Proverbs begins with a command to fear the Lord and ends with the description of a woman who fulfills this command (Proverbs 31:10-31).
The Proverbs 31 woman is not a real woman, but an ideal. Just as wisdom and foolishness are personified as women throughout Proverbs, what it means to be a person of valor is personified in the wife of noble character.
To be noble is to show fine personal qualities or high moral principles or ideals. And by any standards, this woman has that.
She has dignity, compassion, wisdom, and many skills. She runs a profitable business, and her words carry weight at home and in the community. She has everything we could want, but it comes from a place many people would least expect.
Noble character is not a matter of rank in God’s eyes, but a matter of reverence. Her strength doesn’t come from what can she do for God. It comes from her reverence for God: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
The Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of God, not a woman of the world. Her accomplishments and reputation come entirely from her dedication to the Lord.
If noble character seems in short supply, it’s because it is. The scarcity of noble character is one reason it’s so valuable (Proverbs 31:10). Instead of striving for wealth, power, success, and dominance like so many, the person of noble character works with integrity, serves the poor, and gets stuff done.
A life of noble character is a life of true success and happiness. Whether seen by many or by a few, the life of noble character leaves a legacy for generations to come. And because a life of noble character is not based on who we are but Who we adore, it’s a life we can all aim to achieve.
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