She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:13
I have read Proverbs 31 many times, but it wasn’t until digging deeper into the chapter that I realized it was the motherly advice given to her son about finding an excellent wife. How did I miss that one? We don’t know much about her son, Lemuel other than what is mentioned in scripture. His name means “for God” or “devoted to God,” he was a king; he wrote poetry and had a very wise mother who only had his best interest at heart. She not only gave him sound advice on finding a wife, but also on how to be a great king (Proverbs 31:1-9).
She only had the best intentions for him. As parents, don’t we do the same thing? We wish only the best for them. We pray that we have raised them with a good moral compass as well as values. And hope they take what they see as “nagging” at least a time a two.
Verse 13 states she looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. There are several translations for the word “looks” but I think these three are appropriate for this verse. The Proverbs 31 woman observes, contemplates and visualizes. In plain English she is a hunter; she is a hunter of bargains. Ladies, do you know what that means? She is a shopper! Just as we hunt for the best bargains for our family’s needs she does the same for her family.
She works with what she has available to her: wool and flax. She spins it into thread and weaves it on a loom to create fabric for making garments for her family. She works willingly with her hands and finds great joy in what she does.
Have you ever felt un-appreciated? Have you ever felt your day-to day list of things to get done today goes unnoticed? As if you don’t already have enough on your plate between the cooking, cleaning, laundry and errands and whatever else is on your list (please feel free to add to the list) and yet you do all this with delight. You are willing to “get your hands dirty” for your family.
Isaiah 49:16 says “Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” In this verse God writes on his hands the name of the city of his worshippers and its likeness so God will always be able to see it. I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with the Proverbs 31 woman? It has nothing but it has everything. Just as the Proverbs 31 woman works with her hands (Hebrew translation: “palm”) God has you written on the palm of his hand. Yes, I know this passage refers to a city and not a person but I love the analogy. Think about it. Your name is written on God’s palm for him to see 24/7. As Pastor Chris would say, ‘I don’t care what you say” that is some powerful stuff.
Don’t ever doubt your worth. What you do does not go unnoticed. Your family may not see and appreciate all you do, but your Heavenly Father knows and he has you written on the palm of his hand. And He delights in you. ~Tonya
Tonya Masoner is a part-time legal assistant and full-time school custodian. She enjoys thrift shopping, pizza Sunday’s and binge watching Netflix. She loves telling people-“God’s got a sense of humor… I don’t even drink coffee.” Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.