We all know her from somewhere. Maybe she was the speaker at a conference you attended or the host of the podcast you faithfully listen to. She could be the author of your favorite book, your Bible study teacher, someone in your church, or maybe you’re blessed by having her as your closest friend.
Who is she? She is the example of the Proverbs 31 woman that you wish you were a little more like. Okay, maybe a lot more like. The one who is not just beautiful on the outside, but who also portrays the true inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. She is kind, generous, faithful, and someone everyone loves to be around.
We’re all familiar with the godly woman of Proverbs 31. Either by an example we’ve seen or by the many lessons that have been taught about her. But did you know that there are other women in the book of Proverbs? Like me, you’ve probably read about various ones at various times over the years. But I never really gave them much thought until my pastor mentioned them in a recent sermon.
Some are examples of what we should strive for, while others paint a glaring picture of what we don’t want to be.
You know the kind I’m talking about. Like the one you’ve seen at the grocery store yelling at the checkout person over some little inconvenience. Or the one at the restaurant belittling her husband or children by getting after them for every little thing. And then there are those who are discontent with life and just want to argue and make everyone else around them as miserable as they are.
We all want to be that godly woman that others look up to. But if we’re honest with ourselves, there are times that we’re probably a bit more like those other women than we’d care to admit.
So let’s do a little self-assessment as we take a look at the women of Proverbs. Do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself as you decide which one best describes you. I know it’s tempting, but don’t skip over the scriptures for each type of woman. They are very enlightening regarding the effect these women have on their marriages and relationships with those around them.
Women of Proverbs
WISE ~ The wise woman is characterized by her deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment. She does not make hasty or impulsive decisions but carefully and prayerfully makes wise choices for herself and her family.
“Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the teaching of kindness.”
QUARRELSOME ~ The quarrelsome woman is not only apt to quarrel in an often petty manner, but she also makes it her job to find fault in others and to let them know about it. This is the woman who belittles her husband and children by consistently nagging at them as to what they should be doing and how they should be doing it throughout the day.
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house
shared with a quarrelsome wife.”
CARING ~ The caring woman however shows concern for those around her and is kind to others. She is attentive to her family’s needs, compassionate when someone is struggling, and thoughtful of others, often putting their concerns before her own.
“She also rises while it is yet night, and gives food to her household,
and a portion to her maidens.”
SHAMEFUL ~ The woman who brings shame to herself or her family is one who often does not think before acting. This leads her to say or do something that brings disgrace or is disrespectful to others. She may regret this later and be sorry but unfortunately, the damage has already been done and there is no undoing it.
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she who brings shame
is as rottenness in his bones.”
VIRTUOUS ~ The virtuous woman is marked by moral excellence. She sees to it that her actions are ethical and examples of decency and respect for others. This woman considers the feelings of others and brings honor to herself and her family.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.”
“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she will rejoice in time to come.”
IMMORAL ~ The immoral woman does not only conduct herself in a way that conflicts with traditionally held moral values but she is also untrustworthy. She has no problem telling the little white lie or being manipulative to have her own way or get what she wants. With little to no thought as to how it will affect others.
“to deliver you from the immoral woman, even from the seductress
who flatters with her words,”
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip as a honeycomb,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.”
TRUSTWORTHY ~ While the trustworthy woman is worthy of confidence, dependable, and someone you can rely on. She is also responsible, safe, and steady. She is the one you can count on in your time of need, can be trusted with your most intimate secrets and concerns, and will always act in your best interest, not her own.
“The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, so that he will have no lack of gain.”
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
CONTENTIOUS ~ The contentious woman is likely to complain and cause arguments every chance she gets. This is the woman who is generally unhappy with the world and wants everyone else to be miserable with her. Often this is what we become when we allow unforgiveness and bitterness to take root in our lives.
“A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike;”
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman.”
GENEROUS ~ The generous woman is characterized by her liberal giving to those in need and her kind spirit. She is always findings ways to use what she has to enrich the lives of those around her. She is much less concerned with her own needs and finds her joy in helping others.
“She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.”
PRAISE WORTHY ~ The woman who is worthy of praise is the one who has wholeheartedly put her faith and trust in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She regularly seeks His guidance, follows His precepts to the best of her ability, and trusts Him for the outcome, whatever it may be. She also encourages her family and others in her circle of influence to do the same.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord,
she shall be praised.”
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:”
So there you have it, the many women of the book of Proverbs. Which one are you? Or do you see yourself in a couple of different ones?
If you found yourself being more like the one you wish you weren’t, take heart, we are all a work in progress. God brought you to read this post because He loves you and wants to help you to become the woman that He has called you to be. No one comes by this naturally. We all are molded and shaped by our Heavenly Father.
How to become the woman you want to be.
I would be remiss if I did not also give you some tips on how to be the woman you want to be. Recognizing where we want to change is really only the first step. If we truly want to be more like the godly woman described in Proverbs, it’s going to take some effort on our part.
But know this, the blessings and benefits that this will have on you, your marriage, as you parent your children, as well as your relationships with family and friends, are so worth it.
So if you desire to ask God to do a work in your life, to have the true inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, and be an example to your family and others around you. Below are some helpful tips for how to be the godly woman you want to be.
Faith Lived Out
First and foremost, pray! Change does not come naturally and the enemy will fight you on this, but rest assured that our God is powerful and with Him, you will be victorious!
Be in the Word. Do a topical study on the various women in the Bible either on your own or with a study guide. There are many wonderful examples of godly women all throughout scripture. Some study guide suggestions would be Women Like Us by Ruth Barton or Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur.
Read a book on how to be a woman of God. A couple of good ones are; Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman by Ann Ortlund or The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace.
If you’re really brave, show this post to someone close to you and ask them which woman you are most like. Sometimes the way we come across is perceived differently than what we intended, so it can be very helpful to get someone else’s opinion.
Find a mentor. Having someone to come alongside to help guide you, to pray with, and to share your thoughts and struggles with is invaluable. I recommend choosing one of the books or study guides mentioned above and that you and your mentor meet regularly to discuss it.
Apply, apply apply! Doing the Bible study and reading is the second step. The final step is to apply what you have learned. To actually put God’s precepts and His teachings into practice. Only then will you become the woman you want to be.
Please remember this is going to take some time. You’re not going to change overnight and you will mess up along the way. This is what forgiveness and perseverance are all about, so don’t give up, keep pushing forward.
One day you will look back at the women in Proverbs and say, this is the woman I was and this is the woman that God has changed me to be. Thank you Lord.
Changing old habits can be a struggle but no worries, I've got you girl. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or let me know if you need of a little encouragement to get started.
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