Proverbs 31:24-27, She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Lemuel’s mother has told her son that the virtuous woman's merchandise is good.
She has told him that she is a hard worker and her work insures that her family is well cared for in the matter of food and clothing.
She has a good attitude about her work.
She works willingly with her hands and her hands know well how to use tools.
She has planted a vineyard and she fully knows how to spin wool and flax toward the making of clothing.
In this verse we learn that she is a producer of products that bring a profit to the home.
She not only is a woman who is careful in her buying so as to guard the family wealth but she adds to the wealth by selling products that she has made with her hands.
She contributes to the family wealth by producing with her hands commodities that are in demand.
She knows the market! She knows what will sell.
Some women's habits tend the household toward poverty by their undisciplined spending ways.
But this woman of virtue not only does not do that but on the contrary brings a profit to the household by the selling of her wares.
Notice her priorities.
We are told that she has taken care of her family, she has taken care of her maidens, she sees to the needs of the poor and the needy and she well represents her husband who is known in the gates.
She continues to extend herself in the making of fine quality linen and girdles to sell to the merchants.
The fine linen refers to clothing that encircles or envelopes the body.
A wrapper, a sheet of cloth wrapped around the body.
The girdle is simply a wide belt used to encircle the wrapper or sheet of cloth to keep it closed and on the body.
Her merchandise is good and her sales show it.
The merchants willingly buy her goods because it is quality merchandise and it will not stay long on their shelves.
This is a fine lady, a strong lady who is also a business woman in her own right.
We have been told in previous verses that her coverings are of tapestry and her clothes are of silk and purple.
But Lemuel’s mother wants to emphasize that this woman is deeper than what she wears.
She tells her son that:
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. Proverbs 31:25
When people see this woman they see her for her strength and not for her clothing and outward ornaments.
She has a reputation that is built by her behavior and not by what she wears.
Her adorning is not simply that of the outward adorning of apparel and the wearing of gold but her adorning is the hidden man of the heart.
Her adorning, her ornament is a meek and quiet spirit.
1 Peter 3:5, For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Her subjection to her own husband is her most pleasing adornment.
and she shall rejoice in time to come
Notice that her rejoicing is yet future and notice how rejoicing is tied to clothing of the heart, strength and honor.
Her apparel is apparel of the heart.
She is not a woman who rejoices for the present because of the costly apparel that she wears for the moment.
She is not looking for the approval of men by wearing clothes and ornaments that draw attention to her outward appearance.
Her interest is a meek and quiet spirit, her interest is a chaste behavior that brings honor to her husband and to her family.
She knows that that is the slow road, that is the faith road.
She knows that rejoicing is to be built not on the temporal of clothes and golden ornaments but on the things of the heart, the work of God in her life.
She puts no value on outward beauty, she knows that will fade and soon be gone.
She desires the eternal which produces rejoicing in time to come.
She sells not the permanent on the altar of the immediate.
She is a woman of faith!
Proverbs 31:26, she openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
This woman is not loose with her mouth because the key which opens her mouth is wisdom.
When this woman opens her mouth people listen because she is careful to open her mouth when she has something to say that will be a blessing and a help to others.
Her speech is a disciplined speech because she expects the Lord to keep the door of her lips.
She is a pleasure to listen to because when her mouth opens words of wisdom come out.
And her words are wrapped in kindness for her tongue obeys the law of kindness.
Her tongue is guarded by wisdom and kindness comes forth in her speech.
She guards against making others uneasy by bold or rude words but even in times of rebuke she is kind.
Her mouth opens with wisdom and a mouth open in wisdom is always kind.
Proverbs 31:27, She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
This is a woman who examines the walk of those in her house.
The word look in this verse indicates a leaning forward, a peering in the distance, a keeping watch.
This is not a woman who ignores the behavior of her children while she tends to her own affairs.
This is not an oblivious woman who is blind to her children's behavior.
She sees to it that her children and her maidens behave in ways the bring honor to her household.
She has super-vision.
She examines the ways of her children and her maidens and sees to it that their ways conform to the family name.
She does not deal with a slack hand and allow things to get out of hand by sloppy or careless ways.
Her meals are not the bread of idleness.
Her meals are meals that are prepared by hard work.
Her meals are eaten after hard work and enjoyed because hard work increases the appetite and the taste.
The bread of idleness is eaten because food must be eaten to survive but not eaten with the enjoyment that hunger produced by hard work brings.