In part 1 of Becoming a Godly Wife, I looked at Proverbs 31:11. Today I want to look at another Proverbs verse. Proverbs 31:25, which addresses the ornament of a Godly wife. There are two common translations for this verse. One refers to strength and beauty, the other to strength and dignity.
This is such a beautiful and simple verse, yet so meaningful. It’s easy to look at it on the surface and misinterpret the meaning of Proverbs 31:25:
Strength and beauty are her clothing,
and she shall laugh in the latter day.
What kind of woman comes to mind when you read those words? Who do you picture that fits that description? I am reminded of my grandmother, who guided our family with patience, grace, virtue, and a resolute attitude. It always seemed that no matter the challenge we threw at her, she wasn’t phased. She stood at the ready for our very worst, and steered us back on track.
When looking at bible commentary, we’re given a lot of context and detail about Proverbs 31:25. Mathew Poole breaks down this verse beautifully in his commentary. He defines the strength of a Godly woman as strength of mind, magnanimity, courage, resolution, and activity. Others summarize this as moral character. The bible has a lot to say about what makes a moral and virtuous character.
We often look at the commandments as an outline for how to be virtuous, but the bible is filled with information which can inform how we build a moral life. 1st Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company ruins good morals. Mark 7:23 tells us that evil comes from within, and corrupts a person. Ephesians 5:5 tells us that idolaters, covetous people, and those who are immoral have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. And this is just a sampling of what the gospel has to tell us.
Back to Proverbs 31:25, Poole defines honor, which is also translated as beauty or dignity, to mean one of two things. The first is prudence, piety, and amiable behavior. He says this is where true honor exists. The second possible definition he outlines is good name and honorable esteem. He explains that she has gained esteem from all that know her through her virtuous behavior.
These things, her strength of mind and character, and her pious behavior, serve as her ornamentation. Because of these behaviors, she smiles at the coming days, glad for the future. She looks forward to the future, and is confident for it. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the kind of woman I’d like to be!
My take away from Proverbs 31:25 is to be dignified and virtuous, and value those traits in myself. We can all turn our focus to making ourselves inwardly beautiful, and focus a little less on outward appearances.
Does Proverbs 31:25 speak to you? What’s your take away? Do you already strive to exemplify this verse? If so, in what ways do you live Proverbs 31:25?