What Is A Great Woman?
Proverbs 31 is about a great woman expressing that greatness in her context.
It is not just about mothers (although this woman was one).
It is about women. About wives. About influence.
Read Proverbs 31 without the context of modern day “home-building.” Before Pinterest, before HGTV and decorating. Before all that, were humble homes at best (unless you lived in some castle, which was NOT the situation of most). This is not to diminish those who prize the above. It’s just to say, it’s not about that.
Read Proverbs 31 through the context of mud walls in humble abodes. Read it through the context of a woman in tribal Africa whose day is not one of leisure and entertainment. Read it through the timeless and eternal truths of a woman from “any nation,” not just one nation. Read it through the eyes of women who couldn’t or didn’t have kids. Or whose kids were grown. Or who were unmarried. Or widowed. Or abandoned. This is not a truth that is just for one woman in one context. It is for, and it’s about all women who fear the Lord.
Here’s what it says about a great woman – about her character and life:
1) She values RELATIONSHIPS. v. 11-12 “Trust” is the key word. She’s trustworthy! The writer (Solomon) sees this woman’s heart, her commitment, and he says about her, “I trust her with anything.” Why? Because she does him good all the days of his life. That’s impressive. It’s rare. Spell that LOYALTY.
2) She demonstrates COMMITMENT v. 13-21 She’s committed in her time, her provision (she exercises amazing industry w/her resources), her servanthood is admirable, and her compassion is well-known. She’s committed to doing right for all those around her. My mom was one of the best businesswomen I’ve known. She was incredible. She used her abilities to bless those around her.
3) She radiates SIGNIFICANCE v. 21-25 She has this sense of self-worth – even when fashion was not “fashion,” she dressed with class. She gives her husband esteem just by how she carries herself. And HIS esteem is tied to HER conduct in this text (which is about the woman, not the man). He’s blessed to be around her – and he should know it. She faces the future with faith because she knows who she is. This woman is a “kept” woman – she’s kept by God. She fears the Lord, and this is her significance. Her significance is NOT tied to a job, wealth, children or house. It’s anchored to her relationship with HIM.
4) She dispenses WISDOM v. 26-27 This is the “Abigail factor” in Scripture – that great woman who stood between a fool and a king and gained respect. Her words and action prevented tragedy. She knows what to say and when to say it, and is not unwise in her discernment or influence. Her influence is wise and lasting. She never forgets to invest and influence all those around her. That’s why she is listened to. She has something to say. Something powerful.
5) She deserves REWARD v. 28-31 These verses sum up the above and say it all. Those within her sphere of influence – ALL of them – bless her. Whether kids, husbands, or fathers, they bless her. She needs to hear it because what she does is often unthanked, yet absolutely critical.
A godly woman’s influence is significant, powerful and unparalleled.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.