She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
~ Proverbs 31:13-15
When I was little, my grandma was always very tight with her money. I remember going to stores and her saying she wouldn’t buy something because the price was too expensive. She pulled out her coin purse and paid with change. Now, this may seem like a normal thing to do, if you don’t have a lot of money, but such was not the case. She and my grandpa had plenty. He had retired from C.A.T., paving roads for a living, and made very good money. But, she never flaunted it. In fact, if you were to look at her life, you wouldn’t even know it.
On the other hand, my mom was very poor. I grew up in poverty. We were on welfare most of my life. When I was 17, I lived in a chicken shack with my mom that the owners renovated into a very small house. The ceilings were low, but it’s okay, we were short. lol. My mom does NOT spend money wisely. Although she was and remains to be poor, you will find much of her money spent on unnecessary, frivolous things. Anytime she gets money in, it’s always spent poorly. And there was a time in my life, when I realized that my mom is poor because of the choices she makes. And my grandma is not because of the choices she makes. And, I have more than most because of the choices I make.
I remember my grandma would go to 5 different stores to find something at the right price. When I was little, I thought that was crazy. But looking back, I see how wise it was.
It’s the same in the passage before us today. It says she LOOKS. It doesn’t say she trimmed the wool off the sheep and took it home. No, it says she LOOKS for wool. She WORKS with her hands. And she does this all in delight. It’s one thing to work hard, and it’s another to work hard but complain about it. I often find myself complaining about how hard I have to work now that my husband abandoned our family, but such was not the case with her. She did it in delight and it is something that I pray about that God heal my heart in that regard.
Scripture says, she brings her food from afar. My grandma would travel to get the best deals and I never understood it as a kid. After all, it wasted time, energy, and gas, but in the long run, it saves us so much more money than not, and it is completely worth it. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Fred Meyer’s and one of their products was $8. I felt like I could get a better deal on it, so I waited until I went to Target that week for something else and sure enough. It was less than $4. By waiting and keeping a list, I saved $4. It might not seem like a lot, but if you do this regularly, you WILL save a lot of money.
I like the part, “she rises also while it is still night.”
You can really get a sense of who she is.
She is a very hard worker; she works hard for her family. Tending to needs, providing for her servants, her family. She is out there getting the work done to provide. Taking care of all the household affairs and she is giving. She gives food to her household. You can really tell that she not only cares, but goes the extra mile in all that she does. She is very self-sacrificing. Sacrificing sleep to work hard for her family. She could do an average job. She could complain about her hard work, but instead, she does it from delight. Out of joy. She loves the people she serves. If you are serving someone night and day and you are not complaining about it, THAT is genuine self-sacrificing love right there! It is a beautiful picture of what Christ does with us. Does He complain that He had to die on the Cross for us? I mean, it IS OUR FAULT He had to, right? Yet, He never complains, He just points us to the proof that He loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His own life for us, and in the same way, the woman of Proverbs 31 does the same. Sacrificing her own self for the love of her family.
One thing that is not said here in the passage, but we can trust it as truth is that she must be a very strong woman. It takes a lot of energy and time to do all that she does, and to never complain, to always have the right heart attitude. That strength must come from somewhere…and I want to propose to you that it comes from the Lord.
Humanly speaking, we can only be strong in the Lord when we are completely 100% clinging to Him and His Word. Meditating on His Word day and night. Without the ability to walk in the Spirit, she would simply not be able to accomplish all that she does and with a joyful heart. This passage is meant to point us to her undying sacrificial love of her family AND of God.
Would your family say of you that you have an undying sacrificial love for them? Why or why not? How can you improve showing your family, in a very practical way, how much you truly love them?
I know sometimes in marriage, we as women, can get too comfortable. I see many women who start to think their husbands should serve them (and while there’s some truth to that), we can’t focus on our husband’s shortcomings, we must focus on our own, in order that we change them and be more Christ-like each and every day. Until next week, do one sacrificial thing for each person in whom you live with.
1) What do you think the Proverbs 31 womans’ motives are of why she serves her family sacrificially day and night? Why does she do so much of the work herself and not just pass it off to her servants?
2) Read Romans 12:9-21 and write down 3 ways those passages correlate with one another.
3) How can you practically apply this passage to your life?