Every woman works. Some work in an office, some work outside, some work from home, some work at home. God has wired ladies to be productive contributors to His kingdom. And despite the modern women’s lib waves, He wired us to be productive contributors to His kingdom long before any talk of glass ceilings was heard.
Scripture is brimming with girl bosses—women bravely and effectively taking care of business. Eve raised the first kids ever, starting the line through which Jesus would come. Deborah was a judge over all Israel. Esther used political prowess to save her people. Ruth supported her mother-in-law despite painful circumstances. Abigail rescued her household from impending destruction. Lydia was a fashion icon in the Roman world. Priscilla made tents with her husband and gave Paul a place to stay. Some of these heroines serve a more glamorous role than others, but they’re all included in the great cloud of witnesses who go before us, urging us on in work and faith.
The woman found in Proverbs 31 is definitely a hustler. We’re not meant to emulate her details, remember, just her general characteristics. And, man, does she have the market cornered on the marketplace! You see creativity, dignity, perseverance, courage, wisdom, compassion, and diligence in her work ethic. She’s the one who pursues excellence at her job, going above and beyond while keeping healthy personal boundaries. The way she goes about making a livelihood sets Jesus up as worthy and enough. Her coworkers respect her, and her employers (or employees) know they’re blessed because of her presence. This lady is on time, enthusiastic, focused, and helpful, a source of life in a dark arena.
No matter what your day job looks like, you can take the Proverbs 31 way. Doing laundry? See it as fighting against the decay of the world, one load of redemption at a time. Hitting the books for class? Refuse to settle for a mediocre grade. Study as for the Lord. Giving a presentation for the company? Breathe deeply, resting in the unchanging knowledge of who and Whose you are. Performance is important for kingdom advancement, but it doesn’t have any impact whatsoever on your identity.
Ms. Proverbs 31 works hard as a called woman, but she is never disrespectful of the men around her. She builds everyone up. Insecurity is provided no place in her heart; you can tell by the way she cheers others on. Honor flows out of her mouth, and it circles back around to her from those who observe her everyday life.
Because we are solid in the truth and grace of the gospel, we can work like nobody else. We can pour ourselves out in excellence. We can meet others’ needs out of the overflow of knowing our own needs are met. We can treat people as image bearers of the God who chases us. We can be filled with hope and faith and understanding, infusing the world with Christlike goodness. Get a clear, big vision for what the Lord wants to do with you where you work. The challenges will be so worth it.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.