HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Proverbs 31:27

She looketh well to the ways [doings] of her household

She “looketh well” or keeps watch.  The verb means to look out or about, to spy, to keep watch.  It is used in a  bad sense in Psalm 37:32, “a wicked man spieth upon the righteous.”   It is used of a watchman in 2 Kings 9:17 and Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7.  A watchman looks for enemies and for anything that may endanger the city.  The godly woman is alertly watching over her household, looking for any danger that may hurt the family:  evil companions, vile entertainment, dangers from the internet, etc.

As a spy seeks to gather information about the enemy, so the godly woman seeks to find out what is going on with her children.  Some parents do not keep any watch.  They don’t know what their children do or where they go or what they watch on television or what music they listen to.  Parents need to be very much aware of what is really taking place so that they can best help their children, discipline them, restrict them as needed, and channel them into wholesome and profitable activities.  Parents should be “looking well to their moral habits, their religious instruction, and attendance on the means of grace; giving them time for secret prayer, and reading the Word of God, bringing them to the daily ordinance of family worship; inculcating the careful observance of the Lord’s Day; anxiously watching over their manners, habits, and connections…Who can have the claim to a virtuous woman, who does not feel this weight of family responsibility?” [Charles Bridges, Proverbs, p. 625]

[Unfortunately, some have used verse 27 and other verses in this passage to argue that this wife is the leader of her home.  For instance, Gilbert Bilezikizn says, “Verse 27.  She is the vigilant supervisor of her household.  The total list of her accomplishments indicates that she is the one responsible for making the managerial decisions” (Beyond Sex Roles, p. 78).  He wrongly uses verse 15 to show that “she is the provider of food for the household” (p. 76), etc.  For a helpful discussion of these erroneous ideas, see Wayne Gruden’s section refuting “The Description of a ‘Good Wife’ in Proverbs 31 Overturns Male Leadership in the Family” (Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, pages 155-158).]

and eateth not the bread of idleness

Idleness is not on her diet.  She avoids the carbohydrates of idleness and does not indulge herself in slothfulness.  The word “idleness” means sluggishness, laziness.  This word is used in Proverbs 6:6,9; 10:26; 19:15; 24:30.  Anyone who reads the description of the godly woman in Proverbs 31 knows very well that she is anything but lazy!  One wonders how she has enough hours in the day to do all that she does!   Her hours are characterized by diligent industry and laborious involvement in wholesome activities.

“She worketh willingly with her hands.”
“She riseth also while it is yet night.”
“She layeth her hand to the spindle.”
“She maketh fine linen and selleth it,” etc.

She is the opposite of a sluggard!

Author: Godfrey Gregg