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A Woman Who Fears the Lord
Proverbs 31 highlights a woman of noble character. One of the most profound characteristics of this woman is that she is a woman who fears the Lord. This kind of woman deserves to be honored and praised because a woman can be beautiful, talented, and successful, but her most important virtue should be the fact that she fears God.
There are numerous virtuous, righteous, God-fearing women in both the Old Testament and New Testament who we can look to for inspiration in our daily walk with Christ. Some of the women are Ruth, Naomi, Hannah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. They give us a glimpse of God’s grace and love toward women. But one of the most popular models of an excellent wife is the Proverbs 31 woman, and we will learn more about her in this post.
What does it mean to fear God?
A Christian woman should have the proper fear of the Lord. But what does this mean? Fearing the Lord is having complete reverence for Him and being in awe of Him. It’s appreciating and honoring the majesty, glory, holiness, and power of God. When you fear God, you have a deep respect for Him beyond that which you give any human, and you humble yourself before Him.
The fear of the Lord leads us to repentance and God, and we become humble when we are in awe of who God is. People like Joseph and Hagar in the Bible are great examples of what it means to have the proper fear of the Lord.
There are blessings God grants to those who fear him. The beginning of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding comes when we fear God.
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11 Characteristics of a woman who fears the Lord
Proverbs 31:10-30 was composed by a mother to show what her son should look for in a wife. Proverbs 31 are sayings of King Lemuel’s mother to her son. While the chapter is mainly taught about married women there are many lessons for all women, whether you are single, divorced, married with children, or empty nesters. Let’s take a verse-by-verse deep dive into the inspiring Proverbs 31 woman.
1. She is excellent and rare
A wife of noble character is exceptional and extraordinary in all she does. She doesn’t follow the crowd but rather aims to obey God. Such a woman is hard to find because we live in a world where Satan dangles many fleeting and attractive things to women to distract them from connecting with God. A godly woman finds joy and fulfillment in a close relationship with God, so she is very precious and valuable in God’s eyes.
2. Her husband trusts her
A God-fearing woman gains the complete trust and confidence of her husband because of her morals. He has faith in her and depends on her because she doesn’t let him down. He knows his wife is righteous and appreciates her character, and he knows she is a good wife and mother to his children.
Because of the woman’s trust and fear of God, the man lacks nothing and is pleased by her. The husband has full confidence in the wife because she is good to him all the days of her life, and she always helps and supports the husband during times of need. A Proverbs 31 kind of woman is an ideal woman who respects and loves her husband.
Spiritually, the virtuous woman is good to her husband because she prays for him and with him. She actively engages in family activities that draw the family closer to God. As a submissive wife, she honors her husband as the head of the household.
The Bible tells us that women have the power to build or break their own homes.
3. A godly woman is hard-working
The virtuous woman showcases exactly what it means to work with willing hands for her family. The desire to work is a frequent topic in the Book of Proverbs, and also it is a quality of a godly woman. An excellent wife enjoys working with her hands for the good of her family.
She is skilled enough to recognize the types of wool and flax that will make good clothing for her family. She enjoys keeping busy and she is not a lazy woman. She knits willingly because she takes pleasure in it. An excellent wife is seen as a worker who does what she does not because she is coerced or forced to do so, but simply because she wants to.
She is a role model for all of us therefore, a good wife should work with willing hands and put effort to make her family happy. In today’s world, you may not need to knit your family’s clothes, but you have to do everything in your power to make sure your family is clothed and fed and that everything is in good order.
She traveled afar to get the best price for her money, and she is likened to a merchant ship. She went wherever she could to find what her family needed at a reasonable price. She fully comprehends that bringing the best is often a difficult task, but she wishes to do so because she does everything with excellence.
4. A God-fearing woman delegates
A wife of noble character takes care of her family, as well as the young women who work for her in the household. As righteous women, the word of God is encouraging us to wake up early in the morning, help around in the household, prepare breakfast for the family, and also assign tasks to the servant who assists us in the house.
The excellent wife doesn’t try to do it all, but she delegates some tasks to others like her secretary or assistant, pet sitters, babysitters, friends, and family so she can have some much-needed time for self-care or dinner outings with her spouse.
She understands that as she is a disciple of Christ, the young people around her, whether children, neighbors, family members, or youth from the church, are her disciples and are watching how she behaves.
This verse is also applicable to young people as well to encourage them to be hard workers and get up early to assist in the household. The virtuous woman is diligent, hard-working, noble, and humble as she gets up early to do work in her house regardless that there are maidens in the house.
5. A virtuous woman has financial support
This verse demonstrates that the righteous woman has financial support from her business skills. She purchases a field with her own money and plants a vineyard. She wants her family to be financially secure in the future and is working hard to achieve that goal to avoid financial insecurity.
She makes a profit and enjoys the fruit of her hands. She pays for the land with her own money, which she has earned. The harvests from the vineyard will be a good incentive for her earnings giving her more profits to expand her business. This is a woman who manages her money well.
