I love the Proverbs 31 Woman! She is my favorite female role model in the Bible (although Esther comes very close!). The example of the Proverbs 31 Woman is God’s ideal for every woman… and she’s a godly man’s ideal as well.
Many things can be learned about the Proverbs 31 Woman in every verse. It was a little overwhelming for me to see how much you and I can learn from this woman. This post is only scratching the surface (my study could go much deeper!) however, I hope that little study will give you further insight into the Proverbs 31 Woman. But first…
What You Need to Know About the Proverbs 31 Woman
She is a Woman of Outstanding Character
The Proverbs 31 Woman is an example of outstanding character. Her radiant and shining character is clearly evident when we take the time to read about her and get to know her. In the rest of this post, we will go through the characteristics of this ideal woman verse by verse as found in her “biography” of Proverbs 31:10-31.
So, without further ado… let’s get started.
She is virtuous
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
What is virtue?
When I looked up the word “virtue” using my Bible study software, the first thing I saw describing this word was “a force”. Some other definitions are “wealth”, “valor”, and “strength”. Believe it or not, the word “virtuous” used in Proverbs 31 is a very military-like word. It even refers to a “band of men!” At first this doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, Proverbs 31 is talking about a woman right?
Let’s think about this for a moment.
Reading through Proverbs 31:11-31 we can clearly see that (in her own way) the Proverbs 31 Woman is a force! She is quick, hardworking, energetic, vigilant, strong, and probably wealthy. Why not use a military-like word to describe her? It’s fitting when we think about her overall character. She is not a weakling.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is strong in her…
Faith – she fears the Lord and finds her strength in Him (Phil. 4:13)
Character – her character is strong. Without diligence and a strong work ethic, she would never be able to do what she does.
Physical life – it takes a lot of energy and a healthy body to do her work and to do it well.
Mind –she is clearly a level-headed woman who plans her work.
I’m sure you can see that the word “virtue” is a very fitting. She is a force -a force of strength. However, not just any strength, she is fortified by the strength of the Lord. (Phil. 4:13)
The Proverbs 31 Woman is virtuous.
She is trustworthy
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” Proverbs 31:11
We can learn several different things from this verse. First of all, the word “trust” has the idea of “a refuge”. The Proverbs 31 Woman is a refuge for her husbands heart. What a wonderful privilege… and a great responsibility! Her husband is confident that he can find in her a place of refuge when he is down, discouraged, or weary. He knows he can go to her for encouragement and comfort.
Her husband knows he can trust her in other ways as well. He can trust her to…
Care for the family – she loves him, cares for the children, and is the competent wife and mother that she needs to be.
Keep the home -she takes care of the cleaning, shopping, cooking, and other practical areas of household management.
Be vigilant in character – she will remain faithful to her husband, her family, and her God because she is a woman of outstanding character.
Above all, the reason the Proverbs 31 Woman is trustworthy is because she is a woman of character. Her husband has full confidence in her because he trusts her character.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is trustworthy.
She Does good
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
I love this verse because I learned so much from this short little phrase. The word “good” has the idea of “the best”. As much as possible the Proverbs 31 Woman does what is best for her husband. In the same definition I was was thrilled to find some of my favorite words. When the Proverbs 31 Woman does “good” for her husband she does what is “the best” for him and it adds “beauty”, “joy”, and “gladness” to his life. What a treasure this woman is to her husband!
What are some “good” things (found in Scripture) that this woman does for her husband?
- Speaks kind and uplifting words (Proverbs 31:26)
- Submits to and obeys him (Ephesians 5:22 & 1 Peter 3:5-6)
- Pleases him physically (Proverbs 5:19 & 1 Corinthians 3:3-4)
- Builds up their home -through encouragement and wisdom (Proverbs 14:1)
- Honors and respects him (Ephesians 5:33)
- Feeds him good and nutritious meals (Proverbs 31:15)
- …and more…
Are you beginning to see what a wonderful treasure this woman is to her husband? All the “good” things she does for him, whether it’s speaking a kind word or filling his empty stomach, she adds joy and gladness to his heart and life.
The Proverbs 31 Woman does good.
She is a Willing Worker
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Proverbs 31:13
This verse is very convicting! Not only do we see that the Proverbs 31 Woman is a worker… she actively seeks for work and does it willingly. Digging a little deeper, the word “willingly” shows us that she delights in her work. I can just see this woman singing as she washes dishes, smiling as she cleans up after a child, and laughing as she works through her busy day.
