The Proverbs 31 woman today looks a little bit different than she did back in Bible times. Today’s modern woman leads a very different life than this pinnacle of Biblical virtue; is she even relevant today?
After all, it’s unlikely that today’s godly woman is waiting on merchant ships to unload the spices she needs for dinner or spinning the cloth for her clothes. Her handmaids are more likely to be kitchen gadgets than people.
But one things remains the same: the principles of the passage. God’s Word is timeless, unchanging and ever-relevant.
That means that the foundational truths in Proverbs 31 are just as important today as they were in the time they were written. When explaining the Proverbs 31 woman, we need to dive below the surface to what God’s timeless message is.
What is Today’s Proverbs 31 Woman Like?
So how does a modern woman exemplify an antiquated picture of virtue and learn about becoming a Proverbs 31 woman? By looking at the virtues of her heart instead of the actions of her hands. After all, it’s about who you are, not what you do.
Isn’t that what being a Christian is, after all?
Jesus’ entire message was on fulfilling the Law through His grace, rather than shackling people with it and having them fall short. Jesus brought the truth that it was all about the heart attitude and not the action one performs.
So what heart attitudes can we see in Proverbs 31?
She Loves Her Family
This woman offers support, kind words and wisdom, and hard work. She does her best because she loves them.
And honest moment here? Your best in one season of life isn’t going to be the same as it was in another. And it won’t be the same as someone else’s best either. So quit the comparison trap that leaves you feeling lacking.
Just love people, for love is of God (1 John 4:7).
She Is Diligent
Diligence is persistent and careful work. You do that now, don’t you?
No matter how hard things get, you still wake up the next morning and love on your family. Because you know you love them and you know it’s worth it (Galatians 6:9).
Sometimes diligence means getting out of bed when the grief is overhwhelming and you want to stay under the covers, crying. Sometimes diligence is doing the dishes when you’d rather ignore them. Sometimes it’s getting your fingers stuck together helping with a science fair project. Sometimes it’s taking the time to deal with a tantruming toddler instead of giving them candy in the check out line.
She Fears God
The single most important attribute of the Proverbs 31 woman today or at any time of history is found in Proverbs 31:30. She is a woman who fears the Lord.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, ESV)
At the root of all the things a woman does (or doesn’t do) is her heart. And a heart that fears God? That is the heart of a virtuous woman.
Fear of God, true fear that promotes getting closer to Him each and every day, is the mark of the woman who is exemplary. And her walk with God will direct her actions.
She doesn’t have to make a checklist; she simply has to love Him and the fruit of her hands will reflect the attitude of her heart.
Two Things Today’s Godly Woman Needs To Remember
So what does this mean for today’s modern woman? What is the message of Proverbs 31 if it’s not a checklist? Grace.
Beautiful, alluring, devastating grace.
Grace that takes all of your shortcomings and covers them with love. Grace that takes all of your exhausted tears and blankets them in peace.
Grace that whispers “Peace” and leads you into rest instead of constant work (Psalm 23).
You Don’t Need To Earn His Love
So embrace the grace here. Stop exhausting yourself and falling short over and over and over again.
Dear one, you need to remember that it’s not your actions that endear you to God or approve you for heaven; it is Christ’s finished work on the crossand your belief in Him.
Throw away the list of things you have to do to be good enough for God and your family. Instead, start loving them they way God has both created and called you to: with His love and grace.
Remember To Rest
Rest in God, trust God, love God. And the fruit of that life? That’s the Proverbs 31 virtue described in this passage on being a godly woman.
So it’s okay to stop working yourself half to death. It’s okay to stop looking at your Facebook ™ feed and trying to live up to someone else’s opinions on what Biblical womanhood looks like. It’s okay to pass by that book in the checkout line telling you how to be a good enough homemaker.
God’s not calling you to more work; He is calling to more relationship in Him. And in Him is rest and grace.
“God calls you to rest. In Him, striving ceases and grace abounds….While it’s true there are godly virtues explained here that godly women should want to exemplify, this is not a way to make God happy or earn His favor. That’s just not how the free gift of salvation works and it’s completely opposite of grace.” (9 Myths About The Proverbs 31 Woman)
So love God and fear Him; that is your virtue, precious woman of faith. It is your heart of love for the Lord that is your greatest gift to Him.
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Lisa Yvonne is a woman who loves Jesus, her husband, their 8 kids, her dog, and cappuccinos. She also loves to encourage other women with practical, Biblical truth on her website Graceful Abandon. You can connect with her in her FB group Grace Moms(for all women who love Jesus, not just moms!) and find encouragement and community there.