For those of you who have read of this ideal woman in Proverbs 31, a title using a characteristic from this passage may come across as somewhat discouraging. It is easy to read Proverbs 31: 10-31 and think ‘I’ll never be that perfect woman who is up at the crack of dawn and eager to get to work- I’m just not a morning person!’ or ‘this passage is about being a noble wife and I still have to chose my A-level subjects before thinking about being a wife!’.
I’d encourage you to put these thoughts aside for a moment and see that this passage is not about wifehood, but actually about womanhood.
This woman is living out her day-to-day life as a woman of God, and making it count.
While all these verses may seem daunting, they are full of characteristics of a godly woman. I have always reached verse 25: ‘She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future’ and smiled. It is a beautiful picture – not about what this woman does, but who she is. She lives each day without worrying about the next.
This woman clearly has lots of responsibility – we see her tending to her servants and children, buying land, helping the poor and providing for her family – there are plenty of things she could worry about. Yet, the writer of this chapter doesn’t describe her as scatty and overwhelmed with all her tasks, but strong and dignified.
These are interesting adjectives for someone with all this work on her hands. Like me, you may think ‘organised and thorough’ would make more sense given the context. This woman’s strength and dignity comes from a day-by-day faith in a sovereign God. She understands that her value does not come from the many things she does, but from a faithful walk with God.She is not concerned with what others think of her, but is confident about her place in God’s Kingdom.
This faith and confidence in her identity releases her from fearfulness – of what others think or of the need to achieve – and allows her to rejoice.
She is able to live each day optimistic about her future because she knows who is in control of it.
Matthew 6:25-34 speaks of your Heavenly Father who knows all of your needs and provides abundantly. God, who is sovereign over the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields, tells us that we need not worry, but seek first his Kingdom. As we put our faith in God each day and trust that we are his dearly beloved daughters, we have nothing to fear. By trusting in Jesus, we have everything we need for this life and forever. This assurance can free us to make each day count by rejoicing, confident about our future in God’s perfect Kingdom.
Next time you find yourself worrying about the future, list all the good things God has provided for you today. Spend a few minutes thanking God for these things and ask that He would increase your trust and confidence in his sovereignty.
Hi I’m Lara! I graduated last year from Durham University, and loved (almost) every moment of it. Now I’m working in London before I spend a few months in South Africa this summer. I grew up in China and have an appreciation of all things Asian – especially spicy Thai food :-) I have the travel-bug and dream of seeing as many parts of the world as I can. I can’t wait to get to heaven and see all the nations bowing before the throne of God!