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10 Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman

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When I first began A Virtuous Woman way back in 2001, I wanted to teach the practical application of Proverbs 31 for women today. Today I’m taking a look at the 10 characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman that can be found inside this beautiful passage of Scripture.

These 10 characteristics are based on my list of the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman that you can read here.

10 Characteristics of the Proverbs 31 Woman @ AVirtuousWoman.org

The Proverbs 31 Woman is a virtuous woman who’s faith is the foundation of her character. The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman demonstrate each area of a woman’s life and how we can apply Proverbs 31 to our lives today.

10 Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman

“Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31: 29-31

related: Read the King James Version of Proverbs 31 (KJV) here.

#1 The Proverbs 31 Woman’s Faith

What does it mean to be a Proverbs 31 Woman? Being a Proverbs 31 woman is not about be “perfect.” It’s about living life with purpose, diligence, forgiveness, and repentance. 

Women can be really hard on themselves. We look at all of our failures and add them up and decided that really, deep down, we aren’t worthy of God’s love. But God is so much greater than our imperfections. He knows everything about you. And He loves you anyway.

So often, women read the passage of Proverbs 31 and decide that it’s a nice “idea” but an impossible reality. Or they feel pressured to be the “perfect” wife and mother. The perfect woman. The only perfect person is Jesus Christ and we are made perfect through Him. Where I am weak He is strong.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I don’t have to be perfect to be loved. The only thing I have to do is give my life to Him. And when I do that, He will cover my weakness with His strength. My failures will become victories in Jesus.

The Bible tells us that a “woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Giver her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

So, first and foremost, it’s her faith that sets her apart from other women. She fears the Lord, or in other words, has a reverence for God and a pliable spirit that yields to His commands. She respects His authority in her life.

When we give ours lives over to Christ, the natural outcome is that we are do His will. Our lives will begin to produce fruit – good fruit – because that’s what happens when we give Him control of our time and efforts.

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.” Matthew 7:17

How? By seeking Him first on a daily basis through prayer and study.

Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

In order to grow our faith, we need to make time for God. We need to give him our first fruits. The only way to really get to know someone is to spend time with them. If we desire a relationship with Christ, we have to make Him a priority.

Making time for God is not always easy and Satan definitely wants to keep you so busy and distracted that you find is difficult to set aside time for prayer and study each day. I recommend that you try to wake up even 15 minutes or 30 minutes earlier in the morning for your devotions.

I also realize that waking up earlier is not an option for some of you, and if that is the case, decide when you can set aside the time – whether it be in the evening before you go to bed, during the baby’s nap time, or over breakfast.

What’s important is that you do it.

The Proverbs 31 Woman loves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37

Here are a few ways to nurture that relationship and have the faith of the Proverbs 31 Woman.

  1. Daily Prayer.
  2. Study the Bible.
  3. Keep His Commandments.
  4. Worship with other believers.
  5. Act out your faith.
  6. Share what God has done for you with others.

#2 The Proverbs 31 Wife

Marriage at it’s best is wonderful, but rarely perfect. In fact, for most of us, it’s going to take a lot of work if we want to have our “best marriage.”

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 11,12

Most wives desire to bring peace, joy, and love to their marriages. Only, sometimes, we lose sight of what really matters when faced with the day to day realities of life.

The Proverbs 31 wife respects her husband and is a trustworthy helpmeet to him.

Do you respect your husband?

Respect goes deeper than just being polite to your husband. Many women do not give their husbands the respect they deserve.

Sometimes husbands are hard to love and even harder to respect. Sometimes women even wonder where “the man they married” disappeared to. But that doesn’t mean we should treat them with disrespect. God calls us as wives to respect our husbands.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1,2

By treating our husband with respect, using kind words, acting Christ like – the Bible says that wives have the power to bring their husbands to the cross!

It’s so important to encourage our husbands! They need to know we believe in them. They want to know they’ve still “got it.”

So often it happens that once we are married, those little idiosyncrasies we never really paid attention to now seem like huge problems. Not only that, but living with someone is very different that dating someone.

Usually when we are dating we try to put on our “best” image. {Women do it too!} But then we when we live together, it’s too hard to always “put on” our best face and our true selves shine through.

