Proverbs 31 is a passage of scripture that I tend to glance over, as it seems to be an idealistic portrait of a married woman. Additionally, the character traits of the Proverbs 31 woman seem overwhelming. I suspect it is often avoided by other Christian singles, men and women for similar reasons.
A Christian writer Lauren Oquist of the Proverbs 31 ministry in an insightful blog post addressed to women, titled ‘Can I be a Proverbs 31 Woman if I’m Single?’ sheds unique perspectives on these two issues. She explains that none of the skills that the Proverbs 31 Woman has are not dependent on whether she is married or single; and all the skills she has are because she exercises wisdom. Here are some of the life skills Lauren Oquist extracts from Proverbs 31:10-31
- Trustworthy (v. 11)
- A hard worker (v. 13,17, 27)
- Resourceful (v. 14,19, 22, 24)
- Makes good use of her time (v. 15,18)
- Good with money (v. 16)
- Generous (v. 20)
- She thinks ahead (v. 21)
- She’s wise (v. 25)
The reader is directed to the original blog post here.
What is the one trait not mentioned?
It is interesting to note that Proverbs 31 is not addressed to women but to a man. The king’s mother is advising her son on what to look for in a wife. Therefore what is not mentioned is just as valuable as what is mentioned.
The Bible states that “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Jars of clay aren’t necessarily beautiful on the outside; it’s the treasure that they hold inside that is of value 1.
Why it matters to Christian Singles?
If you ask any psychologist, she or he will tell you that self-harm, eating disorders, depression and a range of other burdens disproportionately affect women. While there are a host of possible reasons, it is said that perfectionism and self-image based on appearance are big predictors. If you are a single Christian woman note that your value is not based on the external.
The Proverbs 31 woman builds her life on wisdom. The word says that Wisdom is Christ. “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Life-long love and friendship, like money and sex are one of the small number of things that every Christian man wants, even if we never admit it openly. However, we men have been raised on images of women that emphasize their physical attributes. What Proverbs 31 does not mention, tells us what to value and seek, lifting us above the grip of worldly ideas and the flesh. It also gives purpose to any pursuit. So let’s embrace the truth and be empowered by it.