God gives us two different inspired descriptions of women in Proverbs. In fact, if you sorted through the 31 chapters, 915 verses and over 15,000 words of the Book of Proverbs, you can find just over 200 verses that actually declare what good men and women, boys and girls look and act like, and what the immature, unspiritual, and ungodly opposites look and act like.
One of the most striking contrasts is between the Proverbs 31 type of woman who is described as a woman of beauty, grace, wisdom, and excellence; and the Proverbs 14 type of woman who is described as a woman of immodesty, aggressiveness, and evil intent.
A Portrait of Two Types of Women
The Proverbs 31 woman “builds into” those she loves as an elegantly resourceful, humbly beautiful, woman of wisdom; but the Proverbs 14 woman “tears down” everyone she comes into contact with. She is the antithesis of excellence and virtue. She destroys and troubles, and lacks wisdom.
Godly women and godly young ladies want to learn their manners from the Word of God. They cultivate the graces God commends in Proverbs; and they believe God’s way of being a woman is a good idea. This evening join me as we like the great Biblical women of the faith throughout the centuries, pour over these Scriptures and seek by grace to live out God’s truths.
A great place to start is in Proverbs 14:1-9. In these verses we find the summary of the “bad choices” of the Proverbs 14 woman.
Proverbs 14:1-9 (NKJV) The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. 2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. 3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. 4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox. 5 A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies. 6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. 7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. 8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. 9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.
What a contrast. The wise woman is a builder of a godly home. She is a model of godly conduct.
Ungodly Choices Inherit the Wind
The foolish woman is a destroyer. That is what the words “tear down” mean. She destroys her home, her family and eventually her own life. Word by word, person by person, her evil stifles, chokes and eventually destroys people and relationships. What is her outcome? Look back at Proverbs 11:29
He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise (NIV).
There is a classic American Tale , Gone with the Wind that so vividly portrays this idea. The movie is based on Margaret Mitchell’s best selling (30 million copies) and only (1936) novel about a slice of Southern Living in the strife torn Civil War Era. The key themes of the movie are very similar to those we find as we meditate on the warnings of God’s Word.
Southern, aristocratic life, portrayed by Mitchell, was a life nearly oblivious to the world around it, that was a vividly selfish, indulgent life. The central character of the novel and movie is well known to us, the enticing southern belle, Scarlet O’Hara. In Mitchell’s work she is portrayed as a cunning and crafty woman who knew what she wanted and always tried to get it. Her self-centeredness is in stark contrast to the servant hearted Melanie.
Just as Solomon, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, contrasts the Proverbs 14 type of selfish, indulgent, and foolish woman to the Proverbs 31 type of sweet, selfless, and wise woman.
The outlook for a joy filled lifelong marriage is about as bleak without the Lord, as those tragic warn torn scenes of devastation from the Civil War in Gone with the Wind! But that is not God’s Will. He doesn’t want strife torn lives and homes. God doesn’t want empty lives and hearts. He wants marriage to be lifelong and joy filled.
God Gives the Pattern for Godly Women
So to prepare us, God has left a colorful guide to marriage; it is a timeless list of godly character qualities that we who know and love the Lord should seek. God’s Word goes so far as to even identify what type of person we should avoid, stay away from, and especially never consider as a viable marriage partner. The list is timeless, and can be your guide to a joyous Biblical marriage.
The greatest service we can offer our young ladies is to show them how they ought to be when they grow and mature in Christ. Spiritual life is all about Biblically prompted choices. Where are your choices pointing you today?
When children are small and in our homes, in our Sunday School classes, in our youth groups: this is what we prayerfully need to teach them. When they get older and go away to work and school, this is what we prayerfully remind them about; and ask God to do in their lives.
We are looking again at the last element of the third section of our “How to Pray for those you Love” cards:
3. Pray that they Reflect Christ’s love in their relationships:
• By Waiting for God’s Chosen Partner
This message is more than just a call to casual prayer. It is a reminder that God has said the greatest tool we have is prayer. And prayer coupled with an obedient walk, and a life of faith can do more than anything else to cultivate godliness in our daughters.
God wants mature and spiritual women who shape younger women around them by knowing, sharing, praying, and most of all—LIVING the portrait God has painted of a GODLY WOMAN. First of all, as we turn back to Proverbs 2, note the types of women God says we should avoid and repent of any likeness to them we find in our lives.
BAD GIRLS AND WOMEN LOOK AND ACT LIKE THIS
1. God says: Beware of the Immoral woman (2.16; 5.3; 5.20; 7.5)
Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words; 5: 3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; 5:20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress? 7:5 That they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words (NKJV).
2. God says: Beware of the Evil woman (6.24)
Proverbs 6:24 To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress (NKJV).
3. God says: Beware of the Adulterous woman (6.32; 30.20)
Proverbs 6:32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. 30:20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wickedness.” (NKJV)
4. God says: Beware of the Harlotrous woman (7.10)
Proverbs 7:10 And there a woman met him [aggressive, flirtatious, chaser of men], with the attire of a harlot [immodest, sensual, provocative], and a crafty heart [unspiritual, fleshly, carnal, insensitive to God’s Holy Spirit]. (NKJV)
5. God says: Beware of the Loud and Foolish woman (9.13)
Proverbs 9:13 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge (NIV); The foolish woman is noisy; she is simple and open to all forms of evil, she [willfully and recklessly] knows nothing whatever [of eternal value] (Amplified).
