A Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman: Who is this chick?
Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Ah. The Proverbs 31 woman. Probably THE most read and quoted scripture from the Bible for women of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. This famous chunk of scripture describes the "ideal woman or wife." The kind of woman we should all strive to be like. The kind of woman that men in the church want to be with (am I right or am I right?) BUT what the heck does this chick actually look like? Who is she? What does she look like for 18 and 19 year olds living in the world in the 21st century? What does she look like living in a world where it seems like woman are looked down on and mistreated?
Ah well ... you came to the right place gals and pals.
Now this girl is a couple things but I want to make something super duper clear before we dive in: this woman we should be striving to be like is not by any means "the perfect woman." In Proverbs 31:10 it says, "An excellent wife who can find?" It doesn't say a perfect wife but an excellent wife. While still difficult to reach this level of excellence it's not an impossible standard like perfection. Just a little thing to tuck in the corner of your mind when the world tries to tell you you need to be the perfect girl. Swish swish.
Oi, before I forget as well, when the word "wife" pops up (like in verse 10), substitute it with the woman that you are: friend, sister, woman, daughter, etc.
Okay, ya ready?
The Proverbs 31 Chick is ...
1. ... trustworthy. Why is this important? If we take a look at Proverbs 10:9, it talks about integrity and the security it brings to one's self to not gossip, to not spread the secrets of others and to be the person that people want to go to to confide in. A woman that is trustworthy can reach the world. Why? Because people are naturally drawn to people they can trust.
2. ... selfless. To be selfless is to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Selflessness is putting the needs and wants of others above your own. Selflessness is by no means easy to do all the time and with everybody but in order to live a life that reflects Jesus, we must strive to be selfless.
3. ... hardworking and positive. In Proverbs 31:13 it says that the woman worked with "willing hands." God is and always has been more concerned with the intentions and attitudes of our heart than the works we do or the words we say. As we strive to be this Proverbs 31 woman, let's be more intentional with the words we use surrounding work, in the world and for the Kingdom.
4. ... responsible and sacrificial. Verse 14 speaks, once again, on one of the many attributes of Jesus: sacrificial. As Proverbs 31 chicas, we must be willing to take on responsibility and sacrifice our comfort and safe place in order to "[discover] ... more of true life" (Luke 9:24 TPT).
5. ... discerning and diligent. This chica uses her brain (WOAH!). She is able to make good, sound judgement and then make decisions based off those judgements. She's also diligent. She cares about her work, how it looks. She is conscientiousness when it comes to her work. AHEM, THIS IS IMPORTANT. Please don't let society and culture tell you that you and your brain or decisions don't matter just because you have a vagina. Verse 16 is proof that we are supposed to use the brains that God gave us to make smart decisions that then fuel the work that we care for and are passionate about.
6. ... healthy and strong. This chick strives to be healthy in her skin, the skin God created her in. It doesn't say she tried to be the most beautiful or the buffest or the fastest it says she "wrap[ped] herself in strength, might, and power ..." Love the skin you're in but make sure that you are taking care of the skin you're in. Your body is a temple that is housing the spirit of God: is it a temple that you would want to stay in?
7. ... consistent and a light at all times. It took a little bit of thinking and research when I got to verse 18-19. I think initially, I viewed these two verses through the lens of living in a culture that measures success by busyness so when it says that her "lamp does not go out at night", I assumed it meant that homegirl was pulling all-nighters to get her stuff done (I don't know about you, but I've been there. ahem like right now as I type this). With a little more studying and cross referencing, I think the lamp and light it refers to might actually mean more of a spiritual light rather than a physical light. Meaning: this woman is not one person in the daylight and another once the sun goes down. Her light for Jesus is on all day and all night. She does not hide her light rather, puts it out on a pedestal for all to see. (Matthew 5:14)
8. ... generous, compassionate, and welcoming. Again, homegirl is just reflecting Jesus. This woman has not just opened her house but has also opened her heart. She is generous not just with money but with her time and energy - taking time for people and listening to them. Again, creates a woman that can reach and change the world. WHAT A GAL.
