She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:13-16)
Busy lady! It looks intimidating, but let’s look at it in modern terms. We don’t make our clothing from scratch anymore—I mean scratch—the wool and flax had to be made into cloth first. And who wants to be compared to an 18 wheeler!
She works with willing hands. She brings food from afar. She provides for those in her home. She considers a field—she’s in business. And I assume that the fruit of her hands means that she sells some of the clothing she makes to buy the plants for the vineyard.
Whether you work at home or have a second job outside, like she did, it’s all work. And we all bring our food from afar. We may make lunches at night instead of getting up early, but we still provide for our family. So, we’re not so different after all.
I think the important thing is attitude. It seems to me that the key word in this passage is willing. That word can also be translated delight or pleasure. It matters how the work is done.
Again, Lemuel’s mom wanted her son to know that that excellent wife is a team player. Involved. Active. Taking initiative and being creative. And taking delight in it all.
What would it mean to take delight in it? I know it doesn’t mean blindly grinning through every job. But taking delight in the whole – in building a home that works well. In building a family that works well, too.
That’s something to take delight in!