You may have heard the term Proverbs 31 woman before, probably in an aspirational context. Some common instances may be that a man is looking for a Proverbs 31 wife, or a female is shaping her character to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Essentially, from verses 10-31, this chapter describes the attributes of a God-fearing woman. You might be wondering now what these attributes are, so let's dive into them.
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
and he will have no lack of gain.
all the days of her life.
and works with willing hands.
she brings her food from afar.
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
and makes her arms strong.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
and her hands hold the spindle.
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
when he sits among the elders of the land.
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
and she laughs at the time to come.
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
her husband also, and he praises her:
but you surpass them all.”
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
and let her works praise her in the gates.
This Woman Is Valued
A Proverbs 31 Woman is valued by both Her Husband and God. This Woman is an excellent wife which is defined in Proverbs 12:4 by being virtuous ("A virtuous and excellent wife [worthy of honor] is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him [with her foolishness] is like rottenness in his bones"). By holding herself to high moral standards, given by God, and remaining loyal to Her husband, she will have the trust of his heart.
If you are reading this and thinking that this doesn't apply to you because you are not married, it actually applies to all women. You see, while you are waiting for this season of your life, you can become a virtuous woman by using this time to build your relationship with God and become obedient to His will. You can also be loyal to your future husband by practicing abstinence now. Whether in marriage right now or not, she can be an excellent wife which in verse 10 expresses is more valuable than jewels.
A Proverbs 31 woman is also valued by God and finds confidence in that. She is created in the image of God, as His perfect masterpiece, and receives His steadfast love forever. In Genesis 1:27 we learn that both man and woman were created in the image of God and in Ephesians 2:10 we learn that "we are God’s masterpiece" and "He has created us new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." As a daughter of the king, we know that "His faithful love endures forever" (1 Chronicles 16:34). If God created Her, Redeemed Her, and forever Loves Her, He must value Her.
This Woman is Hard Working
From verses 13-16, a Proverbs 31 woman is a woman who finds working with Her hands a blessing because it means she can take care of others. She gets her strength and confidence from Christ. She may have to travel far to get food or work in Her own vineyard, but the Lord will provide Her with the strength to take the journey or work a field. In today's world, we probably don't worry about getting food from afar, because a grocery store is close by. It's also not common to plant a vineyard for survival now. However, She will understand Her purpose from God, and will diligently be obedient to accomplish what God asks of Her. By keeping Him centered in all of it, whatever Her hands' touch will bear good fruit and be prosperous.
She is Concerned For Those In Need
Multiple times in the book of Proverbs it encourages us to Love those in need, this is also what a Proverbs 31 Woman does. Not only is she considerate of Her family, and those around Her, but she also "opens her hand to the poor."
She Has Confidence God Will Provide
In Verse 21, the Proverbs 31 woman Has confidence that God will provide Her every need, therefore She does not worry. When paired with Matthew 6:8 this proves true, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Then Philippians 4:19 we can rest knowing "God will supply every need...according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
This Woman Puts God First
We can find in these last verses (22-31) that She puts God first and His hand can be seen throughout every area of Her life. Verse 27 says, "She looks well to the ways of her households and does not eat the bread of idleness." Idolatry is putting something that's not God, before God. Anything can be an idol, but this woman doesn't participate, but rather always puts God first in Her life and also looks out for those around Her.
By doing this the Proverbs 31 woman will be glowing with blessings. These verses describe it as the adornments for her home, and the success of Her Husband, the praise of Her family. God's blessings can take so many forms, but the greatest one of all is Jesus. God blessed us all by sending His only son to Die on the cross for all of our sins. Because of this, we can all be forgiven and live eternally with Him, if we accept Him as our savior.
With God first, she Trusts in His plan and purpose for Her and is therefore not worried about the future. She is filled with His strength, wisdom, kindness, and so much more. She fears the Lord and is, therefore, to be praised. Reaping the reward of the fruits of Her hands in Heaven.