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Wife of Noble Character in Today’s World: 14 Ways to Be One

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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 isn’t feasible in today’s society. How in the world can you be a noble woman in today’s society?

Well, dear friend, I’m here to tell you that you CAN live a Proverbs 31 life, which 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 our own clothes (hello? Macy’s!), but you can live a godly life pleasing to Him, in the image of the Proverbs 31 woman, in 2024. There’s nothing wrong with planting a garden or sewing your clothes. I have a huge garden that we enjoy the fruits of every year, but that’s really not what this is all about.

The book of Proverbs, particularly, is about a mother sharing with her son what to look for in an excellent wife, a worthy woman.  There is no such thing as a perfect wife but we can strive to be a good wife by following the faithful instruction of God’s Word.

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Becoming a Wife of Noble Character

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, 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, nothing is wrong with those things, but it is a matter of prioritizing your priorities.

And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.

Ruth 3:11 (ESV)

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: 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:

1. A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies

This isn’t about physical worth – how much we possess. This is about our identity in Christ. We can’t earn it; we are given it by the grace of God when we believe. Yes, we should emulate the description of the Proverbs 31 woman, but first and foremost, our value and identity are found in Jesus.

2. 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 husbands need to trust us in the big and small things. How we manage the home and the resources God has blessed us with, and how we disciple our children. We are to be selfless and reliable. While he sits at the city gate, he has confidence that the days of her life are filled with support for him.

3. 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 ensure that your family is clothed and fed and that things are (basically) in order. Simply, she takes care of her home.

4. She is a loving mother

The woman of noble character is a mother who teaches her children the ways of God. She nurtures them with love and trains them in their faith so they can grow up to be strong, faithful citizens of Christ’s kingdom. She even models godly living for her servant girls (perhaps this is your babysitter, house cleaner, mailman, etc.)

A good mother has the patience to teach life lessons and knows how to discipline well without being too harsh or lenient on her kids as they learn about what it means to live like Christians. She is a safe place for her children.

5. She is clothed with strength and dignity

The 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 we are often tough, but being dignified means that we are gentle and kind. It means we get to do life with people, see them as people, and show them love the way God loves us.

6. 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.

The form you have selected does not exist.

7. 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.

8. She works with willing hands

The wife of noble character is a woman who completes the tasks she is given willingly and without complaint. She always focuses on God, praising Him with every task completed. Her eager hands serve not just her family but others in the community.

9. She has strong faith in Christ

The woman of noble character is one who serves God with all her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows the ways he has set out before us in order to do so. She is filled with the holy spirit.

10. She is a good steward of her time and resources

The Proverbs 31 wife is thrifty, choosing quality over quantity. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks and does not spend time dwelling on things that do not please the Lord. She takes care of the affairs of her household.

11. She cares for and serves others

A Virtuous Woman is a woman of love and kindness. One can see this from how she serves others, her husband, family, friends, and neighbors with a gentle, caring spirit. Charity knows no bounds for these women who would do anything to help those in need or even lend an ear during times when they may be feeling low. 

12. She is a respectful wife

The Proverbs 31 woman respects her husband, does him good all the days of his life, and is trustworthy. A helpmeet she may be, but first and foremost, a virtuous woman should seek to become the bride of Christ!

13. A Wife of Noble Character is a Virtuous Woman

A noble wife can care for her home, is worthy and strong, serves and loves her husband, and 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. 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:19 (ESV)

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.

14. She Takes Care of Her Health

The Virtuous Woman takes care of her body, mind, and spirit. She cooks healthy food for her family to maintain a balanced diet.

Wife of Noble Character in Today's World: 14 Ways to Be One 1

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 include gifts and acts of service. This isn’t to say that buying stuff for him is the only way to make him happy. 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. Husbands are funny creatures. When I asked my husband this question, he told me how much he appreciated 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? A wife of noble character is a beautiful thing in the eyes of the Lord and your husband.

If you aren’t sure, spend some time asking God to reveal this to you this week.

For more resources on living the Proverbs 31 life, consider these book recommendations below:

My course The God-Centered Marriage or More than Rubies

Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be: A 90-Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life by Donna Partow

or my book, The Complete Proverbs 31 Wife:  A Verse by Verse Exploration of What it Means to Be a Proverbs 31 Woman in Today’s World.

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.

Or this video: How to Be a Proverbs 31 Woman with Ken and Tabatha Claytor

In His Love and Mine,

Sue

ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Peter

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Hi Susan, great article, very well written and thought out. One thing I'd like to point out is, I think it would of been great if you would of talked about how social media or mass media today is making it very difficult for women to be a Proverbs 31 wife. For example, if you look at Instagram or Tiktok its has completely normalized being 'sexual' by showing just a "little" skin and other things can lead to sinful behavior. I believe things like that really affect becoming a Proverbs 31 wife... what do you think?

Sunshine

Sunday 23rd of October 2022

What is a little skin , not to show your arms legs or cleavage? This confuses me , aren't we just wearing nice feminine clothes, does this mean we should not wear swim suits on the beach or walk around in shorts or skirts above the knee? I don't want to be looked apon as sinful because I dress in a certain way ,it does not mean I am being unfaithful. Does this also mean that men should not walk around in shorts with their tops off on a hot day ? To be a good woman should we be covered from head to toe ? We can't judge a book by its cover surly ?

Susan Nelson

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

I completely agree. I do mention social media in other posts on verses about the Proverbs 31 woman but it is a good idea to add your thoughts, as well. Thank you and thanks for stopping by!

Melissa Leite

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

I'm curious, other than Proverbs 31 and Ruth 3, where are the other two places in the Bible that use Chayil in reference to women?

Susan Nelson

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

You can also find it in Proverbs 12:4. The 4th is not agreed upon by all biblical scholars so I didn't include it in this study. Thanks for stopping by. God bless.

Yinka

Saturday 26th of January 2019

Thanks for this.i was actually looking for a resource on Ruth nd Naomi for my Sunday school when I came across this. God bless you richly. Yinka From Nigeria.

susanjnelson

Monday 28th of January 2019

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! May God bless you. Thank you for stopping by!

georgina

Thursday 13th of September 2018

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Proverbs 31 woman but I've wanted God to just transform me and make it easy, instead of me putting in the effort. Thanks for your help in seeing practical ways to make it happen in my home and for my husband. It also helped me come to grips with the impossible standards when I focused on verse 30 "...but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the LORD, she shall be praised." The secret of a Proverbs 31 woman is her spiritual and practical devotion to God that permeates every area and relationship of her life. This is what is the true foundation for a life which honors God and is valued by our husbands as "far above rubies or pearls".

susanjnelson

Thursday 13th of September 2018

Yes, friend! The key is to love and fear the Lord and to remember that each wife is unique to her husband and what a Proverbs 31 wife looks like will vary from marriage to marriage. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Diana

Thursday 16th of August 2018

Thanks for sharing this, I love proverbs 31, and I want to follow that standards, I always feel I am not perfect as a wife, I repent every time I can, because I am worried I make something wrong and I dissapoint God. Oh ya could you please pray for me cause I struggling in anxiety sometimes, it comes suddenly. I am from Sumba in Indonesia. God bless you

susanjnelson

Thursday 16th of August 2018

Hello, Diana! Of course, I will pray for you. None of us are perfect, but we were created exactly the way God wanted us to be and a Proverbs 31 wife is unique to her husband. It's not a list to check off. Talk to your husband about his expectations and priorities. You may find that they are not as high as you thought. I am praying for you, sister! Thank you for stopping by!

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