Posted by: Ety W. | August 26, 2008

Prov. 31:13 – Willingly Industrious

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This is part 4 in a series on the Proverbs 31 Woman. To start at the beginning, click here.

She looks for wool and flax,
And works with her hands in delight.  Prov. 31:13

At first glance, this verse might seem irrelevant for modern women. Thanks to the industrial revolution, raw wool and flax are two things we never need to bother with.  In fact, we really may not know too much about them.  Most of us probably know that wool comes from sheep.

A primitive breed of sheep in full fleece.

Flax, however, we mostly hear of in reference to flax seed as a health food supplement.  From that we can guess that it is a plant.

A field of flax plants.

However, it has another purpose as well, linen is made from it.  What wool and flax speak to us of, is fabric.

Our homes are filled with fabrics: clothing, upholstery, curtains and draperies, table linens, towels, even our carpeting is made from yarn.  It is with fabrics that a large part of interior decoration is made, using color and texture to create an atmosphere in which we feel comfortable.  Fabrics also make clothing, which have both functional as well as decorative uses.

From this verse I think that we get a glimpse of the Proverbs 31 Woman as a Keeper at Home.  She is domestically inclined and we see that her home is a priority.  She obviously doesn’t do it because they can’t afford to purchase ready made fabrics, but because she loves doing it.

She works with her hands in delight.  Prov. 31:13b

Works – Strong’s 6213 – עשׂה – asah = to do, make, produce, fashion, accomplish, make, be busy, be industrious,

Delight – Strong’s 2656 – חפץ – chephets = Delight, pleasure, that in which one takes delight. Also translated acceptable, desire, things desired, matter, pleasant, pleasure, purpose, willingly.

From this (and the verses which follow) we can see that she is willingly industrious.  She enjoys working with her hands and seeks out the raw materials, even though (as we will see) she is wealthy enough to afford to purchase ready made items from the merchants.

How does that apply to us?  None of us are going to start from scratch to make first the yarn, then the fabrics, then sew the items themselves.  However, what we glean a few things from this verse.

One thing we see is that she is not idle.  Nor does she view her life as a homemaker as boring and  unfulfilling.  Rather, and her home and family are a creative outlet for her.  Now, you may or may not enjoy or know how to sew.  Perhaps more to the point is our attitudes toward our homes, and how seriously we take our spiritual responsibility toward our them.  As Guardians of the Home, we have a responsibility to create and protect a welcoming and nurturing environment within our homes:  for our husbands, our children, our guests, and ourselves.  We also have the responsibility to make sure our family is appropriately clothed.  Not that we should be slaves to fashion, but because as Christians, we represent our Lord and the life of the Redeemed.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is willingly industrious in these matters.  As we continue to study her and her character, we hopefully will see this more clearly.


  1. Nice post. Our homes can be holy places (or at least I’d like to think so), and as women I believe we can set the emotional tone and make our dwellings a haven, a refuge from the world.

  2. Thank you Marla Jayne. I absolutely agree with you. If “holy” means “set apart,” then it is definitely within our ability to make it so. And I think your phrase “emotional tone” really hits the nail on the head. It isn’t about fancy looks, but about a peaceful, welcoming atmosphere. As you put it, “A refuge from the world.”

  3. […] Industrious – v 13 […]

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