"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30 NKJV
What professing Christian of the female gender has not read or been encouraged to become a Proverbs 31 woman? When the mother of King Lemuel gave her son words of wisdom on how to be a godly king, she also took time to instruct him in what to look for in a wife - an excellent wife. There is, or should be a fervent longing in the heart of a woman of God to become the type of woman that the king's mother painted a picture of. A woman more valuable than jewels, in whom her husband is satisfied and trusts his heart, who provides and cares for her household without idleness and works diligently with her hands, so that her children may praise her and call her blessed. Though the praises and admiration of her family come, she is motivated by a main, unspoken factor that supersedes the love she has for her family - the love she has for her God. We can see in scripture that the summary of what a Proverbs 31 woman is "...a woman who fears the LORD." (Proverbs 31:30)
So, if you are like me; a single woman with no husband's heart to guard and no children to rise up and call me blessed at the moment, how can I meet these standards? How can a single woman fit the model of a Proverbs 31 woman?
The absence of marriage or children does not disqualify a woman of God to strive for the standard His word presents to us here.
A single woman is still called to dress herself in strength and make her arms strong, rigorous in the work we are called to do. (Proverbs 31:17,)
A single woman is still called to be a servant, whether to her immediate family, church family, or others. We see in the example in Martha, the sister of Mary, as she served our Lord in her household, as well as the household of Simon the Leper. (Prov. 31:31, Luke 10:38-42, John 12:2)
A single woman is to clothe herself in strength and dignity, given to her in Christ, and to face the future with joy, knowing that He is with her. (V. 25, Deut. 31:6)
A single woman is to care for her household, whether she lives alone or not, by the means of grace God provides her to do so, not succumbing to lackadaisical or being apathetic about her responsibilities, but in a way that pleases God. (Proverbs 31:27, 2 Thess. 2:6-10)
A single woman admonishes others in wise speech, and words of kindness, seeking to build up others and to honor God with our words. (Proverbs 31:26, Titus 2:3-5) These virtues and attributes are instilled in us by our Creator, to bring forth the purpose of glorifying Him, no matter what our marital status is.
Are there things in Proverbs 31 that pertain to married woman only? Yes. But what makes a Proverbs 31 woman a Proverbs 31 woman is not whether she has a husband, nor is it being a mother. We can see in scripture that the summary of what a Proverbs 31 woman truly is "...a woman who fears the LORD." (Proverbs 31:30)
Let this spur us on, married or single, to become the type of woman that glorifies the name of God, and seeks to be pleasing in His sight, and the sight of others.
Father God, thank You for showing us in Your word what a true woman of God looks like, despite our marital status. Enable us by Your Spirit to live out the standards You have called us to, without compromising; to give You glory, so the world may see what it means to be a woman of the Most High. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Have you thought before that the "Proverbs 31 woman" only applied to married women? What can you do from this moment or, married or not, to serve faithfully? And in return, honor and serve God?