Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:31
"Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates"
product: This is the Hebrew word peri which means fruit. Clearly in this case fruit means that which the person produces.
The inspired writer sums up the idea that a husband and the community must make sure that a wife and mother receives the praise that she deserves. She needs it, his family needs it, and the community needs it.
It is important to realize that when a woman throws herself into marriage and family, she needs to be constantly and openly rewarded.
Unfortunately our culture has not been willing to highly value marriage and motherhood and, therefore, there is a whole shift away from stable home and family life. One cannot pull the lynch pin out of the family system -- the mom -- and expect the home to survive. Yes, being a wife and mom is a sacrifice. But it is also an investment in the future -- the future for your children, for the community, and for yourselves. Our western culture has, at the present time, an epidemic of women abandoning their families to pursue fun and adventures before they are "too old." They are leaving thousands of devastated children and husbands in their pleasure-seeking wake. The fact that they do not receive the product of their hands is a significant contributor to this epidemic. A woman who sacrifices to make the home and family work does not receive any value in this culture so it is not pursued.
and let her works praise her in the gates
The gates were the place where the elders of the town met to conduct official business and to decide matters of law. The gates of the city were City Hall in the time of the Old Testament. The inspired writer of this proverb says that unless the sacrifice, work, product, and value of wives and mothers draw the attention of those in the official capacity of the city, it will not be enough praise. The elders must value their wives over their businesses and official duties. The laws of City Hall must reflect the importance of home, family, and children more than making money and power.
It is not enough to have a little meal on one day a year to honor moms. There must be official tangible value and praise given to motherhood and the sacrifices of a wife. These two roles must be returned to the most highly esteemed roles in the community. These two roles must be more highly valued than how much a wife can earn or what her title is or what level of education she receives. If we do not do this, we undercut the very society we live in.
If you are a husband, do you see to it that your wife receives praise every day?
If you are a teenager, do you make sure that your mom knows how much you appreciate all that she does for you?
If you are a city official, are you uplifting the value of parenting and homemaking?