So far we have looked at verses 1-19 of Proverbs 31. So far we know that the authorship of this chapter is a little iffy, that the chapter has just as much to say to men as women, and that the Proverbs 31 woman is a renaissance woman – talented, industrial, and wise. Today we are going to be looking a little closer at verses 20-24.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
Now, my spiritual gifts and calling have a lot to do with compassion for the poor and oppressed, so this verse may speak to me more loudly than others. But, something that strikes me is how little this verse is emphasized when we hear about the Proverbs 31 woman.
The Proverbs 31 woman handed out care packages to the homeless. She worked at the local food pantry. She sponsored a child through Compassion. Why is this verse so important?
There are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible about the poor. There are less than 10 about the behavior of wives. Compassion was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry, and a true model of the heart of God. Not only is practicing compassion important for our own spiritual health, it provides a vital example to our children.
She has no fear of winter.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21
One version of this verse says, “She has no fear of winter.” I love that.
She has no fear of the snow because her family is clothed warmly. She planned ahead, she had her priorities in order. Not only are they clothed warmly, they are clothed in scarlet – they look good too!
What is your winter? Is it your family’s finances? Is your Christmas being put on a credit card and you don’t know how you will make it through the year? Maybe your marriage is going through its own winter. Or you can’t seem to get your house in order and your are drowning in clutter. Or you hate your job and wish you could stay home with your kids. Whatever your winter is, start living intentionally to prepare for it.
Behind every good man, is a Proverbs 31 woman.
Verses 22 and 24 talk about the Proverbs 31 woman’s mad crafting skills again. She makes her own bedspreads? Now, I did a messy, arm-knit throw for the end of my bed, but I haven’t ventured into bedspread territory yet.
Also, not only is she dressed to kill, she is making clothes and selling them on Etsy. When does this woman sleep?
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23
As a wife, I expect my husband to lead. And if he isn’t where he could be, or he hasn’t led our family in the right direction, my default is to blame him. But the Proverbs 31 man is a respected city leader because his wife has things tied down at home. He doesn’t have to worry about her, or the running of their household. He is probably dressed well, and we know she was up early packing his lunch.
Instead of being so quick to blame my husband and tear him down, I am going to work on living intentionally and making our home a platform for him to succeed from. I often underestimate the importance of being a good support system for my husband, and instead concentrate only on what I need from him.
What I take away from this passage is that the Proverbs 31 woman lived intentionally, in every aspect of her life. A happy, successful home doesn’t just happen, it is brought about with intentional actions. Do you find these verses inspiring? Take a moment to write down some goals and changes you would like to make after reading this, and brainstorm some intentional actions you can take to make these goals a reality.
In my next and final post in this series we will tackle verses 25-31, which is my favorite part of the entire chapter. What are some goals you have after reading these verses? Please leave them in the comments!