(16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
(17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
(18) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
(19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
(20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
This lady has good business sense.
“She considers a field and buys it.” Clearly her good stewardship carries her beyond her home to the point where she is able to conduct her own business. It sounds here like she is into real estate and agriculture. What is interesting to note is her independence. This is a business decision she has made on her own. Her husband trusts her implicitly. I suppose when he got home that day, she just said: “Hey, I bought that farm down the road,” and the husband just shrugged and said: “That’s cool,” because she has so consistently proven her wisdom in the past he has no reason to be concerned about this purchase. He knows she’ll do the right thing and that it will be good for the family. Their whole relationship is based on trust and he is mature enough not to feel threatened by his wife’s accomplishments. The Bible is full of examples of strong women who are faithful wives. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. In God’s eyes, this is the picture of a healthy marriage relationship.
She is a confident woman.
“She perceives that her merchandise is good.”
This woman is confident for a couple of reasons. First, she knows what her abilities are and she’s good at them. Confidence does not mean pride. It just means knowing what you’re good at, and confidence in the Bible sense is knowing what you’re good at and recognizing that all the talents you have are gifts from God.
The other reason this woman is confident is because her husband encourages her successes. What you do not hear from her husband after her purchase of that field is rebuke, or belittlement. What you do hear from her husband at the end of this Proverb is praise. Praise goes much farther in building a person up than criticism.
Husbands, we know that as men it is easy for us to lecture and critique, and while in our roles as father, husband, family pastor, and coach, rebuking and critiquing is sometimes necessary, it all needs to be heavily seasoned with praise and encouragement. They are like Miracle Grow for the soul.
The Proverbs 31 Lady was strong enough to do well even if she did not get praise and encouragement from her husband, but be cause she did, she thrived. Her accomplishments led her to greater successes (vv. 18-20) and the good that she did went beyond her home to the community: “She stretches out her hand to the poor…she reaches forth her hands to the needy” (v. 20).
A godly wife is an extension of her husband’s ministry. A wise husband recognizes this.