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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Bible Study, Proverbs 31 Woman » Proverbs 31:13

Proverbs 31:13


13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands”

 After quite a hiatus, I am finally able to get the next section of our Proverbs study online.  Let us begin with verse 13.  I believe that this verse is a real sticking point with many women in our modern society.  Just recently I have read some very scathing comments against people who are seeking to live a simpler lifestyle by farming, gardening, keeping livestock, etc.  These comments were not directed personally to our family but were pointed to anyone who sought this kind of life.  I have to admit that I was surprised until I realized that the statements were coming from people – women mostly – who worked in secular jobs, lived in subdivisions or apartment complexes and who, while saying they believed in plain life and dress didn’t practice it for whatever reason.  Honestly, I was grieved.

 I just want to say that there is in fact an Aesop’s fable that truly gives the moral of this situation.  Here is a link to that story if you are not familiar with it:

AsChristians we are to seek after God’s will for our lives and pursue that with determination and peace.  Those who would tear down another because they cannot have the same are not walking in love nor speaking for the Lord.  It is a matter of the heart and repentance is necessary in order for them to find the truth.  We pity those people and pray for their redemption.

 Now verse 13!  “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”  In order to be a Virtuous woman do you need to be able to spin wool and flax on a spinning wheel or drop spindle?  I can say with all certainty, NO!!  The point of this verse was not in the first half but in the second half – “and worketh willingly with her hands.”  This is where we will focus our attention.

 ver the years I have had many women email me and share their testimony and what they believe the Lord wants them to do, but often times they add that they are just not very good at working with their hands.  This seems to elicit one of two results.  Some women feel absolutely thwarted and begin to question what they originally heard from the Lord.

“Surely if God wanted me to do these things He would make it where I could know how to do them!  He must not truly want me to make bread (or sew or garden or homeschool, etc) since I can’t figure out how to do it.”  Hmmmm – is that so?

The second result invariably is:

“I know this is what the Lord has told me and I am going to figure out how to accomplish this.  If other women can do it, then with the Lord’s help I can too!”

 Now I have to ask, Sister, which one are you? 

 Let’s examine this scripture – “She seeketh wool and flax” – Our family has a farm. 

Ta-daa!  Aren’t you impressed?  Me neither.  I have sheep so I have wool but I do not have flax.  I reckon if I am to be in God’s Will I better get an order placed with Baker Creek and get me some flax seed in here and get it planted.  I just re-read that and yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.  As I said before, I believe the concept that the Lord wants us to focus on in this scripture is, “worketh willingly with her hands”.  As I have done before I want to see what our Strong’s Concordance says about these words. The Hebrew word for which “worketh” comes from is the word “`asah” and it means:

 1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make

   a) (Qal)

               1) to do, work, make, produce

                           a) to do

                           b) to work

                           c) to deal (with)

                           d) to act, act with effect, effect

               2) to make

                           a) to make

                           b) to produce

                           c) to prepare

                           d) to make (an offering)

                           e) to attend to, put in order

                           f) to observe, celebrate

                           g) to acquire (property)

                           h) to appoint, ordain, institute

                           i) to bring about

                                       j) to use

                           k) to spend, pass

   b) (Niphal)

               1) to be done

               2) to be made

               3) to be produced

               4) to be offered

               5) to be observed

               6) to be used

   c) (Pual) to be made


2) (Piel) to press, squeeze

             Whew!  Too much information?  No, I don’t think so.  In order to understand concepts we need to grasp the entire meaning of the words used to state that concept.  As I read over this list of descriptive words I see clearly that this was a results driven idea.  Active and purposeful and accomplishing.  There have been several times in different articles that Paul and I have written on our website where we discuss our belief of the innate, God given desire in every human being to be productive – to produce something.   I had a pastor’s wife sitting in my dining room one day – she had asked if she could come spend a day with me.  We were having a cup of tea and talking about our families and things we were doing and she looked me in the eye and said, “Well, I love the way ya’ll live and think it is wonderful but there is no way I am going to do it.  My gift is not in making things – my gift is in shopping.”  WOW!  I think about her quite often and wonder how they are doing now. 

