The Proverbs 31 Woman Series: Episode One - Value
When you think about the infamous ‘Proverbs 31 woman’, I wonder if, like it does for me, a mixture of admiration and jealousy all in one arises?
Today is the first part of series I am sharing on this wonderful woman we find at the end of the book of Proverbs. I’ll be diving into what we can learn from her life and how it translates today. If you want to catch the LIVE video teaching of this series, be sure to join my Facebook group for Christian female entrepreneurs, The Sheerah Network.
- Valuing yourself
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (Proverbs 31:10)
This verse makes it clear that not everyone necessarily has the traits which are being described here. The question ‘who can find?’ suggests that this precious woman is few and far between. When we go deeper into looking at the life of the Proverbs 31 woman, as we will, you’ll notice that she’s an extremely skilled and hardworking woman. However, that is not what is mentioned first. I love that the first thing said about her is that she is precious and valuable. This is important on a number of levels. Firstly it indicates that her worth is not based in what she does. Before anything is mentioned of her skills and talents, her value is given priority.
This should also cause us to remind ourselves of our own worth and value. If we don’t recognise that we’re valuable (not only to God but also to people, as we’re about to find out in the next verse) then we won’t truly own it. If we disrespect and dishonour ourselves with wrong decisions and bad choices, we immediately give others permission to do the same. Someone is far less likely to drop their litter on the path of an immaculate street than they are a filthy road with rubbish all over it. Don’t allow yourself to be recognised as anything less than your worth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and are valuable and precious in God’s sight. Walk in that truth!
What are some practical ways you can remind yourself of your value today?
- Valuing relationships
“The heart of her husband trusts her and he will have no lack of gain.” (Proverbs 31:11)
Interestingly, next the passage goes on to talk about her husband. Again, her work isn’t mentioned yet. Her family is the next most important thing after her right standing with God (and with herself.) As Proverbs 31 women, we need to be able to be trusted by those who we love and who love us in return. We might not be married right now, but the principle stands regardless of the relationship we’re talking about here. This woman is trusted. The NIV says that he has ‘full confidence’ in her.
What do you cultivate in your relationships (and even with your clients and customers) which lets them know that they can trust you and have full confidence in you?
The second part of this verse goes onto say that her husband ‘will have no lack of gain’. Interestingly, it seems to be linked to the trust and confidence. He appears to have confidence in what she will be able to provide (more on that next week) and not only who she is.
Being valuable and precious doesn’t mean idleness. He trusts her enough to know that she is able to ‘do her part’ in the relationship.
When I first invested in a coach, I had a long conversation with my husband. We didn’t have the money and yet I just knew it was the right thing. We prayed about it and thought about it and in the end; my husband agreed that this would be a worthwhile investment. He knew that I would put the work in and that the investment wouldn’t be a wasted one, and he was right! Had I have been someone who wasn’t hardworking in what I’d done previously, he might not have had the same response.
In this consumerist society where people are almost encouraged to think about themselves only, we’re called to a different standard as daughters of the Most High. When thinking about the relationships you have with both family and friends as well as clients, what do they gain from their relationship with you? Likewise, what do you gain from them? It doesn’t always have to be ‘tit-for-tat’ but a mutually valuable relationship is truly one to cherish!
- Value which lasts
“She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:12)
The value which this woman adds is not some temporary flash in the pan, nor is it subject to the way she has been treated! I can’t imagine that this man never said or did anything to bother her ‘all the days of her life’, yet her intention towards him was always good. This goes back to the first two points – she knew her own worth and therefore didn’t want to disrespect herself and she also knew that this man had put his faith and confidence in her.
Again, we can see this through the eyes of not only a ‘husband/wife’ dynamic! As entrepreneurs, are we being consistent? Are we showing up for our clients and customers with consistent value or do we only offer it when we feel like it? What’s your plan/schedule for adding consistent value to those you’re in relationship with both privately and professionally?