This woman works hard and finds joy in doing her work. She doesn’t grumble and complain when more work is added to her load… instead she makes sure she has what she needs to do her work, then she rolls up her sleeves and does the job – willingly and joyfully.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is a willing worker.
She Provides Food for Her Family
“She is like the merchants’s ships; she bringeth her food from afar.” Proverbs 31:14
This verse teaches us a very practical lesson about the Proverbs 31 Woman. We see that she is diligent in purchasing the food needed for her family. She knows where to obtain high quality food and she’s not afraid to travel for it.
She must know how to cook as well because in verse 15 we find her giving meat to the people in her household.
What family isn’t blessed by a wonderful cook? The Proverbs 31 Woman blesses her husband and children by purchasing the necessary food and preparing it well.
The Proverbs 31 Woman provides food for her family.
She is an Early Riser
“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” Proverbs 31:15
Just because The Proverbs 31 Woman rises early doesn’t mean she’s a natural morning person. This verse simply tells us she is diligent in rising early.This woman is not a slave to sleep. She knows that in order to get her work done, she needs to wake up early. She begins her work before the days even begins.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is an early riser.
She Makes Wise Decisions
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16
There were several different things I could have pulled out of this verse. But the subtle thing I learn about the Proverbs 31 Woman from this verse is that she makes wise decisions.
Being an extremely capable woman, she decides to buy a field and she also plants a vineyard (goodness, she has both!). Before she purchases her field she takes time to consider it. Knowing the wisdom of the this fine lady, I have a feeling she took several things into consideration before purchasing a field…
The Lord – Being a woman who fears the Lord (v. 30), I am sure she sought wisdom from Him before purchasing her new field.
Her Husband – She probably asked her husband’s opinion and wisely considered his thoughts and advice as well.
Her Family – Would this field be a benefit to her family? Would it add to her family by providing them with food (or cash profit)? Would it take away from her family by taking up too much of her time and money?
I believe the Proverbs 31 Woman would have considered all of these things. This woman clearly has business-savvy, common sense, and a wise head on her shoulders.
The Proverbs 31 Woman makes wise decisions.
She is Physically Strong
“She girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms.” Proverbs 31:17
I already mentioned the Proverbs 31 Woman’s strength, and here we see her taking the time to strengthen her body. In a sense this woman is working out! She is not going to let her body become weak, she is proactively staying healthy, fit, and strong. She knows that in order to accomplish everything on her to-do list she needs to be physically strong.
To me this verse is shouting it’s lesson loud and clear:The Proverbs 31 Woman is taking time out of her busy schedule to maintain and even increase her physical strength.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is physically strong.
She is Industrious
“She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hand to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” Proverbs 31:18-19
This amazing lady not only runs a smooth household, she has a business as well! Here we find her diligently working during the evening and into the night. As a result, she is earning some income because the word “merchandise” means “profit (from trade)”. This is yet another way the Proverbs 31 Woman blesses her husband and family. Her diligence is paying off, literally. She is a financial asset to her husband and family.
We also see that her work is quality. It’s good. And once again, the definition of “good” also has the idea of being “the best”. The Proverbs 31 Woman makes sure that her endeavors are worthwhile, profitable, and quality.
The Proverbs 31 Woman is industrious.
She Reaches Out
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
It amazes me how often this lady is busy working with her hands. Now we find her reaching out to those who are poor and needy. The Proverbs 31 Woman sees the needs of others and is quick to respond. I can just see her blessing others by fulfilling…
Physical Needs – Whether is be a hot meal, money, or warm clothing, she is willing to help supply the physical needs of others.
Emotional Needs – She is willing to lend a listening ear, a loving hug, or simply, an encouraging word (Proverbs 31:26 and Ephesians 4:32). She is always ready and willing to help fulfill the emotional needs of others as well.
The Proverbs 31 Woman notices those who are poor and needy, afflicted and empty. She does was she can in order to help them.
The Proverbs 31 Woman reaches out.
To Be Continued
Wow, what a lady…. and we are only halfway through this study! Next week we will look at Proverbs 31:21-31 as we continue getting to know the Proverbs 31 Woman.
In the meantime…
- Read through Proverbs 31:10-31 on your own. Continue getting to know the Proverbs 31 Woman by jotting down your own thoughts and applications from the passage.
- Sign up for my free weekly devotional. By signing up you will receive a short devotional in your inbox every Saturday morning, as well as other special emails and updates!
- Keep learning and growing! Check out this list of books to read… they will help you sharpen your mind as you “increase learning” (Proverbs 1:5)
- Share in the comments! What was the #1 thing you learned about the Proverbs 31 Woman?