So many beautiful choices of fabric to choose from. “They are all so exquisite that I can’t make up my mind” she said to herself as she walked up and down the long kaleidoscope aisles. Then she spotted what she was looking for – scarlet. The fine woven silk fabric was perfect.
She could just imagine her ebony-haired daughters with their hair cascading against the scarlet silk. Slowly her hands caressed its softness. It was cool to the touch. “Yes, this fabric will do” she quickly decided, “All I need now is the price”. She picked up the bolt of the treasured fabric and went in search of a salesperson.
$50.00 was the price he quoted. The woman began to haggle with the man. “$50.00? You must offer me a better price. The vendor further down has the same fabric for less” she said. He responds, “Then why don’t you go there and buy it?” She stares at him and answers, “because I have always shopped here”.
Looking at her the vendor said, “The prices have gone up. That is the best I can do”. The softly looks into the man’s eyes and says, “I have never paid more than $30.00”. He looks back at her and sighs, “I can let you have it for $40.00”. She shakes her head and says, “Are you willing to let me go and buy it from someone else when I have only bought my fabrics from you? What if I see other things there that I like, I may never shop here again. Is that what you want?” The vendor looked down at his sandals and said, “No, I would not like to lose your business”. He said, “You are a wise woman. Because I value your business, you can have the fabric for $20.00 per yard” The woman smiled and accepted the offer.
Smart lady, huh? Perhaps, but I like to think of her as a shrewd business woman. The world is full of them. Many can be used as great examples in business, in education and in home matters.
The greatest description of a shrewd woman is found in the bible in Proverbs 31. Martha Stewart or the likes of her cannot hold a candle to this brave, discerning woman.
The nameless woman has the respect of her husband. She brings him nothing but good. Not believing in idleness, she keeps her hands busy all day long. Finding wool and flax, she is always searching for things of value.
The woman of Proverbs gets up early in the morning before her family could open their eyes and stretch away the sleepiness from their bodies. The lamp does not go out at night as she would stay up late at night busying herself, in preparation for the next day.
Making sure her household is running smoothly, she attends to every detail of her home like a shrewd business man. She is a woman of strength and character. Snow or any other storms of life do not faze her. She is a woman of dignity, dressing herself and her children like royalty, as daughters of a king. She is a woman with a sense of humor, a woman who speaks with wisdom, being careful of the words that come from her mouth.
The woman of Proverbs does not “eat the bread of idleness” (v.27NIV), trying to make the most of her time. Her children bless her and her husband appreciates her. Knowing that “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” (v.30NIV), she seeks a different way of doing things, relying on integrity and distinction instead.
The woman of Proverbs is a woman I want to strive to be. She is a woman who fears the Lord and lives her life as unto Him. She deserves the utmost respect and faithfulness. “Give her the reward she has earned” (v.31NIV) by telling all that she is valued and appreciated.
The world views Martha Stewart as a shrewd business woman. She is strong, smart and doesn’t take no for an answer. Martha Stewart is known for her savvy and for her ability in making the big deals. Her biographical details show that her story, in fact, took her from rags into riches unknown. Shrewd is her middle name. Are you impressed? Some people seem to be impressed by her chutzpah, proudly marching to prison, with head held high. I’m not impressed. The shrewd woman of Proverbs is my role model.
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