What are the qualities of a truly godly woman? Young men, what will you look for in your future wife and the mother of your children? Young ladies, what kind of woman should you be striving to become as you enter and pass through young adulthood?
The world emphasizes outer beauty, clever wit, and a fun, playful spirit in its depictions of ideal female candidates for love and marriage. In fact, there is nothing wrong with those things in and of themselves. The Bible never condemns good looks and a pleasant personality at any point. The truth is that following a biblical lifestyle and having the attitude of Christ should make one more healthy and fun to be around. But as we see in today’s classic portrait of the woman of God found in Proverbs 31, other qualities are far more important.
Read through the verses below and you will see a collection of inner spiritual virtues that distinguish godly wives and mothers. First, women of God are trustworthy (vv. 11-12); their husbands do not have to worry that they will betray them. Second, godly women are very diligent or hardworking. In fact, most of this long passage is a bunch of specific examples of how godly wives and mothers work hard from before sunrise until after dark each day to run their households, take care of the children, and provide extra income for their families (vv. 13-19, 21-22, 24, 27). Incredible, tireless multi-tasking! My head hurts just thinking about juggling all that stuff, but godly wives and mothers do it every day as a matter of course because of their love and loyalty to their families. Third, godly women are honorable and respected because of their hard work and proven character (vv. 23, 25, 28, 30-31). Such women deserve to be praised and adored by their husbands, children, and friends and acquaintances outside their homes. Finally, godly women are selfless. They do what they do because they love the Lord (v. 30), they love their families, and they love their neighbors, especially the poor and needy (v. 20). This is the attitude of Christ in action describe in Philippians 2:1-5: others before ourselves and God before all.
The picture of the woman of God in Proverbs 31 is an ideal that should challenge us as Christians but not discourage us for our shortcomings. As believers, we are all God’s “works in progress.” We are not yet who He intends us to be. But we are on the way. For the young men, as you begin to think about dating in late high school or college (NOT middle school – we’ve talked about this!), Proverbs 31 gives you a blueprint of what a girl should be striving to become, not necessarily who she is already. Looking for proven character, a track record of godly decisions that show a genuine faith in Jesus, is very important. But don’t hold out for perfection, unless you want to be single for the rest of your life! Pay attention to the overall direction of the young lady’s life, to where she is going spiritually. And get help from your parents, youth pastors, and/or teachers in evaluating her character and whether or not you should consider dating her. For the young ladies, consider all of the advice above. Pursue the virtues of godly womanhood found in Proverbs 31. Give it your best and lean on the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to help you. But don’t beat yourself up when you fail or fall short. You are not yet perfect! Here is where I would also strongly suggest seeking out godly women to mentor and disciple you. Ideally this would include your own mothers, but might also include women you admire from church and NRCA. Young women and young men need older, more experienced Christians pouring truth into their lives and listening to their struggles to help guide them into mature Christian adulthood. This is modeled and taught throughout the whole Bible and is definitely still needed for the church today.
So read the passage below and think about what God is saying about women who live for Him. Be blessed and challenged, but do not be dismayed. Just keep looking to Jesus and pressing onward and upward. Godly womanhood may be rare (vv. 10, 29), but it is possible!
The Text (Proverbs 31:10-31)
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 her 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.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out 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.
Questions to Think About
- As your read today’s passage, who came to your mind as real life examples of godly womanhood? For the ladies, could any of them make good mentors who could spend time helping you grow in your own walks with Christ?
- We’re you surprised at how much time Proverbs 31 spends praising women who work hard? Why do you think that hard work is so important to God and to the husbands and children of godly women?
- How did today’s devotion most speak to you personally? What do you think is the main thing that God wants you to take away from Proverbs 31 right now?