As the Book of Proverbs comes to a close, we find a series of verses detailing what has come to be known as “the Proverbs 31 woman”. The laundry list of qualities this woman possesses is exhausting to consider and seemingly impossible to attain.
My Amplified Bible titles this section of scripture “Description of a Worthy Woman”. While I certainly desire to be a woman of worth, I can’t help but think that if God is hoping to find all of these qualities in one woman, He is going to come up empty-handed. Surely there has to be more to this passage than appreciating a woman based on her accomplishments, relationship status, business acumen, sewing skills, or social standing.
Perhaps you are single, neither a wife nor a mother, still waiting for and desiring these milestones in your life. Or maybe you are a wife and mother and consider it a successful day when you simply get the kids dressed and off to school on time. When searching for the relevance of and relatability to these verses, I think we can agree God did not intend for us to view these verses as a literal checklist of qualities to strive for to be considered a woman of worth. Rather, as we read through to the very end of this section of scripture, we get a glimpse that God is far more interested in the posture of our hearts than any accomplishments or skills we cultivate.
Near the close of this chapter, we find an interesting, if not puzzling, finale to the laundry list of attributes of a worthy woman – “A woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised”. I’ve heard we should love the Lord, seek the Lord, and even praise the Lord. But what exactly does it mean to fear the Lord? The Amplified version expands on this thought of fearing the Lord by suggesting it includes “reverently worshipping, obeying, serving and trusting Him with awe-filled respect”. It means having deep respect, reverence, and awe for God’s power and authority. Rather than causing us to be afraid of God, a proper “fear of the Lord” should lead us to love Him.
You see sisters, fearing the Lord starts in our hearts. It includes having reverence and awe for God that leads the way we live and impacts every part of our life. It’s what it looks like when we honor God, respect His Lordship, obey His Word, live according to His ways, and worship Him with our lives.
Proverbs 9:10 informs us “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. As we begin to learn what it looks like to fear the Lord and live according to what we learn, we will find wisdom begins to develop in our lives.
When we spend time in God’s Word we better understand Who He is, growing in our relationship with Him. We develop a desire to please Him because He is our Father and He is good. We glean an understanding that His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We realize His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30) restoring our soul and leading us in righteousness. (Psalm 23:3) We discover if we keep His words in our heart they bring life and health to our whole body. (Proverbs 4:22) We gain the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct our decisions. We steward our time, talents, and treasures wisely. We cultivate the fruits of the Spirit. We are better able to navigate the ups and downs of life and maneuver relationships with loved ones. We speak life-giving words and serve others with humility, kindness, and grace. How we live our daily life stands out and others begin to take notice. While they may not know exactly what, others simply know “there’s something different about us”. Something that goes beyond the superficial to portray the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight”. (1 Peter 3:4)
Yes, sisters, when we foster a healthy fear of the Lord, our lives reflect what we internally believe “so that in every way we will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive”. (Titus 2:10)
Walking the Walk Ministries LLC · 2022