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I Don’t Like The Proverbs 31 Woman

There I said it. I don’t like her. She intimidates the snot out of me and makes me feel inferior. But more than that, I’ve been trying to figure out where she came from. Who was she? Was she even a real person?

It’s my understanding this letter was written by the mother of Lemuel (King Solomon) for the ideal wife or woman. So, I struggle with the idea that we are trying to mold ourselves into her. She wasn’t a real person. This made it into the bible which means it has importance and meaning for our lives. But how much?

Do we try to live up to everything in this chapter? Or do we pick and choose those we can actually accomplish?

Does this overwhelm anyone else?

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

These three verses stand out above them all. A wife of noble character. That sums it up for me.

What about you? Are you striving to become like the proverbs 31 woman? Does she intimidate you at all?

When I see another bible study on Proverbs 31, I’ll be honest, I tend to keep on moving. Not because I couldn’t learn something but because I have yet to do one of these studies where I don’t end up feeling inferior and guilty. I’ve got issues. I know.

What are your thoughts? Are there areas you have conquered as a Proverbs 31 woman and others where you need work or perhaps some of those areas you have no intention of tackling? I’ll be honest. At this time, I have zero intentions of getting up while it’s still night.  I do stay up late. Does that count?


14 Comments

  1. I can’t say enough how much I love this. I have come across many blogs using Proverbs 31 in the title, and honestly, it feels like something so completely unattainable to me that I can’t even hang around a virtual home “devoted to living the life…”

    I may not be a P31 wife, but I am doing everything I can to be a blessing to my family and live a Christian life. Why can’t that be enough?
    Heather recently posted..Blogging Through Rose Colored Glasses

    • I truly believe it is, Heather. Thanks for sharing with me! Admitting this gives me a bit of anxiety, hoping I don’t get ugly comments 🙂

  2. Great post Mel. I think you put the spot light on something we all struggle with – what kind of woman did God make us to be?

    Am I a Proverbs woman? A Titus woman? Or something else? I believe that, as with other teachings in the Bible, context is critical. We need to know the women of the Bible – all of them. Good, bad, holy and evil. God put them there for a reason. He wants us to see how He uses the imperfect as well as showing us a higher standard. Not for us to achieve, because that could be prideful, but to understand WHAT it is about her, that Proverbs, Titus woman, that makes her unattainable for us. For any woman. Then we can, with humble hearts, go to God and ask for where He wants us, His daughters, to be.
    Shanyn recently posted..Wish I Could

    • Very good points! I agree on the prideful part. I see that a lot, where it’s false humility. Just read an article today that didn’t feel humble at all but was more a way to advertise their services and it didn’t sit well with me.

  3. Hi Melinda,
    My name is Joe. I am connected with the John316 Network of Christian Authors. I saw you were friends with some of the others on Facebook and there took notice of your post. Very interesting post indeed and very understandable. First, thanks for being honest to express yourself. There is no need to be concerned about backlash.

    Many sincere men and women feel inadequate, unworthy or that some things they read in the Word are just not attainable. I’m sure Peter felt this way in John 21. He lied and denied and was wallowing in pity. No doubt he thought, “I could never be an Apostle!” We all know that his thoughts were not valid.

    There are many things in life that have secrets to them, some boast of the secrets to success, well, Proverbs 31 is no different. In today’s world biblical ignorance is greater than it has ever been. The home structure worse than it has ever been. Idolatry more than ever with people declaring that they are their own god. Marriage, to the general population, not important anymore and dysfunctional.

    Rebellion is everywhere.

    Here is the secret to Proverbs 31….

    Proverbs 31:30 “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” KJV
    Psalms 25:14 “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”

    The secret is Christ in you the hope of glory, the ability to live up to God’s expectation, Colossians 1:27. God made man and woman along with his desire and intention for them both. Living up to anything in scripture comes with simply having the Holy Ghost inside and the individual living a life of reverence and submission unto God. Through Christ, Philippians 4:13, a man or woman can do and be more than what they thought possible even Proverbs 31.

    You are not inferior and guilty. We all need the power of God to become what he desires us to be. Not meaning to give a bible study just a word encouragement to look at things God’s way and not through the eyes of the world which knows nothing about God’s ladies! God knows how to mold his ladies and men into something the world would simply envy.

    I have seen these things with mine own eyes it is possible.

    God Bless,
    Joe
    JosephJYoung recently posted..Pastor Jeff Arnold Testimony

    • Thanks Joe 🙂 I’m following today’s post up with a devotional on Romans and not being condemned because we are IN Christ.

  4. Hi Melinda,

    I recently ran across a blog post that talked about the Proverbs 31 woman and there was a really neat point. Unfortunately I can’t remember which blog it was… 🙁

    But the neat point (and maybe someone can give the link if they read the same blog) was that the Proverbs 31 description was more an instruction from Mom to Son about how to praise his wife. The point wasn’t for a woman to emulate the P31W but for a man to emulate the *praising* of his wife.