But true love is unconditional. Just as Christ gives us grace, covering our imperfections with His blood, we need to offer grace and mercy to our husbands. Be ready to forgive. Offer an encouraging smile. Don’t be so quick to judge. Praise his efforts. Thank him for working hard or when he does something thoughtful. Let him know you notice those little things that would usually go unnoticed.

It’s okay and even a good thing to lay down your life for your best friend.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

I am not advocating that a wife allow her husband to abuse her or take advantage of her. I’m often baffled by women who are offended by the suggestion that a wife serve her husband. Suggesting a wife should serve, honor, love, and respect her husband is not suggesting that a man has no responsibility in marriage.

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18

God created woman, because He saw that is was not good for a man to be alone. God knew that two are better than one.

“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9,10

When you are married you have someone to support you through the good times and bad. You have someone to lean on when you are weak. You have someone to pick you up when you fall. Isn’t that the way marriage should be?

Are you emotionally “present” in your marriage? Do offer love unconditionally and emotional support to your husband as he faces challenges at work, financially, spiritually, or in the community? Can he trust you with his heart?

Or do you withhold kind words when you are frustrated? Do you judge him for poor decisions or a slip of the tongue? Perhaps you even withhold sexual intimacy to punish him for making a mistake.

There are so many ways to tear down a marriage. With God’s help, we can be like the Proverbs 31 Woman and lift our husbands up so that he is full of confidence, happy, pleased to come home, and feels respected. A man who is respected at home will be respected in the community.

“Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Proverbs 31:23

We can all be like the Proverbs 31 Woman. Because with God all things are possible!

Ten Ways to Pray for Your Husband

  1. Pray for his faith, that God will bring him daily to the cross.
  2. Pray for his parenting, that his relationship with his children will blossom and flourish.
  3. Pray for his work, that he will be respected at work and that the work of his hands will be blessed.
  4. Pray for his relationship with you, that your marriage will strengthen daily.
  5. Ask God to soften your heart toward him, that you might not judge him lest you be judged.
  6. Pray for his integrity, that he will make good choices and stay away from things that will tempt him.
  7. Pray for the words he speaks, that he will think before he speaks and that Christ will direct his words.
  8. Pray for his temper and that God will give him patience with you and the children, at work, and in the community.
  9. Pray for his health and that he will make good choice in regard to food and exercise.
  10. Pray for his self-image, that he will realized how much God loves him and that any insecurities will be taken from him.

#3 The Proverbs 31 Mom

Motherhood is the most amazing and most challenging job you could ever have. My oldest child is twenty-two years old now and my youngest is ten. I’ve been blessed to have always been a stay-at-home mom. And of course, there’s the 19 year old, 17 year old, and almost 13 year old. There’s nothing I’ve loved more in my life than being a mom.

I think most moms desire to be the best moms ever. We want the best for our kids, right? I remember holding my son for the first time and being so scared and wondering if I would figure it all out. And you know, I eventually figured most of it out. And as the years go by I figure out more of it. And then there are somethings that will always baffle me.

But one thing is for sure. I know my kids know I love them with every fiber of my being. One of the best moments for me was when my son posted a status update thanking me for always believing in him. Sometimes you wonder if they even notice.

Your kids DO notice when you stand up for them, praise them, believe in them. They need you to be there.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” Proverbs 31:28

But the question is really, “HOW?” How can I be a great mom? How does God want me to mother?

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31: 26

Have you ever said something and wished you could just take it back? I think we’ve all been there. The Proverbs 31 Woman knows something – to think before she speaks!

Three things I want to mention today.

  1. Tone of Voice
  2. Yelling
  3. The Words We Speak

1. Tone of voice is so important. Saying something in a sarcastic tone or with a biting edge… there are so many ways we can use tone of voice to cut into our children {and husbands}. I can’t imagine Jesus ever snapping at anyone. Of course, He wouldn’t! It’s not nice.

Our children are impressionable and they watch {and listen} to everything we do and say. And actions speak louder than words. The emotional and spiritual well being of your child can be destroyed if you speak to them in a condescending tone, snap, at them, bark orders, etc.

I’ve heard too many moms speak in terrible ways to their children out in public – and I’m sure you’ve heard them too.

If you struggle with keeping your tone pleasant – even in stressful situations, I encourage you to seek our perfect Father in Heaven for help and healing.

