Proverbs 31: God’s Instructions for Mothers

By R.E. Olsen

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

Although it sounds like something out of Proverbs, this quote is not a Bible verse – and yet it has a Biblical basis. The Bible teaches the husband to love his wife, as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). That love is unconditional, unwavering, undying and sacrificial. Likewise, the most important thing that a mother can do is to love, honor, and respect her husband.

There is a Biblical proverb that describes an ideal wife and mother: Proverbs 31. The Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible was a female jack of all trades – she worked at home, she worked outside the home, she took care of herself and her family, etc. Women in Bible times were strong, intelligent, creative, and capable of anything. Lydia of Thyatira, described by Luke in Acts 16:14, was “a seller of purple,” one who traded in purple dyes and fabrics. Today she would be considered a businesswoman.

Proverbs 31 also emphasizes that motherhood is a special calling. A mother should nurture her children with the responsibility of shaping and molding those children who will one day lead the community and the nation. She should be a disciplined and industrious keeper of the home, creating a warm and loving environment for family and friends. She should contribute to the financial well-being of her household, use her time wisely, and be willing to help others.

Proverbs 31:

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts in her; so he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household.
16 She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry 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.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Sounds like the modern supermom, doesn’t it? She is up before dawn getting ready for the day. She fixes lunches and drives the kids to classes and sports. She may or may not have an outside job, but she has plenty to keep herself busy. She takes care of the little ones, helps with homework, runs a midweek study group for her church, works out, cleans the house, goes grocery shopping, and cooks meals for her family. And at the end of the day, she spends time with her husband. All in the span of 24 hours.

On Mother’s Day, take time to honor your mother, and remember all that she does for you. Do something special for your mom – like offer to give her a hand! – and don’t forget your grandmothers, too. And finally, we applaud all the homeschool moms out there and appreciate the hard work you do every day, as described in this poem.

About the Author: A homeschool dad of three young men, R.E. Olsen takes his role of spiritual head of the household seriously. He also seeks to impart God’s truth to anyone who will listen.

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