Proverbs 31, with its talk of wool and flax, seems to let us off the hook. Few know how to sew or knit these days! So we’re tempted to think, “That verse was for back then. Times have changed!” Perhaps we can pretty much relegate the sewing and knitting part to the past.
When my children were small, I made a lot of their clothes. And my daughter’s dolls were some of the best-dressed dolls anywhere! But these days sewing is often more expensive than buying ready-made. However, we can qualify as virtuous women, even if we don’t sew or knit!
It’s really about excellence and wise management.
God looks at our intention and attitude, not sets of dos and don’ts.
The virtuous woman knew she could make better quality goods more cheaply, so she did. But the emphasis was on caring for the family. Her family didn’t go about with ill-fitting, wrinkled, and tattered clothing. Because she made sure they were as well-dressed as their financial situation permitted. Not with designer clothes or the latest fashion, knowing that could land them in the poor house.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar, (Proverbs 31:13-14)
Perhaps better renditions of these verses for our times would be: “She keeps busy washing, ironing, and mending. Her family looks neat and cared for because they are.” Or “She stays busy finding good buys for her family.”
Surely this virtuous woman didn’t buy impulsively. For one thing she was too busy sewing and knitting to go shopping all the time! But also because she was a bargain hunting wife!
In fact, she probably had her own Wait and Think Buying Plan!
She wanted to spend wisely, and better meet her family’s needs. And even be ready for those rainy days! So she worked with her hands and shopped wisely. She wanted people to see that her husband and family had someone who loved them and took care of them!
And for the single women?
Note Proverbs 31:13: “She seeks wool and flax, and works eagerly with her hands.” If you’re trying to catch a husband, your best strategy might be that of spending more time serving others. So often we think good looks will do the trick. And it’s true that looks and good grooming are important…
But a bargain hunting wife with a generous serving spirit is worth so much more than a pretty face!