Searching For Womanhood - Faithful

Searching for Womanhood

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” (Proverbs 31:30-31, NLT)

I used to hate the Proverbs 31 woman. Growing up in church she was one of the few women that I heard consistently taught on, usually on Mother’s Day. She seemed so perfect…too perfect for this loud, talks too much, and a bit scattered girl. From “bringing home the bacon” to raising kids and making her own clothes, she had it all together.

As she grew up, that little girl took on various roles in life: a wife, a mom, a co-worker, and a neighbor. Despite my best efforts, it seemed that the more hats she wore, the more chances there were for her to fall short and not meet expectations.

What if I told you that Proverbs 31 isn’t a checklist on womanhood? In fact, she isn’t even a real woman at all. The book of Proverbs is wisdom literature, and it opens up in chapter 1 with Solomon encouraging his son to heed, listen to, and live in wisdom.

“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7, NLT)

In Proverbs 31, Solomon closes out his book of wisdom describing what it looks like to be marked by, or married to, wisdom. This drastically changes the way we look at her. We can replace the checklist of daily accomplishments of what we are supposed to do, with who we are created to be.

The phrase “fear of the Lord” used both to open and close the book of Proverbs is the Hebrew word ‘yare’ which means to cause astonishment and awe, to make afraid, or to have reverence. It is a mixture of being overwhelmed with the fact that God is holy, sovereign, mighty, and all-powerful. And in his grace, he chooses to make himself known to us and walks with us in our most intimate struggles and our deepest joys.

This truth is impactful for both you and me. No matter how much skill or willpower we possess, we will never be good enough. As flawed and limited individuals, we often fall short. However, understanding and embracing this simple yet profound truth is what sets apart a woman who is pursued, held, and loved by God.

The more we try to find ourselves chasing after God’s heart, the more our lives are transformed and overflowing with strength (vs. 17, 25), care (vs. 20), trustworthiness (vs. 11), and honor (vs. 28) as Proverbs 31 describes.

Reflect: Read Proverbs 31. Think on the characteristics mentioned in this chapter. Choose one and journal how you have personally seen God display that attribute (i.e., verse 11 says she is trustworthy. How has God proved to be trustworthy to you personally?).

From the Book:

Faithful cover image

By Jacki C. King


Read Now