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She Works with Eager Hands

She Works With Eager Hands

As I said in my previous post on Proverbs 31, this chapter has been misinterpreted to be a lengthy to-do list, telling women they have to do all the things and do them to perfection.

While women are amazing at managing multiple areas of their life, we aren’t machines; we get tired, we make mistakes, and we appreciate help, even when we don’t ask for it.

In this post I would like to focus on a section of Proverbs 31 that had new light shed on it for me. Verses 13-19 tell of a woman who manages her home, provides meals for her family, has a few side-gigs, works vigorously, invests in real estate, turns profits, sews her family’s clothes, and seemingly never sleeps. “Her lamp does not go out at night.” Whoa! I’m exhausted just typing that out! Do you need a nap after reading that?!

Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?

First, verses 13-14 tell us the wife of noble character “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” Ok, I can hang with this. She is diligent in her work in caring for the family and the home. As one who has enjoyed being a SAHM for the past 18 years, I can relate and appreciate what this woman is doing. From this passage we can glean that a wife of noble character should fill the bulk of her time caring for her home rather than caring what’s happening on social media. Now, before you call me old-fashioned, hear me out. Caring for the home does NOT mean that the only “job” a woman has is to be wife and mother. There is more to you than these roles. You can care for your home and utilize the gifts God created you with. We’ll get to that in a second. 

For these verses, what we can take away is that women were created with hearts that lean toward family and home. Even women who choose not to have children create family circles via close friendships. There is nothing wrong with wanting to care for your home, whether you do it full time, or incorporate it as a first priority in the flow of your life. 

Next, we find that the wife of noble character gets up while it is still dark, provides food for the family, and cares for the household staff (if you have one). These words tell us that she has placed importance on making the most out of the day by rising before the household. For me, rising before the household allows time for me to read the Bible, pray, have some quiet time, and get in some exercise. It also means that in our homeschooling household that I can be sure we are ready for the school day ahead. When it talks about preparing food for her family, I admit I no longer prepare the meals for our household. Our kids each make their own breakfasts and lunches, and my husband has recently taken over much of the dinner preparation. There were many years where it was me doing all of the above, and I enjoyed it. We have just entered a season where meal prep looks different in our home. One thing that has remained is the fact that nearly every night, we sit down as a family to eat dinner. The only exceptions are few and far between. So, am I not a wife of noble character because I’m no longer the main cook? No. My husband and I team up to make sure there is nourishing food in the home, to make sure the kids know how to make food for themselves, which is a life skill they will need when they are on their own, and we make sure the family eats together.  And as far as feeding the staff, well, we don’t have household staff 😉

We move on to her considering a field, buying it, and planting a vineyard from her earnings. Her trading is profitable, her arms are strong for her tasks, and her lamp does not go out at night.

This is where we see that not on does the wife of noble character not only cares for the home and family itself, but also finds ways to provide to the household income. This girl has some side-gigs happening! And again, please don’t let her actions exhaust you. It used to exhaust me and make me feel guilty that I wasn’t filling my days with enough “stuff”. This is the part where light was shed, and I am grateful it was shed.

This woman did not wake up one morning with all the answers and saw profit overnight. Instead, she went about one task at a time, mastered it, then added on from there. First, she finds a field, mulls over the specs, sees that it can be beneficial for her household, and buys it. It seems that she then either flips it or plants some sort of crops that yield an income, because next we find her taking the earnings from that field to plant a vineyard.  She works the vineyard diligently and sees that it is cared for in order that a crop and wine are yielded. This can then be sold for a profit or rolled over into another adventure. We can also gather that perhaps she traded items from the field and/or her vineyard for items that her household needed. 

So, what about “her lamp does not go out at night”? Does she not sleep? Is she ingesting espresso 24/7 to stay awake. I don’t think so. I feel this verse means that she is always available to her family. I relate this to kids waking up in the middle of the night with a bad dream. A neighbor calling for help at 2:00am. A family member with an emergency. Or even a teen that wants to talk at 11:00 at night. If someone you love or cared about needed you, would you care what time it is? To me, this is the message of this verse.

In our next part, we’ll go over verses 20-27.  See you then!

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Pam Spinker
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I help Christian homeschool moms, just like you, thrive in your home and in your walk with Christ. If you question your abilities, or feel like you’re drowning in homeschooling, you’re in the right place! 

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