Proverbs 31:16

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

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The virtuous woman never sat on her laurels. In fact, she hardly ever sat! She pressed forward in a new direction here. Domestic duties did not take all her abilities and time, so she analyzed business ventures, bought real estate, and invested her allowance in earning assets for the family estate. This woman was more than a nanny, cook, and laundress.

Wives, King Lemuel’s mother gave him these words (Pr 31:1). These are not a man’s words, who did not know the difficulties of a wife and mother. These are the words of a mother, who knew prudent diligence is the supreme trait of a perfect wife. Looking good, cooking, and cleaning are not enough. This woman was a wise and industrious wonder.

She considered a field. She was intelligent and knowledgeable enough to see the potential of vacant land for commercial real estate development. She did not miss a good opportunity. She matched business ideas to the land, measured the capital investment, calculated the potential yield, checked market prices for wine, determined a profitable return on investment, projected cash flow needs, and made her decision. What a wife!

She bought it. Having considered the field’s potential and the right price for a profitable return, she spent her precious funds to purchase the field. She was decisive and bold; she was farsighted and courageous; she was creative and entrepreneurial. She was confident in her ability, her analysis, and the potential profits to reward her family in time to come.

She used the fruit of her hands to make the investment. Due to her wise care of the home and other financial matters, her husband had given her a portion of the family income (Pr 31:11-12,23,31). Rather than waste hours looking for deals on a Caribbean cruise or tennis lessons, she invested her money for the family’s future in income-producing assets.

She planted a vineyard. She avoided social projects of women who have never worked a real job. She wanted to work – to be productive. She not only bought the field; she put in the work to finish the project (Pr 12:27). She bought seedlings, planted them, and waited. She saw the future, since profitable vineyards are not created overnight. What a lady!

Christianity does not require women to be ignorant housewives. Intelligent women may be at home with children and other duties, depending on the family’s circumstances and objectives. But the lofty ideal presented by the scriptures in this definitive passage exalts a woman’s potential. The virtuous woman worked outside the home in ambitious projects, but only after amply providing for husband, children, and other domestic needs.

She first provided for her husband and children (Pr 31:10-12,27-28). She knew “keepers at home” (Tit 2:5) condemned idleness and sinful habits of foolish women; it did not mean staying home all day (I Tim 5:13-14). She put God first, her husband second, family third, and business fourth. Her husband and children would praise her, not for being home all day to dust and sweep, but more so for helping build the family estate.