I have a love/hate relationship with Proverbs 31. I heard that ladies. I heard your amen’s, me too’s and uh huh’s. Depending on the day I and where I am in my walk with Christ I can see her as my sister, my friend, myself or a ridiculously high, unreachable goal. The older I get and the longer I have been a single mother I have come to understand and adore her. Don’t get me wrong some days I still feel like she can be a nemesis instead of a guideline or example.
Let’s remind ourselves of this woman.
10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
Please don’t be intimidated by this woman. The closer you and I come to Christ the more our character is like his and the reflection of these verses will be more evident in your life. You may have more of her in your life then you realize. Let’s look at some of her characteristics.
Verse 11 says the “heart” of her husband trusts her. This means she is an honest woman. She is trust worthy. If you are a wife it does not mean that your husband must trust you. This verse means she has earned and gained his trust. She is of such good character she is trust worthy and his heart knows this
Verse 12 shows she does good for her husband and not evil ALL the days of her life. She is not vengeful or scheming. Her motivation is love and he is her priority. I really love this verse. I strongly believe in transparency and no secrets in a relationship, (other than presents and the occasional surprise party of course.)
Verse 11 – 24 Shows this lovely woman’s lack of selfishness. She spends her day focused on her family and in turn this brings honor to her husband. She is has the heart of a servant much like that of our savior. She is not lazy but a hard worker. She is a good steward of her finances and other items God has blessed her with. She takes time to honor her family with her labor, her wisdom and good judgment in finances, investing, making a profit as well as honoring them with her appearance. I adore her for her lack of selfishness and lack of laziness. She really does focus on doing the best she can with what God has given her.
Verse 25 She is a confident woman. This strength is from God. I know I can personally struggle in this area. When you are a single parent you are spread pretty thin and it can often feel as if you’re treading water and not doing the best you can. When really be confident and strong in Christ and know you are doing all you can in your circumstance.
Verse 26 I love this verse. It shows that as she grows in wisdom she is willing to share it with others. She is not one to tear others down but speaks kindness. This shows a gentle spirit.
Verse 27 -29 As a result of the love, sacrifice, hard work and gentleness of spirit she has gained the love and respect of her family. What a wonderful reward or even motivator to continue to do so.
Verse 30 Shows the source of this woman’s character. She does not depend on her beauty or charm. In general I think those who do depend on beauty and charm, do so for personal and selfish gain. The Proverbs 31 woman is anything but selfish. This character trait comes from that close relationship with her God. Have you ever noticed that the closer you become to someone some of them rubs off on you. It could be an expression or a choice of words or even a new hobby you learned from them. You reflect them. The closer we grow in our relationship with our Creator the more like Him we become. We reflect Him.
Verse 31 Basically reveals that her work speaks for itself.
Now that we have dissected her at a high level I want you to remember to not fear her and by no means let her make you feel incapable. Remember the key to being a Proverbs 31 woman is to grow closer to your Savior. Seek Him first in all things and you will be transformed. This is nothing you can do on your own. So instead of focusing on all these list of characteristics and trying to emulate them focus on God. Work on that relationship, spend time with Him, read his love letter to you and learn from Him.
Let me know if you are on this journey with me and I will pray for you. I would love your prayers too. It’s a life long journey and adventure.