A personal application of the kind of Godly women we should all strive to be – for our husbands, ourselves, and God.
Earlier this week I saw an ad by Disney promoting the idea that all young ladies are beautiful princesses. As sweet of a thought as it may be, sometimes we get caught up in the idea that it’s just another one of Disney’s advertisements. This one in particular happens to hold some truth to it though. Sure, I may not wear a gorgeous ball gown and live in a castle, but that doesn’t mean I’m not royalty. In fact, I am a daughter of the most high King. I am a fairy tale princess who is loved and adored by her Father. That’s really exciting to me! What’s even more exciting is that if you’ve accepted Christ into your life then YOU are royalty as well because you are a child of the King!
For me, I know that one day Prince Charming is going to step into my life and ask the King for my hand. We are then going to have an extravagant white wedding and ride off into the sunset. It’s going to be beautiful and you are all invited! Well, I may not have enough seats, but I’ll post pictures on my blog! In the meantime, however, I have to prepare for the coming of Prince Charming.
Before I accept a man’s hand in marriage, I have to make sure I’m the kind of woman a man needs to build him up and contribute to the growth of our new family. I once heard a phrase saying, “I’d rather be a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret Model”. Everyone knows what a Victoria’s Secret Model looks like, but how many of us have seen what a Proverbs 31 woman looks like? Even after reading the passage multiple times, I still was not exactly sure what she looks like today. How can I become this great woman my husband deserves if I don’t know what she looks like in the day and age I’m living in? I can’t imagine every man wants and needs a fashion designer for a wife. At least, that’s not the calling I feel God leading me towards. Photographer? Anyone?
For those of you ladies out there, like me, who are still waiting on Mr. Right and even for those of you who have already been blessed with him, but want to see this lovely picture the Bible paints for us of the kind of wives we are supposed to be, I’ve decided to share with you who the Proverbs 31 woman is and how you can model yourself after her in the 21st century. I will also be including other women of the Bible who are Proverbs 31 women. These are the ladies we should be looking up to as not only wives, but also as women of God who will draw the lost and bitter to the sweetness of Christ who lives inside of us and also draw Godly men to our side. So without further adieu, I present to you the Proverbs 31 woman.
1. The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. 2. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! 3. Do not spend your strength[a] on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. 4. It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! 7. Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.11. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.15. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.16. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.17. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.18. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.19. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29. “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”30. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.31. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
As I mentioned in my No Greater Than Love post, before I can expect or even feel the right to ask for God to invite another person into my life that I have the responsibility to love, I need to focus on loving the people God has already blessed me with. Most importantly, I need to focus on loving God. Saying I love Him doesn’t mean anything unless I’m spending time with Him by praying and reading the Bible. If someone didn’t talk and listen to you, I can imagine you’d have a pretty difficult time believing they loved you. When it comes to everyone else in my life, I have to die to myself by putting others first. I have to become a servant and throw my selfish desires out the window. Learning and focusing on just this ONE key thing could turn the world upside down and if not the world at least your life. I can guarantee you and those around you will be transformed by just loving one another. Loving people doesn’t just mean loving those who are easy to love in the moment or those you know, the Proverbs 31 woman not only loves her family and God, but also loves others by helping the poor and assisting those in need (vs. 20). Loving God and loving others are the two greatest commandments. (Matthew 22: 37-40)
After all, it was Rebekah’s love and self-sacrifice for a stranger that blessed her with a God-ordained marriage. (Genesis 24:4) After Abraham’s servant was sent out to go find Isaac a wife, he devised a test to find the right woman to bring back. She would be the one to offer to water his camels, which was not an easy task back in those days. After approaching a well, a woman named Rebekah offered not only the servant a drink, but also offered to draw enough water for his ten camels until their thirst was quenched and therefore passing the test the servant had devised in faith that God would supply the woman he would bring back to marry Isaac.
As a side note for all you feminists out there, I am all for girl power! I believe in equality and the role of women in society, but if your man asks you to make him a sandwich do it out of LOVE and die to yourself. After saying that I feel I have to mention, it’s not fair for you men to abuse that sandwich card (or any other card…) and if your wife asks you to make HER a sandwich, you do it out of LOVE and die to yourself. It’s a two way street. Chivalry is not dead. I understand if you have the mental image of an America housewife from the 50s in your head and as cute as the dresses they wore back then were you can replace that image with a more accurate one of The Beatles singing, “All You Need is Love”.
My pastor always said that once you become a parent, it stops being about you. You have to learn to die to yourself completely and do whatever needs to be done for the health and well being of your child. Your child becomes your life. For all those parents out there, you know how true that is. As a Proverbs 31 woman, your main responsibility is your family and your home. No, I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t be a workingwoman, but you are a workingwoman by just being a stay-at-home mom. It’s a full-time job! If you can fit in another career with that, I tip my hat to you.
Nonetheless, you must keep an eye on your children and the household (vs. 27). Being a Proverbs 31 woman means being part of your children’s lives, being aware of what they are going through, and taking care of their needs. You know what’s best for them and are instilling virtues in them since the time they are born (vs. 1-2). It’s your job to prepare your family for the future (vs. 21) by raising your children up the right way and even getting up early to feed them breakfast (vs. 15). You know how to care for your health so you can care for their’s and know not only what goes into their mouth (vs. 15), but are willing to travel and search for the healthiest options (vs. 14). I also like to think vs. 14 indicates that a Proverbs 31 woman is willing to try new things and has an interest and respect for other cultures so she can share it with her family. It’s beautiful to learn to new things and share the knowledge with others.
