Every woman wants to be considered beautiful. We’ve all tried one product or another that promises to enhance our physical beauty. But, have we tried God’s prescription for the kind of beauty that He esteems? Is developing the inner beauty of virtue also important to us? God describes another woman of such a beauty in Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Let’s take some time to consider how inner beauty is attainable for every woman.
Most scholars agree that the Proverbs 31 passage, extolling the virtues of a godly woman, reﬂects a wise mother’s instruction to her young son, who was one day to become a king. Perhaps due to her son’s young age, this mother organizes the list of qualities according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Just as many of our nursery rhymes are sing-songy, this alphabet of character could be easily memorized and etched into the tablet of his young heart. This ode of praise became for that young prince—and for us—God’s alphabet of feminine character.
These are not the words or instructions of a man expressing some personal and unrealistic fantasy. True, a man (King Lemuel) is thought to have written the words, but he is repeating a woman’s opinion of what a woman should be! This fact inspires and encourages me. I appreciate this kind of woman-to-woman instruction as I learn more about what God ﬁnds beautiful. I want to understand the makeup of true godly beauty, and who better to show me that beauty than a beautiful-in-God’s-eyes woman?
This mother begins her alphabet with a question—”Who can ﬁnd a virtuous woman?” (Proverbs 31:10), but she fully expects her son to ﬁnd such a woman of character. Knowing such a woman is out there (vs. 29) she encourages her son to look for her.
You and I can be this woman—not just admire her, but be her! She may seem untouchable, an ideal we can’t possibly attain, but she isn’t. In fact, God takes great care to show other virtuous women in the Bible: He points us to Ruth, who was “a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11); He tells us that “a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Proverbs 12:4); and He states that “many daughters have done virtuously” (Proverbs 31:29 KJV). Many!
Yes, the virtuous woman is a rare treasure—a distinctive, exceptional, extraordinary, superlative treasure—but according to God, the Author of all beauty, you and I can become all that she is. You and I can become beautiful in His eyes!
Question: What has been your impression when you’ve heard about or read Proverbs 31 for yourself? Has this devotional helped you see the Proverbs 31 woman in a more attainable light?
For more insights about how God defines beauty and reveals His plan for a woman’s success, you’ll enjoy my book, Beautiful in God’s Eyes.