She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (14) She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.Proverbs 31:13-16
Here you see the second quality of a virtuous woman. She is wise in her work. The virtuous woman is not idle. She is busy making everything around her better.
In verse 13 you see her using raw textiles to create things with her hands.
In verse 14 you see her willing to go the extra mile to make meals the best they can be.
In verse 15 you see her getting up extra early to accomplish what she needs done. She is preparing and presenting food to her entire household.
In verse 16 you see her making a purchase because of the extra income that she has made from her work. What she purchases is not something of novelty, but rather an investment that will help her to make even more money. Her investment will take hard work and management, but she is willing to go that way. You see a growth here.
Here are four words that characterize wise work:
As you read about the work of the virtuous woman you see that she is making a real effort. She is not shying away from tasks that are difficult. Anything worth pursuing takes hard work and effort to achieve. We must not be lazy and just “put in our time.” We should make an effort in our daily work to make things better.
The virtuous woman is not just fulfilling tasks, but is putting in the extra effort to make things the best that they can be. She is pursuing excellence. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Everything we do should be done the best we can. It’s an attitude that turns into an action.
Notice that the virtuous woman got up early. In the pursuit of excellence (#2) that happens when we make a real effort (#1), there will be times where going the extra mile means we get up early. The idea here is that there has been a calculation and stewardship of our time. This pursuit of excellence means we make sure we get to sleep early and rise early to give ourselves the best shot at excellence.
Notice that her work in the cottage industry of textiles has lead to her purchase of a vineyard, an external industry. You see here a growth in her production as there has been the pursuit of excellence. She is growing, her production is growing, and her influence and resources expand as a result. When we steward our effort well, there will be growth.
- Would the description of your life and work be like the virtuous womans life and work?
- Are you lazy or industrious?
- Do you do things with effort?
- Are you stewarding your time well?
- Is there an excellence to your work? Are you growing?