The Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman
The Proverbs 31 woman was not a real person that once lived. She’s an example of a woman who the King’s mother told him to look for in a wife. There are no commands to us in Proverbs 31, but this woman is a good example for us in many ways. I am going to match the attributes of this woman to the commands given to us for today that are clearly spelled out in the New Testament so we can strive to be a modern day Proverbs 31 woman!
First of all, this woman must be a virtuous woman. She must love the Lord and His ways. Therefore, when she reads all of the verses about a wife’s submission to her husband and that he is head over her, she knows that they are for her good since God is good. She doesn’t try to water it down and pervert it to say her husband should submit to her. No, she believes it just as it is written.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
Her husband trusts her and knows that his wife will do him only good. Older women are to teach younger women to be good and to love their husbands (Titus 2:4, 5). If we truly love someone, we will only want to do them good (1 Corinthians 13). She won’t speak negatively about him to others. She won’t even think negatively about him. She will dwell on the good in him (Philippians 4:8). She will lovingly serve him and try to make his life as good as possible (1 Corinthians 7:34) since she knows she was created to be his help meet (Genesis 3:16).
She’s a hard worker and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness. She knows that she’s called to do whatever she does heartily as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23)! She loves being a keeper at home (Titus 2:5) and looking well to the ways of her household. She works hard in her home to make in as clean and tidy as she can, fixes her family the best food she can buy, and does everything that needs to be done to run a home including caring lovingly for her children and raising them in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
She is clothed with strength and honor. The only way to be clothed with strength and honor is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This happens the moment you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ, then you know that His Spirit works in you mightily (Colossians 1:29). Imagine that! The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, therefore, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)!
She speaks with wisdom and kindness. She studies the Word to make sure that it dwells within her richly (Colossians 3:16). She faithfully renews her mind with truth since she knows that this is what transforms her (Romans 12:2). She understands that true, godly love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4) so she is patient and kind with her family and all those who come into her life. She takes every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and doesn’t give into vain imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is why she can rejoice in the time to come. She doesn’t live in fear but in faith because she knows who holds the future.
She fears the Lord. She knows that He is her Creator and that His ways are good, and acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2). She knows that He will one day judge the world and that everything in this world will one day burn (2 Peter 3:10) so she lives with eternity in her vision. She stores her treasures in heaven rather than upon this decaying earth (Matthew 6:20). Her husband and children are eternal so she makes sure to store up a lot of love and time into their lives. She is a wise woman who builds her life upon the Rock of her salvation (Matthew 7:24).
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
15 thoughts on “The Modern Day Proverbs 31 Woman”
Great post Lori with all the scripture references.
I think that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and outcome focused when we look at her life as a whole. I know that’s what happened to me!
When we started homeschooling (before I started doing unschooling) D came home from work one day and I was having a melt-down. I had just unboxed a years worth of curriculum for SIX subjects! “There is no way I’m going to be able to teach ALL of this!” My husband, so full of wisdom, says, “Ok, box it all back up and pull out what you are going to do between now and Christmas.” I felt myself relax able to think again!
Reading all of Proverbs 31 used to be like that for me! But now I don’t view those attributes as every day characterizations or accomplishments for a single day, week or even month. I see them as biographical of her whole life! From the beginning of marriage all the way through to grand-babies! It’s not a chapter (or a snip-it sliver) from her daily life; but rather … the WHOLE book!
… that changed everything for me.
Whenever the Proverbs 31 woman is brought up among my Christian women friends, they always mention that she worked away from home, had a career, etc, so it is perfectly okay for a Christian woman to leave her children and home for a job. Uh, no! Where do they get this? Why are they under the impression that she is gone all day? Thank you Lori, for your posts.
They use her to justify them having a career, Mary, when she didn’t. She was known for looking well to the ways of her household NOT having a career where she left her home and her children in the care of others every day, and worked for a boss.
Very moving for me today. Such great encouragement and wisdom. So soothing to me today as tears rolled down my cheeks I kept thanking the Lord for the truth. His truth the Living Word!. Such a sweet piece came over me as I serve my Lord by serving and lovingly serve my husband.. our marriage is so much sweeter and precious everyday. as I truly submit from a pure, and thankful heart!
God is so Good!
I never saw that whole career woman thing. I see a woman who is a thrifty shopper and makes a little money on the side AT HOME making garments and belts. And generated enough money that could be used to buy a small piece of property. I don’t think that, for one minute, she didn’t seek her husband’s guidance here. I remember my female relatives talking about their “egg money”, money they earned from tending the chickens and selling their eggs. While it was “their” money, it was used to help their family, not for a mani/pedi! And they weren’t career Egg Saleswomen! They were housewives that had a way to earn a little money AT HOME. I made items to sell in a shop in my late 30’s. I did everything at home and it generated enough to pay our property taxes, vacation, & regular taxes involved with it. I did it at home, which came first. Definitely not a career, but an AT HOME hobby that generated a little income. BIG difference from my Office Mgr. job that required a 12 hr. day from start to finish and had me far from my home for 11 of them.
