She Works Willingly With Her Hands – Proverbs 31:13

She Works Willingly With Her Hands – Proverbs 31:13

She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
Proverbs 31:13

Not that it is the duty of kings and queens to use manual operations, but it is the duty of all persons, the greatest not excepted, to improve all their talents, and particularly their time, which is one of the noblest of them, to the service of that God to whom they must give an account, and to the good of that community to which they are related” (Benson Commentary).

Everything we do needs to be done for the glory of God – to make God big, as our preacher taught last week. He commands that whatever we do, we do heartily to Him. Heartily means from the heart, with zeal, actively, and vigorously. When we are cleaning the kitchen, do it heartily as unto the Lord. When we are scrubbing toilets, changing diapers, rocking babies, making love to our husband, preparing nutritious meals, and all that we do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.

The Jews have a saying, that there is no wisdom in a woman but in the distaff; suggesting, that it is her wisdom to mind her spinning, and the affairs of her household” (Gill’s Exposition).

Our culture mocks housewives. Even Christian women who are homemakers when asked what they do will respond, “I’m only a housewife.” But this is exactly what God created you to do and when you decided to look well to the affairs of your household, you are using wisdom from above. Never allow anyone to cause you to doubt this but rejoice in your work that is God has ordained just for you!

Now as to the mystical sense of these words; as of wool outward garments, and of flax linen and inward garments, are made; by the one may be meant external, and by the other internal, acts of religion; both are to be done, and not the one without the other: outward acts of religion are, such as hearing the word, attendance on ordinances, and all good works, which make up a conversation garment that should be kept; and they should be done so as to be seen of men, but not for that reason: and internal acts of religion are, the fear of God, humility, faith, hope, love, and other graces, and the exercises of them, which make up the new man, to be put on as a garment; and these should go together; bodily exercise, without powerful godliness, profiteth little; and pretensions to spirituality and internal religion, without regard to the outward duties of religion, are all vain” (Gill’s Exposition).

In other words, we are not to be hypocrites. What we are with others, we are at home. Our lives have been transformed by Christ and those who live with us can see it (especially our families) as well as those who don’t live with us. We are nourished on God’s Word and good teaching and our good works prove that our faith is not dead. We care for our outer bodies and use self-control in all areas; for we are to be known for our temperance in everything. Being clothed in Christ’s righteousness is of utmost value to us. We never want to do anything to bring shame upon His name.

She sought all opportunities of doing good works externally, as believers do; and sought after the kingdom of God, inward godliness, which lies in peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Not that such garments are to be joined with Christ’s robe of righteousness, to make up a justifying one…and worketh willingly with her hands; or, ‘with the pleasure of her hands’; as if her hands took delight in working, as the church and all true believers do; who are made willing in the day of the Lord’s power upon them, to serve him, as well as to be saved by him; in whose hearts he works, both to will and to do; and these do what they do cheerfully: these do the work of the Lord, not by the force of the law, nor through fear of punishment, but in love; not by constraint, but willingly, having no other constraint but the love of God and Christ; and not with mercenary selfish views, but with a view to his glory; and they find a pleasure and delight in all they do; Christ’s ways are ways of pleasantness; his commandments are not grievous, his yoke is easy” (Gill’s Exposition).

A godly woman serves cheerfully out of love. She submits cheerfully to her husband out of love, not because she is forced. She has learned to find pleasure in serving her family and in obeying the Lord because she knows His ways are perfect for her. She trusts that He knows best.

The prohibition about mixing wool and flax in a garment (Deuteronomy 22:11) was probably based on the idea that all mixtures made by the art of man are polluted, and that what is pure and simple, such as it is in its natural state, is alone proper for the use of the people of God” (Pulpit Commentary).

