The Value of a Woman
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value...Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
For context, read Proverbs 31:10-31
Happy New Year, readers! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I am excited to be back searching the Scriptures with you to see what God’s Word has to say about women. Up next, we will examine women in the New Testament. But for today, I wanted to share one last bit of encouragement in the Old Testament regarding women. The Proverbs 31 woman.
If you are like me, it is possible that you cringed when you read that. Unfortunately, many women I have spoken with regard the woman described in Proverbs 31 as a sort of Super Woman. And frankly, when we compare ourselves to her, it is completely discouraging. I mean, she never disappoints her husband, she works day and night, she is capable of sewing, she has business sense. She is domestic but also an entrepreneur. It appears the woman never sleeps and she really can do it all.
Many of us women try to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman down to last detail. Take a look at our New Year’s resolutions and you will see that we really want to be able to do it all and be everything to everyone. Over the years, I’ve had various resolutions and goals that I was disappointed in myself for failing at. One year, I tried to take up cross-stitch to improve my sewing skills...I have no sewing skills. One year, I tried to sell products from an MLM because I wanted to bring in some additional income for my family. But I am not a good sales woman. I almost always have a goal of working out more! If my arms should be “strong for my tasks” (according to verse 17), I need to do some weight lifting! Basically, when I look critically at this list of everything this amazing woman can do for her family, I come up woefully short.
But sister, let me suggest something to you. I believe that we have taken what was meant to be an “ode to a noble wife” and made it into an instruction manual on how to be the perfect woman. We have taken what was meant to be a tribute and turned it into an unrealistic ideal. We have taken what was meant to honor women and used it to criticize ourselves.
Instead of attempting to model this woman’s actions right down to the last detail, I suggest that we identify her character traits and seek to emulate those instead. What was it about her character that made her a “noble wife” and therefore so valuable to her husband and family?
When I study her character rather than her accomplishments, I am much more encouraged. I see that she is trustworthy and faithful to her husband. She is hard-working and uses her God-given skills to care for her household in a variety of ways. She puts her family’s needs first and sees to it that everyone is well-taken care of. She is generous, dignified, and wise.
But most importantly, she fears the Lord. Because she fears the Lord, she is not afraid of the future and she seeks to live her life in a way that glorifies Him. Because of this, her life is a testimony to her husband and children who honor and praise her for everything she has done for them.
The WORD about Women in the Proverbs 31 woman is that women are strong, wise, resourceful, and valuable and they should be honored as such. Sisters, it is not about being able to do it all. It’s not about being the perfect woman. It is about fearing the Lord and using your God-given gifts to love and serve others.
What is your reaction to the description of the woman in Proverbs 31? Do you find it encouraging or intimidating?
PrayFather, thank You for the godly examples of women that You have placed in my life. I want to be a woman that fears You. Help me faithfully serve You. Use my gifts and skills for Your glory and for the welfare of others. Amen.