28 Sep The Proverbs 31 Woman: Reimagining Her for Today
Before you look at the example of the Proverbs 31 woman and turn away in discouragement, let me entice you with a mental exercise: If this woman was alive today, what do you think she would look like? Would her interests include Pilates or DIY projects? Would she shop at Walmart or Trader Joe’s? Would she eat gluten free, organic, or keto? Would she dress boho with thrift store finds or wear athleisure from Lululemon?
One thing is for certain: the Proverbs 31 woman is a rare breed. Our passage begins by asking, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” (v. 10, KJV). It’s not just rhetorical. It’s categorical. You might say she’s one in a million. Let’s parallel her historical traits with corresponding contemporary characteristics:
- “Willingly works with her hands” (v. 13) means she is not afraid of hard work, but now a Swiffer Sweeper replaces her bristle broom.
- “Merchant ships” with “food from afar” (v. 14) tells us she enjoys diverse meals. Whether she tries recipes from Pinterest, shops at Trader Joe’s, or orders Chinese, Middle Eastern, or Mexican from Grubhub, she has a discriminating palette.
- The mention of “maidservants” (v. 15) reminds us that she can’t do it alone. Even without a big budget to employ a cook, gardener, or housekeeper, today’s virtuous woman knows how to delegate chores and get the job done.
- “She considers a field and buys it” (v. 16) is a great way of saying she leaves whatever she’s given in better shape when she moves on to something else.
- “She plants a vineyard” (v. 16) lets us know that she appreciates celebrating life’s achievements, as wine was a symbol of joy in ancient times.
- “Her hand holds the spindle” (v. 19) shows her creative artisanal abilities.
- “She extends her hand to the poor” (v. 20) proves Jesus’ words that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
- She “strengthens her arms” (v. 17) describes a fabulously fit female, whether through yoga, jogging, or lifting weights.
- “Her merchandise is good” (v. 18) lets us know that she can run a profitable business. In today’s world, many female side hustlers supplement the family income, with some becoming sole providers.
- “[Rejoicing] in time to come” (v. 25) tells us she is not afraid of the future. The virtuous woman is emotionally well adjusted, grounding herself in Scripture and trusting the Lord with all her heart.
- “All her household is clothed with scarlet” (v. 21) speaks of covering her family in the redemptive blood of the Lamb—Jesus Christ. This amazing lady keeps her priorities straight: she seeks first the kingdom of God.
- “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (v. 26). Honor, wisdom, and kindness endear her to those who are looking for advice. Her opinion matters.
What a list, right? Without a doubt, our Proverbs 31 woman is invaluable. Her worth would be difficult to quantify. But there’s something even more important than what she does, and that’s why she does it. We’ll look at that next time.