The Proverbs 31 woman has been an ideal for Jewish and Christian women for thousands of years. But what exactly makes her so dynamic? And what can she teach us about wealth-building?
At the very end of Proverbs (31:10-31), there is a poem that is written as an acrostic (A-Z) in the Hebrew alphabet. This style’s probable purpose was to show that the woman’s character runs the whole range of excellence. She is a hardworking businesswoman, a homemaker, and kindly gives to those in need. In this blog, I will break down some of this poem to see what we can learn from her about how to be wise and successful stewards!
“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.” (Prov. 31:16, ESV)
I love this verse and think it has real practical applications to real estate. The fact that the woman considers the field means that she thinks carefully before making a decision. With any financial decision, you have to ask yourself, “How much risk am I taking, and how much reward am I getting?” The secret sauce is NOT did you make 100% investment. The secret sauce is, did you make 100% on your investment with just 100% risk (or less)?
Then, with the fruit of that purchase, the Proverbs 31 woman continues to cultivate the land. I imagine that she produces an abundant vineyard blossoming with vines of luscious grapes. It reminds me of what I say about buying orchards instead of apples. You want to invest in ventures that continually produce income. That’s why I like buy and hold real estate— your rental properties actively produce apples each month via rent, but you don’t have to get rid of the properties once you monetize them. It’s like a vineyard that continues to produce grapes each season.
“She stretches out her hands to help the needy, and she lays hold of the wheels of government. She is known by her extravagant generosity to the poor, for she always reaches out her hands to those in need.” (Prov. 31:19-20 TPT)
When we gain wealth, the purpose isn’t to build bigger barns for ourselves— it’s to sow into the Kingdom. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t give away the bare minimum. She stretches her hands out and is extravagantly generous. In addition, she is involved in her community and government. As Christians, we are called to be a witness in all avenues of culture. And, sometimes, wealth-building is a way to further gain access into those spheres.
My friend Lance Wallnau puts it this way:
“God is speaking to prophets to call the modern-day Church to “rise up” and to awaken. It must awaken to the reality that the people are not called to just come to a church building, but we are called to go into all the world around us and be the Church in professions and communities and world systems and structures.”
Consider: How can you become live more open-handedly in your community and government?
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Prov. 31:26, ESV)
The Proverbs 31 woman’s story comes at the end of the book, which suggests that she is the culmination of the various applications of wisdom discussed throughout Proverbs. According to the Bible Project, wisdom isn’t just knowledge. The Hebrew word khokhmah refers to action as well, such as a skill or applied knowledge. The Bible Project teaches, “The purpose of Proverbs is to help you develop a set of practical skills for living well in God’s world.”
Wisdom is crucial for building wealth. You must take the time to gain head-knowledge, learn from experienced people, and get in the game if you want to acquire wisdom. Then, the cycle can continue— as one who possesses wisdom, you can kindly share it with others as the Proverbs 31 woman does.
Remember, there are 3 things you have to do when building wealth: invest time, knowledge, and capital. If you don’t invest time and knowledge, you will lose your capital. I find it fascinating and encouraging that the Proverbs 31 woman knew these truths so long ago, yet they are still so applicable today.
I encourage you to read (or re-read) Proverbs 31 for yourself. What practical wisdom can you find in this passage? Let us know in the comments! And, if you’re interested in learning more about the intersections of faith, business, leadership, and more, I invite you to check out WealthBuilders University.