Love her, you hate her, the Proverbs 31 woman is here to stay.
I confess, I started out hating the Proverbs 31 woman. Every sentence in Chapter 31 felt like an unattainable goal, a never-ending checklist, or an area I struggled with.
For instance, the law of kindness came out of her mouth. Ouch. Some days, my voice was hoarse from yelling at my kids. At night, I’d cringe at some of the unkind words I said to my husband in the heat of a disagreement husband. Certainly, I wasn’t even close to being the Proverbs 31 Woman!
Could I become like her?
Did I even want to try??
Was she even real?
Or just some dream woman?
So, I became curious who was the Proverbs 31 Woman? Instead of skipping chapter 31, I dug deeper into the verses. It might be surprise you, how my opinion changed of her and how I made peace with this amazing woman.
Who was Proverbs 31 written about?
Actually Proverbs 31, is instruction from a mother to her son, King Lemuel. According to the Talmud, Lemuel was another name for King Solomon. Which means infamous Bathsheba is advising her son.
Chapter 31 provides details on qualities of a good husband, one who praises and supports his wife. Also a good man, doesn’t overindulge in liquor, judges righteously, helps the poor and speaks up for those that can’t.
Some suggest King Solomon’s grandmother Ruth is the Proverbs 31 woman. Ruth might be the original Proverbs 31 woman, but I believe she’s nameless since any woman can be a Proverbs 31 woman. If they desire to be one.
Others say the Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t even exist, her qualities are unattainable. But God wouldn’t put something in His word that is impossible to achieve. And we have something the Proverbs 31 woman, didn’t have, Jesus. We have access to JESUS, 24/7 and we can do all things Christ, who gives us strength.(Phil 4:13)
So lets examine what makes a Proverbs 31 woman.
What are the qualities of a Proverbs 31 woman?
The first quality that stands out, to me is wisdom.
The entire book of proverbs is about wisdom. Throughout this book, wisdom is even referred to as she.
The last chapter of Proverbs concludes with the ultimate wisdom in action- the Proverbs 31 woman.
“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
The Proverbs 31 woman uses her hands to build up the God’s kingdom, her family and herself as shown in the following Bible verses.
She works with willing hands.31:13
Extends her hands to the spindle, 31:19,
Give her the fruit of her hands. 31:31
Reaches out to the needy.
She makes tapestry for herself. 31:22
Wisdom Fears the Lord
Remember, “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.” Of course, our wise Proverbs 31 woman had a healthy fear of the Lord. (Pro. 30:30)
The Proverbs 31 woman had an intimate relationship with the one who created the heavens, earth, you, and me.
The Proverbs 31 woman didn’t idolize the work of her hands. She wasn’t worshipping the work of her hands or her family or their servant filled home. Instead, she had her priorities right, putting God first, which resulted in her fruitfulness, and being praised by those who knew her.
"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.”
What can we learn from the Proverbs 31 woman?
Even though she might have lived over 3,000 years ago, we can still learn these 7 lessons from the Proverbs 31 woman.
1 Don’t Doubt Yourself
The line in Proverbs 31 that stands out to me is,
“She perceives that her merchandise is good.” Proverbs 31:8
The Proverbs 31 woman believes in herself and her products, I can’t tell you how many times women have posted on fb beautiful items and ask “will anyone pay money for this?” Know your worth
She isn’t allowing negative self-talk, not good enough or imposter syndrome take hold of her. Instead, she’s following God’s will for her life She’s knows her worth and she stands by her decisions in and outside the home.
2 Ask For Help
To accomplish everything she did, this woman had servants. So if you have to hire a cleaning service, extra help for your kids. Do it!
On chaotic days, order dinner out. Give yourself a break.
Even a simple plea of “God help me! Works wonders!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the Proverbs 31 woman did.
3 Proverbs 31 Woman Children Were Adults
Her children had to be adults, no longer in her care.
Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Pro, 31:28). Most children, or teenagers, wouldn’t call their mother blessed.
Obviously there’s an exception to this rule, since it is only one sentence. But the children in Chapter 31 probably called their mother blessed because she has raised them well and taught them to fear God.
Give yourself grace while raising your children, since you are raising the next generation of God’s children. Having a child is like handing over a piece of your heart forever!
Motherhood is demanding, yet rewarding. When kids are young it’s physically demanding as the grow it’s more taxing mentally. Each season is different, learn to savor the season that your in.
4 She Valued Herself
Somehow, Mrs. Proverbs flourished during a time when women were basically treated as property. She loved herself enough, to pursue her dreams. She followed God’s will for her life and trusted God to step out and do what He showed her.
Be who God made you to be and not feel guilty for your choices.
Remember each one of us, have gifts and talents that are needed both inside and outside your family’s home.
And she indulged in things she enjoyed, like making tapestry or buying fine clothes for herself. Proverbs 31:22. It’s okay to pamper yourself once in awhile!
5 The Ultimate Help Mate
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” God designed woman to be a partner to man, before things got messed up in the garden of Eden.
We know she helped her husband financially and verbally encourage her husband. After all, the law of kindness is on her tongue. I love this version of what her husband thinks of her,
“Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.” 31:11 CEV
The Proverbs 31 woman has her husband’s back
In the Old Testament Jesus is hidden in every story and Jesus makes an appearance in Chapter 31.
“She is not afraid of snow for her household. For all her household is clothed with scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21
“Clothed with scarlet” symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Snow represent forgiven sins
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
The modern-day Proverbs 31 woman, doesn’t fear the future because her and her family sins are forgiven due to the sacrifice of Jesus. When they accepted Jesus’ salvation her household is covered by the blood of Jesus.
8 It’s a Journey
There’s no way the Proverbs 31 woman did all this in a day, a week or a month. It seems to me everything listed isn’t a checklist but a collection of everything she did during her during an extended period of time.
Give grace to yourself by enjoying your own life journey.
Who is a virtuous woman according to Proverbs?
There is some controversy to this word virtuous, and that’s the reason why other translators use noble, worthy, excellent or diligent instead of virtuous. All wonderful words but not as powerful as the original Hebrew, khayil
According to Strong’s 2428n khayil which means a force, an army, wealth, virtue, valor and strength!
Apparently, men at that time weren’t comfortable seeing woman as warriors!
Rick Warren was right by declaring,
“A Godly man is never threatened by the gifts of a godly woman.”
Today, almost all the woman I know are strong, fitting the description of the Proverbs 31 woman. And that brings us to our next section, what is a Proverbs 31 woman in the 21st century?
What is a modern day Proverbs 31 Woman?
A modern day 31 woman looks like me and you.
Here’s what the Proverbs looks like today
- She is a woman dedicated to herself to her family.
- Works outside the home as she’s raising her kids or places her career on hold to focus on her kids. No guilt either way!
- Uses her resources to help others
- She has strength to follow God’s will for her life.
- Builds the surrounding people, including other women.
- She has valor to fight for her family, friends and country.
- Fear God and devoted to His word.
- She braves to speak up or shows self-control to keep the peace.
- Speaks kind words but states what needs to be said.
- Does her best to be obedient and loving, whether it’s a marriage or friendship.
Like a woman never ending jobs, this list can go on and on!
Remember, as you read through Proverbs 31, don’t feel condemned but feel empowered.
The Proverbs 31 woman is our friend!!
In Jesus’ name, help me be a wise woman with a healthy fear of the Lord. Help me impact my family, friends, and community. Lord bless the work of my hands and open opportunities for me to earn an income for my family. Help me follow God’s will for my life and carve out time in my day to study Your word. Show me when I need to rest and take care of myself. Thank You, Lord, for everything you are doing in and through me to make me into modern day Proverbs 31 woman. Amen
Related: A prayer for peace in the family.