The Proverbs 31 Woman
by David J. Stewart
Proverbs 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
What is a "Proverbs 31 woman"? It is a woman who is pleasing to God; and in order to be pleasing to God (in the case of a married woman), she must be obedient and committed to her husband's happiness. She must be committed to the well being and safety of her children, to loving them, and to promoting their spiritual growth. No feminist is a Proverbs 31 woman! No whorish, above the skirt wearing floozy, is is a Proverbs 31 woman! She is NOT pleasing to God. No lazy wife, who causes her husband grief, is a Proverbs 31 woman. Let's go through these Scriptures and find out exactly what the Word of God defines as a Proverbs 31 woman, a godly woman. Most articles on the Proverbs 31 woman which I have read don't say much, so I'm going to break it down, and give it to you in simple terms.
Verse 10 - Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
All the money in the world cannot buy loyalty. Wealthy men may have their whores and mistresses; but, money cannot buy genuine love, which is a gift from God. A woman of God is virtuous, wears dresses (modest clothing), and knows the dangers of teasing the opposite sex. Many women today are horribly malicious, actually enjoying teasing married men to lust upon them. Can you imagine how hot Hell will be for such home-wreckers if they die without Christ as Savior? Of course, God doesn't want anyone to die in their sins (2nd Peter 3:9).
Verse 11 - The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
Many men don't trust their wives; therefore, they have separate bank accounts, hide the mail, keep things from their wife, etc. You'd be shocked if you knew just how many married couples don't trust each other. I know a man who won't let his wife touch the mail because she loses it, or hides things from him. Many angry wives have cleaned out the bank account and skipped town. One man told me that his wife stole $10,000 from their account, money they had agreed would be spent to pay bills. One of the first things many sinful wives do when they get angry at their husbands is to hurt him financially (cause him spoil).
Verse 12 - She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Again, many wives hurt their husbands when they get angry. Nothing is more devastating to a man, than to find out that his wife gave her body to another man. The wife's body belongs only to her husband (1st Corinthians 7:4). Adultery is a horrible sin in the sight of God, and the excruciating emotional pains last a LIFETIME for the betrayed spouse. Many wives lie to their husbands, being deceitful behind his back, slander him, and dragging people into their marriage problems. This is all evil.
Verse 13 - She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
In modern times, we are blessed with inexpensive clothing. This Verse simply means that her children are well dressed for the weather, and for the occasion. I do believe that one of the great lost arts is that of making clothing. I think all girls should learn how to make sweaters, knit, and crochet. I think every girl should learn to cook without the microwave. We are living in a lazy and wasteful generation, who don't know how to do anything for themselves...so they spend a lot of extra money for convenience sake.
Verse 14 - She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She knows how to cook, she learns the recipes, and can cook things that are popular in other cultures. She wants to give her family the best. No wife has an excuse not to be a great cook. There are free recipes online for everything from eggrolls, to Mediterranean dishes.
Verse 15 - She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She is not lazy, she does what needs to be done. This woman in Proverbs got up before the sun did, and fed her family. I have known children who went to school hungry because of a lazy mother, who didn't feel like getting up to make breakfast. I've known husbands who ate at McDonalds regularly, because of a lazy wife who didn't think to make him a lunch. I knew a man who got food poisoning, because his lazy wife didn't properly care for the food before making his lunch. Every wise woman should have a desire to learn about food-born-illnesses, and how to prevent them.
Verse 16 - She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
A little thought needs to go into this Verse. It is obvious that no wife would make such a big financial decision without her husband's involvement. I believe this Verse relates back to Verses 11 and 12. It simply means that she has good judgment, and she is able to think for herself, and can; therefore, help her husband in many ways. Contrary to the popular feminist fantasy concerning home-makers; God-fearing woman, who obey their husbands, and stay at home, can make intelligent decisions.
Verse 17 - She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She is physically active; not a couch potato. One of the reasons many women have strokes and heart attacks is because they live a sedentary lifestyle. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn't smoke cigarettes, she takes care of herself, and sets the proper example for her children to follow. It is certainly a good idea for woman to exercise, and I don't believe there is anything wrong with a woman exercising at local women's only fitness center (provided that proper attire is worn).
