Over the course of several years I have heard a number of teachings on the Proverbs 31 woman. I have heard many of the verses contained with this portion of scripture be used as a way to promote both the stay-at-home mom and the woman who works outside the home.
I have also seen some of these verses used to justify maids, appliances and eating naturally…I’m not kidding. Here is where I think we get it wrong. We get wrapped up in the “doings” of the Proverbs 31 woman. We lose sight of what was really the most important part of this woman’s life, her character.
We focus on the verses about the things she has done…sewing, cooking, getting up early, staying up late, helping the poor and taking care of her family. These are all great things. These are all worthy things to be doing. But the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t about the specifics of what she did. It’s about the person she was.
The ways in which she went about doing things can hardly be replicated today. You don’t see too many women spinning wool and flax. Most of us don’t plant vineyards. And I would guess that the majority of us are not familiar with the idea of giving tasks to our “maidens.”
So instead of getting wrapped up in the things she did, I think the makings of a Proverbs 31 woman are really about her character. She was a good wife. Her husband could trust her. She was filled with wisdom. Her children called her blessed and her husband praised her. That doesn’t come from doing, it comes from “being.”
However the greatest attribute that she possessed was being a woman who feared God. That is where her greatest praise derives from.
The makings of a Proverbs 31 woman aren’t in the doing. It really doesn’t matter if you choose to be a woman who stays at home, works outside the home, homeschools or sends your children off to public school. If you eat processed foods or grow your own food in the garden, these are not the things that make a Proverbs 31 woman.
In the end, the makings of a Proverbs 31 woman are her character and her relationship with the Lord.