If you're a Christian or have been exposed to the Christian faith, you've likely heard the term "Proverbs 31 woman." People use this term to generally describe women who are role models and pillars of Christianity, but there's a lot more to a Proverbs 31 woman than being a "good Christian."
Proverbs is a book of the Old Testament that's purpose is to give wisdom to its readers. Solomon wrote a lot of the book, and Chapter 31 focuses on the virtues and character that Godly women should strive for. Some of the references in this chapter are a bit antiquated (it is the Old Testament, after all), but this does not change the underlying meaning of these verses or the fact that, as daughters of Christ, we should all strive to be this woman.
Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman:
“Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:11-12
This verse doesn't just apply to married women. Replace the word "husband" with "people" and it applies to all of us. A Proverbs 31 woman is someone who spreads love to those around her by being trustworthy and honest. Her willingness to help others is evident in how she treats those around her.
“She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.” – Proverbs 31:17-18
A Proverbs 31 woman does not just sit around waiting for everything to fall into place. She takes initiative and she is not shaken when she comes up against an obstacle.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
Proverbs 31:25 is my favorite verse in the Bible because it really encompasses what a Proverbs 31 woman is. She's an honorable woman who is strong yet filled with grace. She does not spend time worrying about what the future will hold but rather embraces it as it comes.
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” –Proverbs 31:26
A Proverbs 31 woman is patient with others and treats them with kindness and respect. She does not speak just to be heard but rather to share the wisdom that the Lord has given her.
Why do I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman?
“Her children stand and bless her, Her husband praises her: ‘There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!’” – Proverbs 31:28-29
This is not to say that we should want to be Proverbs 31 women so that we can gain the praise of others. However, the virtues of a Proverbs 31 woman make her stand out from the crowd and showcase her love for the Lord.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
A Proverbs 31 woman does not place her value in her beauty and appearance; she places it in the Lord. This is perhaps one of the hardest parts about being a Proverbs 31 woman in this day and age where society seems to revolve around creating a perfect image of ourselves. However, this verse reminds us that a woman who puts her value in Christ will be celebrated for it.
How can I become a Proverbs 31 woman?
Unfortunately, you can't just flip a switch to turn on all of these characteristics, and it's not something that you can do on your own. This does not mean, though, that being a Proverbs 31 woman is unattainable. It takes dedication to the Lord and the desire to live a Godly life. Some of these characteristics are already part of who you are, but, like I said, you still need God's help. Pray about your weaknesses and ask God to help you in the areas where you struggle.
A Proverbs 31 woman isn't perfect, but she has a perfect God whose unfailing love gives her the strength to share His grace and mercy with the world.