“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands” (Proverbs 31:13).
“worketh willingly” — literally means, to work with delight or pleasure
It seems to me that the Proverbs 31 woman was an amazing seamstress. She sought out wool and flax, the basic materials from which fabric is made, and weaved them into clothes for her family and for others.
I don’t think this means that we all have to be seamstresses or weavers in order to be biblical women. Rather, I think the picture emerging in this chapter is that
1. We need to do our work willingly, eagerly, and joyfully.
2. We need to do an excellent job at everything we do.
We have already talked about how we were created for the primary purpose of being helpers to our husbands. I can’t see how this woman’s fascination with weaving fine fabrics would have been something her husband would have been interested in. So how did her sewing help her husband?
1. It provided an income that was a help to the family (v. 24).
2. It provided warmth and comfort to the family (v. 21).
3. It made them look good in the community (v. 22-23).
We’ll discuss all of these topics in coming weeks. (I’m really looking forward to it!)
However, for today, I think we should examine how we work and whether we work willingly (literally, with pleasure and delight).
I think we women will be more likely to work with delight when we have the support and approval of our husbands in what we do. My hobbies and passions don’t have to be exactly the same as his. God made each of us unique so that our talents would complement and uplift the other. But I shouldn’t feel that I’m in competition with my husband or that I have to hide my talents from him.
“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).
My relationship with my husband should be open, truthful, and full of love. I need to be honest with him about my passions and interests.
“Love… does not boast, it is not proud… it is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, NIV).
I need to selflessly channel my passions and talents to the good of my entire family, using them so that others are built up. God made me good at certain things so that I could build up His kingdom, not my pride.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
No matter my gifts or abilities, I need to do my best at whatever I do. Half-hearted work, done with a half-hearted attitude, is never pleasing to my Master.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).
Not every job is fun, even when I’m doing what I’m good at. Some jobs just have to be done, no matter what. If we faithfully perform our duties, no matter how menial, with a joyful and eager spirit, our Heavenly Father will reward us.