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Who Exactly is a Woman Described in Proverbs 31?

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Diana Nerie R. Galan

Women are increasingly becoming what the rest of the world considers attractive: strong, bold, fierce, etc. But we fail to recognize women with extreme virtues as described in Proverbs 31. Who can find a virtuous woman? Read on as we ponder the qualities that can guide us to become a woman of virtues.

Proverbs 31 Woman also refers to as A Woman with Noble Character or The Woman of Valor. You don’t have to be married or have children to be a Proverbs 31 Woman. Although there are verses that discuss how to be a good mother and wife, preparing your heart for those responsibilities might help you draw closer to God.

A virtuous woman, according to the Bible, leads her family with integrity, love, discipline, and more. All of her qualities are focused on improving the lives of her husband and children, as well as serving God. 

So what are these qualities?

(v. 10) Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

Here the virtuous woman is being described as precious, priceless, and a capable being. She is referred to as a virtuous wife not because only married women can possess these, but because the passage is originally written as advice of King Lemuel’s mother to him. She is talking about the potential characteristics of a woman he should marry.

“The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.” — Proverbs 31:1

The virtuous woman can be single or married, but she will display her virtue in different ways depending on whether she is single or has a family.  

  • Trustworthy and Respectful

(v. 11) Her husband can trust her,

and she will greatly enrich his life.

(v.23-31) Her husband is known in the gates when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

A woman that can be trusted is someone whom a husband can put confidence in. She does not let anyone down and making sure that she respects her partner. 

  • Good

 (v. 12) She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

She is not the type of “liberated” woman that modern feminists would describe. She shows her love for her husband by doing what is right rather than wrong which can lead his husband to destruction. She honors her spouse. In support, (v. 4) A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband. Her husband considers her a valuable asset.

  • Willing, Diligent, and Industrious

(vs. 13-15)She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

(v.24 )She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

 (vs. 27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

(vs. 31) Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. 

This kind of woman seeks to work without being told. She foresees the needs of her children as well as the people around her. She doesn’t allow herself to be fully dependent on her husband or anyone else. Thus, making money is her way of helping him. She is worthy of praise for working through her hands, not tolerating laziness.

  • Health Conscious

(vs. 17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

A woman takes care not only of other people but of her own body.

  •  Good steward, Hardworking, Wise

(v. 16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 

( v. 18) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

The verse pertains to a woman that spends her finances wisely by investing in profitable assets. The field was built to provide earnings. Knowing that it can be a good source of income, a virtuous woman thinks of ideas on how to improve the merchandise and even works at night. A woman that uses her time wisely. She determines her decisions. Making sure that the quality materials she chooses are best for her family.

  • Knowledgeable about Domestic Skills

 (v. 19) In her hand, she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 

A virtuous woman of God can do household chores.

Nowadays, a virtuous woman does not spin cloth to produce garments. It would be a waste of her abilities as well as her time. Though she can get a finished product with a better structure and appearance for a fraction of the price, she can, however, “do it from scratch” when the circumstance calls for it, whether in the closet or the kitchen.

  • Helpful

(v. 20) She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

An honorable woman of God extends her hands to held and support the needy. She is not selfish but compassionate to those who need her.

  • Prepared and Pleasant-Looking

(v. 21-22) When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

She comes prepared for the possible seasons in their household. There, she doesn’t fear because she is confident that her household will be in warmth by her preparation. Moreover, a woman that is next to God’s heart makes herself presentable. She uses her skills to provide a pleasant appearance for herself.

  • Full of Dignity

(v. 25) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 

A woman of this kind has a behavior that is neither frivolous nor embarrassing. She walks in confidence as she knows her worth and respects herself, making others respect her too. She can face tomorrow with an equipped strength and dignity.

  • Wisdom, Watchful, Loving, and Productive

(v.26-27)She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

With God’s love, a virtuous lady teaches and nurtures her children. The virtuous wife observes her family and their actions as a faithful guardian. She does not agitate them; instead, she gently and wisely disciplines them with love. Idleness has no place in her vocabulary. She indulges herself in the things she can be productive.

  • God-Fearing.

(v. 28-30)  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Children raised by a woman of virtues call their mother blessed. Having these exemplary qualities (prayerful, diligent, obedient, etc.) makes her husband praise her also. God is teaching us that beauty and charm are impermanent. The fact that a woman is a God-fearing lady, on the other hand, deserves genuine appreciation.

“Women of God can never be like women of the world.

The world has enough women who are TOUGH;

we need women who are TENDER.

There are enough women who are COARSE;

we need women who are KIND.

There are enough women who are RUDE;

 we need women who are REFINED.

We have enough women of FAME AND FORTUNE;

we need more women of FAITH.

We have enough GREED;

we need more GOODNESS.

 We have enough VANITY;

we need more VIRTUE.

 We have enough POPULARITY;

we need more PURITY.”

-Margaret D. Nadauld

A Proverbs 31 woman does not necessarily mean you have to be perfect. It goes with the sovereign power of God’s word that teaches rebukes, encourages, and corrects us to be better people. The chapter is not talking about an actual woman but an idealistic portrait of a godly woman possessing Christ-like character. All of us can be one through God’s grace. Not in a blink of an eye but a work in progress.

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