Proverbs 31:14 “She is like the merchants’ ships;
she bringeth her food from afar.”
The verse in Proverbs that refers to a virtuous woman as being “like the merchants’ ships” has significant implications for women who want to emulate God’s standard for marriage and motherhood. Like a ship, these excellent women go far to secure “food” for their families. Just as the woman described in Proverbs 31, sometimes you must go to great lengths in providing for your family the things that they need. In this case, “food” may not mean actual comestibles but also the “food” of support, love and education that mothers often provide for their families.
Sondra in the Parker Valley series learns the hard way about providing for her family and the lengths to which she must go in order to keep her sisters together. Faced with the death of her parents in a tragic airplane crash, Sondra learns that no matter what she has to do, providing for the needs of her family is more important than anything else.
Does the verse in Proverbs imply that women must take on the entire burden of providing for their families? No, but it does suggest that women play a pivotal role in God’s plan for the family and how children are raised. Women provide much more than just sustenance. It was never God’s plan for women to be berated, belittled or made insignificant in the scope of a family. Rather, women were created by God to be strong, to persevere and to ultimately provide their families with the things they need to survive. Women were created to be equal partners with men in the family hierarchy.
Excellent women who epitomize the virtues of Proverbs 31 know that no journey is too difficult if it means that their families will prosper. One of the hallmarks of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs is a tenacity that is inexplicable unless you realize that this woman’s focus is on preserving and protecting her family through all tribulations. Like Sondra in the Parker Valley series, these women are incredible examples of how God has equipped us to keep our families strong!