There are quite a few verses relating to the making and wearing of nice clothes. Those threw me off the most since I don’t make any of the clothes I wear nor the ones my children will be wearing. I started thinking about it in two different ways though. You, as well as your family, should look presentable. Clothes are a society’s representation of modesty and values as well as status (vs. 22) You may not have the most money or be wealthy enough to afford Dolce and Gabbana, but you can shop for the best yarn and cotton (vs. 13) that you can afford. It’s always a good thing to look and feel presentable. Always remember that what you wear is a representation of who you are. As far as designing and selling gowns is concerned (vs. 24), I look at it from a stand point if God has blessed you with a gift or talent aside from just being a mother than use it (especially if you can generate income and in turn bless someone with your gift!).
A Proverbs 31 woman plans and organizes her day (vs. 15) so she can accomplish everything she needs to, but she also plans for a home with money she has saved (vs. 16). Before she starts a family of her own, she knows how to cook the food she’s purchased or grown and take care of the home that is now hers. Because of this, she is skilled in home making (vs. 19) and she enjoys it (vs. 13). She can budget money appropriately to cover all the costs.
Women who are praised in the Bible have two things in common: they all have a strong faith in God and they put others before themselves. Hannah wanted a child terribly so she prayed diligently involving God every step of the way. When He finally blessed her with a son, she dedicated his life back to Christ. (1 Samuel 1) Hannah valued the life of her child not only praying for him, but also in his dedication. Abigail is another woman who desired to protect her family. Her husband was a wicked man and David was on his way to kill him. Abigail met him halfway giving him and his army food and asking him to reconsider what he was about to do. Not only did her actions save her family’s lives, but when her wicked husband died after hearing how close he had been to death, David sent for Abigail to be his wife. (1 Samuel 25)
The media is always telling us what “beauty” is and our perception has become completely distorted by it. What matters most is how you look on the inside because the inside is what God looks at and He’s the only one you need to impress.
A Proverbs 31 woman has a positive outlook on life. She doesn’t worry (vs. 21) because she fears the Lord (vs. 30) and trusts Him with her future and the future of those she loves (Proverbs 3:5-6). Therefore, she can face tomorrow with a smile (vs. 25).
Her faith is seen in her words and actions. She knows when there is something worthwhile to say (vs. 26) and her husband can trust her without reserve (vs. 11). Esther not only put the future of her family before her own by risking her life to go before her husband, the king, but when she told him of Haman’s deceit, the king believed her. It was through her faith, bravery, and character that she was able to save her family. (Esther 1)
A Proverbs 31 woman is never spiteful and has a generous heart. She is a diligent worker (vs. 17) and quitting is not an option when something needs to be done (vs. 18). Even after Ruth’s husband died and she had no further connection to her mother-in-law, also a widow, Ruth cared for her and didn’t leave her side. Ruth was diligent and hardworking to collect food for them. God saw this and blessed Ruth not only with a wonderful husband, but her lineage would lead to Jesus Christ, the Savior himself. (Ruth 1)
A lot of the Proverbs 31 woman’s inner beauty comes from her selflessness and love for others which is why “love” is so important. Love is an action not an emotion.
MORE THAN RUBIES
One of the coolest things about this passage that I’ve realized (and it’s probably the literary junkie in me), this woman being described in Proverbs 31 could possibly a representation of the mother telling her son what to look for as he goes out to find his bride. She is instilling all of these wonderful virtues into her son. She knows from experience by either living how she shouldn’t have or how God has led her to live. She is living by example and knows the worth of a woman with such nobility.
Proverbs 31 women are rare, but they are worth even more than rubies (vs. 10). Being rare and worth more than rubies – what a compliment! I know I want that to be said about me. Everyone wants people to say good things about them especially when they aren’t around. Not only does her husband praise her, her children respect her and bless her as well (vs. 28).
In return, her actions and noble character praises the Kingdom of God and is a living testimony of His goodness and mercy (vs. 31). It’s one thing to go to church every Sunday, but to live out your life every day serving Christ in mind, body, and soul is an extremely difficult task. It can be done though and when it’s done you will glow even brighter and shine His light to the world.
She deserves honor for her way of living (vs. 31) and her husband is a respected man (vs. 23). I can only imagine God blessing her with a respected man that she can call husband. That alone is quite the gift! Am I right, ladies? God blessed Rebekah, Ruth, and Abigail with godly men. Esther had a respected king who believed and valued her and Hannah was given a son. Men, you have a large role in the lives of the women around you!
The best part is that being a Proverbs 31 woman not only prepares you for the coming of the man who will be your husband, but also prepares you for another Prince: Jesus. As the church, we are the bride of Christ and someday soon He will be returning for us. Prince Charming and the Prince of Peace aren’t the only ones you are preparing for though. There is one last person: yourself – that new and improved you with noble character who is worth far more than rubies (vs. 10).
Avirtuouswoman.org has a great, simple checklist of the top 10 virtues a woman should have as well as other wonderful articles worth checking out.