might opt to engage the service of such a girl to help you with mundane chores to free up some extra time to engage in your side hustle.

You notice that as opposed to modern philosophy, especially where I come from, where a servant girl is viewed as a sign of prestige when you can employ one, and they work for you so that you are relieved simply for fun’s sake, this is not the biblical standpoint; at least from the Proverbs 31-woman passage.

The Proverbs 31 woman hadn’t employed servant girls so she can be free to do nothing, basically; or to simply feel good that she has the means and the status to employ a servant girl or girls. Just reading the Proverbs 31 passage, one can see that her day was as full as can be.

Servant girls were needed to help her with her work; to help her accomplish much more for herself, her household and the community.

Who would fit the description of a servant girl in our context?

A house help, as we commonly refer to them in our country, fits this description of a servant girl best.

This is a girl or girls we often employ and for most, at least where I come from, invite to live with in our households. They can then help us with the work we allocate to them so they can aid in facilitating the running of the home.

 

Because scriptures are our anchor, are there examples of such girls in the scriptures?

I think of two servant girls that I’m convinced the Lord placed in the scriptures to help shape our viewpoint of servant girls. This is critical because we might find ourselves needing them from time to time even if not on a fulltime basis.

Think of the servant girl mentioned in 2Kings 5. She was captured during war. She ended up in Naaman’s household.

Naaman was the Army commander of the king of Aram, famous for his successful war expeditions on behalf of his master. This girl served Naaman’s wife.

If you know the story, you know that Naaman had leprosy. God used this servant girl to initiate a series of events that led to the healing of Naaman by the true living God; the God of Israel, and the subsequent conversion of Naaman to the worship of the true and living God.

The other servant girl mentioned in the Bible is Rhoda. When Peter the apostle was miraculously released from prison while the church was earnestly praying for him, who comes to meet him at the door? Rhoda!

She is so shocked to see him that she delightfully closes the door after her and goes to tell the rest of the brethren. They couldn’t believe it.

Peter’s persistent knocking eventually gets their attention. From Rhoda’s interaction with Peter and the brethren, you can see a girl who’s fully accepted into the family of the believers as one of the disciples. There isn’t discrimination or disdain simply because she is a servant girl.

It is therefore God’s will for us to treat house helps with honor and respect, knowing that they are loved by God and created in his image.

Now, having said this, let’s get into the 5 ways you can minister to a house help or servant girl. I am sharing from my own experience having had house helps; mostly part time now that I am a stay-at-home mom. I however had a fulltime house help, who stayed with us for a year. I am also borrowing from the examples of godly women I know.

(By the way, in case you’d like more insight into the Proverbs 31 chapter, you can buy our book based on this passage right here on Amazon.

  1. Make it your goal to ensure this house help knows the Lord Jesus Christ

When you are a believer, you know the value of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. You know that this is the only relationship that will secure eternity for anyone, let alone a house help. You want to trust God to provide opportunity to share the gospel. If they already know the Lord Jesus Christ, you want to facilitate their discipleship.

At the time we had our fulltime house help, we exposed her to the discipleship programs we were running among young people. She ended up getting born again in one of these programs and learning the art of Consistent Bible Reading in another forum.

You might also consider recommending a book to your house help if she knows how to read. What about recommending a program or teaching in church or online to her because you know God can use that to reach her heart?

I know a girl who would actually disciple her own house help through discipleship materials she had used for her own growth as a younger Christian, facilitating her growth career wise when it was time to leave her home.

God will show you how to facilitate the growth of your house help in the Lord as you trust in him.

  1. Ensure to meet the physical need for food

The Proverbs 31 woman not only provided food for her family, she provided portions for her servant girls.

You might know that many young women opt to be servant girls because they are not able to meet basic needs. Food is often top on this list.

Having a fulltime house help and providing food for them can be easier, because they will share your food.

Looking at the news tells a different story. Some house helps are denied food, or allowed to eat when the family has had their fill. When there’s barely any food left, that house help will most likely sleep hungry.

I pray this will not be your story or mine. May we handle our house helps as the Lord would have us do.

One who comes for just a few hours in a day and goes provides a different scenario. I find it important to ensure to provide food for such a one as well.

My sister-in-law once shared with me a story of a woman who came looking for work. She noticed that this woman was actually so weak to work, out of hunger. She actually had to begin by giving her food then gave her work.

We don’t want to assume that house helps are okay in terms of food simply because we pay them. Meet this need for food, as the Proverbs 31 woman did.

  1. Don’t fail to pay a house help or delay their pay

Again, every so often we get to hear in the news, or from one who has been a house help, how they left their work place because the employer wouldn’t pay them. This is especially the case in various parts of the world where the laws protecting house helps and other domestic workers aren’t so stringent or followed through.

Many a house help has suffered under the hands of these kind of employers. Take a look at these two scriptures and what God says in his word about this:

“Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.” (Lv.19:13b)

“Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” (Jas.5:4)

This can actually attract cursing from the Lord.

You want to trust that you keep your part of the bargain by paying your house help on time and without fail.

 

As we have observed especially in Africa, many of our house helps need that wage to make it from day to day. You are being the godly woman God wants you to be by promptly doing this.

  1. Offer counsel, guidance and advice where necessary

Many of our house helps are younger girls. They will need counsel when it comes to making major decisions about life.

For instance, without counsel, a younger house help will receive the wage you give them. They might squander it all on items they deem necessary yet you can tell they can do better with the money.

You might just need to teach them for instance the value of saving and investing some of their cash, especially if they are living in your home and hence their basic needs are already being met.

You want to give counsel for instance on who to marry and how to go about it in some instances. You may give counsel in helping them choose a path that they might follow vocation wise.

I know couples who have even helped a girl begin a bank account and save. I know a number of these girls who’ve gone to college, using what they have saved up as startup.

Some might be going through a difficult time with a situation back home. God can use you to give comfort and clarity of direction concerning the matter at hand. You can commit to pray for them too.

  1. Provide them with opportunities for personal growth and development

Trust the Lord that a servant girl you have employed would grow spiritually, mentally, and in other ways as God would help you to, while in your house. I have alluded to this fact in the earlier points.

Apart from facilitating her spiritual growth through discipleship like we shared in the earlier first point, you might facilitate their reading of a good book and watching something that would facilitate their growth in a particular area of interest.

You could facilitate an opportunity to train in a skill that would facilitate economic empowerment for her in the future.

I know a family that facilitated their house help attending college when their children were getting older and the housework wasn’t nearly as heavy. She could attend college in the evenings and weekends then study as she continued to work for them. She completed her course and left their home, hopeful about her future.

These are the 5 ways by which you can minister to a house help or servant girl, ways that I believe please the Lord as we use every God given opportunity to invest in others for the kingdom.

I pray these will be useful as you seek to minister to a house help in seeking to be the woman of noble character that God is making you to be.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.