Proverbs 14:1 (ESV)

The wisest of women builds her house,

but folly with her own hands tears it down.

The opposite of a woman who builds up her home is foolishness. What a commentary on our culture. Commitment to the betterment of the home is not often equated with wisdom in our culture today. People have bigger fish to fry. The impression is often given that what is important is what makes the most money, has the greatest influence or changes the society for good the most. But if what the prevailing ideas of a culture suggests do not build up the home it is not wise. Ladies, gentlemen, be faithful to the teachings of the Scriptures. Know that a woman who builds up her house is wise. To forsake the home on the basis of what the culture thinks about it, is to abandon God. Stick with Him and the teachings of His Word. They are abandoned at your own and your family’s peril. Look at our culture for the proof of it.

All of this, of course does not mean that the Bible says a woman cannot work outside the home. The woman of Proverbs 31 is obviously not one who sits at home and does nothing. Verses such as the following suggest that the virtuous woman does much more than what we traditionally think of as housework.

Proverbs 31:13-16 (ESV)

She seeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

[14] She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

[15] She rises while it is yet night

and provides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

[16] She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

[24] She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

But also note that what the woman of Proverbs 31 is doing all this for the good of her home.

[21] She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

[22] She makes bed coverings for herself;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

[23] Her husband is known in the gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

[27] She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Finally we note that the family members of the woman of Proverbs 31 are not shy about proclaiming, for all to hear, the praises of their wife and mother

[28] Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

[29] Many women have done excellently,

but you surpass them all.”

[30] Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

If a woman comes to believe that her job of building up a household is demeaning and thankless and slavery, then perhaps it is because she has heard precious little of the encouragement that such work should receive. Liberation may be what she needs.

Husbands and children are to sing loudly the praises of the wife and mother who labours to ensure that her home is built up in the wisdom that receives the commendation of God. No woman should ever be given the impression that her work that contributes to the betterment of the home is unimportant. She should have no doubts that her household values her work and values her even more.