Is the Proverbs 31 Woman For Real?

Have you ever wondered – who is this nameless, perfect woman that Solomon writes about in Proverbs 31? Is she for real? The answer is “no” and “yes”. Let me explain.

Once upon a time there was a prince who would one day be a King. While he was young his mother wisely trained her son on how to find a virtuous wife. She went through the alphabet one letter at a time giving him attributes that he was to seek out in his future wife. Using the alphabet in this manner made it easier for her son to remember and even perhaps memorize what he was looking for in his dream wife. And thus, we have the writings of Proverbs 31 – except this is not a fairy tale!
So is she for real? Does she have a name? No. Proverbs 31:1 says “The sayings of King Lemuel – an oracle his mother taught him…” and then verses 2-9 are instructions on how to be a Godly King. She taught him to be on guard against promiscuity and drunkenness and encouraged him to tend to the poor. Then in verses 10-31 she instructs him on how to find the perfect Godly wife – she has no name – just a superior character.
But I must ask… would King Lemuel’s mother give him detailed instructions on what to look for in a wife if there were no women who could possibly have this kind of character? In verse 10 we will see that she is a rare treasure – but she does exist. Does that give you hope – or does it overwhelm you to even attempt to reach for such excellence?
My friend Mandi has been discussing the Proverbs 31 woman on Women Living Well’s new message board. She posted a blog on this and I completely relate to her sentiments when she wrote:

“Let’s see… I do not like getting up while it is dark. I wouldn’t know how to buy a field or a vineyard. I like to go to sleep very early when possible. I can be quite lazy at times. I definitely couldn’t even begin to patch a hole in my husband’s pants let alone actually sew some new creation. I wish every word out of my mouth was wise, but my husband can attest to my lack of common sense; and I am not always sure if my husband has full confidence in me. (Although if asked I am sure he would say, “Of course I do!”)”

Her post sparked something inside of me – and gave me a desire to begin a series here on my blog on Wednesdays. Starting next Wednesday, I will go verse by verse through Proverbs 31 for the next 21 weeks! I want to go one verse at a time, one virtue at a time – and encourage you to master one verse and virtue at a time – with God’s help, it truly is possible for you to be her!

So if you have not set any goals for 2010 – let me help you set just one: to become more like the Proverbs 31 woman in the new year! I can’t wait to dig in next Wednesday with you!

Walk with the King!


  1. That is a wonderful idea – I spent the month of October last year going through 1 attribute a day. It can feel quite daunting at first – but God used to be a great encouragement to me to motivate me to become that wife who honours God with all that she does. I am obviously still far from my goal, but 1 day at a time 🙂

  2. I love this idea too! I have spent so much time studying this chapter but I learn something new each time I do! Looking forward to next Wednesday's post.

  3. I am so excited at the prospect of this study! Living up to Proverbs 31 has always seemed so daunting. It was the basis for the eulogy for my Grandmother – she truly lived it and yes it is possible! Thank you for leading!

  4. Last Year I did the Donna Partow "Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be." It is a 90 Day study guide to living the Proverbs 31 Life….

    I am so excited to start reading your wed.. Post and start going through this with you.

    I gave this year of my life to God to change my life forever and I also started working with the study guide again.

    Last year I did not dig as deep into it as I plan to this year….

    Glad I found your blog

  5. Looking forward to it, Courtney. I just got a copy of Vicki Courtney's "Virtuous Woman" 6 week Bible Study that works through Proverbs 31. It looks great, and I'm going to go through it with a friend, who will teach it to a group at our church beginning in February.

    I went through it verse by verse with my 12 yr old son at the end of the year, and it was RICH, practical time of conversation, learning, and growth. I've already seen the fruit of wisdom and discernment in him from it. Great timing.

  6. Yay I'm studying this right now on my own (for the first time) as well and have learned quite a bit already. My bible reads "an excellent woman" and have been doing a little study on what that is and what women in the bible exemplify that.I have found Ruth to be a great example.

  7. Courtney,

    I am so excited about this. I also loved Mandi's post and it got me thinking too. I can't wait to dig deeper.

    Thanks again to you and Mandi.

  8. Wow! I am so glad you all are as excited as I am! This is going to be a great year of being stretched by our Lord – I can't wait to become more like him! Thank you for joining me!!!!

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