She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
How is the Proverbs 31 woman not the coolest chick you know? I hate that she gets a bad rap in some circles for being all good and generous and hardworking, when we’ve all had a long week and really just want a night on the couch. I get that. But, but, but! I’m sure these one-liner pieces of advice given to a prince on what to look for in a woman are hitting the high points. This is about who she is, the direction in which her heart is oriented, not how she is day in, day out, 100% of the time. Because that’s impossible. And Proverbs, up to this point, is nothing if not practical advice with real world application. Why would that pattern suddenly change at Chapter 31?
Well, it doesn’t! And more good news: our future queen, like many of us, is into fashion. SHE CARES ABOUT WHAT SHE WEARS. Too often in some Christian circles this concern is dismissed as trivial, vain and selfish. But in these verses, we’re talking about a noble woman who’s decided she’s going to look the part. She is discerning enough to recognize quality and that’s what she chooses for herself. She wears the color of nobility, which is an honor to her husband as much as herself. Were the verses written only for nobility to follow? Nay. This chapter does not stand apart from the rest of the book in it’s intended audience.
And it’s not all about the outward show, either. She has taken the time to select material and make bed coverings for use in her house where no one but family and her servants will see them. If there were a good place to go cheap, this might be it. But not our girl. She wants a nice-looking, soft, long-lasting, warm-in-the-winter-and-cool-in-the-summer linen set for her family’s beds. I wonder if Egyptian cotton was a thing then like it is now? I can see her importing special sheets from Egypt, can’t you?
What stands out to me in this verse, and in others throughout the chapter is the focus on quality. She’s selective, discriminating, choosey even! She’s not a slave to trends. And while she looks for the best for her family, she also looks for the best for herself. She’s not a martyr or a slave to her children’s material needs, sacrificing her own appearance or well-being for theirs. There’s a time for that kind of sacrifice but day in, day out, does not a happy home make.
Without guilt, false-modesty, pretension, snobbery, selfishness or jealousy, our girl gets it done with style and quality! I want to be her. Seriously. Even if I need to dial it back from the “nobility” setting to fit my income level, some choices are just better than others, and discerning quality is a good skill for anybody. In a culture of disposable everything, let’s choose to live differently and not feel bad about it! ~ Joni
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Joni Butler has called the ‘Ham home since 2012. Officially, she’s here for employment but has found a home here at Breath. Though an avid diarist for years, this is her first writing gig. Jesus is her best friend and she loves pursuing Him passionately. You can read more about Joni in her Breath Bio.