The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | Ashley Varner
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The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #christiangoals

The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work

The Bible has so much to teach us, as women who work for the Lord, about gaining wisdom from His Word. This post is all about the Proverbs 31 woman at work. 

We’re going to have a mini devotion from Proverbs 31:16-25.

Would you rather listen to this post? Then click here!

Now the entire Proverbs 31 chapter includes leading from our home. If you want to check out verses 11-15 and 26-31 head over to this post about the Proverbs 31 Woman at Home.

But for today, I want to focus on how to live with wisdom like the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Make sure to grab the PDF of this mini Bible study so you can use it as a devotional! Click HERE to download it!

Is the Proverbs 31 Woman Attainable?

I think a lot of times women have shied away from this passage because it’s all about this seemingly perfect woman.

We feel bad about ourselves whenever we aren’t meeting that ideal. But truly this passage isn’t talking about the perfect woman. Instead it’s personifying wisdom. Since we want to be wise, we can learn how to do that from this Proverbs 31 Woman. 

Proverbs 31:16

Make Wise Investments…of Money and Time

“She considers a field and buys it…” Proverbs 31:16a

A wise woman thinks about her investments. I think that’s definitely true with money, but don’t ignore this verse if you don’t have money to invest. Because while you may not have extra money to invest, we all have investments of time.

Invest Your Time in People and You'll never be poor. #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

When we invest our time in people, in prayer and in reading God’s Word, that is considering our investments. 

The same is true with our energy. If you’re spending your energy on earthly things instead of those things God has asked you to do, then you have to reconsider honestly way that you’re investing your energy.

Let’s talk about money. It’s wise to set aside money in savings and in investments.

Start small. Start saving with automatic withdrawals of $10 a month and build from there.

Whenever you consider your investments, seek the Lord and ask Him for His guidance. If you’re not good with money, seek the help of a Christian who is.

Use your investments to create profit in your life.

“…out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16b

As you begin to save and invest, you can use those investments to create profit in your life.

The Proverbs 31 woman is profitable in her investments. And when she is profitable, what does she use that profit for? She uses it to further her work.

When you’re profitable in where God has placed you, you can use it to further what you’re called to do.

Jesus tells a parable of talents. It’s about a master who gives three servants a different amount of money. For one, he gave five talents, the second, he gave two talents, and last, he gave one talent.

Whatever God has put in your hand...use it! #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

The servant who took the five talents and used them and became profitable. He made more and he ended up receiving more from the master, because he was profitable in what God had asked him to do. 

Again, don’t dismiss this idea if you don’t feel like you have any money. Consider it in regards to your talents.

When you’re given talent or a skill and you work at it, you practice.

I lead a worship team and I have some people who come in without a lot of natural talent, but they work at it and they learn and get better. And as they do, God is going to invest more talent into them, because He knows that He can trust them to use it for His glory.

What talent or skill has God given you? Are you investing it wisely?

Proverbs 31:17

Don’t Be Afraid of Hard Work

“She sets about her work vigorously…” Proverbs 31:17a

The Proverbs 31 Woman works hard. It is wise to work hard and accept an attitude that doesn’t shy away from hard work.

It’s okay to work hard and a way to do that is to work smarter.

Let me explain what I mean: Instead of multi-tasking, you can work in batches.

Let’s take writing a blog post and recording podcast episodes, since that’s what I do. I used to create an outline, then write the post, edit it, come up with pictures, make the pictures, record the podcast, post it, schedule it. All those different things.

Don't be afraid of hard work! #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

Now instead I’ll create all the outlines for my monthly blog posts at once. I’ll create all my images at once. I’ll do all my scheduling at once. There was an article in the Harvard Business Review that stated that our productivity goes down 40% when we multi-task.

Whatever ministry or career you’re involved in, you can learn to work smarter and become more productive. We don’t want to busy for the sake of being busy, we want to be productive for God.

What about rest?

Awhile back, my husband was having some issues with sleep. He just wasn’t feeling rested whenever he woke up in the mornings.

He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which means that you have your body is having trouble breathing while you’re sleeping.

And I thought, “Man, as soon as he starts using his CPAP machine at night, he’ll be up and at ’em in the morning and he’s going to feel so good, and he’s not going to be tired at night.”

But he still was tired at night (not nearly to the same degree but he was still tired).

Why? Because my husband works extremely hard. He leads a team of employees at our business, he serves on several boards, and volunteers at our church in a few different areas.

He works hard.

He’s one of the most diligent workers that I have ever known. So, he’s tired from a full day’s work whenever he goes to bed. Compare that to being tired from the moment he wakes up in the morning.

The Sabbath

Working hard doesn’t mean that you never rest. You have to be wise about the way that you work.

Make sure that you’re taking a day each week where you’re resting, refreshing yourself, plugging into your church and creating moments of rest for yourself.

