Psalms is famous for it’s word pictures and poetic nature. Until now, I felt that Proverbs 31 had been pretty straight forward, but we get into a word picture with verse 14.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
This one took a little digging for me to really understand. I think it was one of those verses that I just kind of skimmed over in the past. What this verse ISN’T referring to, is how you feel when you’re 8 months pregnant (as big as a ship and craving/eating crazy foods all the time). I looked at a few commentaries and found some insight into what it may mean.
She doesn’t rely on the closest and easiest way to meet her families needs.
This thought was referring to a woman that would travel and search for the best goods for her family. She would look beyond the local market and put forth extra effort for the ones the loves.
I think that this speaks to the energy and effort we should put forth for those in our home. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and take for granted our loved ones. We simply go through the motions and try to get through the day. Routine is golden, but a rut is different than routine. What if we are called to always go a little farther than necessary and do a little more than required, to show our love? Shouldn’t God’s own love inspire this sort of attitude in us? It all makes sense, just hard sense.
She comes home laden with bountiful riches for her family.
This paints a picture in my head of arriving home after my big monthly grocery shopping to Winco and Costco. My van is full of food to bless and sustain my family. (Maybe, when I get home from grocery shopping, I should puff up my chest, put my face to the wind, and say “The journey was plentiful! I have returned with food from afar!” My husband might really think I’ve lost it, then.) Do I love grocery shopping? Not particularly. However, I love the joy that comes from gathering and preparing meals for my family.
I keep seeing this repeated “hard work”, “go the extra mile”, and “do it with love” in these verses. I bet it comes up again in the verses ahead. We will see!
Until next time, here’s the printable!