2. Yelling. Studies have shown {and I have witnessed} that yelling is quite ineffective. When moms yells at their kids a lot, the kids learn to tune Mom out. They also learn that they don’t really have to do what you’ve asked until you’ve totally flipped out. And – your kids learn that you are not in control.

I rarely ever yell at my kids. I try to keep my tone even. They know that if I do raise my voice they’ve really messed up or there is something really wrong.

If you need to correct your children, it’s better to speak in an even, firm tone of voice. You can discipline without yelling! Not only that, but children who are yelled at frequently can begin to feel depressed, angry, frustrated, and belittled. In fact a recent study showed that frequent yelling was just as hurtful to a child as hitting.

3. The words we speak have the power to build up or tear down. Children need to hear good things come out of our mouths. Kind things. Words that uplift and inspire and encourage. Words of affirmation and wisdom.

Kids need to know that we care. And when we say things that belittle or tear down our children we are breaking their hearts and their spirits. For every negative thing you say to your child, you need to reinforce with at least five positive things. In other words, if you are always saying, “No.” then you need to come up with another approach. Find ways to praise your child. Find ways to turn negative’s into positives.

Don’t nitpick your child to death. Let her be a child! Let him develop the character and personality God gave him without him feeling like everything he does is wrong. The Bible says, “Do not provoke your children.”

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Child Training

Raising great kids takes work. And a lot of it. It’s not easy being a mom. Well. Unless you love your job!

My youngest child often asks me {as I do some thing for her} “Is it hard being a mom?” And I always respond, “Nope. I love being your mom.”

Mothering shouldn’t be a hardship. I know, sometimes being a mom is downright hard. But really, isn’t that what we signed up for? To do the hard thing? I’ve had my share of grief and panic and sorrow as a mom. We live in a sinful world where if Satan had his way, none of us would make it past our 21st birthday. Being a mom can be downright scary!

But would you want it any other way? What is the alternative? What choice do we have? What if tomorrow we didn’t have our child to hold or talk to? There are no guarantees in this life. Don’t take this time you have together for granted. Embrace it with a passion! Childhood is fleeting. It really does pass so quickly. Enjoy your children!

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

How to Train Up a Child

The greatest gift you can give your child is a heart for Jesus. And the best way to do that is to live a real, authentic faith. The only thing we can take with us to Heaven is our children, our friends, and our family. Are you the example your children need you to be?

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16

Of course, we all have room for improvement! Goodness knows I fail in so many ways on a daily basis. But children {and those closest to you} know whether you are really walking the walk.

The Bible tells us that we are to teach our children about God diligently. That means we don’t just leave it up to chance! Talking about the Scriptures, about Jesus, our faith should be as natural as talking about the weather. It’s important to set aside time each day or each week to worship together as a family in the home and at church. But even more than that, praising God in conversation is a gift you can give your children daily.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

With God’s help, you can be the mom your kids need. God bless you in your efforts!

10 Characteristics of the Proverbs 31 Woman @ AVirtuousWoman.org

#4 The Proverbs 31 Woman and Health

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Over the last two decades I have struggled with my health sometimes facing life threatening illnesses because of a chronic illness and compromised immune system. Thankfully, It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been really ill. When I am sick, I realize how fragile life is and how really, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have much.

No one wants to live life from the sidelines. {Well, I don’t think any one does.} I know I want to be up, vibrant, grabbing life by the reins and living my life to the fullest. I want to be able to enjoy my children and do cool stuff with them.

Food plays a tremendous role in our health and the health of our families. In fact, most illnesses can be prevented simply by eating the right foods and avoiding the intake of foods, drugs, and other harmful substances.

{On a side note, my auto-immune disease, Systemic Candida, was caused by doctors prescribing too many antibiotics for me when I was a child. I praise God because I have been outbreak free for almost two years now.}

The Proverbs 31 Woman was in charge of purchasing and the preparing of food for her family.Now, in my household, my husband does the majority of grocery shopping. I let him know what we need and procures the food for us. I do 99% of the cooking.

I believe that in most homes Mom is the main influencer into what her family eats. Regardless of whether you do the cooking or the shopping {either or neither} you do have the responsibility to see that your family is eating food that is nourishing to the body and soul.

“She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.” Proverbs 31: 14,15

I recommend that you eat a whole foods plant based diet high in nutrients. It’s important to educate yourself as to what foods are good for you to eat and the vitamins they provide. I know some folks think it’s weird, but I became a vegetarian in 1998 and have never looked back. In fact, for my children who also became vegetarian at that time, the frequent trips to the doctor for ear infections and other ailments ended – permanently. If you think about it, the original diet was a vegetarian diet.

