Okay, so I’m coming back to my Proverbs 31 study of the excellent wife, and left off on verse 16, which says:
“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
Now to be real, I think there is always an innate desire to sound really “deep” or “spiritual” when you write about things that you’re studying from the Bible, and I’m no stranger to that sort of pride and self-righteousness. So, putting my sins away and humbling myself down, I realized that this verse is extremely relevant and practical to describing the excellent wife. In fact, if you want a summary of this verse, I broke it down into two parts:
#1: The excellent wife thinks thoroughly before she acts.
Wow! How applicable is this to today? Living in a recession (or depression, depending on how you look at it), an excellent wife will think thoroughly before she does something, especially things that impact her home. I don’t know how much husbands truly value women who put a lot of thought into things before they do them, but in the eyes of God, this woman is excellent. And I’m sure that there are a lot of husbands who appreciate their wives’ diligence in thinking through things before acting on them.
This reminds me of a young lady my husband and I know who was constantly buying her daughter new clothes (I mean almost weekly), and her daughter was still a baby at the time. Finally, I asked her about it, and she mentioned that she throws away her daughter’s clothes when they get dirty. You could only imagine the look on our faces at that time. This lady didn’t wash clothes (didn’t even ask for help), she considered it to be a nuisance, and just brought new things even when she didn’t have a job (she was borrowing the money). When my husband asked me to explain her thought process, I just told him she wasn’t the ‘thinking type’. Trust me, that made my husband appreciate the fact that when it comes down to it, I will hand-wash our daughter’s clothes in the sink if she messes up everything before laundry day…lol!
But really though, that example isn’t something as serious as buying a field during Biblical times, but you can apply it to anything really. The excellent wife thinks thoroughly. She considers all aspects of something beforehand. Some questions that come to mind are:
- Is this a good idea?
- Will this be profitable to my family?
- Is this idea guaranteed to work or is there some risk involved?
- How much risk is involved?
- How long will it be until I can gain a profit or breakeven?
- What can we do with the profit?
- How much will it cost financially?
- Do we have this much extra in our finances, or will we go into debt to do it?
- How much does it cost to maintain?
- How much time does it cost me to work it?
- Do I have enough time to spare from my regular duties to do this properly?
The excellent wife is a deliberate thinker and planner. Furthermore, she is cautious before investing in something that could cause her to not fulfill her current responsibilities in her home. I think that this point is also really important because we often have great ideas to do something, but they may keep us from doing what we already do well. If I pick up something on the side (i.e. baking and selling bread or planting a garden), and it suddenly becomes so time-consuming that the laundry isn’t getting done, children and husband and are getting neglected, meals aren’t prepared, etc, then I have to rethink continuing that. Obviously, it behooves you to think through all aspects of a decision carefully and thoroughly beforehand, then having to go back and fix your mistake. However, when it comes down to it, the excellent wife wisely and thoroughly considers all things before she does them.
#2: The excellent wife, acting wisely, remains debt-free when she does do something.
I don’t think that I can explain this further than what it already means, but here again we see the wisdom of the excellent wife. After thoroughly considering something first, she then proceeds to do it only when she is able to remain debt-free and not cause a loss to the family account for it.
Think about the patient endurance of this wife! She can have a great idea, but she does not proceed until there is enough extra money to do so. She will not allow her family to suffer loss on account of her desires. She knows what it will require to carry out her idea (from fully considering it first), and it is from the “fruit of her hands” that she implements her plans.
This reminded me of my mom’s mother who had a very beautiful home when she and my grandfather died. She even had a beautiful chandelier in the living room, antique furniture, and more. I remember the many stories my mom told about how she got the various things, and my grandmother had always been patient to save for every single thing she wanted for her home. The chandelier alone took months to save for and purchase, and it was even more of a feat because they were Black, still living in the South well before the Civil Rights movement had ever occurred.
Now, I know we don’t live in those same conditions today, but the excellent wife is a woman who can exercise self-control over her own desires. Though she may want to do something badly, she is wise and will wait patiently until there are more resources available to carry things out. Basically, the excellent wife is a woman who exercises godly discretion, and her husband is not disappointed in trusting her decision making.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” –Proverbs 11:22