Women of the Bible // Proverbs 31 Woman
Hey y’all! Today in the Women of the Bible series we’re talking about the Proverbs 31 woman. I have always loved Proverbs 31 and have admired this example for years. Of course, Proverbs 31 isn’t necessarily describing a specific woman. Proverbs 31:1 tells us, “The words of king Lemuel, the prophect that his mother taught him.” King Lemuel’s mother was instructing her son in this passage.
On a side note, I find it very interesting that King Lemuel’s actual identity is not certain. Many people have speculated that he was actually Solomon, which may very well have been the case, considering he is the writer of Proverbs. This leads to an even more intriguing prospect, which would be the fact that Bathsheba was the mother in this passage, who consequently is giving her son this wise instruction. That would conclude that Bathsheba may have been a virtuous woman herself, as we know very little about her outside of her and David’s sin. Although Bathsheba was not innocent, if you think about it, the story is focused almost entirely on David. There is very little we know about Bathsheba’s heart condition, and who knows? God may also have changed her heart later on. She could very well be the narrator of Proverbs 31!
Anyway, getting back to the main trail here…
Since my blog readership is almost entirely made up of single young ladies, I’ve written this post with you all in mind. These are things you can work on now, even before you have a household to provide meat for or a husband to safely trust in you. ;) The verses we’re specifically looking at today are 10-28.
Ready for a fire hose? Let’s go! :)
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Depending on color, clarity, and cut, even a single carat ruby can cost thousands of dollars. The heart of a virtuous woman is priceless. It far surpasses any earthly value.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
Are you trustworthy? Perhaps you don’t have a husband, but you probably have a father or some other close authority figure in your life. Can they trust you? If those around you do not trust you, it’s time to evaluate your heart and make some serious changes. Ask the Lord for His strength. When you have broken trust, building it back up is difficult and tedious process, but it’s not impossible.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
There are many ways we can ‘do good’ to our future husbands before we have met them. Do you pray for your future husband? Do you actively seek to guard your heart? Are you pure and appropriate in your reactions with other young men? Do you respect your father? Are you working diligently to cultivate a virtuous heart?
Even if you don’t seek wool and flax, you can still work willingly with your hands! How are you at working willingly and joyfully with your hands?
Not trying to weird you out or anything, but for the record, I love hands. If you think about it, our hands are truly miraculous creations. We use them daily to grasp things, create, express ourselves, play instruments, and accomplish a myriad of other tasks. We rely so much on our hands, often taking them for granted.
Do you use your hands for the benefit of others? Most importantly, do you work willingly with them?
If you are still in your parents’ home, you may not have the responsibility of grocery shopping for the family. However, it is very likely that you will be the main shopper for your own family one day, so learn now. Even if the nearest grocery store is in walking distance of your home, you may have to go extra mile (both figuratively and literally speaking) to get the best food for your family.
My mom is a good example of this verse. She does her main shopping at Costco, but ever-so-often she makes the hour or so trip to a bargain food place to stock up on certain items for a fraction of the cost.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
Are you willing to do what it takes – even if that means getting up early – to do what needs to be done? Getting up early for the sake of others is a form of agape love. It takes sacrifice! One day when you are married, if marriage is the Lord’s will for you, your husband’s and kiddos’ days may start early. Would you be willing to get up early to prepare a healthy breakfast?
Even now, would you get up early for the well-being of your family? For some, this might look like rocking a sick baby at 5 in the morning, packing a lunch for your brother because he missed his alarm, or going to Starbucks to buy your mother a mocha before you leave for work. ;)
Do you make thoughtful and wise purchases that will bring long-term rewards? I’m sure it can seem like a lot of wasted effort when you first plant a garden, but when you taste the literal fruits of reward, it will be worth it. Use your hands (verse 13!) to make practical and economical decisions.
I don’t know about you, but working out is not something I particularly enjoy doing. I tease that the fittest parts of my body are my fingers and right ankle because I play the piano so much (forgive the grammatical oddness in this sentence). ;)
Trained strength is not just a guy thing. The Proverbs 31 woman is not a wimp! She’s strong, both mentally and physically.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
This woman makes good quality stuff, and she knows it! She isn’t prideful about it; she simply is realistic. She stays up as late as she needs to accomplish her work.
Instead of tuning out and settling for the TV, I would encourage you to make the most of your evenings! Get stuff done. You may be starting to slump, but if you work hard and make the most of your evenings, going to bed will be so much more of a reward and you will sleep deeper.
Nighttime is often when I get the strongest creative itch, and most of my blog content is created in the evenings. It has been said that some of the most famous composers have jumped out of bed in the middle of the night to write down fleeting musical ideas!
Again, we see this example of a thrifty, hard-working, no-nonsense woman who worked with her hands to create quality things.
Do you reach out to those around you who may be less-fortunate, outcast, or needy? Maybe there’s a new girl at church or school, a lonely elder lady in the nursing home, a young couple with limited funds who needs a babysitter, or a neighbor in need of assistance. Search for these people, viewing them through the Lord’s view. Reach out to them and share the love of Jesus!
Although we are commanded not to worry about tomorrow, this does not mean we shouldn’t look forward and make wise preparations for the future. It may be summer… but winter’s coming! Are you prepared for the winters of life?
In past times, silk and purple signified wealth and royalty. Both silk and purple dye were hard to come by, and the production of these were labor-intensive. Now, the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t necessarily rich or of royal decent. I think the reference to silk and purple in this verse signify high-quality, durable material and a certain level of dignity above all else. The Proverbs 31 woman dressed nicely and with dignity.
It is said that dressing nicely is a form of politeness. Do you dress with dignity?
Oftentimes behind a successful and wise man there is an invaluable woman. A virtuous wife can make a profound impact on her husband through love, encouragement, wisdom, and example. A godly wife can be an anchor, of sorts.
One sweet thing my dad has done for my mom for as long as I can remember is to refer to her as his “better-half.” He treats it almost as if it is her name. This just goes to show that behind the scenes, a virtuous helpmeet does a lot.
The Proverbs 31 woman creates such high-quality items that she sells them to the merchant. Can’t you just see her walking confidently up to the merchant to offer her beautiful things? She’s not afraid about how her merchandise measures up.
The Proverbs 31 woman knows the importance and necessity of strength and honor; they are likened here to clothing. Just as she clothes herself physically, she also clothes herself spiritually with these traits.
I love how several of the other Bible versions say that she “laughs” concerning the future. Even though she doesn’t know what the future holds, she knows who holds the future, and that’s enough for her.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Ouch – we’ve arrived at the verse concerning the tongue! As we know from James 3, the tongue is not an easy member to control. It can be our greatest friend and worst foe. The Proverbs 31 woman understands the importance and impact of kind words and wisdom, and she uses this gift thoughtfully and with care.
How are you doing when it comes to your tongue? I’m sure we all have room for improvement! Let’s ask Jesus for His help and seek to think before we speak, bite our tongues when unkindness threatens to spill, and flee from gossip and anger.
This woman is anything but lazy! She’s got a keen eye and is busy serving others. She doesn’t leave time for idleness.
Are you a productive person?
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
The Proverbs 31 woman’s family knows her value. Do your family members have reason to praise you? Do your siblings respect you? If they don’t, give them a reason to!
Additional resource: Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George.
If you made it all the way to the end, I applaud you! I hope this post was a blessing or challenge to you some way today. <3