Life Lessons: A Proverbs 31 Woman: A Faithful Woman
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate”
(Proverbs 31: 29-31)
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
As we come to the end of our look at the Proverbs 31 woman we find it has come full circle back to being noble which I think is pretty fitting consider all I’ve learned about our friend. We started our journey by looking at what it meant to be noble and now that we’re at the end I am certain that Miss P31 is a prime example of a noble character.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;”
Charm when used correctly can make someone lovely. I think of a charming young lady or a little cottage with charm. These sound wonderful and they are but the charm we’re discussing in this verse is the kind closer to attractiveness, charisma, enchantment and appeal. It makes me think of the scene from “Into the Woods” when Cinderella has discovered Prince Charming cheated on her. When she confronts him his response is that he was raised to be CHARMING not SINCERE which wow! (That’s something I never considered about fairy tales but now I’m not so sure I’m looking for Prince Charming. I’d much rather have the sincere baker.)
I want you to think about it. Have you ever met someone who at first seemed lovely but as you got to know them you realized they weren’t quite as wonderful as you hope?. Chances are they had charming and attractive outer characteristics but no substance to back them up. It always makes me giggle to hear my students discussing the guys and girls they find attractive because so many of the qualities they are attracted to will not seem as great in five or ten years. They will be overshadowed by the person’s not so great traits. I find it truly amazing how beautiful someone becomes when they are kind, funny, loving and loyal. It seems to completely transform their countenance and the way they carry themselves plus the bonus is that those characteristics are built for the long term.
This issue with charm leads directly to beauty being fleeting, a fact to which any woman over thirty can testify. Wrinkles and crow’s feet come to us all. Gray hair is inescapable and you can’t do much when your legs start looking like a map of the London underground! But I hope with that age we all gain the wisdom that someone who is good looking may turn ugly when you get to know them but someone with whom you find good company can’t help but become attractive. I would much prefer to be viewed as attractive than viewed as pretty because I know one is temporal.
“...but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate”
Finally, we come to the conclusion of Proverbs 31 and we find the author has chosen to end with praise and honor to our woman because she fears the Lord which I believe is not just a final thought on her as a person but rather a conclusion on where her character emanates. Our lady is pretty spiffy but she is also very human so surely she was not able to accomplish this all on her own. No, like us she calls on her Father to give her strength and wisdom and determination. Maybe on those days when the neighbor women say, “I don’t know how you do all this on your own!” She thinks to herself, “I don’t.” nor does she have to do it all on her on, thank goodness, because I don’t want to do it all on my own either.
Praise to a Heavenly Father who lovingly looks down on us and gives us His character in the midst of chaos and holds us in the midst of heartache. Nowhere in this passage does it say Mrs. P31 was perfect or never made mistakes but her character and legacy outlived her failures which is a pretty reassuring thought for you and me. So, as you struggle to be the perfect modern woman juggling marriage, fitness, kids, work, church, philanthropy and so on remember what truly matters. How are you impacting the world for Christ and what is the legacy you will leave behind?
My Take Away
Beware of charm that isn’t rooted in truth.
Don’t get distracted by the aesthetically pleasing. (Remember 1 Samuel 16:7.)
Put stock in the eternal things not the temporal.
Fear of the Lord is praise worthy.
We can do nothing apart from Christ.