Let’s just explore this for a minute.  Her gift is in shopping!  Okay – shopping – finding a bargain?  Well, you know that is quite a gift.  I was watching a youtube video the other day on a woman – wife and mother of four children – who has mastered grocery shopping with coupons.  She spends pennies every week and has fully stocked pantries of food. This particular showed her with $290 worth of food at the check out and after the coupons were done, her total to pay was 1 penny!  Now she has mastered shopping.  I was enthralled as I watched and listened to how she has developed the system she has.  Definitely a blessing to her husband in this.  One thing I noticed was that she spent a couple of hours a week just sitting down with scissors in hand and stacks of newspapers and her computer and printer and she cut those coupons, organized them and printed coupons from sites on the internet and cut them out.  She had a file system for all of it and when she went shopping she had it all in order.  Again, I was VERY impressed and inspired.  The girls and I are beginning to set something up for us to take advantage of this idea.  I have no doubt that at the end of the day when she serves her family she has a deep sense of satisfaction that her work has really accomplished something. 

Now back to the pastor’s wife.  I asked her later in the visit how she liked to spend her time and she said she generally liked to just head out in the morning and go to the mall or to one of the larger shopping areas and see what she could find.  She would try to get home an hour before her husband and children and get the house picked up and start something for supper.  But if she couldn’t get home soon enough she would grab something at the KFC or somewhere and bring it home.  She also told me that her family really liked Captain D’s and so she would get their family size fish deal and felt that this at least would help them eat more fish in their diet.  And you know fish is really good for you.

Why am I telling you that?  Because this story is all too common.  Look back at our definition above – 1) to do, work, make, produce.  To make or produce.  What are you producing?  What are you doing, making, working on?  When your husband returns home from work and he says, “Honey what did you do today?”  What is your response?  Now let me just add here, that being able to respond, “I spent the day reading to one of the residents at the Nursing Home” or “I spent the day helping old Mrs. Jones down the road get her house cleaned up.” or even “I kept little Michael so his momma could get some errands taken care of.”  All of those things are service and there is nothing tangible to show for it. Well, usually there is nothing tangible.  But they are productive in a true sense.

 My making clothing is not an eternal work but it is a task that must be taken care of.  A woman who cannot sew can put out an effort to find modest comfortable clothing for her family and add to that the effort of not wasting money by buying expensive garments and yes, she can have the beautiful deep satisfaction of knowing that she has done so and blessed her family.  Our efforts as Virtuous Women, whether wives of an earthly husband or Bride of Christ alone, we should endeavor at all times to work with our hands and to produce for our families. 

 Let’s look at the next word “willingly”. The Hebrew word is “chephets” and it means

 1) delight, pleasure

   a) delight

   b) desire, longing

   c) the good pleasure

   d) that in which one takes delight

There ya go!  That is as clear as it gets.  Willingly means with delight!  She works with delight with her hands.  She takes good pleasure in what she is doing.  Did I see the word grumbling there?  Nope.  How about begrudingly?  No.  How about “she makes her kids do it because she wants them to learn responsibility”?  Ooooop – did I get you on that one?  Been guilty of that myself. 

 When I am outside working in the garden or at my potting bench or sewing – when I am really busy, sometimes time creeps up on me.  I don’t wear a watch or anything and especially in the summer I have a problem knowing how late it is getting to be.  There have been times when Paul will come driving up and I will still be in the depths of whatever I was doing and not have gotten cleaned up and ready for him.  I really hate it when I do that but it is just something that happens.  Not too long ago this happened.  I was trying to finish some items that I am sewing for our sale day and I was almost finished.  I had my head down focused on the machine – fabric was laying around, snipped threads were on the floor and I was still sewing away when I felt someone kiss the back on my neck.  I nearly jumped out of my chair.  It was my sweet darling and it was already 5:00.  In my mind it was still around three and he would not be off work for another hour. 

 I was so frustrated with myself but so excited at what I had made, I hugged his neck and kissed him and grabbed the bags and held them up for him to see.  He just grinned and told me how nice they were and then of course, I began apologizing for all the mess.  In his usual understanding way, he told me it was fine and how proud he was of what I had done.  I LOVE THAT MAN!!  But you know – he really was fine with it.  There have been other times when I have been out in the garden, soaking wet with sweat, covered in dirt and I am sure not smelling like Jasmine and he just hugged me and wanted to see what all I had done that day.  He loves that I am excited and can’t wait to show him things. 

 There is a joy that comes from accomplishing things that speaks peace even when everything else is not quite right.  As wives we need to be busy accomplishing something.  Spending the day on the computer – posting on Facebook or surfing the web is NOT working with your hands.  When your husband arrives home in the evening or when you sit down together for a meal – what are you able to share that you accomplished that day. 

 Let me hear your thoughts on this!


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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

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