Proverbs 31:20-21 (NKJV)
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
Verses 20-21 of Proverbs 31 discusses the values of a virtuous wife. She has a deep concern for the needy as well as for the welfare of her family.
Verse 20 - the poor and the needy
Several years ago, I was working a chili supper fundraiser. In addition to the price of the ticket, we had a jar set up for additional donations. I will never forget the entrance of two men. The first came in, gave us his tickets, and then raising his arm really high, dropped a $100.00 bill to float down into the jar. While the money dropped to the top of the jar, he boldly (and loudly) announced his donation by saying, "I think a $100 will help this fundraiser along." The second man came in, presented his tickets, and while carrying on a conversation with us at the table, placed a donation into the jar without much notice. (I am quite sure that I am the only one that saw, and that was only because of where I was seated.) I don't know for a fact, but I am pretty sure that it was this second man who was responsible for the three $100 bills folded up together and placed in the jar. I have thought of these two men often. The first was giving out of a stingy heart ... He was giving to bring glory to himself. The second was giving out of a generous, concerned heart ... He was giving to bring glory to God.
I love the way the Message states Deuteronomy 15:10-11
Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
You don't give so you can receive, you give because you want to give. THEN you are rewarded.
Verse 21 - welfare of your family
We can't always predict when trouble will occur. However, we can take measures to be prepared if or when trouble arrives. We can save money, we can have extra food and water on hand, we can have plans in place if something happens. Now I realize that we can not be 100% prepared for all things. You can however maintain a calm spirit in times of trouble. You can trust God to be your provider and seek peace from Him. Your family will either feel safe or panicked based on how you react to trouble.
clothed with scarlet
The color scarlet represents salvation. As mothers, we have a responsibility to train up our children in the word of God. We cannot make a salvation decision for them, but we can be models for them. We are to teach them God's word with our words and our actions. We are to pray for them, direct them, and answer their questions.
As we teach our children, it is important that we not forget the structure, set up by God, of our home. The husband is the spiritual leader. He is to oversee and confirm what is being taught and demonstrated. The wife is to teach the children how to know and have a relationship. The husband will have to answer for how he led the family. The wife will have to answer for how she taught her children. They each have a job, and there will be NO blaming each other when they stand before God.
A Servants Heart
For both helping the needy and for maintaining the welfare of our family, we must have a servants heart. We must be humble. We cannot serve others from a prideful heart.
As you focus on verses 20-21, ask God to help you answer these questions:
Who, in your circle of influence, is in need?
Is your home prepared for hard times?
Seek out other scripture passages dealing with poor/needy, generosity, and prepared. May God build in each of us the Values of the Proverbs 31 Woman.