    I thought that was pretty interesting. 🙂

  5. Ha! this made me laugh out loud! I have been reading Solomon’s writings lately, and I thought you might like this one from Ecclesiastes:
    Ecc. 7:27 “This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle. 28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!
    29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

    did you catch it? the “not one woman” comment Solomon makes. hehe

  6. Thanks for this post.All I can say is that girl is so beautiful.All the creation of god are beautiful.

  7. I didn’t realize that so many women felt pressured by Pro 31. Proverbs is my favorite book of the Bible. Although I’ve never felt pressured by Pro 31, I believe that it can be used disproportionately. There are many other Bible verses and illustrations that edify women that rarely get mentioned.

    With that being said, many Bible women were virtuous and had some of the traits outlined in Pro 31.

    These women were called blessed:
    Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Pro 31:29)
    Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents. (Jud 5:24)
    Mary – Thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (Luke 1:28)

    These women spoke wisdom and faithful instruction. (Pro 31:26).
    Unnamed wise woman of Abel’s wise instruction saved her city. (2 Sam 20:19-22)
    Esther was woman of strength and dignity who feared God. Her wisdom helped saved the Jews from annihilation. (Book of Esther)
    Pilate’s wife spoke with wisdom and faithful instruction. (Mt 27:19)
    Others in her community had “full confidence” in the prophet Huldah’s ability to authenticate a very important book for the king. (2 king 22:14-20).
    Rahab “watched over the affairs of her household.” She wisely and faithfully “instructed” the spies about how to hide and escape. She negotiated a plan that would save her life and the lives of those in her household. (Heb 11:31)
    Priscilla worked with her hands too. She was a tent maker. She assisted her husband in giving Apollos wise and faithful instruction. (Acts 18:26)
    Prophetess Anna’s lamp didn’t go out at night because she worshiped God day and night by fasting and praying. She wasn’t idle, and wisdom and faithful instruction were on her tongue. (Luke 2:36-38)
    Judge & Prophet Deborah wisely instructed the people of Israel. (Judges chapter 4 & 5)

    She has been like a merchant’s ship that brings its merchandise from far away. (Pro 31:14)
    The Queen of Sheba literally brought Solomon gifts of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones from away. (1 Kings 10:6-10). Also like Pro 31 woman, Queen of Sheba’a earned a reward, and her quest for wisdom brought her praise. Queen of Sheba is one of the few women Jesus celebrates from the OT. She came from afar to hear the wisdom of a mere man. She was amazed at what she saw and heard. However, when Jesus who was greater than Solomon came, many despised, rejected, slighted and slandered Him. (Mt12:42)

    Watched over affairs of household (Pro 31:27)
    Zipporah knew what she needed to do to save her husband’s life. She brought him goodness and not harm. (Ex 4:14-20)
    Moses’ mom hid him. Moses may or may not have called her blessed, but Paul felt she was blessed and listed her in the Hebrew Hall of faith. (Heb 11:23).
    Deacon Phoebe helped watch over the affairs of the household of faith. (Rom 16:1-2)

    Brings goodness rather than harm. (Prov 31:12)
    Midwives did what was “good” for newborns and refused to harm them like the king commanded. (Ex 1:15-21)

    Helps poor (Prov 31:20)
    Dorcas helped the poor. (Acts 9:36)

    Doesn’t let her lamp go out… (Pro 31:18)
    Wise virgin didn’t allow her lamp to go out. She was prepared when Bridegroom came. (Matt 25:1-12)

    Like the Pro 31 woman, Lydia was a woman of noble character. The name “Lydia” means noble. The Pro 31 woman wore purple, and Lydia sold it. Pro 31 woman was a merchant and so was Lydia. (Acts 16:14, 40)
    Everyone in town knew that Ruth the Moabite was a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:11).

    None of these women were superwoman, but each was super and virtuous in her own way. Instead of looking at all the ways we might not measure up to the Pro 31, may we consider the traits that we have in common with her like the women mentioned above. I truly hope this blesses you dear sisters. I know it blessed me.

    • That is how I have always looked at it, KM. Just a little encouragement reminding me that I am persevering, going in the right direction!

  8. Hi Mel, thanks for sharing your heart. I thought I was the only one who feels the way you do – so glad to know I’m not. 🙂

    I cringe every time someone brings up P31 woman.

    I hate, hate, hate feeling like I have to squeeze myself into some mold of the “traditional” wife/woman that so many tout.

    Personally, I’d rather be like Deborah – wise and full of God’s strength while working alongside men as an equal (not shunned or told to go work in the kitchen at home – lol).

    God made each one of us unique; we’re not meant to fit into some mold and be the same and do the exact same things (we’e not manufactured on an assembly line). I find it so freeing to just be myself, using the gifts & abilities God has given me despite what well-intentioned Christians say. 🙂
    Tamara recently posted..Three Powerful Words

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