Have you ever heard someone talk about the Proverbs 31 woman and thought ‘I could never be her’? I always thought it meant being a meek and sweet woman who kind of baked and cleaned the house and was ok with whatever her husband said.
Well fast forward a bit, and God has really convicted me about who He made me to be. None of it is meek or mild. He needs forces in the world. If you are a woman on the verge sometimes, like me, then He made you that way to drive the change He needs to glorify Him. We have a purpose!
Our walk comes with precision. We have great people like husbands and those who came before us to guide us in addition to His word, and what better word than the proverbs 31 woman. Once I started digging in, I learned she is a serious force to be reckoned with and she does not stop moving. Everything she does is efficient and effective and her whole world is blessed by it. Who wouldn’t want to do that?! That’s exactly why we get so fired up, isn’t it? We want to change things, to win the battles and to make it all worth while. That is the Proverbs 31 woman, so if you are like me, and have long fallen asleep when thinking about the religious view of a woman, read it for yourself and be fired up today!
Here it is verse by verse, with what God laid on my heart in reading it with new eyes:
31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
-We have to be careful as firestarters not to become dangerous women or road blocks to God’s work.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
-We are not called to sloth.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
-We are called to protect the innocent and go to the aid of others.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
This is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet, so this is the A to Z, if you will of who we were created to be!
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
-We are called to have noble character, strong in our values
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
-He has full confidence in her. We SHOW UP. We are present and trustworthy.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
-We can be trusted to do our part. It says we ‘bring good.’ We have to make the good happen.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
-These items are not delivered to her. We go out and bring in what is good, what is a comforting. We are excited to go out and do.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
-Women of noble character go out into the field. They do what it takes to feed others and take care of the needs of their houses. The merchant ships piece of this is critical to understanding what we are called to do. Merchant Ships are not pirates, taking whatever they want, and they do not do it alone. Merchant Ships go out into foreign lands, they build relationships with those they don’t know and they used their skills to obtain the things they needed. We, like the merchant ships, must go out and use our gifts to care for our families and to change the lives of those in need. We are not called to go out and take it or scream until it is handed to us. Merchant Ships also spread their culture and belief system through their relational trade.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
-So many scripture references about God’s feelings on being idle. This is no different. Prov. 6:6-11 God just goes off on laziness. As Christ following women, we rise to help others rise above. We provide through our work and we must begin early to ensure everything is tended to. If we all sat out, would it make a point that the world needed us. But at what cost to our children, our husbands and everyone around us we serve does that selfish move the needle. Pray for the hearts of the offenders, the users, the abusers, and the nonbelievers to broken open wide for Christ so that they are personally convicted to change their outlooks and actions. Pray they commit to a savior versus complying with mob. We are called to rise and rise above!
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
-We contemplate the ramifications of our actions and what God has called us to do. We use our earnings to do things- what is in our reserves. We do not make decisions that will put a strain on our houses.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
-We stick with a task and follow through. Women of noble character do not give up or walk out on their commitments.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
-Women of character trust God will provide and use God’s word to be the lamp into her feet. We use His word as our only guiding light in the darkness around us.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
-We are above no menial task and we set the example with our work ethic.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
-We labor not only to provide for our own families, but we also work to personally provide for those in need.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
–We trust God’s plan. We will be provided for and warm. Not only will our families be warm, but dressed in the color of warmth, delighting in it.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
-We make our own way, and God blesses us for our hard work.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
-We are properly positioned in our homes. Our husbands are proud of who we are and they feel empowered and supported by our strength. We are the Esthers.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
We produce a good product to share with the world. Whatever our work, it is exceptional, and worthy of sharing. We make ourselves indispensable.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
My FAVE verse- a reminder of what God gives us to move through this life in proper placement. Being clothed in strength and dignity. We NEVER part with them. He is with us and we are living in His word and empowered by that. We can experience joy because we have a peace that surpasses all understanding. We do not walk angry or downtrodden, because we make our own way. We get up every day and know that His plan will prevail in our lives.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
We think things through. We speak carefully and we are guided by God’s word. Our message is constant and clear.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
We are constantly revisiting the word and looking for new ways to help our families.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
We are honored by our families, because we honor our families.
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
We are honored for our hard work by our families.
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
We can only be true to who we were created to be if we fear God. All else false away with our submission to His will, and under His authority are we truly made whole and noble.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Our hard work will pay off. We must be prepared to run the long race as we will be blessed either in this life or the next for continuing to move forward. When we see our heavenly father’s face and hear the words ‘well done’