The Proverbs 31 “Woman”The woman is a character presented at the end of the book of Proverbs who has her life completely put together.
Proverbs 31 is a passage that many know well—especially women. The “Proverbs 31 Woman” is a character presented at the end of the book of Proverbs who has her life completely put together. She wakes up early, is good with finances, always has food available in her home, is good at crafts and handiwork, has a well-dressed family, makes her beds every day, has good relationships with her kids, has her own business and is prepared for any situation that arises in her future.
She is fierce and for a long time, women of the church have felt the burden of being compared to her. Women are supposed to be like her and if you don’t measure up to all these amazing attributes, it can feel like you’re failing to be a “noble woman.”
While the book of Proverbs is written to young men, it stars a female figure: Wisdom. The concept of Wisdom is personified as a young woman who urges young men to follow after her teachings and avoid the path and seduction of folly. It has often been thought that the descriptors in Proverbs 31 were a list of qualities a young man should look for in a future wife, however, in light of the rest of the book of Proverbs, we see that it’s quite likely that this Wise Woman is in fact the personification of Wisdom presented throughout the book.
The path of Wisdom is the path of holiness, which transforms us more like Christ. The Wise Woman here isn’t a character that we are supposed to be comparing women to, but instead, she is the embodiment of holiness. If we follow after the teachings of Wisdom, we journey through a process of transformation by the grace of God to become more like her. We become more like Christ, Wisdom incarnate.
“The Wise Woman here isn’t a character that we are supposed to be comparing women to, but instead, she is the embodiment of holiness.”
An interesting thing to note about the woman is that every description of her is rooted in action. She is a person who does. She doesn’t sit around and wait for things to happen—instead, she puts energy into her shrewdly-chosen tasks. However, notice that all of these tasks add to her wisdom and holiness. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the hustle and grind, and that’s not helpful to our holiness.
In viewing this character as the personification of Wisdom, it reminds us that we all should be pursuing these characteristics. We pursue them because they are holy things to seek after. The path of Wisdom laid out for us in the book of Proverbs is a path of singular focus: becoming like Christ. These descriptors aren’t just for women inhabiting the domestic sphere, it is for all people who seek after the character of God. By culminating the book of Proverbs with these verses, it reemphasizes the importance for all people to pursue God and His teachings. “Neither wisdom nor folly is limited to a single-gender” (Tom R. Hawkins).
- February 1: Proverbs 31:10-31
- February 2: Psalm 111
- February 3: Psalm 112
- February 4: Proverbs 1:20-32
- February 5: Proverbs 3:13-20
- February 6: Proverbs 8:1-36
- February 7: Proverbs 9:1-6
- February 8: Proverbs 4:5-9; 7:4
- February 9: Proverbs 31:1-9
- February 10: 2 Samuel 14:1-20
- February 11: 2 Samuel 20:14-22
- February 12: Matthew 12:38-45
- February 13: 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
- February 14: Mark 7:31-37
- February 15: James 3:13-18
- February 16: Ecclesiastes 7:1-12
- February 17: Ecclesiastes 7:13-8:1
- February 18: Colossians 2:6-15
- February 19: Job 12
- February 20: Matthew 7:24-29
- February 21: Ephesians 1:3-14
- February 22: 1 Corinthians 3
- February 23: Romans 11:33-36
- February 24: Ephesians 5:1-20
- February 25: 2 Chronicles 1
- February 26: Isaiah 40
- February 27: James 1:2-18
- February 28: Colossians 4:2-6
- February 29: Ecclesiastes 10