Yes, I know we are no longer under the Law but I found this interesting in a number of ways. Food eaten as close to the way God has created it for us is by far the best for us. Man can’t improve upon it. Clothes made in materials created by the Lord (cotton, wool, silk, etc.) are far superior and longer lasting than any man-made materials. Taking this to a spiritual side, we must seek the pure and the good as His children for we are to be separate from the wickedness of our culture.

‘She worketh at the business of her hands,’ is feeble, and does not say much. What is meant is that she not only labors diligently herself, but finds pleasure in doing so, and this, not because she has none to help her, and is forced to do her own work (on the contrary, she is represented as rich, and at the head of a large household), but because she considers that labor is a duty for all, and that idleness is a transgression of a universal law” (Pulpit Commentary).

We were created to work hard. God made Adam and Eve in a garden to work. Work is good for us. We are to work hard at home. Our homes should be clean and tidy, our children should be well-nourished and cared for, and our husband’s needs should be taken care of by his wife’s willing hands. If this seems impossible to you, remind yourself that you’ve been given everything you need for life and godliness and that His Spirit works mightily within you.

17 thoughts on “She Works Willingly With Her Hands – Proverbs 31:13

  1. Hi Lori. I enjoy your blog and agree with almost everything. I was wondering if you have a prayer for moms to realize they need to be home with their children. My cousins children are all having babies (5) and all five new mommies will be retuning to work in some capacity. For most of them, their moms will be taking care of their children. I guess they believe it’s the thing to do for their kids so they go out to make money. Whenever I speak up, they look at me like I have seven heads and explain how wonderful it is for grandma to watch the grandkids and the women make some money. What I don’t understand is that these grandmothers stayed home with their children! Because no one wants to listen, I was wondering if their was a prayer for moms to realize they need to be home with their children. Thank you!

    1. I don’t have a specific prayer that moms should be home need to pray since we can’t make them pray anything, RC. The best thing you can do is to continue to speak the truth in love to them, live by example, pray that your words will not fall on deaf ears, and buy the Home By Choice for them and pray they will read it.

        1. Oh, okay! Just ask the Lord to convict them about leaving their homes for hours every day and their children in the care of others. Ask that He give you wisdom in what you say to them and that you will be bold in speaking the truth in love .

          Dr. Hunter was not a stay-at-home mom at first but she eventually came home when she saw the importance of mothers home full time. She has many studies that prove that this is the case. Just look how badly behaved and insecure children are today compared to when I was growing up and most mothers were home full time.

  2. I have a question about a previous blog entry of women wearing men’s clothes and vice versa. My son’s original favorite color was green but because he copied his older sister his favorite color is pink. (He is 5). When offered a straw, balloon or toy he asks for a pink one. I haven’t made a big deal about it. Should I actively steer him towards more “masculine” colors?

  3. Dear Lori,
    I am desperate to help my daughter in law but am at a loss as to what to do. She is a stay at home mother of our three year old granddaughter but rarely ever is at home. Our granddaughter was enrolled in a VBS every week this summer at many churches and also attended swimming classes and dance camps. Along with all this activity our precious granddaughter is left with anyone that our daughter in law can find to watch her child. Our daughter in law sees nothing wrong with this lifestyle because she claims to need a break from her child. Our son works 70-80 hours a week and when he is home his wife and daughter are usually not there because his wife spends 3-5 evenings per week at her parents home leaving our son to eat fast food for lunch and supper. Their home is filthy despite having a housekeeper two days a week and my granddaughter rarely has clean clothing. She also brags about only using paper plates and plastic utensils since their daughter has been born. Whenever our son ask for his wife to do anything she fanes sickness and unfortunately our granddaughter is picking up this habit. Recently our daughter in law began complaining because her child has been having tremendous fits to the point that our Church elders have spoken about it. I tried to speak with our daughter in law gently and with love about the situation but she just blames everyone else for the state of her home and her daughter’s behavior. My husband and I can see the train-wreck ahead if things don’t change. Do you have any advice for us. We are diligently praying for their family and wisdom on how to handle the situation.
    Thank you, D

    1. All you can do is to pray about it, Debbie. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is probably the most complicated one and must be handled with care. Since you aren’t her mother, there’s not much you can do or say. Taking daily to the Lord in prayer and asking Him to convict and change her is your best option.

