Proverbs 31 is a much talked about chapter of the Bible yet I never actually bothered to study it until recently. I felt like I already knew what it was about since it is so often talked about. When I was planning to start up my business, I needed Biblical inspiration and motivation, I had read blogs and listened to sermons that vehemently dissuaded women from working- except domestic work of course.
To cut the long story short, I found all the motivation and inspiration I needed from Proverbs 31. I decided to read it and truly discover what the Proverbs 31 woman was all about. I learnt things about ‘her’ that I never even knew despite all the blogs i had read about the Proverbs 31 woman.
Note that the Proverbs 31 is not a set of rules of commandments but since everything in the Bible is written for our benefit, we must to some extent try to imbibe the qualities she possesses- for our own good of course. The first two verses of the chapter show that a mother is advising her son. Apply the guidelines to your life and watch things change.
Also, i advice that you have your Bible by your side as you read because I have only indicated verse numbers, I have not written out the verses.
Here are the lessons I derived from Proverbs 31 (mainly from verse 10-31):
- In every sense of it, the woman described in this chapter is an industrious, business woman and at the same time a homemaker.
- She is hardworking. Verse 13 explains this, she is willing to work and does not find reasons to be lazy. she works joyfully and wholeheartedly. she is resourceful and goes after opportunities that are of benefit to her and her family.
- Her husband trusts her. Verse 11 explains this. Her husband trusts her work (or hustle), he has nothing to worry about because she is a God-fearing woman. The home does not suffer because of her work, she is a business woman and a homemaker.
- She is creative. Verse 14 helps us understand this. She goes for the best irrespective of what other women are doing.
- She is an investor. Beautifully captured in verse 16. She makes money and reinvests. She works hard and makes profit. From the money she makes, she is able to purchase fields and yield more from the fields. She makes smart business decisions and is perceptive to good business opportunities.
- She is perceptive. As explained in verse 18-19. She can discern and make smart business decisions. she knows a good investment and she knows what is profitable, she is confident in her work because she knows God will reward her diligence. She makes use of her God given talent , she is industrious.
- She helps those in need. Verse 20 means that she does not gather for her family alone. She is a blessing to others.
- Her appearance glorifies God. Silk and purple referred to in verse 22 could mean royalty. Her family looks like royalty because of her, her appearance is good and glorifying, her dressing depicts the fear of God.
- She turns her skills into a business. Verse 24 reiterates that she is a business woman, her skills and talents profit the family.
- She is confident and unafraid. she does not fear the future, she does not worry about tomorrow because she knows God is already there, everyday is a good day and even on bad days, she can find reasons to rejoice in the Lord.
- She is a homemaker. In verse 27, she does what needs to be done to make the home appealing. Doing business or working does not mean she neglects the home. Whatever her hands find to do, she knows that the home is the first priority.
- Her family praises her. Verse 28 shows that because she is resourceful, industrious and diligent, her husband and children are proud of her and sing her praises.
- Beauty is vain. I love verse 30 so much because it makes it clear that what really matters is the fear of the Lord. Beauty is vain and not once is she praised because she is pretty or gorgeous rather the works of her hands do the talking. Her beauty and looks are not mentioned because they are vanity.
- Her reputation speaks for her. In verse 31 we see that she does not need to brag or blow her own trumpet, her hard work and handwork speaks for her. Her reputation shines because of how resourceful she is.
Every time you feel like quitting your business or whenever you feel stuck, remember that God already gave you guidelines on how to manage and navigate the tough world of business.