“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hand to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:18-20, ESV).
When Sue’s husband died, he left her with three kids and a house payment. Friends and family wondered how she would make it, but she was all right.
She simply took over her husband’s business, a pretty, petite woman running the tough men and women in the workshop with quiet firmness and flair.
The business prospered.
But there were some changes in the way she did things, too. Sue became a fixture in community charitable efforts. She frequently supplied the funds to open a shelter, build a house, feed the hungry – whatever was needed.
While many “ruthless” businessmen “gained only wealth,” this “kindhearted woman gained respect” (Proverbs 11:16).
As a businesswoman, Sue was shrewd and competent, but she brought to her work a compassion that was utterly feminine.
It wasn’t long before her male counterparts in the community were shamed into using some of their resources, too, in helping those in need. Here, indeed was a “worthy woman” on the model of Solomon’s poem.
Remember, the “bottom line” in business is not always the same as the “bottom line” in life.