Today we are taking a break from our 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes to feature a guest post from Sheri Traxler from The Vireo Life.
Sheri's teaching is an in-depth analysis of the Proverbs 31 woman that will be delivered in two parts. Now, I admit it, I wasn't always a fan of this woman because I felt she set an unreachable standard for the rest of us.
Sheri speaks about her accomplishments in a way that we can all see, and aspire to be, the Proverbs 31 woman who lives within all of us.
The “Proverbs 31 woman” – a much discussed, successful woman whose name is not even known. That means she can be any woman, including you.
In Proverbs 31:10-31 God describes a virtuous (noble, excellent) woman: her characteristics, her words, her actions. All aspects of her character work together, supporting each other. God does not say one trait is nobler than another. It is the woman herself, living out all of these traits that is noble.
She was very selective in her close relationships. Read Proverbs 31:10-12, 23, 28-29, 31.
She chose the right people to hang around. We especially see this is in her husband. She got close to people who knew how to encourage vs. fault-find (verses 10-11, 28-31) and who were respected (verse 23).
I imagine her as a teenager. Billy Bob asks her for a date (okay, they probably didn’t go out on dates like we do), and she thinks, “No, Billy Bob talks bad about his mom and his aunt. He’d probably disrespect me if we got married.” But when Tommy asks her out she thinks “He’s a hard worker and smart. Even the teachers listen when he makes a point in class. He’ll be one of the town’s leaders when we grow up.”
We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (KJV). When I was single and dating, I tested the man I was dating. My pastor reminded me that “men know men,” so I also asked men in leadership to “give me the dirt.”
I knew from experience I could be deceived, so I asked trusted men, “Do you respect him? Are there issues?” He passed all the tests.
She trained her children to be people who looked for the good. No woman is perfect, yet her children did not talk about imperfection, but focused on the blessings.
She spoke wisdom and kindness into those around her, as seen in verse 26.
First, we see that she was wise in financial decisions. Verse 11 says that her husband trusted how she managed money and had “no lack of gain” (NASB). Verse 18 says she “senses that her gain is good” (NASB) or “perceiveth that her merchandise is good” (KJV). Verse 16 also alludes to her being wise with money, as she evaluated and purchased a field and planted a vineyard from her own earnings.
Second, she was willing, diligent, and excellent in her work (verses 13, 15, 18, 19, 24, and 27). Verses 16 and 24 indicate that she ran both an agricultural business and a manufacturing business. We don’t know how large these businesses were, but verses 11, 16, 18, and 24 indicate they were profitable.
When I teach the Proverbs 31 Woman to a business group, I include these questions:
Verses 13 and 19 – How are you consistently looking for both opportunities in business and for the resources to grow your business? What are the core resources, relationships, tools and opportunities you need to seek?
Verse 13 – How do you help your attitude be “eager to work?” What work gives you energy? What work takes your energy?
Verse 15 – Preparation. Provision. Delegation. What do you need to delegate so you can live out of your strengths and do only what you can do? What do you need to provide for your employees? How are you growing as a leader, learning how to better lead and manage?
Isn't this an awesome teaching? Next week we will continue with part two.
Sheri will be having a Women's Renewal Retreat on November 11, 2017.
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.