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