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Proverbs 31:10-31
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last (Proverbs 31:30).

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Read Proverbs 7:10-14 to see the contrast between the Proverbs 31 woman and a very different kind of woman. Read 1 Timothy 2:9-10 to learn how Christian women might boost their attractiveness.

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How might a preoccupation with physical beauty affect our spiritual lives? How does the Bible support the idea that it’s possible to be beautiful at any age?

Alex Eklund likes beautiful women. He believes, however, that true beauty comes from the heart and character of a woman. In fact, he says he would “rather have a Proverbs 31 wife than a Victoria’s Secret model.” He posted this comment after noticing the fallout from the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Watching this event prompted some of his female friends to air feelings like these on Facebook: “I’m going to have to hit the gym after this” and “I’m going to starve myself for a week.”

The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t get a second glance for her slim figure or perfect muscle tone. And yet, she surpasses every other virtuous and capable woman in the world (Proverbs 31:29). Her brand of beauty is based on her conduct and character, rather than her clothing, hair, and make-up. The Proverbs 31 woman excels in three main areas:

She manages her money well (Proverbs 31:16,24). She earns an income, and invests it carefully. She’s generous with “the poor and opens her arms to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20). She works diligently (Proverbs 31:17). She keeps long hours (Proverbs 31:15,18). Her work benefits those in her household and beyond (Proverbs 31:20,24). She plans ahead (Proverbs 31:21) and is resourceful (Proverbs 31:13-14).

She speaks with understanding (Proverbs 31:25-26). Kindness and wisdom characterize her words. She models “good and helpful” speech that can encourage people (Ephesians 4:29).

Aspiring to be this kind of a person is far better than trying to morph ourselves into runway models. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last” (Proverbs 31:30). Fortunately, we can clothe ourselves with “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4), which endears us to God and gives the world a glimpse of beauty at its best.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 6:9-22

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6 Responses to “second glance”

  1. Seems like I spent alot of my adult life seeing the Proverbs 31 woman, as taught in so many Bible studies I attended, as the Intimidator, but I do want to aspire to be more like the woman described in this chapter.

  2. jennifer benson schuldt says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I agree–it is kind of intimidating to think about the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. It’s comforting to remember that although she has lots of positive qualities, Christ is our ultimate role model. And, when we try to become more like Him, the Holy Spirit will help us (John 3:6). Thanks for sharing your great aspirations with us and taking the time to comment!

  3. dossk says:

    Dear Jennifer, In an oriental society, the Proverb 31 woman is highly respected. Many of the oriental literature allude to such a character. Men would like to marry such a woman, if she might possess a few of Prov 31 woman’s characteristics. This is indeed a wise saying, inspired by God.

  4. jennifer benson schuldt says:

    dossk,

    It’s inspiring to see biblical values in the literature and thought of every culture. Character counts when it comes to marriage!

  5. mike wittmer says:

    This is such a timely post. I think western culture is very confused about gender roles–what a man and woman should be. For instance, women are told they are equal to men, and then Victoria’s Secret fashion shows says they are nothing more than sexual toys for men. The wild popularity of “50 Shades of Gray” indicates how confused our culture is about what makes a real man and woman. Thank God for his revelation, which provides a sure place to stand, if we will use it.

  6. winn collier says:

    I think the pressure we put on women to be some kind of cookie cutter feminine is one of our culture’s great tragedies.

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