Proverbs 31:21

She Cares for her Family in All Seasons


1. The virtuous woman has been variously described throughout this section as a noble, strong, caring, loving, sacrificial, industrious, hard working woman.

2. She is seen as being devoted to her husband and her family.

3. This verse speaks of her sacrificial care and labors for her family.

21a She is not afraid of the snow for her household:

1. This woman prepares ahead of time for the cold season.

a. She knows that cold weather is coming and she prepares for it.

b. She anticipates what the needs of the next season will be and does whatever is necessary to meet those needs for her family.

c. We have seen this same quality in her earlier in this section.
• Vs. 15 – She knows her household needs to eat in the morning, so she rises early to meet that need. She also gives the daily chores to her maiden/servants.
• Vs. 18 – She anticipates orders for her merchandise, so she stays up late to meet those needs.
• Vs. 20 – She anticipates that the poor will need help, so she works industriously in order to have something to give to them.
• Vs. 21 – She anticipates the coming winter snows, so she plans for what her family will need in light of that.
• This woman looks ahead and plans ahead.
• That takes a lot of work and effort—because when you think ahead you realize how MUCH there is to do to be ready!
• She was not a procrastinator.

d. In this sense, she is like the ant:
• Prov. 30:24-25 – “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: 25The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.”
• Prov. 6:6-9 – “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”
• Like the ant, the virtuous woman planned ahead and did her work on time to be ready for the winter.

e. The woman who does not plan ahead lives in a perpetual panic mode—every day all year long.
• She doesn’t plan ahead so needs arise suddenly and unexpectedly to her and she panics wondering how she will ever meet that need.
• Waiting until the last minute, until the need is upon her doesn’t give her time to get ready, so she panics and does a poor job at meeting the need.
• She should know that when school starts, her kids will need clothes, but she puts it off and off until a few days before school—and then realizes she doesn’t have time… so she panics!
• She should anticipate that the garden will need weeding, but procrastinate until the garden is overrun with weeds—and it seems overwhelming… so she panics.
• She lives her life putting out one fire after another instead of planning head, getting busy, and doing what needs to be done ahead of time.

f. By way of contrast, the virtuous woman knows that winter is coming and she gets ready for it.
• Winter happens every year. The virtuous woman isn’t surprised by it. She plans for it.
• She not only plans, but she follows through on her plans.
• Plans are great and necessary, but useless unless they are carried out. She makes a plan and then gets busy doing the work.

2. She is not afraid of the snow.

a. Afraid: To fear, to be intimidated, frightened, in great distress

b. This woman did not fear the coming of the snow; she was not in great distress over it.

c. The thought is not the actual snowflakes as a cause of fear, but rather the cold, winter season and the many needs of that season.

d. She did not fear or go into panic mode when the snow fell.

e. She was not greatly distressed over it because she was ready for winter because she got ready in the fall.

f. When the snow fell, instead of panicking over it, she could enjoy its beauty in peace and even thank God for it.

g. That’s a much better state of mind than to fear, to panic, and to be stressed out over it.

3. And note that her concern was for her household.

a. Her plans, preparation, and labors were not for herself, but primarily for her family.

b. She didn’t have to be fearful for them.

c. When the snow fell, she had warm clothing already made!

d. When the snow fell, that’s no time to start making the clothes. That’s when they need to be ready to put on.

e. And instead of panicking when the snow fell and being fearful for her family, she would rejoice in being able to dig out the warm coats and sweaters that she made for them.

f. When she thought of the snow, she thought of her family and what they would need to be warm and comfortable.

g. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

h. This woman would be blessed (happy; rejoicing) to have something to give to her family when the snow fell.

i. They would appreciate the warm clothing—and would appreciate all the forethought and labor that went into it too.

j. The children would appreciate their mother; the husband would appreciate his wife.

k. Vs. 19 – All the hours she spent burning the midnight oil and working on sweaters and coats would seem worth it all now!

l. A well-disciplined, industrious, sacrificial life made her happy!

m. What a contrast to the procrastinator who sits around wasting time and then panics when things aren’t done on time! That woman isn’t happy.

n. She lives a life of lazy boredom followed by periods of fear and panic. She is miserable.

o. She thinks that getting up early and being busy all day long will make her miserable; but just the opposite is true.

21b For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

1. She is not afraid of the snowy cold season because she is ready.

2. Vs. 13 – “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

a. Because she sought out wool for clothing material, and because she works willingly with her hands, her household will be warm this winter.

b. With the wool she could make warm sweaters and heavy duty outer garments.

3. And notice that not only are they clothed warmly for the winter, they are clothed fashionably for the winter too—in scarlet!

4. Matthew Henry described the scarlet as “strong cloth and fit for winter, and yet rich and making a good appearance.”

5. Scarlet cloth was expensive cloth.

a. Putting rich color in clothing was an added expense.

b. II Sam. 1:24 – Saul as king clothed the daughters of Israel in scarlet and other delights.
• “Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.”
• Matt. 27:28 – Mockingly, Jesus was clothed in a scarlet robe for His trial.
• Scarlet cloth was also used for kings’ robes, priests’ robes, and in the curtains and veil in the tabernacle.

c. You wouldn’t bother putting expensive scarlet dye on cheap, flimsy material. It was used on fine, heavy, quality cloth… which tended to be the warmest.

d. Hence, the clothing she made for her household was the best.