What Does She Do
So, what does this virtuous, excellent woman do?
12 “she does him good”
13 “she seeks wool”
14 “she brings food from afar”
15 “she rises while it is night, provides food for her house and for her maidens”
16 “she considers a field and buys it, she plants a vineyard”
17 “she dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong”
18 “She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.”
19 “she puts her hands to raw material and creates useful things”
20 “she is generous”
21 “She is not afraid of snow for her household”
22 “she makes bed coverings for her home”
24 “she makes linen garments and sells them”
25 “she laughs at time to come”
26 “she opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue”
27 “she is vigilant to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”
This is a huge list! She puts her hands to many things and provides for her household in many important areas.
She makes sure people are clothed. She makes sure they have things they need to be comfortable, like bedsheets. She uses her gifts to sell things in the marketplace, and she understands the value of her merchandise and does not undervalue herself. She expects the fruits of her labor to be of a certain value, and she receives the fruit of her labor. She is generous, she is kind, and she laughs at the time to come, and is not afraid of hard times that might happen for her household.
According to her, they are clothed in scarlet, whose meaning is “double lined,” as scarlet garments are double dipped in the dye, and the Vulgate uses the word “ duplicibus.” The meaning here is that her family is prepared for hard times because she has given them double the warmth to protect them from the winter snow.
This is a woman who prepares. She has prepared her family for future winters.
This is a woman who plans and executes on her plans. She considers a field, buys it and plants a vineyard.
This is a woman who provides. She brings food from afar, she makes bed coverings, she makes linen garments.
In verse 19 it says, “She puts her hands to the distaff (spinning wheel) and her hands hold the spindle (yarn).” The Hebrew translation actually comes to “she puts her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the spindle,” but the literal meaning is: she puts her hands to raw material, and is able to make something useful out of it. She puts her hands to the wool and creates yarn. This is a woman who is able to use raw materials and create. She is skillful and pragmatic.
This is a woman who loves. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband also, he praises her. You cannot have these reactions from people who you don’t love with your entire being.
This is a woman confident in her home. She laughs at time to come, and she is not afraid of the snow.
This is a woman who is confident in the strength of herself. She dresses herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. Strength and dignity are her clothing.
This is a woman who is capable of many things, who is respected by her husband, and who opens her mouth with wisdom with the teaching of kindness on her tongue.
But the most important thing about this woman is that she is a woman who fears the Lord and is to be praised.
That is a bold statement. That is like if your husband stood on a podium and said, “this is my wife, and although she is an excellent wife in baking, in raising our children, in sewing, in providing us with healthy food…she excels in preparing for times to come and is kind and loving. But all of this pales in comparison to the love she has for God, and for that, my friends, she is to be praised.”
So what does this virtuous woman do? She does tons of things!
But she loves God, and for that, alone, she is to be praised.
What Doesn’t She Do
Okay, so we have a huge list of things this woman does, which is an awesome list.
So, what exactly doesn’t she do? What was never mentioned in any of the verses?
1) She doesn’t clean. It never says ONCE that she cleans. I just want to point that out.
2) She does not NOT manage her household, forcing her husband to take over. He is at the gates instead of at home. Here, I am not referring to husbands who help, which is always a loving thing for wives; I’m talking about when they have to take over managing the household because of neglect.
3) She does not diet.
4) She does not gossip about people
5) She does not slander people’s reputations
6) She does not spend all her time worrying about her looks…she DOES, however, take dignified pride in her clothing and how she presents herself
7) She does not envy, and she is not covetous
8) She is not mean or spiteful
9) She is not unforgiving
10) She does not abandon her faith