Read these 15 Things The Bible Teaches Us About The Proverbs 31 Woman to see what we can learn from her and how you can grow to be more like her today.
You’ve probably heard and read about the Proverbs 31 woman, and if you are like me, you feel discouraged immediately upon thinking about her!
How is it possible to be so perfect and so together as this woman from Proverbs seems to be?
Well, here is the good news: it is not possible in one sense because this woman is not real. Instead of being a superwoman who actually lived and did everything right, she is included in Scripture as an example for you to follow as you work toward developing qualities in yourself that please God.
On the other hand, you really can become like her as you seek to serve the Lord and serve others in His strength. You are a work in progress, striving toward the goal of becoming a woman “worth more than rubies” who fears the Lord above all else.
Who is the Proverbs 31 woman?
The Proverbs 31 woman is described in the book of Proverbs by King Lemuel, sharing advice from his mother about the qualities he should seek in an excellent wife. His mother’s hope is that he might find a virtuous woman who loves well, has a fear of the Lord, and whose focus is on serving Him in all ways.
While this woman is not real in the sense that she actually lived and did all these things perfectly, she is an example of a virtuous woman who can serve as a model to all Christian women, whether married or single.
What is the context and intent of Proverbs 31?
The passage describing this ideal woman is an acrostic poem, with each line starting with a Hebrew word that represents a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is often cited as the standard of who a godly woman should strive to become.
In an article about the Proverbs 31 woman, Lysa TerKeurst suggests that the intent behind the passage is one of celebration rather than condemnation.
She says, “In Jewish culture, these verses are read out loud on the Sabbath as a celebration over the women. This is in no way condemning what they aren’t but celebrating how they are, in their own unique expressions, living out the virtues detailed in this chapter. These aren’t words meant to tell a woman she is supposed to be more. They are a celebration of who she is.”
This is so encouraging! When looking at the list of this proverbial woman’s virtues, try to see it as a picture of the woman you are learning to become in your own unique way as you follow God’s leading in your life and learn to be the best woman you can be as you serve Him.
If you want to learn more about how to become like this virtuous woman, read these 15 things the Bible teaches us about the Proverbs 31 woman to see what you can learn from her and how you can grow to be more like her today.
15 Things The Bible Teaches Us About The Proverbs 31 Woman
1. She has a noble character.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” – Proverbs 31:10
A woman of noble character is one who has good personal qualities and high moral standards, and this quality is worth more than rare and expensive jewels.
When you live your life according to the standards set out in God’s word, your heart and unique qualities will shine out, more beautiful than rubies.
2. She is worthy.
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” – Proverbs 31:11
A woman who is worthy of trust is a blessing to her family and to everyone around her. Being trustworthy means being faithful and a woman of your word who is respectful and loyal.
3. She brings good into the world.
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:12
A virtuous woman brings about good things because of the bond she shares with her loved ones, which is founded on trust, honor, and respect. She is supportive and works to make life comfortable and productive for everyone. Her commitment is for the long haul and, as such, is a great encouragement to everyone.
4. She is an eager and hard worker.
“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” – Proverbs 31:13-14
The woman of virtue’s willingness to work hard is a great example to all who observe her. She knows what is needed for those who rely on her, so she works with willing, eager hands to do what is necessary to gather food and other things necessary for the comfort of her loved ones.
She gives herself eagerly to the service of those who depend on her.
5. She cares for her family and workers.
“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.” – Proverbs 31:15
The noble woman provides well for her family and others who look to her for aid and encouragement. As a godly woman, she manages her time so that she can get it all done, making sure everyone has what they need.
In addition, by getting up early, she makes sure she has the necessary alone time with God, nourishing her own spirit in a way that gives her the strength to be the virtuous woman she needs to be.
6. She is wise and intentional in her decisions.
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” – Proverbs 31:16
A virtuous woman is able to decide what is needed in any given situation, and she can take steps to accomplish her goals. She obtains the resources she needs to provide for her family, and her planning is fruitful and successful.