Related: The Importance of Rest

Her Arms are Strong

“Her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31:17b

We have to prioritize health and strength so that we can do the things that God has called us to do.

God gives us the strength to do the things that he’s called us to do. I love the end of that verse where it says, “Her arms are strong for her tasks.” Nothing more, nothing less.

I never want my body to be the reason that I say no to something that God has called me to do.

If you’re wise, you’ll focus on your health and wellness. You’ll build up strength and endurance so you can do what God has called you to do in every season of your life.

It’s my prayer that even when I’m 80 years old, I’ll still have enough strength to do what He has called me to do in that season of my life.

And I’ll admit here that I’ve had many issues with my health. I have an autoimmune disease that flares up, sometimes with no explanation or cause. Does that mean I throw in the towel and give up? No. It means that I do my best and let God do the rest.

Proverbs 31:18

Audit Your Success

“She sees that her trading is profitable…” Proverbs 31:18a

The Proverbs 31 Woman audits her success.

At the end of every quarter or every month, we can look back at the goals that we set for ourselves and evaluate our plan for the future.

Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t.

I am a big goal setter, but something I’ve come to learn is how to infuse grace into my goals. You can do this by praying about your goals, and letting God steer your goals.

Then work to accomplish those goals in His strength.

God gives the strength. #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

In the midst of your goals, you can audit how you’re doing. Look at the last project you completed at work or the last ministry event you helped with. Was it successful? If so, what worked? What should be changed for the future?

Last, but not least, when something is completed, be extremely careful to give God the glory for working through you. (Remember, He could use anyone and He chose you!)

Be prepared

“…her lamp does not go out at night.” Proverbs 31:18b

A wise woman is prepared.

When I was a young driver, I would always run out of gas and I would get in trouble because I was always inconveniencing other people to come to get me.

My dad or my boyfriend, who is now my husband. I would always be calling them to fill my car back up with gas.

Because of that experience, now I’m older, I’m wiser and I stay prepared. When my car gets about that half a tank, getting in between a half a tank and a quarter of a tank left I’m going to fill it up, because I know it’s wise for me not to postpone that task. 

The Proverbs 31 Woman was wise to have enough oil in her lamp so that it didn’t go out at night. We can be wise to make sure that as a diligent worker that we’re the most prepared person in the room.

This is definitely true in my worship team. If I come to rehearsal and I’m disheveled and haven’t even picked songs, what does that say to my team?

It tells them that they don’t have to be prepared, and how could they even prepare if I haven’t lead them first?

A wise woman is prepared. #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

But when I arrive half an hour before rehearsal and I have all the music ready to go, I send a different message.

I’ve prepared and I’ve given my team the music ahead of time, they know that they have to step it up because I’ve come prepared, so they have to come prepared as well.

Proverbs 31:19

Use Tools to Be More Efficient

“In her hands, she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.” Proverbs 31:19

We are wise when we use the right tools.

You need to search for tools that make your life and work more simple and efficient.

There are definitely tools that I use that have streamlined the process for me.

Trello

Trello is a free task management system. I use it for my blog, for my programs, I use it in our business, my assistant uses it, my husband uses it. Our entire team uses it.

The best part, it’s free. You can get an app and put it on your phone. But what it does is it keeps all your information and all your tasks in one place so that you’re more efficient. 

There’s a full video tutorial specifically for moms in my Peaceful Home Program, but you can always check out videos on YouTube too!

Related: Peaceful Mom, Peaceful Home

Google Drive (or Other Cloud Service)

Google Drive is an amazing cloud-based service. If you have a gmail account, you already have access to this feature.

It’s a place that you can keep all your documents, organized by file. (A big plus is the Google Search feature.)

When I’m creating programs, I keep everything there. I can share information with team members. Access it from anywhere. It’s amazing.

We live in the age of technology, ladies, and so we can use it to really make sure that we are working simpler and more efficient. 

A Digital Calendar

I used to use Cozi Calendar.

It’s a family calendar that syncs up across all devices and will send you reminders. Birthdays they’re automatically put in there with a reminder a week before so I don’t forget people’s birthdays.

One feature I loved about Cozi is that it has a Recipe Box as part of the app. They also have a Google Extension that you install onto your browser and when you see a recipe you like off of Pinterest or a blog, you can click that button and it automatically enters all the information into your recipe box.

I made a switch about a year ago to use the apps that are native to my iPhone. I use iCal and Reminders mostly. I use these because they can automatically enter events from my phone, for instance, if a friend texts me and says “Let’s have lunch Tuesday at noon,” my phone turns that into a link that will direct me right to my calendar and fill in the info for me.

Honestly, I enjoyed Cozi more, but iCal has been more convinent. It’s really all about what you will use and put into practice.

Proverbs 31:20

It’s Wise to Be Generous

“She opens her arms to the poor and she extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

It is wise in business (and ministry) to be generous.

