“A woman with the attire of a harlot, and subtil of heart. She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house” (Proverbs 7:10,11). Unfortunately, these verses describe too many women today – an adulteress, a whore, or a “strange” or “evil” woman, as the Bible calls them and are completely opposite to what God calls women to be.
She dresses with the “attire of a harlot.”
Gill’s Exposition: “She dresses with showy gaudy garments; the word signifies one fitted to her body, neat and well-shaped, to recommend her: so the woman, the whore of Rome, is said to be arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls; signifying the outward pomp and splendor of the Romish religion, designed to captivate weak and unwary minds.”
Pulpit Commentary: “In Revelation 17:4 the harlot is ‘arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls;’ and in the present case the female is dressed in some conspicuous garments, very different from the sober clothing of the pure and modest.”
We are to adorn ourselves with modest clothing. This not only means that we should not be bringing attention to our bodies or dress in any way that is sexually enticing but we shouldn’t spend a lot of money on our clothing either. Clothing is to keep us covered and warm. It’s to cover our nakedness. It’s not to show off our bodies or show how wealthy we are. Few even remember what others are wearing yet so many women spend so much time and money on their clothing. This isn’t storing our treasures in heaven, women. It’s storing them on earth where moth will destroy.
She was “subtil of heart.” Subtil means “sly; artful cunning; crafty.”
Ellicot’s Commentary: “Feigning love to her husband and devotion to her lovers, yet caring for none, only to satisfy her own passions.”
Gill’s Exposition: “A mistress of all artful and intriguing methods to seduce and ensnare or, ‘reserved of heart,’ cautious and wary what she said, told everything that was encouraging, but kept back what was discouraging; or she kept her own heart to herself, while she stole the hearts of others.”
Pulpit Commentary: “Literally, of concealed heart; i.e. she hides her real feelings, feigning, perhaps, affection for a husband, or love for her paramour, while she seeks only to satisfy her evil passions.”
There is a selfishness that pervades many today. They don’t care about their husbands or children. They only care about themselves, their happiness, their dreams and goals, their careers, their paycheck, and only seek to satisfy themselves. This is the opposite of love and we are told that in the end days, people will be lovers of themselves and their love will grow cold.
Many today will tell us that we need to learn to love ourselves. The Bible never commands us to love ourselves. The problem is that when people are lovers of themselves (only looking for their best interests and desires), their love will grow cold. As we live for others by loving and serving them, our love grows deeper! Women who dress immodestly (seek attention for themselves) and seek only to satisfy themselves are those who no longer know how to love. Their love has grown cold.
Remember, loving others consists in learning to be kind, patient, thinking no evil, not easily provoked, and so on as clearly explained in 1 Corinthian 13. It’s thinking more highly of others than we do ourselves. Instead of learning to love yourself, remind yourself how much God loves you! Loving yourself pales in comparison to what God’s love can do for you; it transforms you!
“She is loud and stubborn.”
Benson Commentary: “She is full of talk, self-willed, disobedient to her husband, rebellious against God, and incorrigible by any admonitions of ministers or friends.”
Matthew Poole’s Commentary: “She is rebellious against God, and against her husband, and incorrigible by all admonitions of ministers or friends.”
God commands that we be meek and quiet. It’s the complete opposite of what young women are being taught today. They are being taught to voice their opinions, fight for their “rights,” be independent, and don’t let anyone stand in their way. God commands that we be mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; submissive to the divine will; not proud; not apt to complain. We care more about pleasing the Lord than pleasing ourselves. We want to glorify Him in everything, not ourselves.
“Her feet abide not in her house.”
Ellicot’s Commentary: “She is not a ‘keeper at home,’ as St. Paul (Titus 2:5) would have Christian matrons to be.”
Benson Commentary: “She minds not her business, which lies in her own house, but gives herself wholly up to idleness and pleasure, which she seeks in gadding abroad, and in changing her place and company.”
Gill’s Exposition: “It is the character of good women that they are keepers at home, but it is the sign of a harlot to gad abroad.”
Pulpit Commentary: “She is the opposite of the careful, modest housewife, who stays at home and manages her family affairs.”
I LOVE how the commentaries of old have no problem explaining what being a keeper at home is. It means to be a keeper at home – stay at home – work at home. For the Proverbs 31 woman was known for “looking well to the ways of her household” (Proverbs 31:27). All of her work revolved around and for her home. The aged women are commanded to teach the younger women to be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5). Young widows are told to “guide the house (1 Timothy 5:14).” This is our place of work and ministry, women, and it is good since all of God’s ways are perfect!
God is clear what He commands of us. Our culture and feminism demand the exact opposite. You have a choice, women. Are you going to follow the ways of our culture on the broad path that leads to destruction or are you going to follow the ways of the Lord on the narrow path that leads to life?
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:3, 4