Today we learn more about the Proverbs 31 woman that lives inside every woman.
Verse 16 – How are you prioritizing your time?
I remember studying Proverbs 31 in the Amplified Bible Classic Version and reading verse 16, “She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.”
I was stunned and set free at the same time. How many times had I said “yes” to a request without evaluating if I had the time or resources?
True, I won’t accomplish much if I wait to know 100% of how-to-do. But I had the opposite habit of saying “yes” out of people-pleasing or pressured fear (“what if I miss this”) or distracted procrastination (“oh, this sounds more fun than my ‘present duties’”). I was exhausted and not completing the important stuff.
Verse 24 – What are the questions she likely asked herself, her customers, and her suppliers so she could make and sell her product? What might she have done to brand or promote her business? How can you apply your answers to your business?
She was a generous person, helping the needy, clearly seen in verse 20. Where has God called you to give and serve?
One interesting trait she possessed was daring. She wanted new experiences and was willing to do what it took to have them. Where do I get that perception of her? Verse 14 says “she bringeth her food from afar.” (KJV) If everyone in town regularly ate “food from afar” it wouldn’t have been worth noting, right? She did not conform to what everyone else said was good enough.
To “bringeth her
food from afar” either she had to travel or obtain the foreign food and spices
through traders. It probably took some good
relationship and negotiation skills plus creative planning to accomplish
In my imagination I see her ask a trader, “Hey, next time you sail to Morocco, could you bring me back something new to try? I’ll save my best linen sash for you as a bonus.”
Other characteristics were foresight and preparation. In verse 21, she accepted that seasons change and prepared for them.
Along with preparation, she was patient in verse 25. She followed Galatians 6:9; she did not grow “weary in well doing.” (KJV)
God brought to my mind that the Proverbs 31 woman did not try to be "super-woman, doing it all herself" ... she had maidservants as part of her household.
Immediately I thought of an area of my life where I have been trying to be super-woman. It's time to pray for maidservants and ask for help.
Wow. She was amazing in all that she achieved. If I stopped here, I would leave you without three essentials to her success (and to yours).
Foundational is her reverence for and her relationship with God. Verse 30 is both her motivation and source of strength. Because of her relationship with God, she is able to succeed and the accomplishments have eternal meaning.
Next, she also prepared her body for success. In verse 17 she made her arms strong (though I doubt they had circuit training classes at her local gym). When I read verse 17 I am challenged with the question, “Am I training my body, and my thought-life, for all God has called me to do?”
Last, my favorite, Proverbs 31:22. Keeping this in the context of the entire passage, the Proverbs 31 woman gave the best of the best to herself.
Don’t judge my statement quite yet.
She provided resources and food to her servants. She gave to the poor. Her household was clothed in scarlet. She made fine linen (KJV) or linen (NASB) sashes to sell.
But for herself?
Verse 22 says that her clothing was silk (KJV) or fine linen (NASB). In both comparisons what she wore was one step above what she sold, and her clothing was purple.
The historian Theopompus wrote “Purple for dyes fetched its weight in silver.” It took about 12,000 sea snails to make 1.4 grams of purple dye. No wonder purple was the color of royalty.
She also took the time to do something for herself in verse 22; she made coverings or tapestry for herself.
I am not interested in wearing fine linen and purple robes, but I learn from these verses that being a godly woman includes both caring for others and taking care of my spirit, mind, emotions, and body.
This is taught in 2 Corinthians 8:13 “For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened” (KJV) and Philippians 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others"(KJV).
“Things” is also translated “interests.” The word “also” presupposes you are looking out for your own interests. The phrasing indicates a Both/And mentality, not an Either/Or way of living.
I encourage you (and me) to become a Proverbs 31 Woman in relationships, work, stewardship, giving, character traits, and personal care.
What is the first verse you will begin to experience, intentionally? How? Let us know.
Let’s go live Proverbs 31.
Sheri Traxler, M.Ed. mentors private clients, moving them to freedom from the diet roller-coaster and from frustrating fitness fads to find their personal path.
Sheri leads wellness workshops and is the author of Go Forward: 28 Days to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Life God’s Way and Nourish Your Life video/audio program.
Sheri holds her Master's Degree in Health Promotion, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, an AASDN Nutrition Specialist, and a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Sheri will be having a Women's Renewal Retreat on November 11, 2017, she would love it if you could join her.