Proverbs 31 Woman Misconception #1- She is a stay at home mom who cooks and cleans
Ladies this may come as a shock to those of you who have strived all your life to embody the Proverbs 31 woman as the ultimate homemaker. You may aspire to one day have your house as cleaned as hers and have three meals cooked for your family like she does every day. But let’s look into the passage again. Does she really do all that?
Here are the verses in the passage that correlate to cooking and cleaning:
“She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar”. Proverbs 31:14
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens”. Proverbs 31:15
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness”. Proverbs 31:27
The first verse I’m still somewhat confused about and haven’t quite looked into. However, what I deduce from it is that she imports foods that are not available in her region through either successful trade (about that a little later), or traveling to get it herself. What I do know for sure is that this verse in no way implies cooking that food.
From what I’m reading here, the most that the P31 woman may cook is breakfast for her immediate family. The ESV bible uses the word “provides.” She provides or gives meat/food for her household. It doesn’t necessarily mean she cooks it. It also says that she “rises while it is still night” and does that. That would mean breakfast. Nowhere else does it mention that she also cooks lunch, dinner, and snacks. But wait, the next part of the verse might shine some clarity on the cleaning part of the story: she also provides portions (as in pay, not food!) for her maidens!!! That’s right. The P31 woman has hired helped that does the cooking and cleaning for her. What she actually does herself is “looks well to the ways of her household.” She is a good manager who delegates. She is not doing everything herself!
So to all the ladies who are beating themselves up because they just can’t reach the Proverbs 31 woman’s standard, stop it right now. This is an accusation that is probably wasting a lot of your energy that should be spent loving your family and enjoying life. Stay tuned to find out just how the Proverbs 31 woman got to the point of having hired help, and what it is that she actually does.