6. God says: Beware of the Lovely but indiscreet woman (11.22)
Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion (NIV);
7. God says: Beware of the Foolish woman (14.1)
Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own ha
nds the foolish one tears hers down (NIV);
8. God says: Beware of the Contentious woman (21.9; 25.24; 27.15)
Proverbs 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife (NIV); 25:24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife (NIV); 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day (NIV);
9. God says: Beware of the Angry woman (21.19)
Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife (NIV).
So what does the Proverbs 31 type of woman as described by God look and act like? From Proverbs we find:
GOOD GIRLS AND WOMEN LOOK AND ACT LIKE THIS
1. Godly and spiritually mature women seek: to be modest in their dress.
Proverbs 7:10 Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (NIV).
Her clothing points to her not to her Father in Heaven and His holiness. Remember the words of Paul in the New Testament Gallery of beautiful women? God emphasizes a beauty of the unseen character, the flesh flaunts the body, God beautifies the spirit! Remember what Paul wrote to the biggest and most zealously spiritual church of the First Century?
1 Timothy 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, (NIV)
2. Godly and spiritually mature women seek: to be gentle and quiet in their personality.
Proverbs 7:11 (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; (NIV)
Proverbs 9:13 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. (NIV)
This includes disrespect, hostility, aggressiveness and cunningness. All of these qualities are bad news. Again, Paul goes on to explain to Pastor Timothy how vital this characteristic of being gentle and quiet is to God.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (NIV)
James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (NIV)
1 Peter 3:1-4 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
3. Godly and spiritually mature women seek: to be holy and reverent in their conduct.
Proverbs 7:13-14 She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: 14 “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. (NIV).
A godly woman fears the Lord. She seeks His well done over the approval of anyone else on earth. Her fear of God makes her aware of the future consequence of her choices. A godly woman avoids any present situation that would be destructive for her future usefulness to God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)
4. Godly and spiritually mature women seek: to be truthful in their speech and motives.
Proverbs 7:21-23 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, With her flattering lips she seduced him. 22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, 23 Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it [would cost] his life. (NKJV)
This deceitful woman is an ugly woman because she is self-driven and wants her way. A beautiful woman wears heavenly beauty as God’s Word describes it.
1 Peter 3:4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (NIV)
Attributes of an Ungodly Young Lady
Moms and dads, what are you raising? Is the young lady who lives with you heading towards being a wise woman or a foolish one? To find out, hold your daughter’s direction of life up to the truths of God’s Word and see what He has to say. Not the culture, not their peers, not the latest fads, but the timeless truths of God’s Word.
1. Is she materialistic and selfishly wrapped up in her clothes, her tan, and her body; or is she spiritual and learning to deny herself for the Lord, His ministries, and others?
2. Is she loud, assertive, boisterous, and whiney or the center of attention? Or is she quiet, submissive, gentle and humble?
3. Does she dress in a provocative way that draws a young man to think about her body and its enticements or her spirit and its beauty?
4. Does she have a growing desire to be entertained by watching sinful activities and lifestyles on TV and in movies, as the stars live out their fleshly fantasies; or does she have a growing desire to be sanctified with a holy hatred of sin?
5. Does she manipulate by tears, looks and whatever it takes to accomplish her ends? Is she submissive to God, her parents, and God’s Word, or does she use all her powers to get her own way?
6. Is she argumentative, easily quarreling and fighting with you or her brothers and sisters? Or is she peaceable, gentle and easily entreated?
If any or all of these six symptoms of a Proverbs 14 type of either spiritual immaturity or of being unsaved, are present in any degree or amount, the prognosis for the future bleak.
By God’s grace, may every woman and young woman here today seek to be a woman like those God commends and describes in His Word. If you have never done this before, why not tell the Lord, “I want to be a Proverbs 31 type of woman after your own heart: modest in my dress; gentle and quiet in my personality; holy and reverent in my conduct; and truthful in my speech and motives.
The Proverbs 31 Type of Woman
1. A Godly and Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE A HOMEMAKER.
Proverbs 31:13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. (NKJV)
As Paul said, she is a worker at home in Titus 2:5. She loves to tangibly serve others with food and skills, she has a home that is open and hospitable, she is given to ministry to the sick and needy and less fortunate.
2. A Godly and Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO SERVE OTHERS!
Proverbs 31:15, 20 She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. (NKJV)
She has learned the love of Christ for others.
3. A Godly and Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE A PERSON THAT CAN BE TRUSTED.
Proverbs 31:11-16 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
4. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE PRUDENT IN FINANCIAL MATTERS.
Proverbs 31:16, 24 She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. 24 She makes linen garments and sells [them,] and supplies sashes for the merchants. (NKJV)
She is a saver not a spender. She can see beyond today alone.
5. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE A HARD WORKER.
Proverbs 31:17, 19 She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. (NKJV)
God puts a premium on hard work and so she moves toward it not away. There is no slothfulness, indolence or lack of motivation.
6. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE A PERSON WHO HAS A GOOD REPUTATION.
Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
7. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO INTERNALIZE BIBLICAL WISDOM.
Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue [is] the law of kindness. (NKJV).
The Word is in her heart and life and so it comes out of her mouth. And when it does it is dressed in the clothes of the Spirit, gentle and kind.
8. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO LIVE THESE SECRETS OF GODLY WOMANHOOD.
Proverbs 31:25 Strength and honor [are] her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. (NKJV) the future smiles at her and her children bless her.
Is there any comparison? This kind of woman and daughter is a blessing to all; and she is a builder of the home and family. This is our goal as parents.
9. A Godly And Spiritually Mature Woman seeks: TO BE A PERSON WHO CAN BE PRAISED FOR DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.
Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.