Proverbs 31 has been on my heart a ton lately, I’ve been spending some time breaking it down & here’s the deal:
According to a bunch of scholars, Proverbs 31:10-31 was most likely written about Ruth….one of the coolest chicks in the Bible in the world of Hay.
And I’m so glad you asked why :: Ruth was raised in a godless land [Moab], she was a sinful woman. She was so very far from perfect (sound familiar?)…and even though she had seen the deaths of her father-in-law, her brother-in-law, AND her husband, she acknowledged God, praised Him, and submitted to Him as her King. And He, because of His love and faithfulness, provided for her..and then in His perfect timing, He provided a wonderful, godly man – Boaz – & they had a beautiful marriage AND God even used them in the lineage of Christ!! SO COOL.
Anyway, she was Solomon’s great-great grandmother (give or take a few “greats”) and some theologians say that his writing of Proverbs 31 was inspired by her. Soooo that’s awesome because the chapter details such an amazing woman yet she was once very broken and lost…and I don’t about you, but I have definitely had a heaping helping of “broken and lost!” So I absolutely love that we are given a real example of the freedom, hope, and redemption that comes though Christ no matter what our pasts look like.
It lets me know I’m still capable of being a valuable woman, even though I have failed Him more times than I can count.
Proverbs 31 breaks down biblical, godly womanhood for us.
The Bible is not great all the time at specifically directing women but lets not get too wrapped around the axles about it ladies….like Beth Moore writes in So Long Insecurity [if you haven’t read it…bless your soul, you need to!!], “Scripture’s strong leaning toward male gender references never has bothered me. For instance, when the Bible refers to all of us who believe in Christ as the “sons of God,” I’m perfectly at home with the generalization including males as well as females. Anyway, the way I see it, we women get a big turn on the reference to believers as “the bride of Christ.” Still, when a superbly rich verse with a refreshingly positive spin on it speaks of a “she,” I bask in it like a hot bubble bath.”
SO, these verses hold great value because they address the female population personally; God had YOU and your seat on this
exciting exhausting frustrating fabulous crazy ride called womanhood in His mind and on His heart as He transferred these words onto paper through Solomon.
SISTERS – THIS ONE IS FOR US! and if that does not fire you up, honestly I don’t know what could….
Here’s the breakdown: in the beginning Solomon tells us she does her husband good not harm ALL the days of her life. So that is a command for women to honor their husbands even in singleness, not just once they are married. It lets us know these things I’m going to type about are relevant right this very second, every moment of every day, not just once he puts a ring on it.
It describes this woman’s value by saying she is virtuous, rare, & precious, and it tells us she is these things because of her character. She is trustworthy, generous, compassionate, disciplined, devoted, wise, dignified, charitable, and strong.
Overwhelmed yet? Hang with me, I promise we’re going to land this plane.
Not only that, but it describes her in another realm when it talks about her actions by letting us know she is a joyful worker, she goes the extra mile, and she is prudent with money. She’s faithful and well spoken, she is a good mother and homemaker, AND it even tells us she is well dressed!
On top of ALL of that, God, through the character of Boaz & Solomon, tells us about her husband. He has full confidence in her and he is well respected in his community, he recognizes all the awesome things in his bride & he doesn’t just keep them to himself…oh no…he praises her for them & he tells her, “many women do noble things but you surpass them all.” Because of the example her man sets, “her children rise up and call her blessed!” [in a world of adolescent disrespect, this sounds pretty awesome]
And most important it reminds us that “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting [will fade away] BUT a woman who fears The Lord [enough to TRY her hardest to hold His commands] will be praised!” (emphasis mine)
The landing gear is coming out y’all and we are fixing to touch down…
Not only is this chapter a ‘how-to’ for women, but it is a ‘what to look for’ for men! (so I mean…on the off chance there are any guys reading this – hey, what’s up, thanks for checking this out, & bless your heart for making it this far into the post!)
To detail on that “how-to” — I know this woman seems PERFECT & I may just be speaking for myself, but I would dare to say at least one of you would agree, that quite honestly, she seems way out of our league…like she may even be playing a different sport all together! But here’s the deal; yes, the things she does are AWESOME but we are all uniquely fit into the Body of Christ. So it’s not about the things, it’s about her intentions and who she is because of her transformation in Christ. We have been given different gifts and talents from God. So while you may not be “like a merchant ship, bringing food from afar” (verse 14), because well the grocery store is just down the road, you can be about going the extra mile.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “people look at the outward appearance but The Lord looks at the heart.”
so ask yourself, where is your heart in the journey to becoming a woman of God?
Our goal is not to approach this like a checklist or to do these praiseworthy things trying to be like this woman of virtue – and heaven forbid we do them to hook a husband – instead our goal should be that when we draw close to Christ & we let Him mold us into women after His own heart. Then we will long to be things like kind & eager to work, diligent and joyful, well-spoken and faithful, & we will work to be these things so that anyone we come in contact with would be pointed back to Him and His ever-lasting, all-consuming, redemptive, praiseworthy love.