Monday, June 21, 2010

Proverbs 31 Woman - week 9

It has been several weeks since I have worked on this series.  I wasn't sure when I was going to get back to it as every time I sat down to work on it I felt disconnected from it.  Today, however, proverbs 31 was part of my daily study.  (I am doing a chronological study of the Bible in a year.  You can do it to by visiting here and then choosing your start date)  As I read, I really felt like it was time to start this again.  So here we are at week 9 and verses 23-24
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
       where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.  

She makes linen garments and sells them,
       and supplies the merchants with sashes.
What can we learn from these verses?  First our Proverbs Woman isn't married to a deadbeat.  I know this sounds kind of harsh but 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that  "bad company corrupts good character".  We have to remember that all of Proverb 31 is advice a mother is giving to her son.  While she may be trying to ensure that he chooses a respectable and good woman, this tidbit is thrown in to remind him that his conduct is important as well.  How he behaves and acts has an impact on his future wife.  As Proverbs 31 women we need to look at this verse as a reminder to help our husbands to be the men God intends for them to be, to be respected as a good man.  This doesn't mean we nag them.  Proverbs 19:13b says that is "like a constant dripping" not helpful, just annoying.  Proverbs 25:24 tells us that our husband would be better off to "live on the corner of the roof than share a house wtih a quarrelsome wife"  and Proverbs 21:19 tells us that it is "better to live in the desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife".  So don't bug him to death, be kindhearted (proverbs 11:16a) and gain respect.  Build him up, don't tear him down.  When he knows you love and respect him, he will be free to do what it is God intends for him to do.

Second we learn that the Proverbs 31 woman makes and sells garments.  Personally, I like to make garments, whether I sew or crochet or even knit them.  I honestly can't say that this verse requires everyone to sew and sell clothes.  I believe that God has a purpose and a place for all of us and if we all made and sold clothes there wouldn't be a market for it.  However, I tend to connect this with 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 in which Paul encourages the young Christians there to "make it their ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind their own business and to work with their hands, just as we (Paul, Silas and Timothy) told them, so that their daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that they will not be dependent on anybody."  Paul was writing to both men and women, but this sheds light on our verse today.  Our Proverbs 31 woman is to be an example to others.  Paul tells us hundreds of years after this was written that we still need to be leading a quiet life, minding our own business.  Working with our hands, i.e. making garments, will occupy us and help us to do so.  Working with our hands also provides a way for us to provide for ourselves.  This woman puts her family first, cares for them first, but doesn't waste the rest of her day being idle.  She creates things of worth and then sells them which, according to Paul, may win the respect of outsiders as well as keeping this woman from being entirely dependent on her husband, from being a burden.  By keeping herself busy and selling her labor she shares in the financial responsibility of the family with her husband.  This too brings respect to her husband.

Do you have any thoughts?  Please feel free to comment and share them!  Have a blessed week.


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