Category Archives: mothers

She Is Far More Precious Than Jewels

King Lemuel’s mother taught him wise words about the value of a godly wife. Before describing this admirable woman in detail, momma Lemuel said:

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (Prov. 31:10)

In other words, the value of this woman can’t even be estimated by the currency of the day. She is off the charts of the gold standard. If your mind has trouble wrapping itself around the huge monetary value of the U. S. national debt, just give it up when it comes to this gal. Her value…is inestimable.

But notice what follows verse 10. What follows is a frankly domestic description of this excellent woman. She is a homemaker par excellence. This will sound abrasive to those of us whose ears have been trained by modern feminist ideology. But this reaction is just a matter of upside-down priorities and unbiblical ambitions. And to be clear, whether a wife finds her calling to require work outside the home is not the issue. The Proverbs 31 woman did (Prov. 31:14, 16, 24).  Godly women in the New Testament did (1 Tim. 5:10). But even when this is the case, the tail shouldn’t wag the dog. A woman’s purpose in the home shouldn’t take a backseat to her pursuits outside of the home. 

Dorothy Patterson comments on this idea from Proverbs 31:

“The ideal woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 is clearly pouring her energies into her home, the management of her household, the rearing of her children, the helping of her husband. Whatever she does relating to property transactions or producing and selling merchandise is obviously secondary and related to the bartering common to that time.”[1]

And lest we think that Mrs. Patterson is merely suffering from too many reruns of Little House on the Prairie, we ought to remember that by wordly standards she is a rather accomplished woman as well. She is a graduate level professor, a successful author of both books and journal articles, a sought-after speaker, and the general editor of The Women’s Study Bible. Yet she happily describes herself primarily as “a homemaker” and this is the calling that “has always commanded her time, energy, and creativity.” So the old argument that “you just don’t know what joy and sense of fulfillment there are in wordly accomplishments” falls flat. May her tribe increase. And may the ladies reading this post be one of that tribe.

A recent post from the Gospel Coalition drives this point home well in a recent post, How Much Is a Homemaker Worth? Here is a snippet:

The Story: A study conducted by the financial service company Mint found that the sum value of different homemaking duties annually amounts to almost six figures. If a homemaker’s job were salaried, it would draw, on average, $96,291 per year. Tasks accounted for in the study included private chef, house cleaner, child care provider, driver, and laundry service provider.


[1] A Handbook For Minister’s Wives, p. 155.

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