Verse 18 - She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She works long hours into the night sometimes; but, she doesn't ignore her health. She does get adequate sleep at night (and perhaps a nap in the day). I believe moms need a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon. She is a balanced woman. She works hard; but knows when to take a break. She is good at what she does because she has made an art of the things in her life. She is an expert at romance, cooking, and taking care of the home. Of course, this takes several years to achieve. You can't do everything at once. Every wife is either improving or slacking off.
Verse 19 - She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She is not lazy. The proverbs 31 woman stays busy, she doesn't sit around loafing all day. Many women sit home watching soap operas, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, surfing the internet; yet, they don't do their duties as a wife and a mother. Every working husband should come home to a waiting wife, who happily greets him at the door, and rolls out the red carpet for him. I feel sorry for the children who have to go to school, while mom stays in bed sleeping. If a wife doesn't have to work outside the home, then she should earn her keep. Shame on those lazy wives who don't care for the home, while their husbands faithfully go to work every day and pay the bills. No husband should have to continually ask his wife to clean the house, and to pick up after herself. No husband should smell dishes stinking in the sink when he comes home, or see piles of dirt which haven't been picked up off the floor.
Verse 20 - She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She has concern for the less fortunate. This does not mean that she endangers herself by going into bad neighborhoods. It simply means that she donates her time and money (if she can) to help the poor; but, her family always comes first. No mother should ever help others before helping her family. In the real world, many married couples are living on a shoestring and don't have any extra money. Obviously, this Scripture is conditional upon one's financially situation. Howbeit, most Americans can afford to help the poor in some capacity. If you can afford a VCR, McDonalds, etc...then you can afford to give a dollar or two to someone who is poor. A Gospel tract should always be given as well. In today's world, you have to be very careful about giving beggar's money, as some of them are criminals and may assault you. God is simply saying that a godly woman will not be selfish. Look at all the wealthy people in this world, who horde their money. If they do give anything, it is chump change compared to their hundreds of thousands they own.
Verse 21 - She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Her kids don't go to school improperly dressed. I've seen kids going to school in 40 degree weather with no coat. Many kids don't have a sense of temperature, and don't care if they have a coat or not. A lazy mother who doesn't care won't even notice her kids improperly dressed. This is irresponsible. A godly mother will keep an eye on her kids at all times. So many mothers are idiots--letting their kids wander out of sight, going to school with no lunch, or doing dangerous things. There are plenty of second-hand stores nowadays (my favorite places to shop). Every child should have a warm coat for the cold weather, and shoes without holes in them.
Verse 22 - She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
She knows how to seduce her own husband. She is an expert at love-making. Many wives fail in this area, not romantically satisfying their husband's needs. To a man, sex is much more than just a physical union. The mental aspects of romance must not be ignored. A wise wife will give her husband the expressions, sensualism, and thrills that he needs. If you don't do it, then your husband will be frustrated. We are living in a whorish generation, where women deliberately try to seduce and tease men. A wise wife realizes this and does her best to be her husbands biggest seducer, and secret lover.
Verse 32 - Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She is every man's dream. Other men respect her virtue, and loyalty to her husband. They know that this woman is a lady, and she doesn't have the flirting eyes of the silly woman. She is an asset to her husband, and not a liability. Her husband is well respected because of the wife's testimony. So many wives are a reproach to their husbands (1st Timothy 5:14).
Verse 24 - She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
She is industrious and looks for honest ways to earn some extra money. She sees her husband's concerns over finances, and wants to help him if she can. However, in today's world, things are different than from Bible days. It was difficult to find clothing back in Bible days, there were no mass producers of clothing like today. Hence, it would be foolish for a wife to try to make and sell clothing today, which can be bought dirt cheap at the store. It would be better to make something unique, which cannot be found in the stores. The idea is to do something that is going to make money, but not at a loss. There are MANY ways in which wife can earn money. Cleaning businesses are a good market in wealthier areas. You clean people's homes on a weekly basis, etc. Animal-sitting is popular. People drop their dog or cat off, and you watch them while they're on vacation. Please keep in mind that the woman in Proverbs 31 was trying to help her husband. If your husband has a good job, then you don't need to earn extra money. Again, the context of the Scripture is that a godly woman is not a couch-potato who sits around doing nothing. The Bible is not saying that every wife has to make money, not at all. The Bible is simply saying that she stays busy, using her time wisely for the benefit of her family. The applications are limitless.
Verse 25 - Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She has the right priorities in life (Matthew 6:33). She keeps her eyes on Jesus Christ, and knows that there is always light at the end of the tunnel when problems arise. She reads and studies the Bible, meditating upon God's Word throughout the day. She has faith in God. She is able to handle problems which would cause other women to run to shelters or file for divorce. She doesn't run from her problems, she weathers the storms of life. She will one day be happy that she didn't divorce her husband, or cheat on him, when all hope seemed lost. When she couldn't see her hand in front of her face, she didn't give up and quit on her marriage. She is a real trooper, hanging in their when her husband was under Satan's attack. Fifty years ago, a mother could have 10 children and handle all the housework by herself. Today, a mother needs a babysitter, counselor, friends, mother, and the whole neighborhood to raise one brat. Women have lost old fashioned character. Wives nowadays run out the door, go back to mama, and many file for divorce. This is sinful, and an indication of the moral decline in America.
Verse 26 - She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She is no fool. She knows Biblical principles, and has good sense. She keeps her mouth shut most of the time. When she does talk, it's worth hearing. She never curses or uses profane language. She never tells or listens to dirty jokes. She doesn't waste her time talking with shallow people, who like to gossip and slander others. She doesn't gossip or listen to gossip. She never speaks evil of any man. She respects the manhood of other men. I once knew a woman who liked to deride other men by continually referring to her husband as a "real man." This is not Christian. A godly woman respects the manhood of other men; but, she is extremely careful not to directly praise other men. Men are hungry for praise, and for a woman to give them attention. Don't do it ladies. No woman should ever brag on any man other than her husband. The fastest way to anger and hurt your husband is to brag on another man. Every husband wants to be his wife's ONLY hero. However, don't criticize or slander other men either. Every man has his dignity.
Verse 27 - She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
She doesn't eat until her family has eaten. She is in charge of the housework, and knows what is what. She doesn't lose things--she has a place for everything, and puts everything in it's place. She is organized. Her house is clean. She knows all the emergency phone numbers, and is prepared to deal with medical emergencies. She knows the poison hotline. Perhaps she has even taken a CPR and First Aid course. She is careful with food preparation, and washes her hands. Her home is disinfected, and it smells clean. She is careful to wash the dishes correctly, not leaving soap film on the plates. She is careful not to give her husband cracked glasses, or food with hair in it. She doesn't leave her children unattended. She reads to her kids, and listens to them read to her. She knows about nutrition, and her family gets plenty of grain and vegetables. She is careful not to give too many sweets to the family. She knows that fluoride is poison, and filters her families' drinking water. She doesn't like chemicals in the food, so she tries to prepare more homemade meals. The lazy woman will buy nothing but prepared foods, feeding her family loads of sodium and toxic sodium aluminum phosphate (most baking goods). Every wife should be an expert in nutrition. Every wife should read, ask questions, and get informed concerning everything that she is responsible for. I'm amazed how many wives and mothers go about their roles haphazardly.
Verse 28 - Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
How many men are always fighting with their wives because she is lazy? Many! Many men are miserable because of a lazy wife who won't spend 5-minutes in front of a mirror to pretty herself up. I heard a man criticize his wife, saying that she placed them into debt by buying a living room furniture set they didn't need. Another man said he was mowing the lawn on a hot summer day and asked his wife for a glass of water. She said, "Get it yourself" and never brought it. Another man rejoiced when he received an extra bonus check at work, because his wife didn't know about it and wouldn't confiscate it. These men all spake poorly of their wives. The Proverbs 31 woman doesn't make her husband miserable, she is a help instead of a burden. So many married men are miserable, including Christian men, because of lazy lackadaisical wives. Often, even the children get upset with her, because she blames the kids for her faults. I've heard mothers curse at their children, screaming and yelling at them, like they were criminals. This is sinful. What does your husband say about you?
Verse 29 - Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Very few, and I mean very few, women are like the Proverbs 31 woman. Very few husbands are truly happy in their marriage. So many wives lie to their husbands, being deceitful and hiding things from him. I feel sorry for the man who's wife waits 10 years to tell him some bad news, breaking his heart. Those are horrible words when a wife says, "There's something I should have told you 10 years ago." What a horrible thing to do to a man. There was a wife who led her husband to believe that she was a virgin before they married. They were both Christians and had never dated anyone except each other. The wife decided after 7 years of marriage to tell her husband that she was sexually molested by a much older step brother when she was a little girl. The husband was forever devastated.
