Proverbs is a book so full of wisdom and real life examples that we can apply to our every day lives. This is evident in chapter 31 when it describes the characteristics of a beautiful, resourceful and Biblical wife.
Even though I touched earlier on verses 20-22, when I read them again this morning, I was reminded again of how we are called to take care of those in need by sharing our abundance with them. The holiday season is a great reminder of this to me and yet I find it rather sad that I need to be reminded to care for others. Verse 20 says, “She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.” It seems like this was a natural thing for the wife spoken of in this passage. She took the time to “open her arms” as the NIV version puts it.
Probably due in part to these kindnesses shown and her many talents, her husband was looked upon well by others in their hometown. Verse 23 explains, “Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” The way I behave has much to do with the way my husband is perceived!
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen.”(vs. 24)
I love that she first clothes her own household in “fine linen and purple” (vs. 21-22) and then proceeds to take care of others. Her first priority is to her family and there is no greater joy to her then to love and support them, making a good name for herself and her husband. It’s a great reminder to me to set my priorities in line. That’s a difficult thing in a world that tells us to look out for ourselves first. But it is a truth that will bring us much more contentment and joy than constantly striving to please the world!
“Lord, I pray that you would give me joy in putting my family first while also taking care of myself. Please help me to share my talents and abilities with others, especially with those who need encouragement. Help me to be thankful for your abundant blessings and share them instead of hoarding them for myself. Allow the words of my mouth and the works of my hands to bring praise to You and my family. Amen.”