7. She is strong.
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” – Proverbs 31:17
A woman of virtue is strong, not just physically but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She is able to recognize what she needs to take care of her body and keep it strong so that she can do her work well.
8. She knows her work is valuable.
“She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.” – Proverbs 31:18-19
The noble woman is assured of her value and the value of her work. She is talented and skilled at what she does, and she has the ability to produce quality goods and things that bring joy into people’s lives.
9. She cares for the poor and needy.
“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” – Proverbs 31:20
A virtuous woman is generous and always ready to lend a hand to those who need her help. Kindness and empathy rule her heart as she extends compassion where it is needed most.
10. She plans and prepares.
“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” – Proverbs 31:21
The woman of virtue is prepared for everything and has taken everything into account to make sure those who rely on her are safe, warm, and have everything they need, no matter the outside circumstances. She is ready to support and provide for her loved ones through any storm.
If you want to discover more practical ways to embody the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s world, read “The 10 Virtues of a Proverbs 31 Woman” at A Virtuous Woman.
11. She has dignity.
“She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” – Proverbs 31:22-24
This godly woman takes good care of herself, dressing well and presenting herself with dignity. Her modesty and support of those in her care draw the attention of others in such a way that she brings honor to them and a good reputation, while also seeing to the well-being of her family.
12. She is confident, not fraught with worry.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” – Proverbs 31:25
Knowing she is strong and capable of providing what is needed for those in her care, the woman of virtue is not worried about the future. Her trust is in God to provide and to strengthen her as she gives her worries to Him.
She is so confident in your trust in the Lord that she can laugh instead of fearing what might come.
13. She speaks careful and wise words of faith.
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” – Proverbs 31:26
As a woman of virtue, her words are uplifting, kind, and chosen carefully as she takes part in faithful instruction. She seeks to train and teach others, speaking words of wisdom that encourage and instruct.
14. She is not lazy.
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27
The noble woman is at all times actively pursuing the care of her loved ones, making sure all that touches them is well in hand.
She knows well that the ways of her household and the needs of her family are priorities, and she is fully committed to seeing them well cared for.
15. She fears the Lord.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” – Proverbs 31:30-31
The virtuous woman is recognized by those around her as someone who is honorable and capable, someone worthy of praise—not just within the circle of those who are close to her but also by the broader community.
All this is possible because she puts her trust in the Lord before everything else, deriving strength and hope from Him. True beauty comes from a heart that is set on seeking and doing God’s will.
How can you be a Proverbs 31 woman today?
Perhaps after reading all the characteristics of a virtuous, godly woman, you are still feeling inadequate to the task of exhibiting these qualities yourself. Don’t feel pressured to try to achieve all this at once!
You are a work in progress, and God is shaping you to become this woman over time as you trust in Him. God has given you everything you need to live a godly life as you become like the Proverbs 31 woman.
With His help, remember to “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-9)
Looking back at Lysa TerKeurst’s article again, she shares a reminder of the purpose of the Proverbs 31 passage: “Courageous women celebrating each other… and those they love celebrating them? All under the banner of honoring God, serving out of love, and smiling at the future.”
That’s really what it is all about – honoring God and serving others in His strength. Every one of these qualities of a Proverbs 31 woman is possible for you if you fear the Lord.
Having a relationship with God and seeking to serve Him above all else will give you the strength and the courage you need to develop the characteristics of a virtuous woman whose worth is far above rubies and who will be praised by all who know you.
If you’d like to gain a fresh perspective on how Proverbs 31 applies to everyone, not just women, explore “Proverbs 31 is for Everyone” on The Gospel Coalition.
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Margaret is a Faithful Finish Lines 2.0 member and Finisher who loves to read and write when she is not teaching. She lived overseas for a number of years and now resides in the Midwest where she serves the community by teaching English as a Second Language.