The mystery has been solved! The actual Proverbs 31 Woman has finally been discovered. Her identity will be revealed at the end of this devotion. Don’t skip to the bottom to find out!
Read through the Proverbs 31 Woman description once again, this time listing aspects of her work.
While the specific tasks of the Proverbs 31 Woman that define her work life may be difficult to separate from the other aspects of her life, we know that this fact represents the life of any woman. And whether she works out of the home or makes her career as a homemaker does not make this fact any less true.
All aspects of most women’s life seem to blend one into another, don’t they?
In A Wise Woman Builds… Her Home, we discussed the abilities the Proverbs 31 Woman possesses that allow her to successfully build her home. Specifically, we talked about how she prioritizes, she considers quality, she is organized, she manages her time, and she is self-disciplined.
Take a minute to review the discussion of each of these aspects as listed in A Wise Woman Builds… Her Home.
The abilities that the Proverbs 31 Woman used to build her home apply equally to the building of her work. In addition, the qualities of of sacrifice, wisdom, energy, commitment and motivation also apply to every area of her life and certainly to the building of her home and work. Let’s explore those 5 qualities in light of the Proverbs 31 Woman’s work life.
1. Sacrifice. In Proverbs 31:18, we read that her lamp does not go out at night. This tells us that she does what needs to be done. Period. Can you imagine that she always felt like staying up late or getting up early or going to the market? Yet, based on her character, she did what she needed to do to keep her household running smoothly.
2. Wisdom. As we’ve noted in past lessons, this woman’s fear of the Lord cultivates wisdom (Proverbs 31:30 & Proverbs 1:7). This wisdom allows her to operate efficiently and effectively in all areas of life. Wisdom guides and directs all the qualities found in this woman.
3. Energy. Proverbs 31:17 and 31:25 talk about strength. The first reference gets at her physical strength, while the second one focuses in more on her spiritual and mental strength. Verse 17 even gets at deliberateness in increasing her physical strength. In other words, she develops her physical strength on purpose, most likely through doing much of the physical aspect involved with building her work and home. Strength in these areas provides tremendous energy.
4. Commitment. In verse 27 of Proverbs 31 we get an interesting picture of this woman’s commitment. “She carefully watches all that goes on…” She may not have a direct hand in every detail, but she is aware of it all and committed to making sure the consequences of laziness do not creep in. She has faith, but she still stands guard. She refuses to let any area succumb to the affects of laziness.
5. Motivation. Her husband trusts and praises her. She has energy and strength. Her family does not lack for food & proper clothing. Her husband is respected. She is dignified. She lives without fear. She is wise and kind. Her home runs efficiently. She is known as virtuous and capable. Her children love her. She is rewarded for who she is and what she does.
Don’t all women want these things to be said of them? Once these things are said of them, won’t they do their best to keep them?
Having this reputation provides tremendous motivation for sure. And yet, we get the sense that the Proverbs 31 Woman does nothing for the purpose of gaining this description. She does not do what she does for herself. At the base of who this woman is lies her fear of the Lord (v. 29). She lives her life in a way that pleases Him, and that alone motivates her. All these other benefits are blessings resulting from her obedience.
Develop & Grow as a Proverbs 31 Woman
Not all of us can sew or manage money well. Some can handle more physical labor than others. Not all of us can cook or have an entrepreneurial spirit. And some of us need a lot more sleep than others do. In other words, each of us is a unique combination of these abilities and qualities.
Each one of us has a unique set of strengths and areas needing developed. We also each have areas we know will probably always remain weak (seriously, some of us will never be morning people). No matter where our strengths and weaknesses lie, no matter what we’re gifted in and what comes only with great effort, every woman can cultivate and grow the qualities of the Proverbs 31 Woman.
Every one of us can learn to prioritize, choose quality, be organized, manage time, and have self-discipline. We each can develop the qualities of sacrifice, wisdom, energy, commitment and motivation. They will look different on each one of us, but we each have the potential for all of these qualities.
For further study:
Choose two of the qualities we discussed in this week’s study, and spend time reading the suggested references or articles listed next to those qualities below. If you spend a day on each of the 5 qualities from this week’s lesson, you can get through them all before next week’s study!
- Sacrifice – Matthew 5:19, Philippians 3:7-8 & Hebrews 13:15-16.
- Wisdom – Proverbs 2:6-12, Proverbs 13:10 & James 1:5.
- Energy – Isaiah 40:28-31 & Philippians 4:13.
- Commitment – Staying Committed articles
- Motivation – Be Victorious articles
So who is the Proverbs 31 Woman? If you’ve ever watched It’s A Wonderful Life, you can understand why there’s a convincing argument for saying that Mary Bailey truly is the Proverbs 31 Woman. What do you think?