I have an assistant, and one of her favorite quotes is, “You can’t outgive a giver.”

You can’t outgive someone who wants to give. It’s important to be generous.

I know my husband and I are firm believers that it’s important to tip well whenever we go out to dinner, because we know that we’re a reflection of the Lord.

As I’ve said, we own a business and we have several leadership positions in our (small) hometown, so people know who we are. If we are generous, that speaks to people. It shows them that we care about them and as a result, they see that God cares for them too.

Look for ways you can be generous to others!

Proverbs 31:21

“When it snows she has no fear for her household. For they are all clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21

Wisdom knows that fear can be alleviated (in part) by preparation. This Proverbs 31 woman knows it’s important to be prepared and that calms her heart.

Many of my routines in the evenings are made so that I’m more calm in the mornings.

At night, if I am making lunches and prepping for dinners, then in the morning I’m not worried, because I can say, “Okay, boys, grab your lunches.” I don’t have the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” question when I’ve prepared in advance. Preparation alleviates chaotic mornings.

Proverbs 31:22

Accept responsibility

“She makes coverings for her bed.” Proverbs 31:22

A wise woman takes responsibility for the things around her.

Whether you have a full-time job, tons of volunteer hours or ministries, your first job is to take care of those under your own roof first.

We know that our husbands are the head of the home, but we’re the heart of the home and we have the ability to change the mood of our home.

You have that responsibility. When we take care of our homes, whether it’s making the beds or helping pick up the house, that’s being wise.

She is clothed in strength and dignity. | AshleyVarner.com #proverbs31woman #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

That translates into your work, too. Because you build habits at home that you take into the workplace. If you are in the habit of picking up the house every night before bed, that will translate into you picking up your desk every evening before you leave work.

Taking responsibility for yourself is ultimately about building habits that better you AND the people around you.

Proverbs 31:22

Take Care of Yourself

“She is clothed in fine linen and purple.” Proverbs 31:22

It is wise to take care of yourself and it’s important to dress appropriately. You need to take a shower, you need to take care of your self, because that’s what a wise woman does.

It’s not wise, however, to go overboard to the point where you’re spending four hours every morning getting ready.

You have to find a happy middle ground. Because it’s important to pay attention to the body that God has given you so you’re strong for your tasks.

I’m going to be sharing in the next blog post about Tips and Tricks for Self-Care for Moms, so I don’t want to go into huge detail here, but I want you to know that there’s a difference between practicing self-care and being self-absorbed. So stay tuned!

Proverbs 31:23

Your Husband is Better Because of You

“Her husband is respected at the city gate where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Proverbs 31:23

In God’s eyes, wives are not above or below our husbands, but we’re beside them.

Yes, they are the head of the home. They are the leader, but they are better leaders, fathers, and husbands, because of what we do.

We can be an asset to our husbands when we’re wise. When we become wise women, our husbands can have full confidence in us.

If you want your husband to “step up” encourage them and lift them up in prayer. That helps them and enables them to take their seat where God has called them to serve.

Proverbs 31:24

Create Multiple Forms of Impact

“She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.” Proverbs 31:24

Whenever we’re wise, we’ll have multiple forms of impact and will impact our community.

Not only did the Proverbs 31 Woman buy property, but she also made linen garments and sold them. She supplied the merchants in her community with items to sell. We can do the same thing.

She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come. | AshleyVarner.com #proverbs31woman #christianwomeninbusiness #cwib #christianmomsinbusiness

We can have multiple forms of impact and ultimately income. We can impact our communities with the calling that God has given us and we’ll be wise to do so. 

Like the old saying goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Have Multiple Streams of Income

In the same way, have different streams of income.

Maybe you’re really good at crocheting. You could create patterns and sell them on Etsy. You create it once, take some pictures of what you’ve done, create a pattern and Etsy does the rest.

Maybe you love grocery shopping and find deals, you could sign up for InstaCart and shop for other people in your community for side income.

Related: Your Passion + HIS Purpose

Proverbs 31:25

“She is clothed with strength and dignity…”

Strength and dignity only come from daily living our lives with character and integrity.

Those qualities only come from doing the day to day work that we don’t always want to do.

The ultimate goal of the Proverbs 31 Woman was to please God. She wasn’t doing all these things (and the things we talked about in the previous post) to make money or be given accolades of being a great mom, she was doing them because it pleased God.

“…she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

And because she’s pleasing to the Lord, she can be excited about the future. Women who are filled with grace and wisdom can look forward to change, because change means growth. Change means the future and the future is bright!

The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianWomeninBusiness #christianmoms
The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianWomeninBusiness #christianmoms
The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianWomeninBusiness #christianmoms
The Proverbs 31 Woman at Work | AshleyVarner.com #ChristianWomeninBusiness #christianmoms