A few days ago I picked up a post on Proverbs 31.. it was great. I posted it on my facebook and another friend read and and noodled on it and came up with her own thoughts. I just loved them! And so with permission, I post Liana's take on Proverbs 31..She Has HAND MAIDENS!
Have any of you really considered the life of the Proverbs 31 woman? Seriously, I read it this week differently than I've ever read it before. Before, I've always seen her as a Victorian work-horse, cleanliness is next to godliness, idle hands are a sin, oppressed, sacrificing her health for the good of her family and pampered autocratic husband. But this week, thanks to Amy's facebook post, I took a second look from within the context of ancient middle-eastern culture and the writer's perspective. And I was EXCITED!!!
First of all, this woman has HAND MAIDENS!!!!! That right there is the first clue to this woman's life. She's wealthy. She has women around her taking care of all the mundane details, providing daily support, while she focuses on the BIG PICTURE. LOL. I want that.
Secondly, her ancient middle-eastern husband trusts her in all things. I.E. -- she's EMPOWERED. She's esteemed and respected.
Thirdly, she has enough cash flow to make large impulse purchases -- such as a field. They are landowners, and she can acquire MORE LAND on IMPULSE when she spots a good deal. And you know what... it's her OWN CASH. Which means she didn't have to wait to consult her middle-eastern husband, she simply purchased it. THEN... she was able to DECIDE what she wants to do with it. She gets to not only dream and plan, but implement -- hiring workers to prepare, plant, and harvest the best cash crops. Realize, this woman has hand-maidens. She's not out there with a shovel, planting summer squash. She's creating a vineyard and winery. She's a "Rich Dad" developer. No kidding.
She also uses her creativity. She's a clothing designer, and sells her work in the market place. Not only is she out in the community, interacting with her world, but I'm guessing she enjoys it too, because she's using her skills and gifts. And she has time to do this, because she has HAND MAIDENS!!!!!
She gets up early and makes sure her staff is taken care of. Consider the opposite from a king's perspective -- she's not sleeping off her hangover until noon, because she's a spoiled brat princess debutant habitually partying her life away. She takes care of herself and others, and is responsible.
She sees her trading is profitable, and her lamp never goes out at night -- I heard a sermon on this once. It doesn't mean she stays up late, it means she knows how to barter and get good deals. She shops at Costco. Lamp oil was expensive and a luxury of the rich, and if you didn't stock enough, you had to ration the amount of time the lamps were on, especially in the long winter when it gets dark early.
Her staff wears scarlet and she wears purple. Two very expensive colors. In other words, they were ALL well heeled, and she herself wears Prada. And remember... this lady has STAFF!!!!!!
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar... SHE EATS WELL. They have imported bananas from the tropics, and spices from India. Today's equivalent would be organic, grass-fed beef and local free-range chicken eggs...
She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction -- she's educated and wise, and Rich Dad combined... and people want her advice!
She gives to the poor and needy, she's also compassionate, instead of having princess like entitlement issues.
She laughs at the future... because she's so good at creating wealth.
Her husband is respected at the city gates. He has positions of importance, and probably studies the Torah and philosophy and judges the people. Their whole household has respect, in part, because of her, and her husband is also a noble man. A leader in the community. The kind of guy we all want.
She's a noble woman. She's the middle eastern equivalent of a duchess or at least a lady of a great estate.
Sign me up! LOL!