Proverbs 31, verses 10-31 tell about a woman which the Bible describes as “the woman who fears the Lord.” These verses are often referenced when talking about expectations for behavior of women of faith and are often viewed as something worth working toward.
Some people read Proverbs 31 and get overwhelmed by what it says because the woman described isn’t often what we see in today’s culture. It can be easy to get caught up in comparison wondering how you will ever reach this status or goal in your own life so I wanted to take a minute to unpack the scriptures together and kind of think about what would this look like now in 2019.
Notice first that the woman in Proverbs 31 is married. It says in verse 10 “an excellent wife who can find? She is worth far more precious than jewels.” Then continues on to describe what an excellent wife is like. If you’re single, or dating, or even engaged, it’s really hard to live this out. Your life definitely changes after you get married because your responsibilities change as two become one (Gen 2:24, Eph 5:31, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:8). So if you’re reading this and you’re finding it overwhelming as a single person then just please be patient and know to reference these verses as you enter into marriage.
The Proverbs 31 wife is trusting, hard-working, strong, generous, innovative, kind, and wise. She is a well-rounded woman focused on putting God first in her own life and then letting that influence her marriage, family, and other relationships.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is a Provider
She seeks out what is good for her household and makes sure her family never goes hungry or lacks clothing to wear. She cooks, she cleans, she makes sure everyone has what they need to succeed. She is really like any wife and mother we see today. These responsibilities haven’t changed all that much over time. She is a homemaker and helps to make her home a sanctuary for her husband. I do my best to do this in my own home. I know that my husband feels so much better when he comes home to a clean space and can relax. I also know how good it makes him feel to provide food for him, even if it’s as simple as packing his lunch for work or making dinner that we had to cook anyway. It doesn’t have to be a fancy Pinterest meal to make our husbands feel like they are blessed. It can be as simple as
The Proverbs 31 Woman is Hard-working and E
Wait, what? Yes, you heard me. She is innovative and does what she can to help provide for her household. In verses 16 and 18 it says “she considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard… She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night” and in verse 24 it says “she makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant”. Many people often think that the role of the Proverbs 31 woman ended with homemaking. And most people think of homemaking as something outdated and less glorifying than work, especially now where two or more incomes are so necessary to comfortably run a household and the “boss babe” movement has reached an
The Proverbs 31 Woman is Generous
Verse 20 says “she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy”. If hospitality is your spiritual gift then this will come naturally to you. If not, the Lord calls for us to be generous, and the Proverbs 31 woman is a great example of living this out. When you see someone in need, offer what you can to help them, offer your time, finances, make them a meal. Generosity takes many forms but it is one of the best ways to glorify God. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus
The Proverbs 31 Woman is Strong
An excellent wife takes care of herself so that she can properly take care of her family. She is mindful of what goes in and on her body. She is proactive in taking care of herself with diet and exercise so that she is in good health for her family. An excellent wife isn’t viewed as weak in the family, she is strong and mighty.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is Kind and Wise
Verses 25-26 say “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” So not only is she strong, but she is wise. She teaches others to be kind and selfless. Who better to learn from than from a woman who has experienced life herself. Titus 2 commands that “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. The
There are so many examples of amazing women in the Bible and the Proverbs 31 woman is just one of them. I love the way she respects her husband and how in the end of the chapter we read that “her children call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”” The way he sees his wife is honestly how any woman wants to be viewed by her husband. We want our husbands to see us as the best of the best and to feel blessed. At least, I know that’s what I want.
I do my best to live this out. I know I work hard during the week both as a nanny and also with this blog. My ministry definitely is for a bigger purpose and I love that I get to influence so many people doing the work I do. Honestly, it really is a blessing that I don’t take for granted. I love that I can do my part to make life comfortable for us and that I can make our home a safe haven. I love that I am mindful to cook my husband healthy meals so that he can stay healthy and motivated to do what he needs to provide for our family. I try my best to live by the example set in Proverbs 31. I most certainly stumble at times, but I always know where to refer to get myself back on track.
Does the woman in Proverbs 31 intimidate you or motivate you?