The Dreaded Proverbs 31 Lady, Part Dos

April 26, 2012

in the generous life

More on the Dreaded Proverbs 31 Lady…

I ran into another bind with these two verses ~

15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 
18 … and her lamp does not go out at night.  Proverbs 31  NIV

Basically what I was taught was that she was a workaholic, staying up late and then getting up before the crack of dawn.

Nope. So not going to happen. I need my eight hours of sleep to be functional. You do NOT want to hang out with me when I am sleep deprived.

Turns out, though, that these verses speak to a principle that I can live by. These verses speak to preparedness.

In verse 15, she’s fully prepared for the day’s needs for her household. Her household is obviously different than ours (servants and an agrarian society where everyone was up before the crack of dawn to start their day), but she’s clearly ready for her day. 

In verse 18 she isn’t really staying up all night, she is just on top of the physical needs of her household. At that time in history, a gal would fill a lamp with oil, trim the wick a bit, light it and tuck it in a niche in the wall overnight. It offered light during the evening and a source of fire the next morning. The lamp would need to be filled with enough oil to last through the night. 

Both of these examples are about household efficiency and preparedness. A modern day equivalent would be someone one who helps her family get rolling for the day and doesn’t run out of important household items like … um, toilet paper.  

I know, we can all grow in our housekeeping skills, but it is not the level of crazy perfection that we have been taught. Become a student of your family’s needs and take (baby) steps to grow in your ability to run a home. You’ll get there with practice and persistence.

Image credit © Maria Korotkova |


A couple of nice overall resources ~ Home Ec 101 and, Housekeeping (feel free to share your housekeeping resources as a comment to this post)


Some lovely wisdom from Happy Wives Club ~ Rest: It Does A Marriage Good



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet April 26, 2012 at 6:18 am is a great place to go for help in running a home… baby steps are what it’s all about.


Sis April 26, 2012 at 6:24 am

who would have thought that it meant that. I always thought it was the workaholic thing too.


Nancy April 26, 2012 at 6:41 am

I need to work on this in a big way. For those with iPhones or iPod Touch, I would highly recommend an app called Motivated Moms 2012 for staying on top of household tasks.


Tabitha April 26, 2012 at 9:10 am

I am doing a Bible study (Beauty by the Book by Laurie Cole of Priority Ministries), and one of the points that Laurie made that I found particularly liberating is that Proverbs 31 is a panoramic view of the life of the Proverbs 31 woman, not a “day in the life.” That is not to say that we cannot apply every principle in our daily lives, but that we should not get caught up in the “workaholic” mentality. Finally, I don’t feel like a complete failure when I read Proverbs 31. I, too, need my sleep…


Jo N April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

Just a quick note in the middle east, being close to the equator, being up before dawn and working when it is dark equates to something like 5.30am to 8.30pm. Not so impossible…that’s how I was taught anyhow. A bit different to Norway’s summer!


The Generous Wife April 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

@Jo N ~ I thought about that when I was writing it. I’d just had a discussion with some folks from Alaska the other day and we laughed about all the seasonal differences in daylight.


Amy April 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I was taught awhile back, that the lamp being lit at night was for travelers who might need a place to stay. It was a form of hospitality.


Fawn April 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

This is such an necessary explanation because rest is so important. But so is preparedness. Thanks, Lori!


Diane May 2, 2012 at 7:04 am

Kudos to you for your insight. You’ve helped me see this in a whole new light. I was leaning heavily towards the ‘up all night’ scenario, which makes me crazy. I can breathe a sigh of relief now as I just try to be organized, rather than sleepless! Thank you for sharing on NOBH!


libl April 26, 2014 at 11:34 am

Lol, I used to joke it meant she was up breast feeding all night!


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