I’ve always seen the Proverbs 31 woman as one to aspire to. My Grandma was like her. Faithful, devoted, wise, creative, thrifty, & kind. But for a 20 minute nap every afternoon, she got up at 4am every morning and worked until she went to bed at 7:30 pm. And it showed in her self, her home, her garden, & my grandpa. I once asked my mom if she had always been like that, even when they were kids. My mom said, “Always. I couldn’t have asked for better parents.”
(She also added that she couldn’t blame any of the mistakes she made on them, that they were wonderful examples for her.)
The other day my husband and I were discussing finances and I became frustrated. I told him I didn’t understand what he was telling me, and I’d rather he take care of the finances on his own. He told me, “You better understand it! You will be raising my children!”
It was such an eye opener. From my perspective the Proverbs 31 woman being trustworthy and doing good is what allowed her to be productive in the home. She wasn’t waiting always for her husband to tell her what to do, but she learned from him, saw his plans for their family, and she could make decisions in accordance with his plan. He didn’t have to worry that she would be wasteful or make a poor deal. She was not a liability to him and if he left for war for a year, he could leave knowing she would make appropriate decisions and pass his wisdom onto their children. I love that!
Hi humbled wife,
I totally agree! The proverbs 31 wife did work . . . for her “family business”. Her husband was in charge, but she was “second in command.” This type of woman must be knowledgable, resourceful, determined, organized, responsible, etc. Although, I supposed it depends on the husband, how active a role he would want you to take!
I noticed you said a wife wouldn’t even have bad thoughts about her husband and you referenced Philippians 4:8. I had not heard that verse applied that way before. I thought it meant to reflect on good, pure, and right things, and to find whatever positive/excellent there is to praise. However, I’m not sure it is a command to *only* spend your time thinking about things to praise, just a reminder that we *need* to spend time doing this, as humans often forget to “count their blessings” or “look for the good in everything.”
I’m not sure about Ken, but my husband appreciates constructive criticism. He says that’s part of my job as a wife (and he as a husband) — to help in everything. If he has sloppy looking hair, or ill-fitting clothes, or has developed some sort of bad habit, he appreciates me pointing it out (not nagging of course), so that it doesn’t affect his career, presentation when spreading the Word, or time with family!
For example, (and I am only sharing this after asking), he used to look at his phone a lot during dinner time. He already knows I readily appreciate how he “puts dinner on the table” and comes home in time for dinner, yet I did have negative thoughts towards this rude habit. I explained how I would love to see him fully present at the table, listening to the tales of the day, and he obliged, even thanking me, since he realized he must be doing it around others too!
And like I said, I am no short on praise for him, either!
So I guess my question is — do you see Philippians 4:8 as as a command to never look for improvement, give constructive criticism, or question how you can make things more efficient? And specifically, do you think it was meant as a command for wives when thinking about their husbands? And would it apply both ways (as it is not directed only towards women?)
My husband is a stickler for sound theological teaching, and he was disappointed at what he considers your interpretation.
I can understand that – it is a shame that we fail to see that this is a description of the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. We are often trying to live out individual fulfilment of the scriptures and commands without coming together according to Eph 4 to manifest the Body of Christ so all the world can see this virtue and comeliness. It is in the unity and subjection to the Word of God that this will be seen.
This is such a nice study. I love seeing the OT and NT correlations that you’ve showed us. Your last few posts have reminded me of a diagram my friend gave me that has 3 main points on it. The first point is: Think Right. This is immersing ourselves in God’s Word. Like you said above, study the Word and let it dwell in you richly. Second point is: Do Right. When the Word is within us, it will produce fruits of righteousness or right living, which is everything the Proverbs 31 woman does and is. Third point is: Feel Right. Like yesterday’s post conveyed, the happiness we feel will be based off of God’s Word, not on our current situation or whatever is going on in the world around us. If these 3 get out of order, it can get really messy. (For example: worst case condition, porn leading to an affair… wrong action… leads to that person thinking they are completely justified in their sin…wrong feeling… leads to the truth as they see it… wrong truth) Thanks again, Lori! Very much appreciated.
This was wonderful, RMR. Thank you! My husband gave my children a list of 5 points that are our family values and they had to often repeat them. Some of the ones were what you listed!
You were speaking the truth in love to him, Kate, but when you had those negative thoughts about him, you must kick them out since we are commanded to dwell on the good and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It doesn’t mean that we don’t see things that need to be rebuked or confronted in others (usually sinful things), but we still must speak the truth in love to them. Your husband will never be perfect, neither will you nor I but hopefully our spouses aren’t dwelling upon our imperfections! This is a recipe for an unhappy marriage.
Thankyou❤ I’d love to hear your 5 points, too!