She selects wool and flaxProverbs 31:13-18, 25
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
True humility and fear of the LordProverbs 22:4 (NLT)
lead to riches, honor, and long life.
When you read Proverbs 31:10–31, you will likely have a strong opinion. This passage of Scripture is sometimes used to shame or belittle women some might think are not living up to its high calling.
Actually, the “Proverbs 31 Woman” is a beautiful personification of wisdom, introduced in the first chapter and woven throughout the book. She is not meant to shame women but to demonstrate the great blessing of living a life characterized by wisdom.
As we finish up our Celebration of Hope campaign, focusing our attention on our global partners, I can’t help but envision the many ways I see wisdom personified in the godly women I’ve encountered throughout the world.
One such woman, Charity, lives on a remote island in Zambia, and I’ve had the opportunity to engage with her several times. She exemplifies the Proverbs 31 woman. She is married, and I can assure you that her husband and her children call her blessed. She rises early to greet the fishing boats and trades vegetables for fish, providing food. Later, she works at the grinding mill to provide mealie meal (ground corn) for nchima (local porridge), her arms strong for the task. She sits on the church council and teaches children to know the Lord. She learns to read so that she can lead well.
Charity does not sit idle, expecting another to carry her load, but reaches out to those around her and provides what she can from the blessings she has received. She exhibits the deep, fierce love of Jesus and an awe of God that sustains her as she cares for her family and community. Although she may not buy a field or plant a vineyard or clothe her family in purple linen, she is a woman of noble character.
- Reread Proverbs 31:10-31 through the lens of our current culture. How do you see wisdom personified in yourself and the godly women around you? What attitudes accompany this kind of wisdom?
- Today, spend time in prayer asking God to help you live a life that personifies wisdom.
- Consider writing a note of gratitude to someone in your life who personifies wisdom. Feel free to use one of our Mother’s Day postcards or Unsung postcards.