10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, she brings food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. 19She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all." 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Please keep in mind that this is my take on these verses, the verses above are quoted from the NKJV of the Bible...
This picture of a woman has strong character, great wisdom, many skills, and great compassion. This woman is a wonderful wife and mother, but she is also so much more. She has wonderful qualities, that are talked about throughout the book of Proverbs: hard worker, fear of God, respect for spouse, foresight, encouragement and care for others, concern for the poor, wisdom in handling money, and more.The woman described in Proverbs 31, is one who fulfills the command to fear the Lord. Out of her reverence for God, she gains strength and dignity - these things are not of herself. This Proverbs 31 Woman has amazing abilities, she is seen in these scriptures as a wife, mother, realtor, manufacturer, importer, manager, farmer, seamstress, upholster, and merchant...WOW! She may not be one woman, but rather a "composite portrait" of ideal womanhood.
Regardless of if you believe this to be one woman or not, it is something to strive for. I continue, everyday, to evaluate my life and see what changes I can make in my faith, my self, my manners, my actions, my life, and my family to be more like the Proverbs 31 Woman. I am not perfect, but I strive to be the best person, wife, and mother that I can be.
I have made, by the grace of God, drastic changes in my life that make me more suited for the life that I have been blessed with. I work very hard at living a life that shows my love of the Lord and longing to be more like Him and less like me - I pray that I never have to use the "Do as I say not as I do" logic(?) with my children.
I try to be like the Proverbs 31 woman because of her virtues, I love the thought of verse 28 above - Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her! How awesome is that!!
I was recently told that the Proverbs 31 woman does not exist...I beg to differ, the descriptions that the scripture gives may not be the same today but the virtues and principles stand strong. I know many women who I believe are the picture of Proverbs 31:10-31 and the first thing that I notice about these women is their reverence for the Lord! I am not to the point in my life yet that would be appropriate to say that I have all the qualities described in this post - but my God is not finished with me...