Proverbs 31 And Feminism
What I learned about womanhood by watching my mom
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
Mother’s Day is in May, and when it comes to moms, I’m blessed with the best! My mom taught me how to be a strong and elegant woman, love God, and carry a spirit of excellence in everything I do. With a mom this great, I’ll take any opportunity to celebrate.
In this week’s show, you saw me host a mother’s day tea for my mom and Aunt Mary Jane. We had a special time sharing our family memories as I honored my mom.
King Solomon, the wisest man on earth, ends his book of wisdom describing womanhood. “Who can find a virtuous woman?” he asks, “For her worth is far above rubies.”
My mom lives Proverbs 31 well, and she encouraged me to do the same. Here are four things I learned about godly feminism by watching my mom.
1. A godly woman confidently pursues her purpose.
She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household. Proverbs 31:15
At the very beginning, God noticed that it was not good for man to be alone. That’s why He created woman. God intended for women to have a place on this earth and to live with a purpose. He wants us to occupy creative space and to influence our world.
My mom never allowed her femininity to be an obstacle to fulfilling her purpose. She recognized she had a job to complete, and goals to achieve. She’s held leadership positions at work and at home. And she always found ways to best use her time.
Women have a responsibility to pursue our purpose. For some women, that’s in the home. For others, that’s in the workforce. And some find their purpose in both.
It’s more about that you pursue your purpose than where you pursue your purpose.
A godly woman is confident in what she is planning to be.
2. A godly woman confidently develops her strengths.
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 31:17
King Solomon emphasizes that the woman in Proverbs 31 made her arms strong. This strength training was more than reps of bicep curls and squats. She committed to developing herself in all areas of life.
My mom and I used to do strength training together. When you start, the weights feel heavy. The first few days are very difficult. But if you power through, you realize that it gets easier. You can handle more than you thought. The results at the end make the moments of discomfort in the middle worth it.
A godly woman embraces growth. She commits to developing as a woman and leader. She recognizes that although it may be hard, she can handle the change. She can do the hard work to grow as a person.
My mom taught me that I can handle anything. I don’t have to depend on others to do what God has equipped me to do. I can encourage myself. I can lift myself up. I can embrace growth. I can be strong. And in being strong, I am free.
A godly woman is confident in who God is developing her to be.
3. A godly woman confidently rests in her position.
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23
When I read through Proverbs 31, I always find this verse interesting. For thirteen stanzas, King Solomon talks all about the virtuous woman. But then he pauses, only to mention to the reader, “By the way – her husband is also successful.” After making this brief remark, he continues talking about her.
Why does King Solomon mention her husband? It’s because he wants us to know that this woman was not intimidated by her husband’s success. She chased her dreams while he chased his. She didn’t lower her expectations or goals because of him.
She also didn’t limit her husband’s success. There was a mutual freedom in their relationship to follow their professional interests. She did not elevate her platform by stifling his.
Womanhood the way God designed it is not about emasculating or criticizing men. It’s also not about emulating or exalting men. It’s about celebrating and highlighting the strengths found in each unique person.
A godly woman is confident in who God has created her to be.
4. A godly woman confidently embraces her future.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25
When you have done everything you can do, what’s left to do? For the woman in Proverbs 31, the answer is laughter. She didn’t worry about her future. She wasn’t anxious about the unknown. She laughed.
Growing up, I saw my mom endure many difficult situations. Situations that she did not choose and could not control. But my mom always believed the best was on the other side. The circumstances did not intimidate her from moving forward.
This is why in the book of Ephesians, Paul says that “having done all, stand.” When you have done everything you can do, trust God to do what you can’t. You don’t need to worry about the things outside of your control.
You may not know what will happen to you, but you do know who holds your future. You are going to be okay.
2 Corinthians 3 says that we move from one level of glory to another. This means that with Jesus, life always gets better. Even in the hard seasons, your next days are your best days.
So look to the future with confidence. Laugh through the struggles, and embrace every moment of the journey.
A godly woman is confident in where she is going to be.
A final note about my mom.
On every special occasion, my mom writes me a heartfelt card. And inside every card, she includes Proverbs 31:29:
“Many women have done excellently, but you, Vanessa Rose, surpass them all.”
These words had the greatest impact on my life.
Birthdays, graduations, pageant wins and pageant losses. On every important date, my mom reminded me of who I am in Jesus. She taught me that true beauty comes from within and Jesus will always shine through.
It may not be Mother’s Day, but today I want my mom to know the same.
Many women have done excellently, but you, mom, surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.