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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Bible Study, Proverbs 31 Woman » Proverbs 31:21

Proverbs 31:21

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

 

As I sit to begin this study, our night time temp has dropped to 39 degrees and my feet are freezing!!!  I have on my slippers but they are still cold. 🙂  So as I read this verse I couldn’t help but think about the thick wool socks that I have in my knitting basket still to be completed.  I am making them for Paul and realized I needed to get busy if I am going to get them done for him before we have some seriously cold weather.  Then I returned my thoughts to the verse and couldn’t help but nod in agreement.

The first phrase of this verse are clear in their wording and definition – “afraid” translates as fearful and the word “snow” is just that – snow.  Household refers to her family, home, barns etc – all the things and people within her family unit.  I think we all have a fairly obvious picture of this concept.  That being the case I want to focus a bit more on the “clothed with scarlet” phrase.

Over the years I have received MANY emails from sisters in Christ who have tried to understand why this “virtuous woman” seems to be so fancy and fixed up in her attire and yet we advocate a plain and unadorned appearance.  Well, this will be the beginning of our discussion of this question.  We begin with scarlet.

Strong’s H8144 – shaniy

  • 1) scarlet, crimson

               a) properly, the insect ‘coccus ilicis’, the dried body of the female yielding colouring matter from which is made the dye used for cloth to colour it scarlet or crimson

Allow me to add here from the Hebrew Lexicon:

Strong’s Number:  8438  towla`   

Definition:

  •                worm, scarlet stuff, crimson
  •                worm – the female ‘coccus ilicis’
  •                scarlet stuff, crimson, scarlet
  •                the dye made from the dried body of the female of the worm “coccus ilicis”

“the worm “coccus ilicis” ++++ When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. ”

In Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary I found some interesting facts about the use of the color Scarlet throughout scripture:

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  In Isaiah 1:18

Our sin is described using the same word as in our verse 21 reference – our sins being as scarlet.  Red symbolizing blood.

In Revelation 12:3 and 17:3 we see that the color of red is mentioned pertaining to the shedding of innocent blood.

In Hebrews 9:19- 23

For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This  is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. “

In seeing these references in scripture we can see  that while the verse says her household was clothed in scarlet that it is not necessarily meaning that all their clothing was red in color.  Could it be that the meaning and intent here is that she gave her own life – day in and day out – every waking moment – to take care of her family and household.  Is it possible that this virtuous woman actually sacrificed all her own desires in order to minister to the needs of her loved ones? Or do you think that this entire family walked around in red from head to toe.  Somehow that just doesn’t seem to be the image I have in my mind.  How about you?

There is much teaching today about women needing to express themselves and step out in their calling of ministry.  I have seen so many – and have done so in my younger years – who  felt such a determination to get out there and minister to others that they put their children in daycare in order to do so.  How many churches have women’s meetings, retreats, etc and ask the ladies of the church to leave their children and husband’s at home.  On the same track we see women who spend hours on the telephone or internet instead of seeing to the needs of their household – their housekeeping, their children, their husband.  Our ministry as wives and mothers IS to our family.  If you are not a wife or mother then you are more able to spend time in ministry separate from your home, but it needs to be in the true ministry of a Titus 2 woman.

Yes, I know this may ruffle some feathers but I will again state my favorite question – Where is the fruit?  If you are a wife and/or mother and you are spending chunks of time (yes, I said chunks :-)) dealing with everything under the sun except for your home and household – the most important fruit of your life is going to become tainted.  The evidence of your focus will become clear to everyone.  If you are into every church activity or ministry that you can find and you focus on that, I can guarantee that your husband and children will become neglected.  How?  Because a person knows when they are valued.  And I don’t mean by finding the most highly rated babysitter or making sure you only go out on football nights, so your husband won’t feel left alone.

There are so many women who reach their later years – children raised – they begin to examine their life and find results that they never expected.  Their husbands are more intent on watching television or going hunting than spending time with them. They are closer to their friends than they are to their husbands.  One by one they see their children becoming people that they don’t even know or understand.  How many women have I heard say about their children, “I don’t know where they got that attitude?”  or “I can’t understand why they never want to be at home?” or “Why have they become so cynical and worldly?” Dear sister – can’t you see why?  Are we clothing our family, our household with our own life’s blood of sacrifice or do we just think we do?

 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”   1 Timothy 5:14

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”                                   Titus 2:3 -5

Oh so much to add but I will wait –

Also, let me address those who do not have a household, per se.  Perhaps you are a widow or a single woman or for whatever reason you find yourself without family – what about you?  Sister, there are many who are without family in this world.  If you are in this situation, then you need to begin to pray for the Lord to lead you to those who need connection as well.  Perhaps you can stretch forth your hands to those in the nursing homes or the hospitals.  So many there are in desperate need of someone to care about them.  Contact the local school and see if there are children who need supplies or coats for the winter.  As you begin to seek out those in need, the Lord will set you into a family – He promised to do so.

God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”  Psalms 68:6

Angelia

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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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20 Responses to "Proverbs 31:21"

  1. Carey says:

    This is so true. I’ve seen this happen so many times. Some churches have so many committees, organizations, etc… some women belong to all of them. I don’t know how they could possibly care for their families. This was me, to an extent, many years ago. But it never felt right to be gone so much. So I stopped trying to do it all. Thank you for this. Hopefully, some women will see the light!

  2. Baron Hawkins says:

    Enjoyed the article. A lot of women are so caught up in wanting to do for the Lord that forget that taking care of their home and family IS what the Lord wants them to do. I could tell several stories of older sisters in our church who come to realize this in different ways, but that would take too long.

