I have always loved reading Proverbs 31: 10-31 “The Wife of Noble Character”. It is a beautiful description of the most beautiful woman, a woman after God’s own heart. I love the lyrical prose and imagery, but I thought it would be fun to re-write it (insert lightning strike), as it applies to my life. What would MY Proverbs 31 woman look like? Some traits I can relate to, but I have no idea to spin “flax and wool” or “supply belts for tradesmen to carry across the sea”. (If you know how to do these things then rock on sista’!) So here is my interpretation of the text. It is not a description of me, at least not yet…it is a description of the woman I hope to be…in my becoming. I’ve included the original text first (without the lightning strikes) for your comparison. What does your Proverbs 31 woman look like?
(10) Who can find a truly excellent woman? One who is superior in all that she is and all that she does? Her worth far exceeds that of rubies and expensive jewelry. She inspires trust, and her husband’s heart is safe with her, and because of her, he has every good thing. Every day of her life she does what is best for him, never anything harmful or hurtful.
How rare to find a godly woman who has her priorities straight. A woman who other women should seek to emulate. She is the most precious thing on earth. A life-giver. A safe place. Trustworthy. She mothers the earth with her strength and dignity, with or without children of her own. Her husband has complete trust in her, he hands over his own heart to her in confidence. She makes him feel needed. She makes him feel strong. When she believes in him, he believes in himself. She is his biggest fan. She encourages him in public, and speaks highly of him to her friends. She pushes away negativity, and chooses her words carefully- full of love for him. She knows her words have the power to build up or destroy his spirit. Other women notice how she talks about her husband. Men notice too. Their mutual respect and intentional encouragement are inspirational.
(14) She moves through the market like merchant ships that dock here and there in distant ports, finally arriving home with food she’s carried from afar. She rises from bed early, in the still of the night, carefully preparing food for her family. She has a plan. She considers some land and buys it; then with her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
Her family is her business and she takes her job very seriously. She is methodical and calculating about where she invests her time and energy. She gets up early, before anyone else, to map out her day. She has a plan. No time or money is wasted. She makes wise choices that will offer the greatest return on investment.
(17) She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence, and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand. She tastes success and knows it is good, and under the lamplight she works deep into the night. Her hands skillfully place the unspun flax and wool on the distaff, and her fingers twist the spindle until thread forms.
Her strength comes from the Lord, so she meets with Him every morning. She reads the Word and prays, covering herself and her family. She knows who she is in Christ. A precious daughter of The King. He sustains her. After she focuses her mind and hears from the Lord, she strengthens her body. She runs. She lifts weights. She does yoga. She is thankful for her health and works hard to preserve it. She is ready for the day, knowing that God will make her efforts successful. Well in to the evening she skillfully threads letters into words and weaves words into paragraphs. Thoughts. Stories. Ideas. Encouragement. All the while praying for God to write His words through her pen. Putting thoughts into ink refreshes her soul, and it is good, and she is satisfied.
(20) She reaches out to the poor and extends mercy to those in need. She is not worried about the cold or snow for her family, for she has clothed them all in warm crimson coats. She makes her own bed linens and clothes herself in purple and fine cloth.
She is aware of those in need around her, and does something about it. She knows that God has taken care of her so that she can take care of others. She is not worried about the well-being of her family, because she has covered them in prayer. She clothes them and nurtures them, and trusts God to protect them from the world. She takes responsibility for her household without neglecting herself. She treats herself well because she knows she is worthy and loved.
(23) Everyone recognizes her husband in the public square, and no one fails to respect him as he takes his place of leadership in the community. She makes linen garments and sells them in the market, and she supplies belts for tradesmen to carry across the sea.
Her husband is known and respected in the community. He loves the Lord and blessings follow him. She is active and resourceful with her gifts; using them for her family and others.
(25) Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future. She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern. She directs the activities of her household, and never does she indulge in laziness. Her children rise up and bless her.
Clothed in strength and dignity with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future. She has an eternal perspective and a sense of humor that get her through each day. She is a source of joy to those around her. She sees every conversation with her children, family and friends as an opportunity to demonstrate the love and kindness of Christ. She is not overwhelmed by her family’s schedule. She manages activities to avoid both dangerous extremes of laziness and busyness. She preserves valuable family time. Her children enjoy being around her and she enjoys them. She is the calming center of peace in her home.
(28) Her husband too joins in the praise saying, “There are many women who do well in every way, but of all of them only you are truly excellent.” Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others. Celebrate all she has achieved. Let all her accomplishments publicly praise her.
Her husband is proud of her. He tells everyone how blessed he is to have her as his wife. A charming personality can be manipulative, and physical beauty is only temporary, but a woman whose heart belongs to The Lord should be praised above all others. This is the type of woman that society should honor and all women aspire to be. Pure in heart and in action, her life is a testimony of her Heavenly Father’s perfect love.