You will find it helpful to have a printed copy of the lesson planning sheet along side as you read the lesson. The progression will make more sense.
The Proverbs 31 Woman
Bible Passage: Proverbs 31:10-31
The human need this passage meets is: the desire to be a more godly woman.
Learning Goals: By the end of this session, each learner should be able to. . .
(Know) Know two characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman.
(Feel) Catch the vision of how your life could be used more effectively by God.
(Do) Name one way you will follow God's leading to be a woman of God.
In every culture and every age men and women have general accepted roles. What women are expected to know today is much different than in our grandmother's day. What do you think are the top three skills a woman should have? Share your answer with the people sitted around you.
While your grandmother may have known how to milk a cow and make dresses, women today know how to book airline tickets online. Even though the specific skills change, the basic qualities of being a godly woman remain the same. Proverbs 31 tells us the qualities God values in women.
Read Proverbs 31:10-31
Four Characteristics of the Proverbs 31 Woman
1. She is a committed woman
committed to the Lord
v. 30 - a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
Identity comes from what we're committed to.
Too often in our society, a woman's identity is based on how she looks. The television constantly reinforces this idea.
Proverbs addresses this in v. 30 - Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting.
The Proverbs 31 woman gets her identity - not from her looks, being a mother, a wife, or a woman, but as a person who serves, obeys and love the Lord.
committed to her family
v.11 - Her husband has full confidence in her
v.28 - Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Neither of these happen by accident.
Edith Schaeffer was interviewed many years ago. She said that everyone wants a neat family at their 50th anniversary party. But few people will actually pay the price to get this family.
May I gently suggest that you are in control of what you will commit to? It is your choice. How would your schedule change if you were committed to God? to your family?
2. She is a competent woman
v. 15, 18 - gets up while it is still dark; her lamp does not go out at night
v. 13 - works with eager hands
v. 15 - provides food for her family
v. 16 - considers a field and buys it
v. 18 - sees that her trading is profitable
v. 22 - makes coverings for her bed
v. 27 - watches over the affairs of her household
This woman is resourceful. She makes wise use of her time and takes her responsibility seriously. God highly exalts this faithful and reliable woman.
3. She is a communicative woman
Some men may say sarcastically that all women can talk. We've heard the joke that the reason God created Eve last was so Adam could work in silence. However, this woman is not a talker, but a communicator.
v. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She is the opposite of the "gossip" and "busybody" described in I Timothy 5:13.
She shares truth, not ignorance.
4. She is a compassionate woman
v. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
Her efforts are not just for her own family, but for the people around her.
Today we offer three practical recommendations that will help you become a woman of God - like the Proverbs 31 woman.
1. Enlarge your vision
Too many women look at womanhood as a series of problems and fail to see the potential.
Sarah Edwards, wife of the famous 18th century clergyman Jonathan Edwards had eleven children. In her book, Marriage to a Difficult Man Elizabeth Dodds chronicles the prolific social contributions that streamed from the Edwards children and their descendants.
Dodds refers to a study done in 1900 by A. E. Winship, in which he lists some accomplishments of the 1,400 Edwards descendants he located. The Edwards family produced:
13 college presidents
100 lawyers and a dean of a law school
66 physicians and a dean of a medical school
80 holders of public office including
three United States senators
three mayors of large cities
three states governors
a vice-president of the United States
Winship believed that "much of the capacity and talent, intensity and character, of the . . . Edwards family is due to Mrs. Edwards."
While the woman in Proverbs 31 was married, don't think that God only uses married women.
In 1901, Miss Amy Carmichael of Ireland, began rescuing children in need in the south part of India. She provided a home for children who had no one to care for them. She remained there for her whole life. The family she built up continues to this day. Amy Carmichael was a gifted writer who produced many books, hymns and poems.
The starting point is to enlarge your vision of what you can contribute to this world.
Mary was the mother of Jesus, but who was Mary's mother? She is not named in the Bible.
Luke 1:28 - Mary said, I am the Lord's servant.
Where did Mary learn this attitude? Who taught her?
If you are a wife and mother, that is your first responsibility.
Has God given you a mentoring relationship?
If you're looking for something to read with a person who doesn't have a Christian background, try
Titus tells the older women to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands. Titus 2:3-5
You may not consider yourself "older" - but you are older than someone!
This work requires time - a quantity of quality time.
How can you be available to do all of this?
By eliminating distractions
What if you turned off the TV? How much more time would you have? The main source of godless advice, thoughts and language in our home comes from the TV.
Short term projects
We all have various projects and duties. But, are these short term projects keeping you from completing God's plan for you? Do you say, "When my term as president is over then I'll. . ." or "When softball season is over, I'll. . ."?
We do what we plan. Plan now to actually do what you know God would want.
3. Depend on the Lord
Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.
Our lives are a gift from God. So are the people that He has put in your sphere of influence. You influence more people than you realize. Think about the people in your neighborhood, your workplace, your church.
Our children belong to God, not us. God is their true father. We are His managers. The goal of our parenting is to help our children obey God, not us.
Books, tapes, and classes are helpful but if the Lord is not at the center of your life, forget it!
Pray for your relationships, your family, and your role in God's plan. Pray more and criticize less and you'll see a big difference.
A word to those of you who aren't women --
Open your eyes to all your wives and mothers are and do. Let them know they are as priceless as rubies.
1. What characteristic of a Proverbs 31 woman is not generally appreciated in our culture today?
2. What is the greatest hindrance to becoming a Proverbs 31 woman?
3. What is the greatest motivation to becoming a Proverbs 31 woman?
comes from Christ Himself.
4. What could you do to become more like the woman God wants you to be? If you are a man - what can you do to encourage women to be more godly?