  3. Sarah says:

    Great Study! The entire message of society today is that a woman needs to find herself and to fulfill her life-goals, instead of just tending to a family. But there is no greater joy to a woman who is truly seeking the Lord. You will never be able to find that true fulfillment anywhere but in the work He has set before you. Trying to juggle both will only lead to disharmony and frustration. Once your priorities are in order, He can fill you in a way you can’t find chasing your own dreams. They can only bring a cheap imitation. And as you said, it’s not just for Wives and Mothers!

  4. Debbie Schwarz says:

    you have snow ready. wow.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      No – this was a picture from last winter.

  5. Heather says:

    I so needed to see this. being a helpmeet and caregiver to my husband and home is my first priority…Unfortunately I have slacked badly over the last few months. Working outside the home has taken over, and I feel such disquiet. I love working part time as a way to help my husband supliment our income…but I had lost sight that I was not blessing my husband by caring for the things that God has already blessed us with through my husbands many years of hard work. I started feeling disquiet…weary even. Sis. Angie, thank you so very much for this timely study…I really needed to hear this today. God Bless you and keep you.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Much love Heather! Bless your heart!!! God’s timing is always perfect and He has the plan for you all. Hugs!!

  6. Heather says:

    So I am seriously struggling….struggling with feelings of unhappiness, bitterness almost…I started cleaning with the right heart…and then that little seed crept in…and is growing and growing…but i will not let Satan overrun what I have done today, cared for the blessings God gave my family…but prayers would be greatly appreciated:)

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Heather – you are an OVERCOMER! Just keep your focus – for the prize – God is there with you and the victory is already at hand. You have recognized the attack and when you find that seed growing you can pluck it out, dear Sister!!!! Our Prayers are with you!!!

      1. Heather says:

        thanks sis. Angie. I am going to have a merry heart in this…I have accomplished what I should, and have not placed my beloved in a role that is not his to be in….keeper of my home. Thanks for listening.

  7. Le-Teisha says:

    This is so true. My children are older and so worldly. I regret not knowing things sooner and taking a deeper walk with the Lord when I was younger and they were small growing up. I pray that they will come to know the Lord and serve Him.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Dearest Le-Teisha, Just keep praying and trusting and walking the walk of Christ and you will be able to have great peace concerning your children. The key is to praise the Lord in it all and not compromise what you have learned. You can be a Titus 2 sister to so many and share what you have learned with those who are beginning!!!

  8. Regina Shea says:

    Thank you for this study Angelia. I think about my past and how I wish I knew when we were first married what I know now. I really regret putting my children in preschool because I thought it was what you do.

    As far as ministies at church I’m being more careful now and I’m saying no to anything that will take me away from my family too much. That includes teaching Sunday school to the prechool class. I’m already involved in AWANA once a week and the nursery once every other month. My Sunday worship with my family is so important to me and it would not make my husband happy if I was missing Sunday serivices too many times.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Thanks for commenting Regina – You know, none of us can go back and undo the past but we can start from where we are and it sounds like you have done just that! Good for you!!! If we keep our focus on our husband and children then we are showing the world Christ. I truly believe that the modern set up in churches where children are separated from their parents is not as the Scripture tells us, but we cannot fight the establishment – first and foremost we must be the example and pray that others see the truth in our walk. Big hugs!!!

  9. H says:

    Oh where to begin. This is the first time I have ever seen your website and it is affirming what I am doing and pushing me to do stay focused on the fruit – my children are still small and sometimes the days disappear so quickly with little visible work accomplished. It’s difficult to not feel a bit hopeless and lonely. I feel pressured by family and friends to do things outside the home “for myself” but my children and my home are my greatest source of joy on earth. why would I want to leave them often as i am apparently “supposed” to? Your words inspire me to lean on and praise God and to coninue praying that my husband would reopen his heart to the lord. For myself, it’s time to ask forgiveness and get walking again. 🙂 Thank you so much for this most perfect validating and motivating piece.

  10. Shellie says:

    As always Gods word is very timely. 🙂 I won’t expound a whole lot right now but suffice it to say this study applies directly to somethings going on in my family and heart this very day (and those prior). Don and I have been talking of late about how to lesson some of our involvement and running that seems to have over taken our lives since joining our church almost 3 years ago. Its a fine line between being a willing worker within the church and taking on too much and it effecting the proper family life and roles. We are seeing some of the fruit of too much activity. I am missing some (a lot)of the ways we used to be, and especially am noticing some changes in my own children’s attitudes and idea’s that I am not happy about. Besides that it keeps me too busy to be able to everything I feel like I really need to be doing. Its stressful. Don is noticing as well at last. I am prayerful the Lord will speak to his heart regarding it. I know this is a study for us women but I am thinking of sharing it with Don. There is much wisdom in it.

    Its my prayer the Lord will show him His will and guide us back to where we need to be. Again, thank you for sharing it.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      I know what you mean, Shellie – it really does help to focus us when we study these. It speaks to my heart as well about what is truly my calling and most important. I appreciate all your support and encouragement and please share with Don. While I do not stand in any position of teaching men, I think it is wonderful for husbands to know what their wives are studying to keep things appropriate in their family. They are our Head and it is vital that they know everything pertaining to our life.
      Love you!

  11. Shellie says:

    By the way, I absolutely love the photo of the barn you chose to use! Very beautiful!

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Thanks Shellie – I thought it looked really pretty in the snow! 😉

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