The Proverbs 31 woman sets a high standard for all women. While many people would like to follow in her footsteps, looking at her life as a whole can be a little overwhelming. But when we take a minute to step back, look at the whole, and break her attributes into small characteristics, it’s easier to look at ways to be a modern Proverbs 31 woman.
There are 13 principles I see laid out that we can all implement today to help us demonstrate the qualities laid out for us to emulate.
Psst: Don’t forget to check out the Strengthen in Scripture Giveaway at the bottom of the post!
1. Prioritize Others
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:11-12, ESV
The Proverbs 31 woman is first singled out because she is trusted by her husband because she does good. If we are to be women worthy of this title, we must put others before ourselves. Instead of being women who seek our self-interest, we need to be known for outdoing others in showing honor to those around us.
2. Work Hard
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
Proverbs 31:13, ESV
Instead of being known for protecting herself or keeping the clean hands of the “traditional womanhood” we tend to idolize, the Proverbs 31 woman is anxious to do the work the Lord has given her. She doesn’t busy herself with tasks that aren’t hers, but she fully dedicates herself to the work she’d been given
3. Don’t Settle
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
Proverbs 31: 14, ESV
If we want to act like the Proverbs 31 woman, we need to hunt for what is best instead of settling for what’s in front of us. She seeks out the best for her family and brings in what is needed from afar. One way to model the Proverbs 31 woman is to act in a resourceful. Don’t settle for easy, settle for what is best.
4. Rise Early
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
Proverbs 31:15, ESV
This one makes some of us cringe and others rejoice but rising early, preparing for the day to take full advantage of every opportunity, is something the Proverbs 31 woman demonstrates for us all. When we wait for things to come to us, we are victims. When we allow ourselves time to prepare to take the day by force, we are better equipped to do the good works God has prepared for us.
5. Dress Well
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
Proverbs 31:17, ESV
Instead of seeking to clothe herself in only outwardly attractive clothing, the Proverbs 31 woman is committed to inward beauty and to inner and outer strength. Today, let us be women who are known, not by what we wear, but by how we wear it. Donning strength is one way that we demonstrate to the world that we know we are the Lord’s. When we put our confidence in Him, we can show others the strength He has given us.
6. Know Your Worth
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
Proverbs 31:18, ESV
Know the worth of who God has created you to be. Your work might be simple, it might seem inconsequential, but God has created good works for you since before the beginning of time. Each and every aspect of your life can be used for Kingdom purpose so know, like the Proverbs 31 woman, that your life is valuable and let that knowledge encourage you to work diligently.
7. Consider Your Community
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Proverbs 31:20, ESV
The Proverbs 31 woman knew her role in the community and had hands open to the needy. There are poor and needy in every community and we need to be eagerly seeking out opportunities to open our homes. Think today of ways you can open up your home and serve those around you.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet
Proverbs 31:21, ESV
Rising early is only the beginning of the Proverbs 31 woman’s preparation. Instead of simply preparing for that day, she is looking long-term at what is to come. She knows that winter will come, and makes sure her family is warm. How can you prepare ahead today? Not only will life bring literal winters, but also spiritual winters. Being a modern Proverbs 31 woman means that you build on the strength so that you know what is coming and how to best equip those around you during that time.
9. Let Your Family Shine
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
Proverbs 31:23, ESV
The Proverbs 31 woman’s husband is known at the gates. Her work equips his work and has made him popular. As women, we need to be building up our family through out work. Don’t fear being outshone, but work hard to support others in the tasks God has given them. Even if you can’t tangibly support them, you can pray for and verbally affirm them.
10. Value Knowledge and Seek Wisdom
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26, ESV
Don’t stop learning. Take every opportunity to expand your mind and dedicate yourself to the study of Scripture. Learn what is good and profitable but do not allow it to puff you up. Let everything you say be marked by kindness.
11. Keep Busy
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27, ESV
The old saying “idle hands are the Devil’s playthings” has stuck around because, when we’re not doing what God has given us to do, anything we’re doing is wrong. Do not give into idleness. Enjoy the rest God has given you but then eagerly devote yourself to the work before you in the time He has given you to work.
12. Invest In Your Home
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:28, ESV
How many times have we seen a situation that appears wonderful only to find that it is crumbling on the inside. Instead of valuing the outward appearances, the Proverbs 31 woman invests in her family, not just how others perceive them. Take time today to show those in your home that you love them and are working on their behalf.
13. Place Your Worth In The Lord
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30, ESV
Ultimately, the Proverbs 31 woman’s success was not in her work but was in her identity in the Lord. Invest in your relationship with God. Read your Bible, dedicate yourself to prayer, and fast regularly. Know God, don’t just know about Him.
When we find our identity in Christ, when every aspect of who we are flow out of love for and fear of Him, we can live honorable lives. Therefore, let us not strive for worldly standards, but for the standard God has given us. May we be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to live lives as memorable as that of the idyllic Proverbs 31 woman.