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Proverbs 31:15-19, She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
Lemuel’s mother continues to describe this rare woman of virtue.
Remember what virtue is.
It is going beyond yourself.
It is going that second mile after being compelled to go the first mile.
It is the giving of your cloak to the same person who took your coat.
It is turning your cheek to the one who has just smitten the other cheek.
This is the kind of woman she describes.
She describes a woman who takes duty seriously.
Duty is important to this woman.
She does not allow sleep to hinder her when duty calls.
It is night when she arises.
She does not allow the sun to beat her in the rising race.
She rises while it is yet night.
It is much more pleasant to remain asleep but she is a virtuous woman.
A virtuous woman is one who stretches herself from the comforting arms of sleep.
She does not allow herself to be governed by sleep.
She knows the proverb of Proverbs 19:15 which cautions her that:
Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
She knows that sleep begets sleep.
She knows that slothfulness ushers in sleep and teaches sleep.
She knows that sleep is a taught thing.
And the more exercise of that which is taught the more proficient one becomes in that which is taught.
She knows the love of sleep shall lead one to poverty
As we read in Proverbs 20:13, Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
So she gets up and does her duty.
She sees to it that her family is fed. She starts the process of preparing food for the household.
The portion to her maidens refers to the tasks that they are assigned that day.
She sees to it that her maids are well prepared to do their duty.
She is not afraid to be a servant to those who serve her and in so doing she leads her servants to serve by her example .
She knows how to make servants by being a servant herself.
This woman is a woman who considers profit in her life and the life of her family.
She does not spend money on frivolous things that do not bring gain to her husband and to the family.
She employs money in useful purchases.
And that employment of money is only after careful consideration.
She examines carefully that which she thinks to buy and only buys it when she is sure that it will be profitable to her household.
That which she buys she improves by adding the labor of her hands.
She adds herself to that which she buys and that which she has bought provides conveniences and comforts for her husband, her children and her maidens.
If she wants grapes she looks diligently for a field that will grow grapes to good advantage.
She considers several fields.
She councils with those who know what soil is best for growing grapes.
She considers the elevations and the contours of the land.
She is not taken aback by the work ahead of her in realizing fruit from her purchase.
She rolls up her sleeves and gets her hands dirty but in so doing she girdeth her loins with strength and she strengtheneth her arms.
She is not afraid of hard work and she is not afraid of affecting her figure by her hard work.
She needs no artificial girdle about her loins because her loins are girdled with strength.
She does not shun muscles in her arms because those muscles serve her husband and her family.
Her working habits give her health and give her increased ability to extend herself to reach in new directions and new profitable endeavors for her husband and children.
This woman of virtue perceives that her merchandise is good.
She has attained this awareness by comparing her merchandise with the merchandise of the market.
She knows her merchandise is good not by simply hoping that it is good or advertising it as good but she has evaluated it against that which others make.
This knowledge about her merchandise is based upon real comparisons and this knowledge gives her a self-respect because she knows that she is doing her best.
Her merchandise tells her so.
Her merchandise has a reputation and brings quick sales at a good price
And she intends for it to continue to be good even if it takes burning the midnight oil.
Her candle goeth not out by night.
Long hours, when needed, will be worked if she has a schedule to meet.
She keeps her promises even if it means losing sleep to do it.
Her word is more important than her sleep.
Proverbs 31:19, She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
This woman has maidens to do this work but she does not let this keep her from using her hands in work that God intended them to do.
She knows that hand work is important work and her daughters need to know that also.
She is working with wool and with flax.
She places a bundle of the flax fiber or the wool on the end of a stick with a cleft end held in her left hand or perhaps tied to her by a belt.
Her right hand held the spindle, a smaller tapering rod and she rotated it while pulling from the fiber bundle a thread of flax or wool.
As the spindle rotates the thread or yarn balls up on the spindle.
She would make finer threads or yarn by doing two or three spins of the thread or yarn.
And this is how she provides clothes for her husband, for her children and for her household.
She does not hesitate to extend herself because she is a virtuous woman!