6. A good wife is strong and generous
The woman of noble character is strong because Christ Jesus gives her the power she needs to be a hard worker. God is her rock and source of strength and that’s her secret superpower. This woman has strong confidence in her plan and her future to yield good incentives. Her dealings are profitable because they are blessed by the Almighty God. She dedicates herself to her business to secure the family’s livelihood.
She is a wise and intelligent woman as she helps her husband with the finances of the household with her profitable business. The husband has no reason to complain about her because she is a hard worker. But she doesn’t neglect her first ministry which is her home. She is an excellent homemaker and a good steward of the family God has entrusted her with.
Even if it’s the husband going out to work and you’re home with the kids, you can excellently manage your home and helps your husband to save and make wise financial decisions.
A virtuous woman is generous to the poor and helps out those in need. She gives material possessions and her time to the needy. This woman shows steadfast love for those in need and is hospitable. She does charity work because it’s the work of the Lord, and it draws her closer to the Heavenly Father.
7. A virtuous woman is a planner
A Christian woman is an organized and punctual person who helps ensure that her family has warm clothes to protect them from winter way before. A woman who fears God is a planner because the Lord himself is orderly and plans every detail. Being a noble wife means you also take care of yourself, not just your family and those in need. This excellent wide clothes herself with fine linen, which is expensive.
8. The godly woman’s husband is respected and honored
The excellent wife’s generosity, hospitality, and productivity play a part in the success of her husband, and other men will hold him in significant value for his blessing and wisdom in marrying such a virtuous woman who fears the Lord. In the Old Testament, the city gate was a gathering place for prominent leaders such as public speakers, lawyers, judges, prominent businessmen, and city elders. The fact that the virtuous woman’s husband was known in the gates indicates that he possessed a prominent position in that city.
9. A woman who fears God is wise
This is a woman who is strong and dignified, who has the peace of God, and who is full of joy. It’s not because there are no difficult times that she goes through. But she has a very close connection with God and trusts him. She looks at the future without worry or fear because she knows God holds her and her family in the palm of his hands.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you live in the freedom of Christ, and you develop a Christlike personality. A godly woman knows that no matter what, God is with her, and this gives her confidence. A woman who fears the Lord knows how to give words of encouragement and wisdom to those around her, gracefully.
10. Her husband and children praise her
The virtuous woman is present in her important relationships and intentional in everything she does. No matter how busy we are in our everyday life, we should take time to connect with our husbands and kids and teach them about God’s love and His ways. Our kids don’t only listen to what we say, but they look at what we do and follow our ways. If children see the fruit of godliness in their mothers, it will make a huge impact on their lives.
11. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
This verse is an appreciation by her husband showing praises to his wife for the amicable work she does. While there are many good deeds and praiseworthy things a woman can do, the fear of God is the most important.
Charm and beauty can be deceptive because things are not always as they appear. Satan dangles outward beauty as the most important thing for women and we can spend a lot of time investing in how we look and not in the inner person who needs to grow in God’s word.
The Bible clearly says:
The real beauty of a woman comes when she keeps the first thing first in her life- her relationship with God. This reflects in her character, speech, and actions. When a woman fears God, she has high moral standards and is upright in all aspects of her life. She has a strength of character that’s admirable, loves the truth, loves others as well, and despises sin. This woman firmly trusts in God even in hard times.
As we spend time in God’s word and enjoy the friendship of the lord, we begin to reflect the fruit of the spirit and become more and more like Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 31 is profound as it inspires women to fear the Lord while also inspiring others, such as husbands, to praise women who fear the Lord.
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Ishet-Hayil, A Woman of Valor
One of the beautiful things about the wisdom of Proverbs is that it can be applied to anyone in any circumstance. In 31:10, this ideal woman is called ishet-hayil, or the woman of valor. It’s a title that has significance.
The Hebrew word ishet (or eshet) is the construct form of isha (woman), and hayil (or chayil) means bravery (Psalm 76:6), capability (Proverbs 12:4), triumph (Psalm 118:15), a rampart (Psalm 84:8) or wealth (Proverbs 13:22). Essentially, the eshet chayil represents the virtues of courage and strength.
I adore the Jewish tradition that the entire passage (Proverbs 31:10-31) is recited by a husband before Kiddush on Friday evenings. After the Shabbat candles are lit, but before the meal is eaten, the wife is praised!
The Bible is rich with stories of this woman of valor, but one of my favorites is the story of Ruth and Naomi. These two God-fearing women, mother, and daughter-in-law, have found themselves homeless are homeless and without food. Ruth, the daughter-in-law, who in scripture is also called ishet-hayil, a woman of valor, risks everything to provide for her mother-in-law.
Her actions, which were selfless and brave, led her to her being “praised in the city gates,” just as we also find in Proverbs 31:23. In Jewish tradition, many see Ruth as the perfect illustration of a Proverbs 31 woman. In this example, as well as throughout the Bible, we see stories of both queens and homeless women living a life that demonstrates that being a woman of valor has nothing to do with a woman’s circumstances and everything to do with her character.
You may enjoy this video by Grace for Purpose: Proverbs 31 | A Woman Who Fears The Lord Is To Be Praised
Or one of these recommended resources:
Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges
Fear Of The Lord by Bevere
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