      1. For Debbie:

        Can I add a hearty amen to Lori’s words here? The mother-in-law to daughter-in-law relationship is one of the easiest to shipwreck if the MIL steps in with criticism and “good advice.” The BEST way to be an awesome MIL is to refuse to speak one word of advice or criticism to or about your daughter-in-law. Really! If you say something, let it be positive, even if you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find something positive to say. Be cheerful, be available to help when asked, and keep all of your opinions to yourself. And then, if there are problems – which there obviously are!! – simply refrain from criticism/advice and PRAY. Otherwise, you will end up with a situation made five times as bad because your DIL will hate you if you are the critical MIL in whose eyes she can never do right.

        In my own experience, I have done SO many stupid and immature things. But my MIL has never once offered advice or criticism. She is awesome, and she honors my home and my parenting (even though she was a far better mother and homemaker than I am), upholds my standards (even when she doesn’t agree with them), takes my part in arguments, and simply has never said anything negative. The end result is that I love her, admire her tremendously, strive to be like her, and ask her advice whenever I can. NONE of that would have happened if she was the critical, advice-giving type.

        Hope this helps! I know it’s so hard when you watch a bad situation that you can’t help, but PRAY!! 🙂

        Diana

    2. If it was me, and my granddaughter was left in my care, make sure she is clean and properly dressed. Lay firm boundaries while she is in your care and maybe invite them for dinner once a week. If your son is always eating fast food, at least offer him one decent, healthy meal once a week. Maybe you could offer to drive your granddaughter to some of these activities so daughter in law can spend more time at home? Just be kind, firm and pray for them. Not much else i can suggest.

  4. Thank you for writing this post Lori. It’s really inspiring as usual. Your hard work is very much appreciated and impacts many. THANK YOU.

  5. I’m not a mother and I’m not a wife. So I apologize 1st if I’m totally overstepping. I would look at this situation as God giving me the opportunity to spend more time with my granddaughter and my son. Look at what you can do that will make you feel good. You can’t change anybody, only God can. So, enjoy all the good that can come out of a situation and give the rest to God.

  6. Hi Lori,

    Thank you for your article here regarding stay at home moms. In light of mothering full time, as you have encouraged here, it truly is a beautiful journey being available to your family full time and undivided from the world of rat race activities.

    I have two daughters. The oldest is 25 and the youngest is 14. They have eleven years between them and the growing up experience between the two is drastically different. I worked full time until my second daughter was born. Coming home to care for my family and raise my children has been by far the most incredible and rewarding experience of my lifetime and has provided me with the sense and understanding of the importance of giving children the safe place they need and that God desires for their growing minds. It’s amazing to train up a child in the way they should go!

    My oldest daughter is now married, coming up on a year, and is beginning to desire having children of her own.

    I’m beginning to see that when we live as an example before them within the family structure God’s way they will want to continue that pattern of living as they get older.

    It was in no way easy for me to be home for a majority of the time. I left my career, a single mother, and started an in-home daycare to provide financially and open up that pathway to engage my children daily. It was a calling from God to do so and even though I was scared about the details of it all, He always provided for us and has grown us into a family of love and connection. I truly give Him the glory for it all. I’m so excited thinking about having grandchildren!

    If you have any readers here that are thinking of connecting with their families in this way of staying home, I will say don’t delay and don’t hesitate. It will be one of the most rewarding times of your life!

    Thank you for your article, Lori. It made me ponder the last 14 years of my life and all that has happened since the Spring of 2005. All I know after all these years is that God’s path will never takes us down a path that is wrong, but one that will be full of all His goodness and provision.

    Many blessings,
    Jennifer

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