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29

In the first chapter of Daniel, we read about how Daniel asked permission to eat a plants based diet and avoid the king’s rich foods.

“So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” Daniel 1:11-13

After only ten days their complexions were fairer and they looked healthier than all the other young men!

So, no doubt about it, whether you choose to go all the way like I did or just eat a healthier whole foods diet, fruits and vegetables are a key ingredient to a healthy life.

Processed foods, fried foods, foods high in salt and sugar or laden with high fructose corn syrup and other additives are not going to provide you or your family with the best chance for a healthy, long life.

If your family isn’t used to eating a whole foods diet, help educate them as to why you need to eat healthier.

  • less risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, etc.
  • lower cholesterol
  • more energy
  • less sickness
  • lose weight

The Eight Laws of Health, if followed, can change your life! The Proverbs 31 Woman was strong and worked hard. It’s hard to be strong if we live a sedentary life. And this day and age, where people are often sitting down instead up and moving, it’s easy to lose muscle mass.

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31:17

Exercising is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. There are lots of ways to get exercise that don’t involve going to the gym – although, if that motivates you, have at it! Here are some other ideas.

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Basketball
  • Gardening
  • Ice Skating
  • Stretching

Exercising for ourselves is important. But what about your children? Children used to spend after school hours romping through the woods, riding bikes, and playing outside. These days most kids spend their time on video games, using the computer or texting on their phones.

Moms, you can get your kids moving. Be the example. Invite them to join you. My girls LOVE for me to say, “Let’s go take a walk.” And they love doing awesome outdoor activities with me. I want my girls to have a healthy self-image of themselves. But I need to be the one to set the example. Remember, kids are watching everything you do and say!

And if your husband needs to drop a few pounds and eat healthier, make it your mission to lovingly {gently} help him make the necessary changes.

As Christians, our bodies are the temple of the Most High God. God wants us to be in good health. It’s important that we do not defile our bodies with harmful substances such as drugs and alcohol and that we save decadent foods for the occasional treat.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

#5 The Proverbs 31 Woman’s Servant Heart

The Proverbs 31 Woman has a heart of service. Most of the women I know are givers, always willing to lend a hand and help those in need. I believe that God put that desire in us to serve others.

There are four areas of service which we might find ourselves involved. And the possibilities for service are endless.

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Church
  4. Community

“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

The “poor” and the “needy” could mean those in your community who have less than you. You might find ways to help at a local soup kitchen from time to time. Or you could volunteer at a women’s shelter. Helping the poor could also mean taking a meal to a family or elderly person that you know is struggling to make ends meet.

But let’s think outside the box. There are many ways a person can be “poor. You can serve a friend when you know she is going through a difficult time by being there when she needs someone to talk to. You can serve someone by being there when their loved one is sick. You can serve a young mom who is overwhelmed by offering to watch her toddler while she goes grocery shopping. There are so many ways to serve! Ask God and He will provide you many opportunities.

“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12

Serving at home is a ministry that we often don’t consider. Just as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, we can serve our family in practical ways. Cooking a good meal, keeping a reasonably neat house, ministering to those who are sick, and offering encouragement are all ways that we serve. It’s important as we serve our families that we do so with a willing spirit.

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” Proverbs 31: 15

There is no end to the good we can do.

I do want to make a point that may seem counter to this message, though. Just because something is good does not mean God is calling us to do it. We need to have our priorities straight and have set boundaries.

You see, serving others is a way women often find fulfillment – a way for them to fill that void in their hearts that makes them feel good and okay with themselves. Serving others can be addictive. It feels good when people praise our efforts or point out the good we are doing! Only Jesus can really fill that void. It’s really important that we seek God’s guidance before taking on a service project outside of our homes.

Also, there are times when people may take advantage of your willingness to serve. That is not good. It’s important that you have healthy boundaries in place and that you don’t allow others to make you feel guilty if you say no.

By over-serving, we risk the possibility of burn-out. I know, because I’ve been there. In this day and age, there are more needs and more opportunities to serve than ever. Ask God how He would use you and don’t over commit.

