Proverbs 31:20

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

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The virtuous woman has more on her mind than just her family. Her ambitions, energy, and plans extend to the poor and needy that God has placed in her path. Rather than be content with having her husband, children, and home well cared for and happy, she has a conscience that drives her to take care of others who cannot provide for themselves.

Her thoughts toward the poor and needy are more than wishful thinking or kind words. Her thoughts result in diligent and personal action, which are the only thoughts that count in the sight of God and men (Pr 3:27-28; 20:11; Jas 2:15-16). She knows that true love is in deed and truth, not merely in word and tongue (I Jn 3:16-18). Moved by God’s love for her, she has bowels of compassion to share her ability and substance with the needy.

The charitable giving here is not easy or passive action. “She stretcheth out her hand,” and, “She reacheth forth her hands.” These words do not convey casual donations or convenient acts of charity. A virtuous woman goes out of her way to meet the poor and needy and help them, even if it requires strenuous effort to accomplish the service. She is not merely available for charity; she volunteers and does the work without any prodding.

The virtuous woman has sympathy for the truly poor and needy (Jas 1:27). She does not exchange mock charity with friends, subdivision neighbors, or peers at work. She knows that giving to the rich will bring God’s judgment (Pr 22:16). Neither does she care or worry about the foolish, lazy, or wasteful (Pr 13:23; 20:4; II Thess 3:10). She, like the Good Samaritan, waits for the Lord to put an act of God in her path (Luke 10:25-37).

She knows charity begins with true needs in extended family – parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents (I Tim 5:4,8,16). She then serves the poor and needy in her church (Acts 2:44-45; Rom 12:13), then those in other churches (Matt 25:40; Gal 6:10; Acts 11:27-30), and then those God puts in her path (Job 31:16-22; Luke 10:25-37). She is given to hospitality for brethren and for strangers (Rom 12:13; I Tim 5:10; Heb 13:2).

A man with a virtuous wife should allow her a budget for this good use of money, and it will later praise her and him (Pr 31:23,31; II Kgs 4:8-10). It will also bring God’s blessing on the couple for their charity (Pr 11:24-27; 19:17; 28:27). Stingy husbands can discourage their wives and deprive the poor, and they will suffer for it now and later.

A virtuous woman is loved by all and praised by husband and children (Pr 31:28-31; Acts 9:36-42), and this affection and honor is a great blessing and comfort. But her greatest glory is yet to come, when the High King of heaven will take special notice of her godly charity before the universe (Is 32:8; Mat 10:40-42; 25:31-40; I Tim 6:17-19; Heb 6:10).