Proverbs 31 can, at times when read, be very depressing! It seems like almost every mother’s day these verses are marshaled out of the bible and presented to women as the standard they are to keep if they ever hope to be good wives and mommies. Women hear about this women, “rising while it is still night” (v.15), “With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard” (v.16), and “her lamp does not go out at night” (v.18) and think, “Is it not godly to ever sleep!?!?”
When men and young men read this there is a danger as well, especially when we properly understand that this chapter was meant to serve as a picture for men of what a good wife should look like. Men read this and think, “I guess I need to stay single….I can never find this woman” What we need to understand in reading this chapter is that the woman pictured in this chapter is not a real woman. This chapter was never intended to be anything more than a sample of what is ideal in a godly woman. It was never expected that any one woman would look exactly like this in every respect. This woman should be the goal but should never be a measuring rod by which we judge ourselves or others. Where we fail in reflecting this godly woman (and guys can use her as an example in many respects as well) we should repent of those shortcomings and turn to Christ who perfectly embodies all of God’s righteousness on our behalf!