Bible study

Word Wednesday: I’ve Never Liked the Proverbs 31 Woman/ Chayil


Do you know her?

She’s perfect. Perfect.

In case you don’t know her, let me introduce you. Here she is:

(Proverbs 31: 10-31)

[b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


She was the original Wonderwoman.

If I compare myself to her, I fail miserably. I don’t measure up.

I did try to sew when my kids were little. I was terrible at it. I sewed my thumb one day. Thankfully the needle just went through the very tip. I pulled it out quickly. (I don’t recommend this.) I stopped sewing when my daughter told me she felt like a taco in her Christmas dress that matched mine.

My garden boxes have trees growing in them currently.

The only flax I select is in a package from Costco.

I don’t know what a distaff is much less how to work with a spindle.

I do try to help the needy, but I often feel guilty that I don’t do enough.

I don’t make coverings for my bed. I do make my bed, most days. Does that count?

My children arise and call me “Momma.”

And I turn the lights off when I go to bed.

Can anybody relate?

Does this woman make you feel tired?

[tweetability]We sink in the quicksand of comparison, but we grow wings in the presence of camaraderie.[/tweetability]

If we read a scripture and are burdened by it, we need to do some digging and praying until we’ve found our wings again. God’s conviction never burdens, it always brings freedom and life. The enemy wants us to believe that we aren’t good enough—we don’t measure up.

I found the Hebrew word that was translated as “noble character” interesting.

The word is chayil.

“Chayil: Might, strength, power; able, valiant, virtuous; army, host, forces; riches, substance, wealth. Primarily signifies military might.” (Key-Word, NIV, 1515).

So..the word doesn’t mean “perfect.” It means “strong.”

Does “virtuous” seem like it doesn’t fit in the definition? I always think of morality, but I found this in my college dictionary. It was the last definition:.Virtuous:

“[Now Rare] manly quality; strength, courage—by (or in) virtue of because of; on the grounds of—make a virtue of necessity to do or accept with an agreeable or positive attitude that which must be done or accepted anyway.”


It’s all about strength, courage, and attitude.

I need an attitude change about the Proverbs 31 woman. I think I’ll be thankful for her because really…she is amazing.

Rather than trying to live up to everything she does, I now read this as a testament of the value of women. She wasn’t stuck barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. She was a thriving business woman who took care of her family with joy.

How cool was that?

But I believe  it wasn’t all the things she did that made her so wonderful, it was her attitude. Her joy.

How do we find joy in our daily routine?

Pray for it.

And do 10 reps of thankfulness (at least) every day.

It’s all in the attitude, girlfriends. We are Proverbs 31 women. It’s not about how much we do but how we do it.

“Lord, please give us joy in our daily lives from the smallest of tasks to the most difficult. Give us strength and help us be thankful. Turn our labor to love. Give us grace for the day to do just what we need to do, no comparison to those around us or biblical wonder-women. May we be women of chayil.”

Much love,


I’ve linked up with some great blogs! Click on the blog buttons on the right. Thank you to Titus 2sdays, Juana, Rachel, Essential Devotions, and Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays.



  1. This is my ALL TIME favorite of all the incredible things you have written, my friend. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Jana! It was totally the Holy Spirit. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  2. Understanding the original Hebrew shed new light on this passage. It’s not the details of spinning and sewing or growing your own food, but the attitude of doing whatever needs to be done. I’ve discussed this passage with many small groups and they usually hate this woman, feeling incapable of achieving this. Yesterday I shared this new perspective and it changed the entire conversation. The modern day wife of noble character is a strong, capable woman who, because she is filled with the Holy Spirit, has energy, joy and peace in attending to daily activities. I LOVE THIS. I blogged about it today at I love Word Wednesday and my Keyword Bible. Thank you Andy!

    1. Yay! I can’t wait to read your blog post! So excited this brought freedom to other women! Hallelujah! Thanks so much for leaving a comment, Cathy!

  3. I like to emphasize that she was competent, a leader, a women who loved her family; reasonable things that we can be even if we aren’t say able to sew or spin.

    1. Thank you for emphasizing these important characteristics Helene! I agree. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. They are welcomed and appreciated. Many blessings!

  4. It is so easy to get discouraged when I compare myself to what I “should” be. I want to be better, and I am working on it, but I must admit that comparing always leaves me feelings overwhelmed and discouraged. I have to consciously work on not comparing, myself to others and just focusing on the good that I am doing right now and remember that God knows that and sees it. Thanks for a thoughtful post!

    1. Amen Elizabeth! You’re not alone! We all do it. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

  5. Interesting thoughts. I’ve never really identified with this passage either… I think it’s interesting and my mom almost measures up to that woman. I can do many of those things (sew, cook, etc) but sometimes I’d rather just pay someone else to do them so I can do the other things that I’d rather be doing (blogging!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Hey Bonnie! Thanks for sharing! I think of my mom as closer to the PW too. :) thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi!

  6. Renewed_Daily

    Oh, Andy, this is awesome. I was nodding vigorously with everything you said!! Love the humor and I can so relate. Thank you for teaching me a better way to see this woman, and in response, myself. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    1. Thanks Shelly! So glad you visited. God is good! Many blessings!

  7. I’ve always loved the Proverbs 31 woman. I’ve always thought she was a woman of limitless possibilities and no limits. I especially love the verse comparing her to a merchant ship. I hate grocery shopping and cooking so often when I do these things, I say, “I am a merchant ship, bringing my food from afar.” It helps me bring adventure to the boring:) Great post!

    1. I love it, Erika the merchant ship! I love how your brain works. Thanks for the comment! Glad you’re home.

  8. Patricia J. Keough-Wilson


  9. This very passage prompted me to greatly change my life. I went from a TV watching blob to a robust powerhouse of action. It is about enjoying the things you do, but it’s also about doing the RIGHT things, and using your energy for those things. I stopped, took a look around in my life and got rid of the things that weren’t good for me and the family and turned to the things that were good.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sara! God used this passage for good for you! That’s what it’s all about. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Thank you for this Andy! I needed this today!!

  11. One of your best ever posts.

    1. Thanks Susan! Miss you!

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