Troublesome Topic: A Good Household Manager Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31:10-31 describes a woman who is well established in her marriage and her home. She is depicted at a time in which she already has children as well as a medium to large estate with servants at her command. I believe Solomon’s mother gave him this description with the injunction for him to seek a young woman who showed signs of becoming this kind of a wife and household manager.

I can hear his mother sayings to him something like the following: “Solomon, you are not being raised in a normal situation. You live in a palace and your father is the king. You are surrounded by beautiful women whose goal in life seems to be to prove how beautiful they are. But in the real world everyone’s life is full of work—hard work. You should not seek a wife from among the daughters of nobility because they are fickle and self-centered. I think you will not be happy unless you find a wife who will be a good partner and a team player. You want someone who will share your dreams and goals, someone who will journey with you in the quest to achieve those goals. You will not be fully satisfied until you find someone whose heart is joined to yours on every level. When you find a wife like that, you will finally realize what being blessed really means.”

            This teaching about the kind of wife Solomon should seek was written as an acrostic with each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in successive order. Things that were written in that fashion were easier to memorize, and it gave the writing order and balance. For those of you that are inclined to count the letters, I will tell you right now that, yes, there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. (I attempted to make my rendition into an acrostic but I had to ditch that idea.)

            This is not a picture of the intimacy of marriage nor of the marriage relationship specifically, but rather a description of the female head of a household who has gained the trust of her husband.

The managing that is depicted is obviously set in the culture and time in which it was written, but there is much we can learn from it today. In order for a wife living in our modern era to be a good manager of the home, a woman does not need to do exactly what is described in Proverbs 31, rather she needs to fulfill the principles being described there.

The praise of this type of woman falls into the following categories:

1. She makes her husband look good

2. In her own way she contributes to the economic stability of the home (she saves money, and she makes money)

3. She is prepared for the future

4. She shows godly character qualities

I encourage you to read my translation and paraphrase of the entire passage found in Proverbs 31, starting with Proverbs 31:10.

The next lesson is: Lessons to Be Learned from Proverbs 31