In Christian circles, so much is said about the "Proverbs 31" woman...wait. Let me start over.
In Christian circles, TOO much is said about the "Proverbs 31" woman without actually reading and studying the passage.I can appreciate all the t-shirts, organizations and "Proverbs 31" posters that we Christians like to sell and buy, but every now and then we've got to get back to the basics of the scripture and what it teaches. Let's do so now.
Here's one basic from Solomon's most well-known passage.I've always thought it was interesting how we tend to handle this one chapter from Proverbs by ignoring its first nine verses. There is a lot more to it. I highlighted some of the most important teachings in my blog here called "The (Forgotten) Proverbs 31 Man".
When we come back to Verse 10, we get a portrait of a wonderfully dynamic woman, wife and mother. She's a true model for women everywhere. But what is this illustration about? What is Solomon talking about? Proverbs 31 praises its model woman for one quality above all others: her industry. In fact, Solomon praises industry, productivity and profitable enterprises throughout his writings so it should be no surprise that he continues in his final chapter. I've concluded that the real "Proverbs 31" woman is industrious, business-minded and diligent and that's wherein her husband recognizes her great value.
Let's examine five ways in which her attitudes about money and business shine through and elevate her household and family:
"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."
A woman of virtue can be trusted with money, with the checkbook and with the savings accounts. She isn't moved by emotion to make impulse purchases. She doesn't go shopping off schedule or play "payback" with the household's money. She doesn't use money as therapy because she's had a rough day and feels like she deserves it. Her husband doesn't have to be afraid of how much damage she's going to do at the mall.He trusts her. Whatever choices she makes will be wise.
"She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard."
The virtuous woman is an entrepreneur. She's shown buying and trading profitably throughout the chapter. Does this mean that a woman with a J.O.B. is not a virtuous woman? I'm not saying that, but it does warrant some examination in this way: trading one's time for a salary will never be as lucrative as successfully trading goods and services for profit. In that way we must all take great care for how we use our time and make sure we're maximizing our income.
"She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy."
The virtuous woman is generous and caring for the needs of others.The Bible uses the words "extend" and "stretch" and "hands" here. So interesting! Here's why. This means that it takes effort to tend to the needs of the downtrodden. It's not something she's able to do from the comfort of her couch. She works at it. Further, the Bible uses the word "hand" twice here which is significant because, in the Hebraic language it signifies her power. She uses her power, influence and resources to help those who can't help themselves.
"She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens."
The virtuous woman plans and she budgets. Every dollar has an assignment and every dollar is put to work on its task. It takes more time to plan ahead, but she does it. She then allocates all the household's resources according to plan – starting with her household. We must remember, too, that her maidens are taking care of business for her. This isn't charity.She's enlisted assistance to ensure everything is well taken care of.She knows she can't do it all alone.
"She is not afraid of the snow for her household...And she smiles at the future."
Wise people often say worry is the product of a lack of preparation. This is how and why the Proverbs 31 woman can smile at the future. Not only is she not worried, but she is looking forward to what the future has for her and her family. She isn't concerned about down times for she's made preparations and investments. Tomorrow is going to be better than today; snow will fall, but her household will remain warm.
This is a portrait of the woman who elevates her husband (verse 23), her household and her family. But read verses twenty-seven through thirty-one, also, or again. She is well rewarded in her financial stability and in respect and admiration from her children, by her husband and in the community. She is prized, celebrated and rewarded and it all came from one thing: her industry.
subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a thing and forward this to a friend if you found it helpful.
All material © Copyright, Mark Anthony McCray unless otherwise noted! He can be reached in the following ways: Mark@LiveBIGDieEmpty.com
For more information on Mark as a speaker or presenter check out http://livebigdieempty.blogspot.com/p/about-mark_29.html