Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

The Proverbs 31 Woman

by Tim Yates

The Proverbs 31 model of womanhood is a beautiful description of a godly mother and a virtuous wife. Unfortunately, contemporary society has redefined gender roles and directly opposes the clear teaching of the Bible. The secular world embraces the “Hollywood model” and shuns “the Biblical model” as antiquated, outdated, and rather unsophisticated. Both views present a sharp contrast, and the gap is getting broader every day as culture moves further and further away from the Bible. Thankfully, the biblical model is firmly anchored in Scripture and is therefore consistent, unchanging, and reveals the mind of God. While both models diametrically oppose each other, the challenge for the believer is to reject the lies of culture and embrace the example of Proverbs 31. How does the Bible describe the Proverbs 31 woman? Let me share some characteristics from the text.  

First and foremost, the Proverbs 31 woman is a “virtuous wife” (vv. 10-12). She’s a woman of valor, substance, character, and moral strength. Her value (worth) exceeds rubies or precious jewels. Very few men can find a wife like her; she’s truly in the minority. She’s completely trustworthy, reliable, and would never betray her husband. In fact, she “does him good” (tob) or “best” all the days of her life. She’s devoted to his “best” interest above all others. She understands marriage is the primary relationship and motherhood is the secondary relationship. The virtuous woman has the intestinal fortitude (commitment) to communicate and demonstrate a stable marriage before her children. She’s intentional; a woman of integrity who publicly prioritizes her marriage (v. 12). She’s a wife first and a mother second. She’s a woman of biblical priorities.    

Second, the Proverbs 31 woman is industrious (vv. 13-16).  In fact, she’s a seamstress (v. 13), provider of food (v. 14-15), an early riser, and a businesswoman (v. 16).  She contributes to her family budget, and she can stretch a dollar. She’s super intelligent, an investor, and financially savvy. She’s a multi-tasker extraordinaire. She’s intuitive, inventive, and super organized. She’s content and enjoys her family. She doesn’t need the latest and the greatest. Furthermore, she’s not slothful, idle nor lethargic. She’s a doer and doing for her family is what she loves best. The Proverbs 31 woman is industrious, creative, and productive.  

Third, the Proverbs 31 woman is resourceful. She can take care of herself both physically and mentally (vv. 17-24). She’s not weak (v. 17), her arms are strong, and she has good taste. She’s mentally perceptive and doesn’t waste money on junk. She’s disciplined, energetic, manages the household schedule, and even works during the night (v. 18). Her hands are constantly busy and she can make just about anything (v. 19). She’s compassionate and benevolent. Her arms are always open to the needy and she reaches out her hands to help the poor (v. 20). She doesn’t fear the snow and makes sure her family dresses warm during the winter (v. 21). She can make “tapestry,” quilts, and even bedspreads. She dresses appropriately, modestly, and tastefully (v. 22). Merchants are impressed by her skill and craftsmanship. They celebrate her clothing, sashes, and linen garments (v. 24). She is innovative, creative, and her product is first class. The Proverbs 31 woman is very resourceful.

Fourth, the Proverbs 31 woman is wise (v. 25-27). Her clothing is described as “strength and honor” and not just designer labels. She’s a woman full of joy (v. 25). In fact, the word “rejoice” (sachaq) is also translated to laugh, make merry, and to smile. Thank God for women who are joyful, smiling, and always laughing. The wise, sagacious woman in Proverbs 31 saw the importance of laughter. From a personal standpoint, the best memories of my childhood were seeing my mother and father laugh, joke, giggle, and act silly. Wise is the woman who can keep her spouse and children laughing. Home is fun and home should be a happy place.
Furthermore, she uses her tongue for the glory of God. When she opens her mouth wisdom pours out and she abides by the “law of kindness” (v. 26). Her eyes are always open to the needs of her household and her goal is to always meet the needs of her family. The Proverbs 31 woman is wise.

Fifth, the Proverbs 31 woman is respected, praised, and fears the Lord (v. 28-31). The Scripture tells us her children respect her, and her husband sings her praise. She’s virtually unknown but greatly adored by the people who matter most in her life. To others…She’s not impressive. But to her family she’s everything. She’s the hero of her household. While others do well and accomplish great things, the Proverbs 31 woman exceeds and excels them all. She understands charm, charisma, and beauty fade away. But the woman who has awe and extreme reverence for the Lord shall shine for the glory of God and always be praised.  

Conclusion

Which model do you identify with? The “Hollywood model” or the “Proverbs model? Does culture dictate your character? Or does the Bible shape who you are? I’m not going to lie to you. The qualities listed in the text are lofty. Perhaps even some are beyond reach. Today I want to encourage you to read through Proverbs 31:10-31 and slowly begin to implement the godly attributes given in the biblical text. Understand you’re on a lifelong journey toward Christlikeness. The standard is high but the stakes are even higher. So, make good choices. Choose to be a virtuous wife, a godly mother, and a woman of valor and dedication. Choose to be industrious, resourceful, and wise. Fill your home with joy, happiness, and cheer. But above all things choose to walk in the fear of the Lord all the days of your life. Hopefully, with a little help from the Holy Spirit, you’re on your way to becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.  
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