Remember, family first! Serving your husband and children are your first priority. And wen I use the word “serve” I don’t mean that you your family’s servant. I mean all those things you do day in and day out to take care of your family.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

#6 The Proverbs 31 Woman is Financially Savvy

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

Money is one of those subjects that everyone has an interest in. We all have to have money in order to provide for the needs of our family. And in during a time when the economy is in a slump – even a depression according to some analysts, most of us are looking to better manage our money.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is faithful with her money. She is careful with her money and her husband doesn’t have to worry that she will break the budget with her shopping.

Frugal living, being careful not just with money, but with those things already in my care is part of being a good steward. God has blessed us with so much. It’s important that we are careful to not be wasteful.

Shopping

Shopping, for a lot of women, is a way that they fill that empty spot in their hearts. Buying shiny new things, pretty things, things that make us feel important is often a way to mask the pain and insecurities that we feel deep down inside.

Have you ever gone shopping to cover the hurt? Jesus is the only One who can make that hurt feel better.

“She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” Proverbs 31:18

A lot of women are also drawn to a good bargain, like a moth to the flame. It’s like my husband has said so many times {you may have heard this before} “I can’t afford to save any more money.”

Just because something is on sale, is dirt cheap, or looks like a great deal sitting on that rack or yard sale table, doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for you. It’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you purchase a new item.

  • Is this something I really need?
  • Is there a way I could make do with what I already have?
  • Do I love this?
  • Will I really use this?

Clothing

I always shop the clearance racks. I hate spending full price for anything if I can help it. The danger there lies in the fact that when I’m looking at, say, a rack of clothes marked 70% off, I might be tempted to buy more than I really need, or even maybe buy something I don’t really love because it’s practical and seems like a good deal.

The last couple of years, I’ve been more selective with my clothing purchases, realizing that often I end of with a closet full of clothes I don’t really love and don’t really wear. Ask yourself if you could save more money by simply buying a few items that you really love rather than a bunch of things you may never really wear.

Grocery Shopping

“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” Proverbs 31:14

There are lots of way you can save money on the groceries every month. I am certainly not an expert, but I do have a few tips I can share. In our house my husband is the primary grocery shopper. He’s really good at saving money.

  • Coupons can save you a lot of money if you use them right. My husband was always good at walking out of the store having saved over half off. The thing about coupons really is that you should only use them on items you plan to purchase anyway. Plus, it’s important to compare prices because sometimes another brand will be cheaper.
  • Some of my favorite foods are not name brands. Try the store brands or off brands, you just might be surprised!
  • Bulk purchase sale items. When items go on sale that you frequently use, stock up!
  • Make a menu plan and only purchase what you know you’ll use so food isn’t wasted. Menu planning can really help you use up what you have and help you know what to purchase each week. Try to plan your menu the day before you shop and look through your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to see what needs to be used up before deciding on recipes.
  • My husband and I purchase most of our food these days from salvage grocery stores. We save so much money on groceries this way. If you’ve never shopped in a salvage grocery store or scratch and dent store, you’d be surprised at how many name brands – even organic and health foods – you can find!

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:23

In some families the wife manages the money. In others, the husband does and in yet others, they pay bills and work on the budget together. No matter how you manage your money, you should be in agreement.

Note: Some women are in situations where the husband is irresponsible with the money to the detriment of the family. This is an entirely different situation.

Tithes and Offerings

“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” Deuteronomy 18:26

I want to encourage you to, if you have not already been paying your tithe to the church to start! I know from experience and I have been eye witness to the blessings that God pours out when we are faithful with our money. That doesn’t mean we’ll have a windfall or become wealthy {although it could} but it does mean that God will meet all of our needs.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

Here are a few of my favorite websites on Finances and Frugal Living:

Be sure to follow my Frugal Living Pinterest Board!

#7 The Proverbs 31 Woman is Industrious

You know how the saying goes… “A man works from sun up to sundown, but a woman’s work is never done.”

Women work hard. Raising a family and taking care of a home is a lot of work. Being a wife and mother, whether you stay at home full time or work outside the home requires a lot of skills!

The Bible tells us that a woman of virtue, a Proverbs 31 Woman, works willingly with her hands. She doesn’t waste her time. She doesn’t complain about the tasks she has before her. Instead she works willingly and with a cheerful spirit doing her chores as unto the Lord.

The Bible also tells us that the Proverbs 31 Woman was a smart and savvy business owner. She sewed linen garments and sold them and even planted a vineyard. Some women have no choice but to work outside the home. Others might find ways to make money by working at home. Whatever position you find yourself in, God is well aware of how hard you work.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” Philippians 2:14

Doing all those things that a family and home require is a lot of work. I think we’ve established that fact already! And doing all those things well is a challenge!

“And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23, 24

There are some skills or habits that will help you manage your home and family well.

1. Self-Discipline. This is a big one. Especially now that we live in the Age of Pinterest. Do you ever find yourself putting off doing the dishes or washing the laundry or even cooking supper because you get sucked into the amazing world of Pinterest – or maybe your favorite blogs?

Or maybe you love to read books and sometimes you want to escape reality for just a little while – ignoring the fact that the two year old is pulling all of the books off the shelf.

Self-discipline means doing those things you’d maybe rather not do {but know you need to do} before doing those things that you’d maybe rather be doing.

Developing self-discipline means that you do things immediately instead of waiting – because often waiting to tackle a chore means more work later on. For instance, it only takes a few seconds to wash a mixing bowl as soon as you put the cake in the oven. Once the batter has dried to the bowl, cleaning it will mean lots of extra elbow grease and time!

Self-discipline is so important! It means forcing yourself to do those things you don’t really care to do. In other words – just get up and do it! If your house is a mess – clean it up! If there are clothes that need folding – fold them! If you have children and a husband to feed – make it your priority to see that they are fed well! – Excerpted from From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home

2. Time Management. How you spend your time and the order in which you do things really does make a difference. When it comes down to it, we all have the same amount of time in a given day – twenty-four hours, eight of which we should be sleeping.

How do you spend the other sixteen hours a day? By creating a plan of action and giving your day a gentle rhythm you will find yourself with more time to do those things you enjoy doing – without the guilt of knowing there is laundry or dishes that need doing.

Some families work well with a detailed schedule. In these families, each day is probably much like the one before. Dad probably works regular 9 to 5 hours and the family knows what to expect each evening.

Other families, like mine, do better with a loose routine. In these families there is probably a lot of change from day to day and dad probably works odd hours. My husband is a pastor and he’s often gone in the evenings, but then he’s gone a lot during the day, too. Every day is different. {This drives me somewhat crazy, but I try to make the best of it.}

Creating a rhythm to your day will help you and your children know what to expect. Here are some more ideas to get you started:

“Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31: 31

I suggest that you put together a Household Notebook if you have not already done so. Having your routine, to do list, menu plans, and more all right in one place will allow you to keep track of what needs to be done and you won’t have to worry about trying to remember everything!

#8 The Proverbs 31 Homemaker

“She looketh well to the ways of her household.” Proverbs 31: 27

The Bible tells us that a Proverbs 31 Woman looks well to the ways of her household. Before you feel defeated, let me just say that I don’t believe that we have to have a “perfect” home to be good homemaker. But we should be putting forth effort each day to make our homes a haven for our families.

Yesterday, we talked about how it’s important to work willingly and with a cheerful spirit. And a couple of days before that, we talked about serving those around us. Homemaking really incorporates both of those virtues.

There are so many ways to make your home just right for your family and friends. And if you feel a little lost, that’s okay because God will help you figure it all out!

Someone women are naturally gifted at decorating, others at cooking or crafting, and others at hospitality. We don’t have to be good at everything to be amazing. The fact is, most of those gifts can be learned.

As the wife and/or mother of your home – you are responsible for the atmosphere of your home. Your attitude very much dictates whether your home is fun, calm, peaceful, or unhappy. Now obviously, a cantakerous husband can cause stress and unhappiness in the home to be sure, but in most households, if mom wakes up with a cheerful attitude and greets her family with a smile and a happy “Good morning!” the rest of the household will feel good and happy.

Husbands want and need to know that their wives are content at home {whether they work outside the home or not} and that they enjoy taking care of their family. My husband loves it when I putter around the house and cook, bake, and sew. He loves it when I do domestic things.

Home should be a haven of peace and joy. The world is filled with so much sin and unhappiness, home should be a respite from all of the troubles we face outside. What are the qualities of a happy home? Here are some of my ideas:

  • laughter
  • good food
  • neat and orderly rooms
  • gentle speech free from harsh criticism
  • encouragement
  • thoughtful actions
  • serving one another

As women, we are called to the ministry of homemaking. The biggest challenge I think women face {or at least a lot of the women who write to me} is that they can’t seem to get organized or free their home and lives from chaos. There are a number of different reasons why.

