When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
Now, before we all go out and purchase red fabric and start sewing up clothes, let's dive into this verse and see how it can apply to us today!
If you can imagine being in the ancient Middle East, you would find yourself doing many of the things that the Proverbs woman is doing in this chapter. We've discussed earlier that the clothing for the family was of linen (warm weather apparel) and of wool (cold weather clothing). Now, if you had to think about wearing the same color of clothing every day, you would get pretty bored with it, right? So you would look for ways to dye your fibers before you spun them into cloth, or you would dye the cloth after you finished weaving it.
Many organic dyes have been known and used since ancient times. Plant matter and other substances have been used to create yellow, brown, blue, green, and other pigments for use in dyeing fibers and fabric. Did you know that "carmine" red is derived from a tiny insect?
The cochineal family of insects is varied, but many of them are about two-tenths of an inch in size. They produce an acid (carminic acid) that can be used to make a scarlet dye. Think about how many insects you would need, and how difficult it would be, to dye clothing for your family in this crimson hue!
This meant that only the wealthy were able to wear clothes of scarlet.
There is another meaning for the word . . .
In this verse, the word used means a very fine and excellent quality wool cloth; it could be in various colors, not necessarily always red. We can see that the Proverbs ideal woman would not fear the winter weather, nor would those to whom she ministered and cared for, for they would have high-quality clothing that prepared them for the cold weather.
This verse also has beautiful symbolism in it -- scarlet is a metaphor (symbol) of the blood of our Savior. Winter is a cold and barren time, a metaphor for our lives before we accept the gift of a merciful God: salvation from our sins.
So, this Spirit-filled woman has no fear for those she loves, for they are prepared for difficult times: they are saved!
Whether we are single or married, we have a responsibility to those we love. We must share with them the knowledge that we can face the winter-times of our lives because our God cares for us. And for them.
We can find wisdom for living in the Word of God; the Holy Spirit can guide us through life. So, let us witness by our lives and by our words, so that those we love can be "clothed" in the scarlet blood of Jesus. Only then can they be truly prepared for the tough winters of our lives.