9. ... ready and equipped. This bada** woman is ready for what the world, physical and spiritual, has to throw at her. In Ephesians 6:11-18, we read about putting on the armor of God. In the Message translation is puts it beautifully by saying, "This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels." We need to be ready. We need to be equipped with the right tools and weapons. Are you ready?
10. ... tidy, attractive, and takes care. This verse (22) had me a bit confused. It talks about making bed coverings for yourself and having clothing that is "fine linen and purple." Now, maybe this is just me but I was hoping that I wasn't going to have to be making my own bedding and wearing purple clothes in order to develop into this woman. THANK GOD the answer is no. The verse isn't giving explicit instructions but instead is giving examples of certain characteristics. So for verse 22, we learn that not only is this woman tidy, she takes care of herself and puts effort into what she wears and how she wears it.
11. ... purposed. This kind of woman is also purposeful: she has an intended or desired end result. In this instance, it's making garments and then selling them. We need a purpose. We were created with one but sometimes we struggle with walking into that purpose (which will be another post!).
12. ... beautiful internally. We are called to be beautiful. Yes on the outside but, more importantly, on the inside as well. In 1 Peter, Peter explains that "... true beauty come[s] from your inner personality, not a focus on the external. For lasting beauty comes from a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is precious in God’s sight and is much more important than the outward adornment of elaborate hair, jewelry, and fine clothes." How freaking cool? In Proverbs, we're told to be less concerned about our outward appearance and then hundreds, maybe even thousands of years later, Peter is writing about the exact same thing!!!
13. ... fearless. Now, we're not called to be stupid but to be wise so this does not mean putting ourselves in dangerous, compromising situations but instead understanding that our lack of fear is not grounded in our own abilities but instead it is grounded in the power and grace of God and this woman understands that. Once we can believe that our faith in God holds power, we can take on this fearless spirit because we know that God is in control.
14. ... wise. I define wisdom as the understanding of things given to us by God. Now, in order to get wisdom which is given to us through Christ, we must be in Christ. We must be Christians. Once we give our lives to Christ and decide to follow and believe in him, all we have to do is ask for wisdom and God will generously give wisdom to us (James 1:5). So in our daily lives, let's be constantly asking for wisdom, yeah? Because just imagine a world where confident, diligent, hard working WISE woman live and thrive. Ah, what a place that would be.
15. ... not lazy. Now I made a comment about our culture measuring success by using busyness as the means to do so. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, being lazy and unmotivated seems to also play a role in certain cultures and societies. We have been given so many cool gifts and talents to use to build the Kingdom yet so often, we waste the talents God's given us by letting them sit on the shelf to collect dust. In Proverbs 13:4, it is super straight forward about the slacker attitude in all of us and what can happen. Check it out.
16. ... respected. I personally believe that being respected is related to all the above characteristics: being trustworthy, welcoming, consistent, responsible, etc. This doesn't mean that this kind of woman is better than the other woman, but people have a respect for her that they wouldn't generally have for other people. Once again, respect reaches people. Respect also changes people.
17. ... humble. This is the one that I think I struggle with most: being humble. The previous 16 characteristics and attributes mean absolutely nothing if you're heart isn't in the right place but instead it's in a place of bragging and attention grabbing. If we're trying to gain wisdom as part of learning and growing into being this woman, then humility is going to take us so far on our wisdom journey. In Proverbs chapter 11 it encourages us to walk in humility in order to help us make wise decisions. Shoot man!!
Humility → Wisdom → Proverbs 31 Chick
18. She glories the Lord. This is the one that ties all 18 characteristics together into a list that [hopefully] makes sense. The purpose of people here on Earth who have made the choice to follow Jesus is to glorify Him. And generally that looks the same across the board BUT for young woman who are trying to grow and get better at navigating this thing called life: Proverbs 31 is a helpful roadmap with the tools to glorify God. Helpful tip: we glorify God by adopting this list into our daily life and everyday walk.
That's it!! I really hope that this cleared up any possible confusion and misconceptions surrounding Proverbs 31 or if you've been reading this passage for years yet when asked about what it was about, you looked like this emoji: 🤷🏻♀️. If you have any further insight, shoot me an email or DM, I would love to hear about it!
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