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Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is a hot topic these days. You can do a Proverbs 31 Bible study, ready a Proverbs 31 devotional, take classes on the subject, attend conferences that focus on it, read blogs all about it, and find Proverbs 31 study books by the dozen.
But so many of them miss the true Proverbs 31 message and leave women feeling ‘less than’ instead of encouraged.
Have you ever done a Proverbs 31 Devotional or Bible study?
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, odds are that you’ve been told you need to work on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman…and you’ve tried.
Chances also are that no one has really told you how to be a Proverbs 31 woman, so all of your trying ended up with you crying.
That’s what happened with me. I got burnt out, overwhelmed, and figured I’d never be a good enough wife and mom.
Maybe you’ve also reached the conclusion that the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is a wholly unrealistic expectation for any woman to live up to.
In fact, it’s pretty near impossible to be a Proverbs 31 woman. When you get the Proverbs 31 woman message wrong it becomes a stressful burden that leaves you feeling ‘less than’ and ‘never enough’.
And dear one, that’s never how God’s Word is supposed to leave you.
A Proverbs 31 Bible Study Revelation
—–> When you take Proverbs 31:10-31 (or any passage of Scripture, for that matter) and turn it into a checklist to earn God’s approval or justify your salvation, you will always fall short.
Romans 3:23 is clear that we are all sinners and not a single one of us is good enough.
Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that God’s grace alone is the means to our salvation and our works have nothing to do with it or our please God (read more about that making God happy here). While our hearts and lives can bring joy to God, they do not and cannot earn us His love or salvation at all.
Understanding all of this is liberating!
Proverbs 31 and the qualifications of the virtuous woman are no longer a burden to carry on your shoulders, dear one.
No, instead a Proverbs 31 Bible study will reveal to you just how incredibly present God’s grace is in your life. After all, how else can you manifest these virtues, but by His grace?
Let’s explore this just a bit more. Maybe there’s hope, after all.
Related: 5 Ways To Make God Happy
The Proverbs 31 Woman Explained
So let’s dig into a simple, yet powerful Proverbs 31 Woman Bible study together, shall we?
Who was the Proverbs 31 Woman?
Yes, you read that right. The Proverbs 31 woman didn’t actually exist. She was a figment of the Wise Mama’s imagination, her ideal daughter-in-law because she wanted the best for her son.
There’s no one specific woman in Scripture that is being described in this passage. Rather, the very Wise King is sharing something his very Wise Mama taught him about the wife he would one day marry.
She was an ideal, not an actual woman being discussed.
One might also want to take note during a Proverbs 31 woman Bible study that the woman being discussed is a wife of experience, not a young bride. The poem talks of children and a home and a business. This was a description of the woman a young wife would grow into, not exactly the one he would marry.
What is the meaning of a Proverbs 31 woman?
Proverbs 31 was written as an acrostic poem so that it would be easy for him to memorize; it was a list of virtues not only to look for in a future mate but also to appreciate in the woman he would marry.
It was not ever intended to become a job description that left thousands of women feeling like insignificant failures. If any woman tried to apply every part of this chapter to her life all at once, she would crash and burn.
How do you do a Proverbs 31 Bible study the right way?
Instead of looking for a checklist of virtues to strive toward, let’s approach the teaching the way the king’s Wise Mama intended (and more importantly, how God intended since He is the true author of all of Scripture!).
Proverbs 31 is a list of the virtues of a godly woman, an examination of the character God wants to cultivate within her heart and life, and an admonition for her husband to see them in her and praise her for them.
A Proverbs 31 Bible study examines the virtuous woman’s character.
First, understand that Proverbs is a book of wisdom and applying the proverbs to your life is what wisdom is all about. You do this by examining the principles presented and applying them to your life.
After all, wisdom is the application of knowledge.
But you can’t stop there or you’ll get wholly frustrated and overwhelmed.
A Proverbs 31 Bible study examines God’s character.
Second, you look at what this passage tells you about God and your relationship with Him.
Michelle Myers, the author of a marvelous Proverbs 31 devotional entitled Famous In Heaven & At Home, points out that you are made in God’s image and that when He asks you to display a specific character trait in your life it is a part of bearing His image.
Understand that each passage like this reveals not only a characteristic that you can implement in your own life, but also reveals more to you about God’s character.
This helps you deepen your understanding of who God is and therefore enriches your relationship with Him (check out the book Famous In Heaven & At Home to read more about this). When you have that tighter walk with Him, you bear His image more.
A Proverbs 31 Bible study shows men what to pray for.
That’s right, men. And not the generic ‘mankind’, either. Actual men.
You were never the intended audience for the poem referred to so reverentially today as “The Virtuous Woman”, my sweet friend. Men were.
Wise Mama was telling her wise king son what to seek out in a helpmeet, not giving you some overwhelming checklist of tasks that you could never accomplish.
But we can learn from this how to be a beautiful wife for the man we marry.
A Proverbs 31 Bible study looks at the Proverbs 31 message.
Instead of looking at Scripture and simply saying, “What can I do now that I’ve read this?”, you need to look deeper to the message.
Remember, you do a Proverbs 31 Bible study (or any Bible study, for that matter) by reading the text and studying it.
- What does this chapter tell me about God?
- What is the context and purpose of this chapter?
- What does this chapter tell me about my relationship with God?
- What does this chapter tell me about my own heart?
- How can I take what I’ve learned here and apply it to my life?
When you approach this or any other chapter with these questions, you’re able to get to the heart of it. Read about the virtuous woman, certainly, but ask these questions to fully understand the true Proverbs 31 message.
Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman
A Proverbs 31 woman is one who lives a life of reckless abandon.
She gives herself wholly to God and obeys Him at every turn. She has a faith that is strong and a heart that beats wildly for God, her husband, her children, and her home.
Related: 5 Keys To A Life of Reckless Abandon
A Proverbs 31 woman is one who knows her priorities.
She understands that her faith is foundational to her marriage, her parenting, her homemaking, and outside endeavors. She keeps each one where they belong, so that God can bless the fruit of her hands.
A Proverbs 31 woman is A Virtuous Woman.
Depending upon which version you use when you do your Proverbs 31 woman Bible study, you’ll see her called a diligent woman, a virtuous wife, a wife of noble character, or a woman who fears the Lord.
No matter what title is ascribed to her, she has about a dozen virtues worth studying in a Proverbs 31 Woman Bible study. In The Ultimate Guide To The Proverbs 31 Woman, you can read about her 12 Virtues and what each looks like in your life today.
Can You Ever Become a Proverbs 31 Woman?
If you recognize this not as a list of performance demands, but rather as fruit that comes from a heart yielded to God and nurtured by His grace you will most assuredly become a virtuous woman.
To Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman
What Is The REAL Proverbs 31 Message?
Remember, my lovely friend, God didn’t include this in Scripture to make you feel “less” or “not enough” or even spur you on to good works. Your works aren’t why God loves you, precious one.
Rather it is to reveal to you more clearly than before your God in whose image you were fearfully and wonderfully made, and to reveal your need for His grace.
It is to help you show your sons the kind of women they should marry and to guide your prayers for their future mates.
It is to help you see the virtuous fruit your life should bear by His grace, and the fruit you ought to cultivate in your daughters.
It is to reveal His grace over and over and to point you…and all of us…to Jesus the Beloved.
———-> To study the 12 virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman in depth and to learn how they apply to your life, check out The Ultimate Guide To Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman.