“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” -Prov. 31:10
Work. It’s a four-letter word. I’ve noticed that the upcoming generation avoids it like a plague of epic proportions.
It isn’t in the character of the virtuous woman to shirk her responsibilities or shy away from hard work.
A Woman’s Work is Never Done
This woman’s work ethic is clear.
- Proverbs 31:13 – “She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it] “(AMP). In the culture of Solomon’s time, women would spin their own thread and weave their own cloth. The average woman spent many hours at the spinning wheel or the loom to keep her family clothed. Can anyone say, “I’m thankful for shopping malls”? I have to admit, I wouldn’t need a larger closet if this was the way things still worked for a woman’s attire.
- Proverbs 31:14 – This verse emphasizes the wealth of convenience we have in this era, as opposed to the sheer labor-intensive task of bringing food home that’s seen in the Bible. This says nothing of the further work required preparing it for consumption. Since we can jump in our car and drive over to the grocery store, we have plenty of time to invest in cooking nutritious meals. Maybe we’d rather dedicate that windfall of extra minutes to the other tasks required for keeping our home running smoothly. You can bet they weren’t running their kids to baseball practice or play rehearsal.
- Proverbs 31:15 – “She riseth also while it is yet night” (KJV) are words many women don’t want to hear. Personally, I like the quiet of the house while everyone else still slumbers because I’m a morning person. This verse implies that a woman has much to accomplish and therefore may need to start early in the day. As we’ll see in later posts, this verse includes an inference to a spiritual food required to equip women for the strenuous day ahead.
- Proverbs 31:16 – This verse flies in the face of anyone who doubts women have business acumen or that God frowns upon women participating in the business arena. Mrs. Virtuous is a real estate prospector or property manager or vineyard dresser. In the Amplified Bible, the verbiage implies that a woman shouldn’t take on more than she can handle, indicating that any business pursuits by a woman should never occur at the expense of her family.
- Proverbs 31:22 – I don’t sew. I have no affinity for making things with my hands. I would have been an abysmal failure as a wife in Solomon’s day. However, the implication of this verse is about more than that. It implies spiritual maturity since priests wore clothing that was “silk and purple.”
- Proverbs 31:24 – “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant” (KJV). Aside from industry and business acumen, the woman described here is providing a service to her fellow women. The “girdles” that she designed made it easier for women to bear burdens, while keeping their hands free for work. I visualize the baby sling that keeps the baby tied to its mother but leaves Mommy’s hands free to do the dishes (or rinse dirty diapers, fold laundry, sweep the kitchen…you get the idea).
- Proverbs 31:25 – The promises of this verse should comfort every woman who has ever felt fatigued after a long night with a sick child or a longer day cooking, cleaning and serving the needs of her family or others in her life. “Strength and honor are her clothing.” It doesn’t say she might be strong or honored. It says that Mrs. Virtuous is clothed in strength (who needs the gym when you have a little kid to hoist?) and honor. Never let anyone convince you that seeing to the needs of hearth and home are unworthy; God clothes the homemaker in honor.
- Proverbs 31:25 -“She shall rejoice in time to come.” Let this be your mantra, dearest hardworking woman. Today it may seem like thankless work, but God promises you will rejoice in this labor. Maybe it’s when you see your children serving God faithfully or when your grandchildren profess the name of Jesus. You will rejoice – guaranteed.
- Proverbs 31:27 – “She looketh well to the ways of her household.” I personally enjoyed a number of years at home with my preschool-aged children. I can assure you, I have rarely felt the same satisfaction in any job that I felt when I looked around a clean house filled with happy children. It may have only be clean for a brief moment while they slept, but contentment in a job well-done filled more emotional holes than any paycheck I’ve received since that time.
Don’t be afraid to work, sisters. The blessings of industriousness can’t be conceived or counted.
*This post originally appeared on this blog on May 28, 2013. A total of 50 views make it the third most popular post I’ve written on this site.