10 Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. 12 She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from far away. 15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her female servants. 16 She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings. 17 She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong. 18 She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night. 19 She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed. 22 She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts to the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. 26 Her mouth speaks wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her: 29 “Many women have done noble deeds, but you surpass them all!” 30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 31 Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.” Proverbs 31:10-31 CSB
The Proverbs 31 woman is essentially perfect. It’s the most empowering and intimidating passages the Bible has to offer on what it means to be a virtuous woman. We don’t often talk about the little details, but I'm pretty sure every Christian woman has had a battle trying to align herself with this superwoman standard.
References and Footnotes
- What I meant about being more conservative and less conservative in a nutshell is that I'm waiting til marriage to have sex, but right now I have blue highlights in my hair. Where I stand on issue doesn't map uniformly to one side or the other.
- There is so much more to talk about! Be ready for a Proverbs 31 episode, and probably a post. I want to go deeper Biblically and reach out to other women for their commentary. So this is just the tip of the iceberg!