As you can imagine, that permanently destroyed any family relations. The man never spoke to the wife's family again. The wife should have kept her mouth shut. Better yet, she should have told her husband before they married what had happened. She might as well have shot that poor man in the head, because he wished he were dead when she dropped the bomb on him. I've heard testimonies from men of their wives stealing from their them, cleaning out the bank account, destroying their personal property, lying to them, using the courts against them, dragging meddling people into the marriage, etc, etc, etc.. So sad, so tragic, so evil.
Verse 30 - Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
We are living in a sex-perverted generation where girls are trained at the earliest age to be whores. The godless music being aimed at young girls is being produced and sung by Satan worshippers like Madonna, and lascivious causing perverts like Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, etc. Truly, beauty is only skin deep. One day, all their physical beauty will fade, and an old broken body will be all that remains. Death is inevitable (Romans 6:23). The sinful world worships youth, and the rebellion of youth. 1st John 2:15-17 plainly teaches that the world and the lusts thereof will all pass away. Nothing will matter 100 years from now except what you do with Jesus Christ. Will you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, as payment for your sins; or will you reject Christ, and die in your sins?
Verse 31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
She has EARNED the right to relax and enjoy the fruits of her labors. Many wives are bums, having a welfare mentality, parasiting off their husbands. This is very wrong. A Proverbs 31 woman wants to work with her husband, to make the marriage and family something to be proud of.
Let me also add here at the end of our discussion, that the advice given from Verse 10 through 31 was NOT given to a woman; BUT, to a man, king Lempel (Verse 1). It was advice from a wise mother, given to her son to help him choose the best wife to marry. Perhaps we should call this passage of Scripture, the Proverbs 31 man, since it is advice given to man. Carefully notice the warnings about alcohol given to the husband in Verses 1-9. No alcohol-drinking man deserves a Proverbs 31 wife. Why should he have a good wife to beat, and be abusive to her? So many men who drink beer, live in sin, avoid church, curse in God's name, and chase women...wonder why they can't find a decent wife. Solomon didn't write Proverbs 31. Solomon never could find the woman of his dreams (Ecclesiastes 7:28). Why? Because Solomon had a reputation, a very bad one. All his wives were the lazy whores who wanted his money...take care of us Solomon...and we'll give you the sex you want. Solomon had many lovers; but, he couldn't find the godly wife that he so much desired. Solomon tried to seduce the beautiful Shulamite girl in Song of Solomon; but, she wisely turned him down, and for good reason. Solomon here represents Satan, who tries to seduce us away from Christ.
This whole Chapter describes a woman who loves her husband and children with all her heart, and works to give them the best. Jesus said that all of the Bible is fulfilled in two commands (Matthew 22:38-40): 1) Love God with all thy heart, 2) Love thy neighbor as thyself. Also, in Galatians 5:14. The woman who loves her husband and family doesn't need books, educational courses, or helps. Through DESIRE, she will become everything that her family needs her to be (Proverb 18:1). It's certainly acceptable for a wife to read helpful books, gaining insight from other women who have already proven themselves godly mothers; BUT, it is not necessary. The Word of God is the only Book we need. All the books, videos, and college courses in the world mean nothing if a wife and mother doesn't care.
In conclusion, there is no such thing as a perfect wife, or husband. The key to happiness in a marriage is two people who are mutually committed to making the marriage a success. Many marriages are lopsided, where one spouse shirks their responsibilities, and the other is continually getting upset because of it. This is unfair. A happy marriage requires a team effort between husband and wife. Many husbands are brute tyrants, who won't allow their wives to live. This is true of religious men especially, who are taught that the wife is supposed to be submissive to her husband.
Although the Word of God certainly does set forth the man as the head of his household, it doesn't give him any right to be unkind or abusive towards his wife. Many Christian wives are slaves to a religious jerk. I say this kindly. I believe that God wants every wife to be as the woman in Proverbs 31; but, God also expects every husband to be as the husband in Ephesians 5:25-33. Every husband should be an Ephesians 5 man.
A Proverbs 31 Mother |
(a helpful audio sermon by Pastor Jeff Owens)