  • too busy {simplify your schedule}
  • too much stuff {maybe it’s time to purge and get organized}
  • lack of knowledge {educate yourself}
  • lack of self-discipline {learn to be disciplined and pray about it}
  • depression {start small and focus on those things that bring you joy}

The other problem is a lack of joy. Joy in homemaking. Do you take joy in your work as a homemaker? Maybe you feel like housework is pure drudgery and your heart isn’t really in the work. I know I feel that way sometimes.

Household chores are never ending. Dishes are dirtied three times a day. Laundry is created every day. Kids make messes every minute of the day. But that’s what home is for – to live our lives. Real life is what happens at home with the people you love and who love you. Home is where the best of memories are {hopefully} created.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

So, how to tackle all of the endless chores can be a challenge. Especially in this day and age when we have so many distractions. Your daily plan of action is key to managing your time well. And time well spent will mean a home that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit.

If you are really struggling with looking well to the ways of your household, ask God to direct your steps and guide you as you work on figuring out where to start and how to spend your time. Remember that just because something is good doesn’t mean God wants you to do it. And there are seasons in life that come and go. For instance:

  • new baby
  • a new house
  • new job
  • a death in the family
  • illness

If you are going through any type of major change in your life, give yourself some grace! You don’t have to be perfect to be loved. God knows your struggles and He will help you in your time of need.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Here are few ideas to help you along the way:

  1. Laundry: Time Managment
  2. Creating a Morning Ritual
  3. Mama Needs Sleep
  4. How to Structure the Day with Young Children
  5. Life Management Binder
  6. The Household Notebook
  7. The Daily Order
  8. Weekly Menu Planner
  9. Intentional Homemaking
  10. The Ways of Her Household

#9 The Proverbs 31 Woman Spends Her Time Well

A Proverbs 31 Woman works willingly with her hands, she looks well to the ways of her household, she serves others with a gracious heart and selfless love and she spends time building a relationship with Christ.

Since we each have just twenty-four hours in the day to be productive, care for our families, and have time to enjoy those things we love doing and the people we love, it’s important that we set about our days purposefully.

How do you spend your time? How you spend your time says a lot about what’s really important to you. One thing we all have in common is how much time we have each day.

Twenty-four hours to do all that we need {and want} to do. I’ve written many times about how I frequently – several times a year – make a point to re-evaluate my life and see where I am at in regard to where I want to be. I ask myself questions like:

There are so many ways that we can spend our time in fruitful pursuits but there are so many more ways we can waste time or use our time doing things that we would never think of doing if Jesus were in the room with us.

I always suggest beginning the day by waking up early. Over the years I’ve had quite a number of women email me or comment that suggesting that women get up early may make women who are struggling with exhaustion or nursing babies, etc. feel defeated or judged.

So, I’m going to preface this suggestion with this statement: I don’t know your situation. Only you know what’s best for your family. And you {and God} are the only one who really knows your motives for sleeping in. If you have a chronic illness, a newborn baby, or weird hours because of a work schedule, pray about it and do the best you can.

I stand by the idea that most women {and their families} will benefit if they wake up early and get the day going. The Bible says:

“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.” Proverbs 31:15 NIV

Morning time is the best time to have your prayer and devotion. After your morning prayer time, I suggest you begin your morning routine.

If you are home, in the late afternoon you’ll follow your afternoon routine.

  • Prepare Lunch
  • Eat
  • Tidy Kitchen
  • Tidy House/ Pick Up Toys

And then in the evening, you’ll have your evening routine.

Your routine may look different, but the important thing is that you figure out what your routine should look like and make a plan of action so that you live your days with purpose.

It’s important that we spend our time in pursuit of those things that will bring us closer to Christ, not further away.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Consider how you spend your time each day. Do television shows or computer time take away from those things you know you should be doing? And if so, does that mean you are putting the lesser in front of the more important? What does how you spend your time say about your priorities, your faith?

What about the Sabbath? Are you honoring God on His holy day? You know, the Fourth Commandment is the only commandment that deals with time.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

When we live a life of purpose, seeking to honor God with our time, he will bless us abundantly.

