Proverbs 31:10-31 has always been a go-to for many sermons on how women are “expected” to act if they want to be Godly. However, this passage of scripture was not dictated by God himself to rule over women. It was written by a mother to her son, as advise, on what to look for in a future spouse.
To find the fact, go back to the first verses in Proverbs 31, which are often overlooked:
Proverbs 31:1-3 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
She obviously was hoping for a perfect wife that would not bring ruin to her son or the kingdom. The mother then continues to advise her son, speaking against the idea of drinking alcohol.
Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
The mother’s advise is very honorable, and yes, I believe all verses in the Bible are God inspired. However, we must remember God is not commanding women here.
Proverbs 31 starts with a mother offering advise to her son on how he should correctly conduct himself, then, she describes her thoughts for “A wife of noble character”. However, dear sisters, do not be dismayed when you come to realize it is impossible for any woman to live up to every trait this dear mother hopes her son finds in a wife.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
A wife who stands in marriage with her husband the way God intended is of great value, just like it’s true a women who cares for her family is a blessing. But don’t get bogged down in the details of these verses. You don’t need to be a farmer, one who never sleeps, or one too busy sewing blankets for your bed to be noble!
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Remember–working for your family, proving love and support with any of the talents and treasures God gives you…is very honorable in God’s sight.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
And having a husband that supports what you do is also good, but if you don’t have one, that does not make you less honorable. You can still have wisdom and faithfulness as you carry out life’s tasks on your own.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
What an inspiration this chapter is, for women, and men to follow God! Don’t worry if you aren’t as perfect as King Lemuel’s mother wants his future wife to be. You are a woman who fears God. You love Him, respect Him, and You worship Him. Give Him your best, and you will have noble character.
How to be a Woman Of Noble Character:
- Be a warrior for God
- Inspire your family and others to follow Jesus Christ
- Confess, repent and ask forgiveness for your sins
I pray you remember this always, and share it with other nobel women in your life.