“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.” We have a saying for this: “A man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.” To accomplish what this woman does, she doesn’t sleep much. Here she gets up early, and in v. 18 she goes to bed late. “The early bird gets the worm.” In contrast to our saying, “Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” this Warrior Woman goes to bed late, gets up early, and STILL outshines all as healthy, wealthy, and wise.
In practical terms, we all know that mothers live lives of extreme personal sacrifice to provide for their children. They work, shop, compare, decide, return, prepare, give, and clean up. They create, help, run errands, fix, and counsel. And they do it all instead of doing what they want to do. They rarely get a moment’s break, and despite some days when it feels like drudgery, they do it out of a heart of love.
Providing for others is the essence of godliness, because when God created this world, He took upon Himself the never-ending task of providing for others*, and sacrificing himself to do it. After all, that’s what it is—sacrifice of love—, and when mothers provide for their children, they take on the very character of God.
* Don’t think that when you get to heaven you won’t need God to provide for you any more. Your life, even there, will not be self-sustaining, but God will be your sun, your moon, and the river of life that flows.