Women of Faith: She Who Fears the Lord
What makes a virtuous woman?
We often describe her as someone who carries herself well; one who is fruitful in all her ways— someone who is kind-hearted, gentle, and honorable. The Proverbs 31 Woman represents just that, but God’s view and value of women is much more than the words we can come up with combined. Now, most of us have already read through this passage, and I’m sure some of us may already have considered ourselves as Proverbs 31 Woman. As we dive deep to the character of what truly a godly woman is, may it push us to pursue a life that is pleasing to the eyes of God, or if you already embody these qualities, we pray that you would ensure to keep pressing and remain rooted in Christ, whether we are currently married or single.
A Virtuous Woman is far more precious than jewels. (31:10)
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. - Genesis 1:31
- An excellent wife is a wife of virtue. And what does this verse say about a woman of virtue? It says that she’s not easy to find, and far more precious than jewels. The LORD says in Isaiah 43:4: Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. Imagine being honored by God! Gems are expensive because they are rare. People put so much value in them, and take some time to mine, forage, and possess them. If by chance they do, they keep it locked and guarded. That’s how God sees godly women: rare and priceless.
Question: We live in a world of brokenness. In what way would you, or what are the ways you can, do to stay focused on the truth that you are valued by God?
A Virtuous Woman is honored by her husband. (Proverbs 31:11-12)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Ephesians 5:22-24, ESV
- The husband of a Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t feel the need to worry about her. He trusts that she will keep their home in order, and believes that she can manage while he’s away. It says in verse 12 that a Proverbs 31 woman is loyal and trustworthy. She is faithful, for the Lord is faithful to His people. Wives are called to submit to their husbands, and that doesn’t mean to bow down to him, nor to always follow his requests. Husbands are not to abuse this command, as well. Keep in mind that to submit is to serve; and to be the Master of the House means to take responsibility (not ownership) and be held accountable to his wife. As a woman of virtue, it speaks volume, in our day and age, if you are seen as trustworthy and prudent by your husband. To become a virtuous woman, is to become more and more like the image of God.
- On the other hand, to still be single doesn’t mean we should overlook these qualities. This should give us the proper posture when waiting for a godly man who God shall entrust us with. If it’s your desire to be an excellent wife to a godly man one day, it’s not wrong to knock on God’s door. But keep in mind that God’s will are far more superior than our own desires. And as we wait, or if we are called to be single, then be trustworthy in God’s eyes. Be faithful to God, because He is faithful. Value prudence, because God’s promises may not include a family of your own, but God makes perfect promises. And He who promised is faithful.
Question: In what ways shall you serve your husband? For the singles, in what ways can you serve God in the season of singleness?
A Virtuous Woman Has Integrity, is Humble and Resourceful. (Proverbs 31:13-14)
- Before we dive into the verse, let us first define: wool and flax. Wool is made from the coat of a sheep or goat, woven into fabric. Flax, or woven linen fabrics, is made from fibers contained in the stalk of the flax plant. To put it simply, these are materials used to make clothing, to bring warmth and to keep us covered.
- Verse 13 says that a virtuous woman works with willing hands. With all these in mind, we see that the Proverbs 31 woman is someone with integrity and humility. Someone who’s not hesitant to keep her hands dirty for the well-being of her family.
- We read that the Proverbs 31 woman is like the ships of the merchant. A Merchant’s ship carries goods from farther lands. Like a merchant’s ship, the Proverbs 31 woman goes to great lengths, giving access to all; finding opportunities to access finer goods, and perhaps even to learn from people in different cultures.
Proverbs 31:16, Proverbs 31:18, Proverbs 31:24
We see more of her resourceful quality in verse 16. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t just sit around, and wait for her husband to provide. ..with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. God blesses us to be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:1-3). God has entrusted us with skills so that we may serve others, not because we are good but because God is gracious. Here, as women of God, we are to utilize, to make use, of our skillset and wisdom in order to flourish our household.
The Proverbs 31 woman is not only resourceful, but has integrity especially when it comes to the fruit of her labor. Jumping to verse 24, the Proverbs 31 woman makes linen garments and profits from them. It says that she delivers her woven products to the merchant, thus locally and internationally giving access to all.
In verse 18, we see that a Proverbs 31 woman perceives her merchandise profitable. She sees to it that her all products are always fruitful and effective. Her lamp doesn’t go away. Recall in Luke 12:35, Jesus says that we should stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning. In comparison to the essence of the Proverbs 31 woman, she keeps her lamp “burning”, by making sure that she remains guarded and rooted, as we are all called to do the same as we wait for Christ.
