The Proverbs 31 Woman Is Real and Ready for a Comeback

Are You Ready for Her?

She has been written about to death – eulogized, mourned and buried. However, I contend that the Proverbs 31 Woman was never meant to be a eulogy on womanhood. I contend that she was and is quite real and very much alive.

She is the Woman of Noble Character or the Virtuous Woman; we know her as many things, don’t we? We’ve studied her, read about her, listened to messages about her, prayed that very section of scripture. Men have considered her some sort of an ideal, as the type of woman they should seek to marry. While women have long given up on ever looking anything like that!

Was she a real person? Was this passage intended as instructional for men? Was it meant to inspire women to achieve something different? Was it metaphorical as the Bride of Messiah? I don’t really know the answers to this, but I believe she was very real.

I believe she was real back then, when this passage was written, because she is real today. She is as real as the coffee you’re drinking and the purse on your shoulder. She is as real as the blouse you’re wearing and the shoes on your feet. I know because I’ve seen her. In fact, I worked for her!

She is quite real, this Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 WomanThis woman of noble character, she rises early in the morning making breakfast for her children, and the poor children she has taken in off the streets. She has adopted because she had the means to do so. She cleans up her dwelling and wipes her kids’ faces before she sends them off to school with a prayer and hurries across town herself where she weaves fabric to make purses that she sells around the world. Certain companies have noticed her craft, her skillful handiwork, and have contracted with her to make thousands of purses, so many that she has to hire more women to help her. Together they work with their hands, while singing hymns, skillfully weaving and sewing, packaging, and shipping, …and together they rise. Together, this small woman-owned business changes the landscape of her community. Her work brings hope to her children. They arise and call her blessed, and they too are blessed for knowing her.

These women rise from the ash heap. They rise from the dump. They rise from war-torn lands where women have no rights and aren’t guaranteed an education. They fight for everything they have. And because they fight for it, they don’t carelessly spend their earnings on frivolity.

With their earnings which they receive from afar, they feed their families and pay their rent, and with the extra they save so they can, one day, invest in a business, perhaps a farm for their family to grow a crop they can earn more income from. They make careful, strategic, wise financial decisions. They see the fruit of their labor.

Is she rare?

Yes! Much too rare! And I am ashamed to say that I am responsible, and so are you.

Unfortunately, in America, our circumstances, our culture, and the cost of living, perhaps, have all but done away with this kind of woman. She is desperately rare overseas, but she is nearly non-existent in the United States.

Here women have resorted to shopping, to materialism and consumerism. We bought a lie, mostly fed to us by giant advertising agencies, becoming self-focused and meanwhile losing the blessing of this kind of virtue – the character of nobility we see in Proverbs 31.

What is preventing Her Existence?

It is our very culture of cheap consumerism that has destroyed the ability of much of the world to earn a real income, feed their families, and for women to invest in micro-businesses changing the economic climate of their communities forever.

It is sweatshops, it is slavery, it is bond servanthood that produce much of what we buy and consume today. And that’s why we don’t see her. That’s why we forgot she could be real, that this virtue is achievable.

How Do We Create an Environment for Her to Re-Emerge?

If we, each and every one of us, intentionally bought less stuff, but better stuff, from these kinds of women… from women with fair trade business, we’d see them emerge again. We’d see the Proverbs 31 Woman showing up all over the world, caring for others, changing her community, serving the poor, feeding her family, and praising God for her opportunity.

The women in the United States would themselves begin to see the value of people over the products and the very nature of cheap fast consumerism would die. Small business would begin to thrive and we might even see This Virtuous Woman re-emerge here.

When we buy a cheap pair of flip-flops, an inexpensive purse, and mass-produced clothes, we’re saying that is acceptable. When we buy chocolate or coffee or flowers that are produced by slaves, we are voting for the world we’ve created. The world, where it seems unthinkable for a woman to care for her family well, to help the poor, to produce an actual product, sell it and invest her income in further endeavors. Instead, we get houses and storage units filled with stuff that doesn’t fill the void we’ve created in our hearts.

We can only change the world, we can only see the Proverbs 31 Woman Re-Emerge when we want to so badly that we will do whatever it takes, even if it means spending a little extra to buy the purse from an artisan in India, the coffee from a fair trade farmer in Costa Rica, and the shoes from a girl who is selling them to pay her way to school in Uganda.

This is where the seeds of change are planted. Today, I hope, in your heart. Tomorrow, in the lives of real Proverbs 31 Women.

Are you ready?

1 Comment
  1. Danielle says

    Beautiful article!!

    I’ve loved the concept of Fair Trade ever since I’ve heard of it. It’s such a beautiful feeling to purchase something especially when there is a piece of the worker’s story and even their picture on the package or tag. It helps us connect to the one that made the item we hold in our hands. We can always see their careful artistry in the construction of it, as they put their heart and soul into it. Always quality that I can see and feel in more ways than one. It’s especially rewarding knowing we are supporting a healthy and productive business model and also on the personal level, a better life for the worker that made the item. Knowing she gets a good (fair) wage is the best part of all!!

    Yes! I agree!! Let’s have less things but have what we do own with more quality and with a meaning behind it knowing that we are helping others help their families and their communities.

    As a young woman in my twenties, after earning a bachelor’s degree in college, I had a small business of sewing garments and we also did some decorator items and alterations. I had 14 different subcontracted women working for me, a couple of which worked with me at my studio and the others working out of their homes. It was such a wonderful feeling providing them work but also having such quality work being done and providing that to our community.

    But Fair Trade is so much more far-reaching; across cultures and nations than my little sewing adventure in a shoreline town in CT.

    I admit that I’m not there yet, as far as being sure to buy only fair trade (or “made in USA” which is another topic of discussion 😃). Sometimes I confess that if I need an item quickly and don’t know where to get it fair trade, I just purchase the most affordable version.

    After reading your article, Sharon, I’m very convicted by the Holy Spirit about the idea that if I purchase items manufactured the cheap consumerism way, I am actually SUPPORTING what it stands for: sweat shops, slavery, and bondservants which are concepts that are so far away from us as Americans because we don’t think of it in our day-to-day lives. We HAVE TO change and think about it. We have poverty here but our children aren’t forced to work to make Barbie dolls or other massed produced items in poor conditions for long hours for little pay just so they can have something in their tummies before dropping to bed entirely exhausted. And the women do this slave labor also, with little pay or dignity or ever hoping that they can better themselves.

    I need to research more on how people get started in Fair Trade and see if there is a website on products and where to find them online or in stores.

    Thank you for bringing the Proverbs 31 Woman to life for us!! What an amazing link for us to the women currently involved in Fair Trade! It makes me want to intercede for women all over the world, especially those in parts of the world needed most, to have a miracle occur to help them get an opportunity to work in a Fair Trade business and eventually save to have their own!!!

    Let’s pray! 💜🙏💜
    We want to see more
    Proverb 31 Women here and abroad!!!

    Good , good word!!!

    Thank you, so much, Sharon

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