What Is A Proverbs 31 Woman?

Man and woman hugging

When you hear someone refer to the Proverbs 31 woman of the Bible, they are referring to the woman who is described in Proverbs 31 verses 10-31. These 22 verses describe a woman who seems to be a superhero, and that many of us have been intimidated by. But let’s look further to find out: Really, what is a Proverbs 31 woman?

So, What Is A Proverbs 31 Woman?

When we read any passage in the Bible, it’s important to read the verses before and after the passage so we can know the context of what is being said. The passage before verses 10-22 describes a mother who is teaching her son, who is a young king, about life. 

She touches on the dangers of chasing after the wrong women, the desire for alcohol, and how important it is for a king to be just and to judge rightly. 

She then proceeds to give him a long description of what the perfect wife looks like. She uses this positive example to tell him the type of woman that will benefit a man.

The woman a man chooses to spend his life with is one of the most important decisions he will ever make, so she focuses on describing a virtuous woman, also known as ‘The Woman of Valor’ or the ‘Proverbs 31 Woman’ in a way that he understands. 

Her clear description of this virtuous woman was written as a poem in the Hebrew language, an acrostic, where each line begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in alphabetical order.

This Proverbs 31 woman was not a real person but is a descriptive list of characteristics that make up a valuable woman in this young king’s era.  

Characteristics Of A Proverbs 31 Woman

The passage below is a beautiful example of a wife and mother. Remember, this is not about you, it is simply about the woman this mother would want for her son to choose to spend his life with. Please read it without making any comparisons or feelings of not matching up.

The Virtuous Woman of Proverbs

Now let’s break down the characteristics of this woman from the passage:

  • Excellent character
  • Valuable, more precious than jewels
  • Trustworthy
  • Everything a husband needs
  • Does all she can for her husband’s good, to promote and care for him
  • Makes good choices
  • Willingly works with her hands
  • Shops carefully for supplies and food, and goes wherever necessary to get it
  • Rises early to make breakfast for her household and to plan her day
  • Makes wise purchases and multiplies what she has
  • Has a good work ethic
  • She profits from her investments
  • Works hard in her home, therefore she is physically strong
  • Words from early morning into the evening
  • Does the work it takes to keep her household supplied and running smoothly
  • Helps the poor and needy
  • Keeps her family warm and properly clothed in every season
  • Is a talented seamstress
  • Dresses well
  • Her husband is well-respected among his peers
  • Crafts quality items and sells them for a profit
  • Is strong and respectable
  • Does not fear the future
  • Instructs with love and wisdom
  • Keeps her household running smoothly and keeps everyong on task
  • Is respected by her children and praised by her husband
  • Stands out among women
  • Fears the Lord

In Today’s World, What Is A Proverbs 31 Woman?

Wow, I can surely see that this mother was certainly setting the bar high for the wife she hoped her son would choose.

We don’t know who this King Lemuel was, or if he ever found the right wife, but we can tell from reading the passage that this was simply an example of the qualities he should be looking for in a woman.

Now, some advice for us modern-day women: This was never meant as a list for us to check off or try to become. If we take this passage as a checklist of accomplishments, we will surely fail. 

If we are intimidated by this woman’s example and don’t even make an effort to learn from this description, we will fall far short of our own attributes and give up without even trying. 

If we go overboard with trying to prove ourselves and our abilities, we could overshoot completely and turn ourselves into taskmasters (knowing myself – without God’s good guidance, I could, without a doubt, veer madly in the direction of control freak).

Life today is very different from what it was a couple thousand years ago. And, in truth, we can all aim for the general qualities of the woman described. Here are some of the qualities of this Proverbs 31 woman that would be beneficial for us to strive for: 

Attainable Qualities Of The Proverbs 31 Woman For Today

  • Her character is respectful, kind, trustworthy, loving, wise, and godly. She is a good fit for her husband, and precious to him.
  • She genuinely cares for her husband and respects him at home and in public. 
  • She plans well and takes care of her home and family in the many aspects of the needs of the day.
  • She isn’t afraid of hard work and actually benefits in strength by doing the work.  
  • She makes good financial choices and works to make extra money for the family. 
  • She loves God and has a strong faith, and because of this, she doesn’t fear the future. 
  • She is compassionate to others, helping those she can help. 
Proverbs 31 Woman 30-Day bible Reading Plan

Seasons In A Woman’s Life

Every woman’s life looks different from another, and seasons of life come and go.

This may be the season for you to focus on your family and your home without trying to make extra money outside the home.

Or it may be a season of difficulty, where you get done only what’s absolutely necessary because you are giving extra care to someone or something that needs you.

You may be a working mother who struggles with doing it all, in which case you and God get to determine what you do yourself, what you let go of, and what you can delegate to someone else. 

 In other words, you may need to focus on different attributes of this woman in different seasons of your life. That is alright. Did you read that? It’s ok to NOT do it all, all at once!

Whatever these attributes may look like in your life, in your season of life, with your own special circumstances and situations – you can absolutely trust God to work something good in you.

what is a proverbs 31 woman

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