Over and over again women use the Proverbs 31 woman to try to convince me that women are allowed to have careers. There is no way this made-up woman in the Bible who represents godliness would leave her children every day for many hours a day for mammon (money). God wants mothers to raise their children. He has made this very clear in His Word. God spoke mostly negatively about money in His Word and positively about children. He loves and values children. They are gifts and blessings from Him.
A woman with a career is making her boss the one she is in submission under. The Proverbs 31 woman was only under submission to her husband. It doesn’t speak about a boss or coworker rising up to praise her. No, it is her husband and children because these are who she has invested her life into, certainly not a career. She looks well to the ways of her household, not her career.
When a woman has a career, she must give her best for it. Her children get the leftovers and her husband gets little to nothing. Is it any surprise that divorces have skyrocketed since the feminist movement which convinced women that it was imperative for them to leave their homes and get out of the bondage of being home with their children and a wife to their husband? A wife’s first responsibility is to be a help meet to her husband. This is why God created her in the beginning.
The Proverbs 31 woman’s entire life revolved around her home and family. Everything she did was for them. The best thing she did was being there with them. You can’t be the best for your family if you are rarely with them. She most likely (although remember she is a made up woman) did most everything with her children at her side teaching and training them in the ways of the Lord. She taught them to work hard and to live simply (since they had to sew their own clothes and plant their own garden). Yes, she had servants but technology has given us an abundance of things that make our lives easier. Flip a switch and light, heat, and air conditioning comes on. Turn a knob and fresh hot, warm, or cold water flows freely. Yes, we are blessed with many things that make our lives easier but has it made many lazier, too. Probably since lives don’t demand hard work in order to survive in wealthy states.
Here is what the great theologian, Matthew Henry, wrote in his commentary about these verses in 1706. You will notice there is nothing about having a career and leaving her children for strangers to raise.
This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good.
She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women’s business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter.
She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others.
The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever.
She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her.
Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.
She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.