Question: How far will you go in order to provide for your family?
A Virtuous Woman Values Benevolence and Serves Humbly (Proverbs 31:15, 19, 20, 21)
- We already know that the Proverbs 31 woman can manage on her own. She’s independent, responsible, and resourceful. Verse 19 says, She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. It shows her ability to manage tools and equipment available, and uses both hands to do her work well.
- But we know that she is also humble, even with all the blessings she receives from God. Verse 15 says, She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household. It implies that she is responsible and organized. We also see that she provides portions for her maidens. Not only does this show her compassion to those who serve under her, but through her capabilities and skills, the Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t dismiss the fact that she still needs help.
Question: How do we feel about seeking help from others?
- She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. Verse 21 shows that the Proverbs 31 woman is always prepared for any challenge or adversities that may come their way. It suggests that she has diligence, wisdom, and readiness. This also implies that she finds rest and assurance, knowing that God is their shelter; their refuge. And as mentioned earlier, the Proverbs 31 humbles herself. She justifies her gratitude to God’s faithfulness, by blessing others. Verse 20 says, She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. A virtuous woman doesn’t ignore the truth that everything she has belongs to the Lord. And she loves the poor and needy, for our God is compassionate.
A Virtuous Woman Synchronizes Beauty and Modesty (Proverbs 31:17, 22, 25)
- The godliness of a virtuous woman not only reflects through our actions and how we speak to others— it is also evident in her appearance. She becomes radiant on the outside, as she is on the inside.
- In Exodus 34:29-32, we see that Moses was on his way back from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. It says in verse 29, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. The more we spend more time with God, the more we look like Him. Daniel 1:15 also implies that obedience and holiness sets you apart from the rest.
- The Proverbs 31 woman is noted for her strength in what she does. She uses her strength for productivity, and she does it with grace even under pressure. The virtuous woman also knows how to take care of herself. In verse 22, it says that she makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Biblically, purple symbolizes royalty and majesty. With God’s blessing on her wisdom and diligence, the virtuous wife makes good things for herself. It also implies that she sets herself apart from the world by clothing herself with modesty and class.
- Through all the material blessing that God has provided for her household, her strength and dignity are her best clothing. Consider 1 Peter 3:3-4: Peter reminds women of God that it is unnecessary to wrap ourselves with expensive garments and jewelry, because God looks at the heart — in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. When it comes to character, the Proverbs 31 woman remains the most elegant of all, so much so that she rejoices not only during the present day, but at the time to come.
A Virtuous Woman is Blessed (Proverbs 31:23, 27-28)
- We mentioned earlier that a godly wife is honored by her husband. And it fulfills the heart of a child when they see their parents love and respect one another. The Proverbs 31 woman is excellent in her ways and sees blessings on her household, that her husband is also esteemed and honored by the elders.
- Verse 27 says that she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. The virtuous woman is observant and accountable to the ways of her family. She makes sure to stay guarded and watchful, which means to not eat the bread of idleness.
- An excellent woman with such noble character rightfully receives the blessing and praises of her family. Verse 28 implies that not only do they see her blessedness, but also speaks of it.
A Virtuous Woman Embodies Christlikeness (Proverbs 31:26)
- The speech of the Proverbs 31 woman is marked by wisdom and kindness. She has what the book of Proverbs valued most: wisdom that embodies kindness. With that in mind, to pursue wisdom means to pursue righteousness— to desire the will of God, which leads her from the path of destruction. To love wisdom and to have a genuine heart for others shapes a virtuous woman to the likeness of Christ.
A Virtuous Woman is Praiseworthy (Proverbs 31:29)
- Recall in verse 1 that the qualities of a virtuous woman is seen as rare and valuable. Humans tend to have the need to prove themselves; many women have done excellently but you surpassed them all, suggesting that character outweighs success.
The Fear of the Lord Produces Virtue (Proverbs 31:30-31)
“Proverbs begins with a strong connection between wisdom and the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Here the collection ends describing the virtuous wife as filled with the wisdom, beauty, and charm that marks a woman who fears the Lord.” - Guzik
Even beauty fades, but a woman who fears the Lord is precious and high-valued. She and her household shall be rewarded for the fruits of her hands.