Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:24
She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies belts to the tradesmen
This virtuous woman is industrious. It is said about her that she finds a never-ending market and keeps the supply of goods coming so that profits keep flowing into her home. She is hugely responsible for the financial position of her family.
This is the Hebrew word sadin, which means linen garments. This was the equivalent of underwear in our day. Interestingly enough this woman realizes that everyone has to wear underwear, and so she begins to make and sell this commodity. People will always need underwear, so she has a continual market.
This insight tells us about the business insight that this woman has. This is not meant to be a prescription that all women must make and sell underwear. But instead she looks at her talents and the needs around her, and she significantly adds to her family’s income and financial well-being by developing her skill in this permanent market.
This is the Hebrew word chagor, which means belts or girdle. The classic Hebrew outfit had a linen undergarment and an outer robe tied around the waist with a belt or rope. Notice that she does not sell belts as she does linen undergarments; she supplies these to tradesmen or literally the Canaanites. These were the traveling merchants. This woman becomes a wholesaler in her skills at making belts. There was not a huge market available to her for belts, but she could wholesale them to the traveling salesmen and expand her markets.
This proverb tells us that this woman is a savvy business woman. She expands the family business to include goods and services that her husband cannot supply but significantly increases the financial income. She knows where to move forward and sell her goods in the market and where to hang back and be a wholesaler to other markets.
The idea here is that she is financially fruitful and helpful to the family. She does not just consume goods, services, and time but also contributes to her family’s financial well-being. She is in every way a partner in the family business.
It is incumbent upon a husband to help his wife understand her talents and abilities and how those could contribute to the family in various ways. Clearly we get the picture of the virtuous wife as not a kept woman but a productive wife engaged in caring, leading, enjoying, and producing for her family.