Proverbs For Wednesday – Proverbial Providers

 (Written By Ray Smith)

The last chapter in Proverbs provides us with a cameo of an amazing wife and mother. (Read the description of her in Proverbs 31:10-31). She is a person we often refer to on Mother’s Day. However, this lady described in Proverbs 31 can make most women (and men) feel inadequate rather than encouraged.

She weaves cloth, imports food, buys real estate, operates a vineyard, buys and sells products to merchants, makes clothes, is a teacher of wisdom, manages a household, runs a family, releases her husband from home duties for community leadership, cares for the poor and needy. Who can even do half of what she does?

Our understanding of her however requires some qualifiers.

# She was a woman who was mistress of an extended household, with servant girls to do the menial tasks, leaving her free to do what she did.

# She was blessed with more resources than most of us have.

# She didn’t have to go out to work outside the home like most women need to do today.

# She was endowed with more gifts and abilities than most.

This cameo of her life does not imply that she did all that she did at the same time. This wasn’t her weekly ‘to do’ list. There was a time and season for everything. Condensing it all down, this cameo is a picture of a resourceful provider. That is the main characteristic of this lady.

This proverbial wife and mother is not intended to be compared to any otherand mother. (phew!) What God expects of us is that we use the resources we have in the time, space and opportunity we have. She is an example of the variety of ways we can be providers. Whether we have much, like her, or little, the principle is the same. One very contemporary thing about her is that he provision ‘future proofed’ her family and household, so that they could ‘laugh at the days to come’. (v. 25). They were prepared for whatever their future held for them.

In the days ahead of us we will be called to be providers more than ever. The apostle Paul tells us that being a provider is a special Christian virtue.

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially his immediate family he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”                  

– 1 Timothy 5:8

Or, putting it positively, a major way we demonstrate our faith is by resourcing our relatives and family according to our abilities and resources. (including our church family)  The days ahead are a unique challenge for resourcing and providing. May our Father bless us with those resources so we can share and pass them on.

SONG: Jehovah Jireh –