We have made it to the end of the book of Proverbs, and I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed the journey, this walk of wisdom. I have found that the more I fill my mind and heart with wisdom, the more likely I am to walk in wisdom, the more more likely I am to speak wisdom, and the more likely I am to continue pursuing wisdom. I hope you have found the same.
Proverbs 31 gives us the resume of the wife of noble character, a chapter in Scripture that not too few women have struggled to digest over the course of time, myself included. At first glance, this woman can appear to be too good to be true, unattainable, and not a possible reflection of today’s modern woman. However, if we look at Proverbs 31 in light of the rest of the wisdom in Proverbs, we will clearly see how this description of the wise woman falls completely in step with the cadence of the rest of the book.
Wisdom is portrayed in right living. This woman nails it. She prioritizes what God would prioritize. She is loved, honored, and respected by her family because she has chosen a better way, a path that far surpasses the paths that this world offers to us. Instead of wasting her time on outward adornment, Proverbs 31 tells us a bit about her wardrobe:
“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25
Can you imagine having such confidence about the unknown of tomorrow? This woman does. Notice how her ability to laugh at what is to come is possible because of what she chooses to put on: strength and dignity. She has prioritized better things, so her time is spent on better things: laughter instead of anxiety. She works hard, and she fills her days with that which will bless and support her family, and because of it, “her husband has full confidence in her.” (Proverbs 31:11)
Before the single ladies disqualify themselves from this final teaching of the book of Proverbs, take a moment and reflect on the type of woman you want to be. Do you want to be honored, trusted, and respected by the men around you? If you desire to be married one day, what kind of wife do you want to be? As a single woman, I spent much time thinking and dreaming and praying about the kind of man I hoped to marry one day. While that is certainly not wrong, I wonder if I spent half as much effort on trying to become the godly woman that my future husband was more than likely praying for.
“She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
She has such a great work ethic that there is reserve to spare for those who are in need. Her wisdom in working hard provides extra to be a blessing to others. This is the wisdom of generosity. There was never nor will there ever be anyone more generous than Jesus. He is our model and motivation for all things good. If He was generous, we should be as well. Hard work provides margin for us to live generously toward all.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
Kindness and wisdom flow from her lips. Could we say the same about ourselves? When we open our mouths, does wisdom and kindness pour out? It should. This is the wisdom of speech, to use our words to bless, uplift, and encourage those who would hear what we have to say.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Looks fade, ladies, no matter how much we exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of the fountain of youth. Beauty is fleeting. “But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Pursue that.