This verse had me stumped for a while.
Sometimes I need to search and pray for longer than usual - I want to provide us with an application to our lives today, from these verses. Sometimes they elude me; either they seem to say the same thing another verse told us, or I need extra help from other translations.
This verse has some alternate translations for the ancient Hebrew text you see here. I think I found us two clues.
First, the word translated "garments" above, is actually noted as "body garments" in some texts. This is a phrase that denotes a "girdle" -- an ancient garment that was two-fold in purpose: it held one's garments at the waist, much like today's belts do, and it also allowed men to easily carry a weapon. A sword or knife could be tucked into the girdle and was easy to reach for and use. Because of that, we can see some Scripture references that use the word and denote readiness, or preparation.
The girdles of the ancient world might have looked to us like sashes of fabric or leather, and would be simple or ornate, according to the position of the wearer. Many were decorated with fine embroidery and couched with beads and ornaments.
So, the Proverbs 31 woman made these. Now, for our second clue.
In some texts, "selleth" is replaced by "delivereth" or even "giveth." I think we just uncovered a jewel here! This Spirit-filled woman would give these to others. These items would provide a way to control the flowing garments of the day, so that the wearer was ready for any task. They would also provide a natural place to carry a weapon - the wearer was prepared for any eventuality.
Ladies, it matters not if we are married or single -- this verse applies to us! What can we freely give to others, that will prepare them for any task?
What can we give them that will furnish them the "weapons" that they need to live for His glory in this world?
This is what we can give -- the message of His gospel, His love for them, and the knowledge that life in Him can be an adventure like no other! Our hearers will be ready, prepared for anything.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
These are truly the best gifts we can give. Let's spread them around freely!