The Proverbs 31 Woman: Generosity

{For the rest of the series, go here!}

As we’ve been winding through Proverbs 31 and unpacking some of the character qualities found within this chapter, I’ve been really challenged to consider my actions and words regularly. And this week’s section is no different – challenging, but once again I find myself dwelling on something I haven’t in the past.

She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Proverbs 31:20-22


The first few lines of this section speak clearly to the generous heart that we should all try to emulate. There is not a shadow of a doubt that The Proverbs 31 Woman was generous. She helps the poor and needy, it’s as simple and straightforward as that. This is one quality that we can bring into our daily lives and the lives of our children easily! Volunteer opportunities abound! Everything from working at soup kitchens or food pantries to volunteering at animal shelters (great for younger ones that want pets but can’t have one!) or even just signing up to clean after a church event. This is a great way to start introducing your children to the world around them, especially the broken and maybe not-so-beautiful parts. God can work miraculously through the hands of a faithful child.

But let’s pause for a moment and remember that I’m just sharing what I think – not any deep research or anything. But in reading and rereading (a million times!) this section of scripture, one line jumped out at me over and over again. Verse 22:

She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Think for a moment what that means. Yes, her household is clothes with scarlet. She has taken care of their needs as well as the needy in her community. And then what does she do? She makes tapestry for herself. She took time to see to her needs. She stopped all her pursuits for a time to make her own tapestry, or bed covering. Why do you think that the writer of this chapter included that? Isn’t it kind of an odd spot to toss that in there? As they’re talking about her generosity and lack of fear of the unknown (the snow, for example), everything stops. She makes herself a tapestry. It implies to me that our dear, industrious Proverbs 31 Woman took time for herself, to care for her needs, and her likes. What else is in this verse?

Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 

Everyone else’s clothing is scarlet. Couldn’t she have just had scarlet clothing also? Probably. But she has clothes of fine linen and in purple. She has taken time to clothe herself well. That means while she was making her tapestry and choosing her clothing of fine linen and purple – she probably wasn’t doing anything for anyone else! For me, that is so freeing! All that guilt that we heap on ourselves for buying a new blouse or going out for coffee – The Proverbs 31 Woman took time for herself, too. There is no extra glory and honor brought to the Kingdom of Heaven by working ourselves into the ground or dressing in the same clothes for 15 years. The Proverbs 31 Woman took time to make herself a tapestry. She was clothed in beautiful things.

So yes, moms. Let’s be generous. Let’s teach our daughters to be generous. But let’s also show them that we are treasured daughters of God as well. Worthy of beauty and maybe even an evening off to make a tapestry…or at least get a cup of coffee with a friend!

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