#10 The Proverbs 31 Woman is Creative and Seeks Beauty

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

The Bible tells us that outer beauty is fleeting. It doesn’t last. What’s really important is what’s inside our hearts. The motives of our hearts. God wants us to love him with all of our heart, mind, and soul! We can wear the latest fashions and expensive jewels, but that’s not what God cares about. He wants our hearts. A strong faith in God is ultimately what sets the virtuous woman apart from other women.

In fact, the Bible tells us that that it’s the inner beauty of woman that really counts.

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

Godly women should dress in modest apparel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t wear clothing that is pretty. The Proverbs 31 woman dressed in clothing that was appropriate and beautiful. She wore fine linen and purple.

Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:22

The problem comes when we put to much emphasis on how we look or when we spend so much money on clothing and accessories that we don’t really need when we could be supporting missions or the church. God does know the difference. It’s important to search our hearts and find the truth about our hearts and if we are overly vain.

“She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.” Proverbs 31:21-22

God made women to enjoy beauty. God created a beautiful world for us to enjoy and find inspiration from! We read that the Proverbs 31 Woman made tapestries and clothed her household in scarlet.

The color scarlet is beautiful. It also represents Jesus’ blood that covers us and makes us clean as snow.

When we make our home beautiful, we are giving the gift of beauty to our family. Do you need lots of money to have a beautiful home? Of course not.

The most beautiful homes are neat, smell good, and have a pleasant atmosphere.

I love to putter around my house and decorate for the seasons. I keep my eye out for clearance items at the end of season that I can use the following year. Wal-Mart, Target, and Hobby Lobby are my favorite places to find good deals on pretty things to decorate with. And Hobby Lobby almost always offers a 40% off coupon each week.Yard sales are a great way to decorate your home on the cheap. I furnished my whole house when I was younger on yard sale finds.

Whatever your budget, creating a haven at home includes making your home pleasing to the eye and to the senses.

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Action Steps to Take Today

The Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman aren’t so scary when you break them down into easy to understand terms. Applying the passage Proverbs 31 to our modern lives today isn’t as hard as you think, I bet you’re already well on your way to living the life of a virtuous woman.

  1. Pray about each of the 10 Characteristics of the Proverbs 31 Woman and think about how they apply to your life today.
  2. Write down three ways you are already fulfilling the characteristics of a virtuous woman in your life.
  3. Ask God to show you which areas of your life you should focus on right now and make a list of three things you would like to work on.
  4. Remember that being a virtuous woman isn’t about being perfect, and instead it’s about living each day with purpose. God has a plan for your life!

Free Printable Proverbs 31 Woman Guide

You can use this printable two page pdf as a Bible study guide to learn more about the virtuous woman and how you become a Proverbs 31 Woman today.

10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman | Free Printable PDF @ AVirtuousWoman.org

How to Get the Printable

  1. Just fill out the form below and you’ll receive an email with the link to your free printable guide to becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. You’ll also receive helpful emails and updates from me on a regular basis!
  2. Or, you can purchase this printable Proverbs 31 Bible Study Guide here for just $2.97. Women’s ministries groups can use this printable when you purchase a copy along with the group license.
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7 Comments

  1. What a God-send! Very thankful the Holy Spirit led me to your site. Reading and meditating on this passage has opened my eyes to truths missed in previous readings. Your Holy Spirit led exposition has increased clarification and I no longer will be frustrated, burdened nor intimidated by the Proverbs 31 Woman! No longer will I allow godly men and women in particular, to shame and guilt me, driving me to ‘perfection’! Unrealistic and it’s okay! Praise God! Balance is so very important to avoid feeling frazzled. My elder brother, Jesus the Christ, is a great example of balance. Thru daily prayer, godly worship, reading and meditating on His word and prioritization, I will enjoy the Fruit of the Spirit so much better along my journey.
  2. That was completely awesome very good ,helpful I have learned a lot through your teaching . I didn’t realise that in this chapter Proverbs 31 there is a lot to learn. Thank you .
  3. I want to thank you for this blog. I have a Prov. 31 woman as a wife. I love her so much, and am thankful to God for bringing us together 50 years ago; I'm probably the kind of husband that causes her to grow- outspoken, I can be quick to anger ( when confronted by the status of our crumbling culture). That chapter is so relevant today as our country slides down the hill of virtue.

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