Posted by: Ety W. | August 29, 2008

Prov. 31:14 – Diligent Provider

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This is part 5 in a series on the Proverbs 31 Woman.
To start at the beginning, click here.

She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.  Prov. 31:14

I used to read this verse and think, “OK, so she does the grocery shopping.”  Having to do this post however, has forced me to meditate on it.  One thing we should notice, is the word “like,” because it signals a comparison. What does the comparison to merchant ships show us about the Proverbs 31 Woman?

Merchant – Strong’s 5503 – סחר – cachar = to go around, go about, travel about, go about in trade

So too, the Proverbs 31 Woman is willing to go out and seek after choice ingredients for her family’s meals.  In other words, she doesn’t simply do the quickest, easiest thing: fast food take-out or microwaveable meals.  Rather she is diligent to provide good food for her family.

This verse companioned with the previous verse, (verse 13)…

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

…. gives us the domestic arts in a nutshell.  From them we see that the Excellent Wife is domestically inclined in both the textile and culinary arts. Not only that, but she is personally involved in the process: from fabric making to menu planning and food selection for her family.  Though wealthy, she is not merely an overseer, hiring someone to do all these things for her, rather, she does them herself.

One modern objection to homemaking is that it is unfulfilling.  Today’s women are often convinced that they will be bored if they stay at home.  Consequently, they seek stimulation and fulfillment elsewhere.  For some women it is with a job or career.  For others, it is church ministry.  Is there anything wrong with these things?  From the verses which follow, we will see that the Proverbs 31 Woman herself had both.  Nowhere however, can we conclude that she did these things from a sense of boredom or unfullfillment.  Nor did she neglect her domestic responsibilities.

She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and her praises her …. Prov. 31:27-28

This is something to consider as we make choices for our lives and set our priorities.  Which would mean more to you?  A brief acknowlegement by your boss for a job well done?  Your name mentioned occasionally in the church bulletin for ministry participation?  Or the praises and blessings of your family for the love and care you’ve demonstrated toward them over the years?

We all make daily choices about what we will do and how we will do it.  I exhort you, Christian Women, to be true Keepers (Guardians) of your homes in the choices you make.  Though it may not seem rewarding at present, at the very least you are storing up treasures in heaven.  You will not go unrewarded for your sacrifice.


  1. […] Diligent – v 14 […]

  2. […] Gives food to her household – We’ve already seen in verse 14 that she is diligent in selecting and purchasing choice foods for her household. Here we see that […]

  3. […] Gives food to her household – We’ve already seen in verse 14 that she is diligent in selecting and purchasing choice foods for her household. Here we see that […]

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