The Modern Proverbs 31 Woman
Part 1 – Her Work
Hey y’all! Welcome to Part 1 of the Modern Proverbs 31 Series, “Her Work.” I am so excited that you have decided to take this journey with me as we learn and grow from the example set by the Proverbs 31 woman. As we go through each part of the series, remember that each woman’s home and situation is different. Although this one woman’s model may not fit identically with your household, the key is to learn the values that established this example of a well-run home and find ways to incorporate those values into our daily lives.
The verses in Proverbs 31:10-31 illustrate the principles designed by God to better our homes and help us on our journey to becoming excellent wives.
Before we begin, let’s highlight two reference points to eliminate any confusion later on. The words “her” and “she” will be used several times in the series and always to reference the Proverbs 31 woman. Also, although we will address all of the verses in Proverbs 31:10-31, the verses will not be in order, but rather by topic.
Now that we are all on the same page, shall we begin?
There are two kinds of work that a woman might perform in her daily routine – home management and work outside of the household duties (although this work can be completed inside of the home). For this section, we will focus on the work performed outside of the household duties.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight
She stretches out her hands to the distaff;
And her hands grasp the spindle
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesman
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night
Like many women today, the Proverbs 31 woman has duelling duties both inside and outside of her home. She is both a homemaker and a business woman.
There are a few key points that we can take out of these passages in reference to her daily activities.
1) She is a hard worker. An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, the Proverbs 31 woman finds the needed inventory, designs and develops the product, and sells it in the marketplace. Far from idle, her lamp does not go out at night, indicates that she does not quit until her work is complete.
2) She is passionate. There is a sense of purpose that one feels when the work performed is both enjoyable and valuable. This woman does not dread the work she is doing, but instead delights in it. The satisfaction from a job well done allows her to push through the day and into the night.
3) She is profitable. Hard work plus passion doesn’t always equate to profitability. In fact, many times when these two things come together what you end up with is a pretty awesome hobby. This woman has figured out a way to take her “hobby” mainstream and bring in additional income for her family. She has found a need in her community and is able to fill that need with her time and skill set.
While you may or may not have responsibilities outside of the home, as a modern Proverbs 31 woman, we can all be hard workers (and as many hats as most women wear, you probably already are). This call to hard work doesn’t mean all work and no play, but rather the ability to finish the tasks at hand and fulfill our commitments inside and outside of the home.
Like with many things, the best way to achieve this is by getting organized. Being organized allows you to better plan your day without feeling overwhelmed. Try to be realistic about what can and cannot be accomplished and save the rest of the items for a later time.
You can’t give 110% when you only have 100% to give. There are so many brilliant women out there who take on the world with everything they’ve got. Although their work is phenomenal, they are exhausted. A healthy balance will allow you to finish your duties while not burning out along the way. Whether at the workplace or at home, if you need help, ask for it.
If you find that you are constantly running out of time, examine your regular day and see if there are ways to eliminate activities that don’t bring any value. Hobbies, social activities, and entertainment functions are fun and do have their place, but these have to be secondary to our families, homes, and work.
If you are performing a job that you really enjoy, it is easier to feel passionate about your work than doing something that feels mundane or insignificant.
Who really is passionate about cleaning a toilet or filing an expense report?
In a Bible study years ago, a participant spoke about the significance of our jobs on earth and how they promote His (God’s) Kingdom. When people think of the most important jobs, pastors, doctors, and humanitarians always seems to make the list, but what about a factory worker? What if all of the factory workers who worked at a specific plant decided to become pastors? What if that factory produces toilet paper? You get the drift.
We all have a purpose and that purpose is to share the message of the kingdom of God with others and to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him. You don’t have to be a preacher to share the message, encourage someone, or perform a kind deed.
It is easy to become apathetic and grow weary of doing the same routine day in and day out. The key to finding value in the work you are doing is to put it in perspective. First, be thankful that you have a job, that you are able to work, and that you can help your family. There is always someone out there who would love to be in your position, right now.
If you are confident that you are not fulfilling your purpose in your current job, try to keep your eyes open for opportunities around you. Maybe you are there to learn a new skill that will be used later or maybe you are there to minister to someone in need. Either way, try to be patient, stay positive, and most importantly, pray.
When people think of being profitable, it is generally in terms of making money. In the case of the Proverbs 31 woman, she is doing just that. She sees that her gain is good. She is fulfilling a need and making an income from it. However, you don’t necessarily have to make money for your work to be profitable, but what you do have to make is something that is helpful or valuable.
If you have a garden, then you know how much hard work it takes each season to produce and harvest a crop. Even the smallest garden has to be watered, weeded, and tended to almost daily. While you may not ever sell your crop at the local grocery store, the production has value and the work is profitable.
Do you currently have a hobby or skill that you think could bring value to others? Could this skill be valuable for your household? If so, take the time to explore your options. Between Etsy, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. there has never been a better time to share your gifts with the outside world. You don’t have to be a seamstress to be a modern Proverbs 31 woman. Focus on what you excel at and invest your time there.
While you are exploring your options, don’t forget to include your husband. Come together, pray about what is best for your household, and trust that God will help you on your journey to becoming an excellent wife.