Are you sick of hearing about the Proverbs 31 woman yet? How many times can we study the same woman? Am I just going to feel guilty that I need to be a better cook, keep my home cleaner or run a business on top of everything else? I hear you and that’s why today I’m bringing you a Proverbs 31 Woman Bible study guide that will help you not only see her in a whole new light but hopefully yourself as well.
So first, let’s talk about some background information you might not have heard before.
- The Proverbs 31 chapter is a letter written by a mom to her son. She is simply known as King Lemuel’s mother but many believe it was actually written by Bathsheba to her son Solomon.
- The Proverbs 31 woman is not a real woman. It is a highlight reel of all the praiseworthy attributes a woman can acquire over her lifetime. We don’t see the bad days or where she needed forgiveness because this is the type of woman she’s become over time after living much of her life. It doesn’t show her struggles, sins, or hardships but you can be certain she had them too. She has learned to rely on God through them though and even “laugh at the days to come.”
- Lemuel’s mother starts off by instructing her son how to live HIS life. Let’s hear it for the Proverbs 31 man! She instructs him to be careful with women and not follow the path of others who had multiple wives but instead loves his wife. Lemuel’s mother instructs him to be careful with drinking because it can make him forget his work. She instructs him to be a voice for the voiceless, a fair judge, and a defender of the poor and needy.
- “She is not telling women what they need to do to reach some level of unattainable perfection, instead, it’s a mother instructing her son, a king, how to appreciate his godly wife.
Whew, now that puts things in a different light, doesn’t it?
Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study Guide
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All that being said, while the Proverbs 31 woman was never meant to be on a “to-do” list, her characteristics are praiseworthy and we should still want to emulate them.
The Proverbs 31 woman is not meant to discourage you. She is meant to inspire you to live a life of beauty, grace, hard work, passion, generosity, and above all else: to learn to fear the Lord because that is the most praiseworthy quality we can possess.
Below are some questions to get you to think of the Proverbs 31 Woman in a new way. Discuss with a friend, or group, or even mull over yourself. I’ve included my answers, not because they are “correct” but to offer my perspective if I was in your group.
1. Is the Proverbs 31 woman meant to be a checklist for how we should live our lives…or something else?
Think about your favorite Instagram personality or YouTuber. My favorite online personalities are usually moms, they’re hard-working, enjoy taking care of their home, and love simple living, but are also industrious. You don’t often see their bad days. We only see the best of their days just like on Facebook and Instagram today.
Are we meant to envy them? No. Do we sometimes, of course? And quite frankly, maybe they want us to. But that’s not good for us or them.
Are we to emulate them?
Sometimes, sure. We may want to copy the parts of their life that they are doing well, whether it’s budgeting or DIYs, decorating our homes, cleaning hacks, or parenting tips.
We may never decorate our homes like Joanna Gaines. But we can take parts that are affordable and turn our house into a place we love.
We may never be as rich as Dave Ramsey, but we can use his tips to get out of debt and build a legacy.
We may never be as energetic as one of my favorite bloggers, Jordan Page, but we can use her productivity tips to get more done in our day.
And we may never feel like we’ll measure up to the perfect Proverbs 31 woman but we’re not meant to. We are, however, supposed to recognize that she has grown wise over the years and has a lot to teach us. Of course, we can learn to be more industrious or hardworking, but her attitude is also praiseworthy. More on that later.
(Side note – how sweet is this Proverbs 31 Woman study in 5 minutes a day? Grabbing it myself.)
2. What is it a problem when we fixate on how “perfect” celebrities, influencers, or even our friends’ lives look on social media? Is this how we should view the Proverbs 31 woman, or should we look up to her in a different way?
It’s not real life, or at least, it’s just a snapshot of their lives. They have bad, messy, hard days like the rest of us.
Instead of thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman as the “perfect influencer” on Instagram, think about her as an older wiser woman who has lived a full life and has much to teach us! She wants to pass on her knowledge so we can avoid mistakes, live a more abundant life, and find joy in surrendering to God.
Also, be sure to check out these inner beauty lessons we can learn from the Bible!
3. Proverbs 31 10-31: What characteristics are praiseworthy? Which ones would you personally like to emulate more?
They are all praiseworthy!
Personally, I would like to be more generous, I would like to be wiser, and I would like to learn to laugh at the days to come instead of feeling anxious about everything.
4. If someone wrote a “proverbs 31” story about your life, what would be your top 3 best characteristics they would include?
For me, I am hard-working, take care of my family and our home well, and fear the Lord.
5. Let’s take a deeper look at a few of her most popular attributes. How might some of these look in our society today?
- She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. (v. 13)
- She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. (v. 15)
- She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard. (v. 16)
- She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (v. 17)
- She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. (v. 20)
- She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (v. 25)
- She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (v. 27)
6. The Proverbs 31 woman is not a productivity blogger trying to teach us the best hacks to get more done in our day. It’s not always about the specific attributes but more about her attitude. What do you notice about her attitude and how she responds to her family and life? What kinds of words in the text describe it?
7. What is the most “praiseworthy” attribute Proverbs 31 exudes?
Her fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Does this mean actually being fearful of God? Yes, we should live with a healthy dose of fear of God. 1 Peter 1:17 reminds us that He is impartial and will judge all of our actions.
But it also means giving Him the top spot in our lives. We should be fearful of trying to live a life apart from Him. But the good news is, when we do fear God it’s the start of wisdom and understanding so we too can fulfill the purpose God gave us for our lives, just like the Proverbs 31 woman tries to teach us.
If you enjoyed this Proverbs 31 Study Guide, make sure to grab my latest ebook, Pursue Simple: a 7-day devotional to live with less and pursue God more.
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Such a great study guide! Thank you for challenging me to think about Proverbs 31 differently!
A really well written and interesting take on things! Thank you for sharing your thoughts
I love the way you broke this down! So thought provoking, thank you!
When you refer to the son of Bathsheba, don’t you mean Solomon and not Samuel. Good study guide. Thank you for sharing.
Yes! Thank you for catching that.
Very good Bible study points. I’m going to share this at my next ladies meeting.