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A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10
A Wife of Noble Character
Wow. This biblical ideal wife can do everything, it seems! She gardens, cooks, sews clothing for her family and drapes for her home. She helps the needy and is an entrepreneur and she does it all while looking amazing. It’s easy to read this scripture and feel overwhelmed or defeated. I mean, HOW in the world can you do all of that with pets, work, kids and their activities and a needy husband? You may dismiss it altogether thinking that being a Proverbs 31 woman just isn’t feasible in today’s society.
Well, dear friend, I’m here to tell you that you CAN live a Proverbs 31 life and it is what God wants from us as his daughters. Granted, we don’t have to plant our own fields (hey, we have grocery stores now) or sew your own clothes (hello? Macy’s!), but you can live a godly life pleasing to Him, in the image of the Proverbs 31 woman, in 2018. Now, there’s nothing wrong with planting a garden or sewing your own clothes. I have a huge garden that we enjoy the fruits of every year, but that’s really not what this is all about.
Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman
You may be wondering what IS a Proverbs 31 woman? Being a Proverbs 31 godly woman is about living a life that is one of ministry. It is putting God first and your husband second and everything, yes, even your children, after that. Living as a Proverbs 31 woman is about being industrious instead of idle. The woman of noble character serves her husband, her family and her community. It’s not about having a perfectly spotless home or wearing the latest fashions. Again, there is nothing wrong with those things, but it is a matter of putting your priorities in order.
And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” – Ruth 3:11
The Bible uses the root word for “virtuous” or ‘excellent” four times to describe women. In one of my favorite books of the Bible, Ruth, Boaz says to Ruth: 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” and in Proverbs 12:4 “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”
The original Hebrew word for virtuous is Chayil (khah’ – yil). It means a force, an army, strength, able, substance, worthy, capable, strong, valiant. Woah? What? I’m supposed to be strong and valiant, too? Yes, dear one, and you already are. God created you that way.
Let’s briefly look at the attributes of the wife of noble character:
A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies
This isn’t about physical worth – how much we posses. This is about our identity in Christ. We can’t earn it, we are given it by the grace of God when we believer. Yes, we should emulate the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, but first and foremost, our value and identity are found in Jesus.
Her husband has full confidence in her.
Her husband has full confidence in her is one of the few lines that directly speak about the husband of the wife of noble character.
Our husband’s need to trust us in the big and small things. How we manage the home and the resources God has blessed us with. How we disciple our children. We are to be selfless and reliable.
She works hard and is both industrious and resourceful
In much of Proverbs 31, specifically verses 13-23, we read of a woman who awakes early, ensures that everyone is properly clothed and fed, takes care of the finances and earns money and even finds time to care for those in need.
Basically, she is diligent. The verses don’t say that her home is perfectly neat and clean, but she works hard to handle the responsibilities in and out of the home.
In today’s world, you might not need to sew your family’s clothes or milk the cow, but you take care that your family is clothed and fed and that things are (basically) in order.
She is clothed with strength and dignity
Strength here is physical, emotional and spiritual.But, dear friends, we can only find that strength through God. He is strong, when we are weak.
A woman of noble character isn’t just strong; she is dignified.
Being strong means that often we are tough, but being dignified means that we are gentle and kind as well. It means we get to do life with people, seeing them as people, and showing them love the way God loves us.
Her words are wise
This woman isn’t just smart; she is wise.
A wife of noble character is the type of woman who is able to make smart, wise decisions by relying on the wisdom that comes from above.
She gives instructions with kindness
Part of this incredible wisdom is the ability to speak in truth and love. This means sharing things that are hard to hear, but doing it firmly and with kindness.
A Wife of Noble Character is a Virtuous Woman
A wife who is virtuous is able to take care of her home, is worthy, strong, serves and loves her husband, is capable and industrious. Most notably, a virtuous wife is what her husband (not any other husband, but HER husband) needs. God created woman to be man’s helper.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
What the ideal woman is for YOUR husband is as unique as he is; Above all, the specifics of how to be a suitable helper to your husband are unique to him and your marriage, the concept is the same – a wife of noble character is her husband’s crown.
A Word About Love Languages as the Proverbs 31 Wife
Learning your husband’s love languages and serving him through those love languages is a great way to ensure that you are the Proverbs 31 wife that YOUR husband needs. My husband’s love languages includes gifts and acts of service. This isn’t saying that the only way to make him happy is to buy stuff for him. I’ll pick up his favorite snack at the grocery store or leave him a love note. Your husband may respond to words of affirmation or physical touch. The key is learning what your husband needs from his wife; this Proverbs 31 woman in his life.
(For more on the Proverbs 31 woman, see this post on working with willing hands)
We were created to be his helpmeet. What does your husband need in a modern Proverbs 31 woman? Have you asked him? I encourage you to pray about this and see what God reveals to you. Certainly, ask your husband what he needs from you. You may learn that what you thought was important to him isn’t and that there are other things that he would rather you do. Husband’s are funny creatures. When I asked my husband this question, he told me how much he appreciates my making his homemade sweet tea. He says that it shows how much I care for him. Really? Who knew that something so small (in my eyes) touched him so much!
What makes your husband unique? How can you be a crown to him and not decay in his bones? What are three things that you know your husband would appreciate you doing that you don’t already do or don’t do very often?
If you aren’t sure, spend some time this week asking God to reveal this to you.
For more resources on living the Proverbs 31 life, consider these book recommendations below:
Or check out a different perspective from Mary at Healthy Christian Home.
Bible Gateway also has a great commentary on a wife of noble character. You may wish to check it out.
In His Love and Mine,