How Can You Exhibit Proverbs 31?

proverbs 31 2Proverbs 31 includes one of the most quoted passages of Scripture. Proverbs 31:10–31 describes characteristics of an excellent wife, but what parts apply to all women?

Take a moment to reflect on this powerful passage about the beauty of a godly woman:

I look forward to the day I can display the qualities of Proverbs 31 to my future husband and children, but why wait for marriage to develop such qualities? In fact, those qualities I desire in my future marriage are a product of my present relationship with Jesus. Aunts, friends, fiancés, sisters, nieces, daughters—how can we become Proverbs 31 women regardless of our marital status?

The woman who has had the greatest impact in my life is my late aunt. She didn’t have children and her husband passed away before I was born, so I never witnessed her as a wife or mother. Yet her mother-likeness, generosity, and hospitality left a huge mark on who I hope to resemble as both a spouse and a mom. My siblings and I would stay at her home as often as possible, sometimes even in week-long stretches if our parents allowed. Her unwavering warmth and welcome kept visitors returning.

“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. . . . She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hand to the needy.”

What comforts are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of others?

Another female figure who has displayed qualities of a Proverbs 31 woman is my older sister. Her lifelong mentorship, willingness to always lend a listening ear, and her sound advice has been key in molding my goals, worldviews, and understanding of how to serve and constantly pursue the Lord.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Who looks to you for wisdom, and how can you show them God’s love more effectively?

In spite of being the same age, I have always looked up to my friend for her ability to be gentle to others yet firm in her desire to constantly seek God’s will. Overall though, what initially made us friends was the magnetic appeal of her joy. She discovers God’s blessings in all that comes her way, and because of that, nothing can rob her of her joy.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

What joyful details of life are you skimming over? Start tuning in to them!

There are so many more women in my life who have reflected the Proverbs 31 woman. But like the few examples I’ve provided, I hope  women of all ages and marital statuses never cease to seek, develop, and exhibit Proverbs 31 traits.

Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explores what choosing to live a godly life looks like and more in her new book, The Best Yes. And if you want more encouraging Bible passages, check out these Verse of the Day magnets!


  1. says

    I’d gently suggest that Proverbs 31 isn’t particularly about women or wives — except as they are fully included in the human race. This is a poem extolling the virtues of industriousness and faithfulness as it relates to wisdom. What’s radical about it is that a wife is the subject. In a world where women were demeaned, dehumanized, and functionally marginalized, to use a woman as the model for virtue is notable. It is a corrective slap on the wrist of misogynist cultures.

    There is a progressive lifting of women throughout both the Old and New Testaments. This is especially evident in Proverbs where wisdom is personified as female in several places. So, it should come as no surprise that the capstone of the collection uses a woman to teach us all — male and female — young and old — single and married — what wisdom is about.

  2. says

    J.d. Perry , Yes but it's about time men love their wives as Christ loves the Church. There is a worldwide epidemic of men not taking responsibility for their families in the sight of God. Though both sexes have issues, we all need to take account of our roles, look to Jesus and own up!

  3. J.d. Perry says

    Agree men need to be the men God intended but not as Proverbs 31 states given its not about men. To have the right relationships between each other we need to have true biblically based manhood and womanhood. To grow and maintain healthy churches we need true biblical manhood and womanhood. But promoting Prov 31 qualities in men, not what God intended, will create further issues. I have long believed the reason the word states in marriage the two shall become one is we are both incomplete without the other. Together we are whole but not if we are both subscribing to Prov 31.

  4. Anonymous says

    @ J.d. Perry:

    Many of the character traits listed in Pr 31 are mutual. They apply to BOTH men and women.
    She will do him good … (v.12). As believers, men and women are admonished to "do good" to their enemies (Luke 6:27, 35). Christian men and women are admonished to "do good" and to share with others (Hebrews 13:16).
    She … works with eager hands (v.13). Christian men and women are called to live a quiet lives, mind their own business and "work with their hands" … (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
    She … does not eat the bread of idleness (v.27). Paul proclaimed the value of hard work and sternly warned men and women not to be idle (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12).
    She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue (v.26). The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just (Psalm 37:30).
    She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (v.20). Christian men and women are called to care for the poor and needy (Ma 25:34-40).
    Therefore, many of the traits listed in Proverbs 31 are mutual; they are for men too: doing good to others, working with their hands, not being idle, speaking with wisdom and caring for the poor.
    With that being said, Chuck Taber makes a good point. It would be great to see men performing the mutual tasks listed in Proverbs 31. That is absolutely what God intended.

  5. says

    J.d. Perry Yes of course I believe in the Bibles version of love and relationship. There is no love like Christ's love. Reality is there are many broken boys and girls who never get taught that kind of love. They live surrounded by perversion and very little love which sets them out looking for what they need in wrong relationships. Then add the weight of the world systems and life is tough. Many don't realize what they are looking for. We need to teach our girls that they have more to offer a man and the world than their bodies and boys need to know that it's okay to cry and to fall on their knees before God. We as parents need to keep kids accountable to sin as well. Love God first in our worship of Him and show His love by loving others. We cannot do that without being close knit in relationship with Jesus which is a personal necessary choice if we are to be what this verse speaks. Many Christians avoid that relationship.

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