By Joanne Putnam
Proverbs 31:10-31 in the Amplified Bible reads thus: “A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. [Proverbs 12:4; 18:22; 19:14.]
The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. [Job 23:12.]
She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. [Song of Solomon 8:12.]
She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. [Joshua 2:18, 19; Hebrews 9:19-22.]
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. [Isaiah 61:10; I Timothy 2:9; Revelation 3:5; 19:8, 14.]
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. [Proverbs 12:4.]
She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service]. Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. [I Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5.]
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]! [Philippians 4:81”
Basically, the Proverbs 31 lady:
– Loves and fears God;
– Has her priorities set God’s way;
– Works hard; is responsible, not idle;
– Is considerate of others and their needs;
– Looks ahead and prepares for her family’s needs;
– Takes time to develop her own character;
– Is respected and loved by those around her.
As ladies no two of us are alike. We grew up in different families/environments, currently live in different families/environments, are at different stages of life, and have different daily responsibilities. Some are married, some are single, some are widows, some have empty nests, some have very full nests, but we all serve the same God and have the same responsibilities to Him.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)
If you have received His Spirit, you were born into His Spirit and He wants you to continue to grow in Him.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
When you seek Him, regardless of what your problems are, He will be there to help you. The key is that you must keep Him first in your life.
The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat anything. It is very honest in presenting the lives of people to us. In the Bible we read about many women. We read about their struggles, their trials, their problems, their victories, and their failures.
Esther was married to a heathen king through no choice of her own, but she honored him and respected him. She had great courage as she approached the king to save herself and her entire nation from annihilation.
Sarah was told to pack up everything she owned and to leave her hometown to follow her husband. She had no idea where they were going, but she followed him without question and with the greatest of respect. Later we see that she got impatient with God and decided to take the situation of having an heir into her own hands. We are all suffering with that situation today. The son of Hagar, the bondwoman, bore was the beginning of the religion of Islam!
Miriam, the sister of Moses, tried to put Moses down and usurp authority over him. A bout with leprosy quickly humbled her.
Lot’s wife refused to follow Lot as he followed God’s instructions, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Michal, David’s wife, berated him for worshiping God. The Bible says that she was barren and never had any children as a result of that action.
Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea, committed adultery and abandoned her husband and her children.
Job’s wife should have supported her husband when he faced adversity, but instead she told him to “curse God, and die.”
Jezebel was probably the wickedest woman who ever lived. She was so bad that God told the prophet that when she was killed, dogs would eat her carcass, all but her hands and head because they were so wicked.
Hannah wasn’t able to have children and was constantly harassed by Penninah, but she remained faithful to God and to her husband and was longsuffering and prayerful while she waited for the Lord to bless her. Which He gloriously did with the birth of Samuel and then other children.
Huldah, the keeper of the wardrobe, was a prophetess who was sought after by the king for wisdom and counsel. She was highly esteemed.
Abigail was in a hopeless marriage to a churlish, evil liar. She behave herself wisely even though her husband was wicked, and God rewarded her with a marriage to the king.
Sapphira, on the other hand, went along with her husband’s lies, and they were both slain by God for conspiring to lie about how much the sold their property for.
Phoebe was a willing worker. She was both a servant and a leader as she helped those in leadership to minister to the Lord and to the people.
Lydia was a worshiper of God. She was full of hospitality. She was a businesswoman, a hard worker, faithful, and generous.
Mary Magdalene, once a harlot, “did what she could.” She humbled herself before the Lord as she broke the alabaster box, pouring all that she owned upon His feet as she washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair.
Anna was a prophetess who lost her husband shortly after they were married. She dedicated herself to working for the Lord in the Temple, both day and night.
Mary hid God’s word in her heart and raised her children to love, honor, and fear God. What an awesome responsibility she bore in having Jesus!
Dorcas was so important to the work of the Lord hat when se died the people begged Peter to come to pray for her that she would be brought back to life. And she was.
These women were just like us in so many ways. Some were single, some were married, some were widowed, some were wealthy, and some were poor. But all of them were brought to the kingdom of God for a purpose. Some fulfilled their purpose; some did not.
Just as Esther was brought to the kingdom “for such a time as this,” God has brought you to the time and place, in all of eternity, to make a difference in someone’s life. He wants to use you to reach your family, your friends, and your community by being a Proverbs 31 lady.
– One who loves and fears God.
– One who has her priorities set God’s way.
– One who works hard, is responsible, and not idle.
– One who is considerate of others and their needs.
– One who looks ahead and prepares for her family’s needs.
– One who takes time to develop her own Christian character.
– One who is respected and loved by those around her.
Take time right now to ask God to help you be a Proverbs 31 lady, someone whom He can use in His kingdom as He fulfills His purpose in your life.
This article was taken from “Let’s Go down to the Potter’s House” By Joanne Putnam