For years, I found reading Proverbs 31 to be disheartening. I would read this list of everything that this woman did and think she could do it all and I could never be like that. Reading it as a single has been even more disheartening especially the older I got because I would think, “How does this apply to me? I’m single. I don’t have a husband to call me blessed or children or any of the things she has and from the looks of it I’m not going to have them either.”
About 2 years ago when I first started this blog, I was reading this passage and thinking and praying on it, and I realized that it wasn’t what this woman did that made her a virtuous woman or special in some sort of way. I realized that it was her character that made her a virtuous woman. It was her character that gave her the strength to do the things that she did.
As I continued to study the Proverbs 31 woman, I created a list of 12 character traits that we see in her, and these are traits that can be developed in all women whether they are married or single. The verse(s) that illustrated these characteristics are in parenthesis.
1) She is a woman of faith. She trusts God. (Proverbs 31:21, 25, 30)
I love how verse 25 says that she can laugh at the days to come. She has faith that no matter what comes her way she has a Heavenly Father who loves her and wants the best for her. She is trusting in God and when you have that kind of faith you don’t have to fear the snow (verse 21) or illness or anything else that comes your way because you know that it will work out for good (Romans 8:28).
2) She is a woman of love. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
In every verse of this passage it shows that she is a woman who is loved, but more importantly that she is a woman who loves. She loves her husband and seeks to bring him good. She provides food for her family and her servant girls. She loves herself by taking care of herself (verse 17). She cares for the needy and the poor. Everything she does is done out of love for God, herself, and others.
3) She is a woman of worth. (Proverbs 31:10)
When is the last time that someone said that you are worth more than rubies? I honestly don’t think that anyone has ever said that to me, but I know that when I read this verse the Lord is speaking to me. This woman knows her worth. She is confident in herself and in the Lord. As single women, sometimes it can be difficult to see our worth because there is no husband who has confidence in us, but we have a Heavenly Husband who has confidence in us and who sees our worth.
4) She is a woman of integrity. (Proverbs 31:11, 12)
This woman is a woman of integrity. Her husband has confidence in her and knows that she seeks to bring him good, not harm. Integrity goes beyond simply being honest. She is herself and that doesn’t change when the people around her change.
5) She is a woman of compassion. (Proverbs 31:15, 20)
She seeks not only her own good and the good of her husband, but she seeks the good of others also. She takes care of her children and provides for her servants. She helps those in need and gives to the poor.
6) She is a woman of purpose and industry. (Proverbs 31: 13-19, 22, 24, 27)
All you have to do is read the verses to see the list of all the things that she does. She takes care of her home and family, her servants, and the needy. She is a business woman and dabbles in real estate and farming. She is not an idle woman.
7) She is a woman of wisdom and knowledge. (Proverbs 31:26)
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (verse 26) This woman is wise, and she passes on her wisdom to those under her care.
8) She is a woman of wellness. (Proverbs 31:17 & 25)
She is a strong woman both physically and emotionally. She takes care of herself and is energetic.
9) She is a woman of resilience. (Proverbs 31:21, 25)
She is a woman of faith and that faith gives her strength to face what comes.
10)She is a woman of self-control and discipline. (Proverbs 31:15-16, 21)
Once again, all you have to do is read through the list of things that she does to see that this woman is disciplined. She has to be an organizer and a planner. I mean, how else would she get so much done?
11) She is a woman of dignity. (Proverbs 31:25)
Dignity: a sense of pride or self-respect. She respected herself and expected others to show her respect.
12)She is a woman of humility. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
She was also a humble woman. She feared the Lord and the praise about her came from others such as her husband and her children. She did not brag about herself.
Aren’t all of these traits that we should all be striving to have? Whether we are married or single, being a woman of noble character isn’t as much about what we do as it is about who we are or whose we are. I don’t know about you, but I know that I can’t be all these things on my own. I know who can create these traits in me though and He wants to create them in you also.
What traits do you see in the woman described in Proverbs 31? Which traits would you use to describe yourself? Which traits do you need to work on?
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