Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
The “Proverbs 31 Woman” shines as a bright beacon in this wonderful Old Testament book of precepts and warnings. Today as we see women of all ages following dubious role models, we are refreshed to find a timeless example of virtue, responsibility and good sense. Here, in this lovely picture of womanhood, is a woman who embodies the qualities which every believing woman should strive for in her personal life and appearance, in her family life, and in her daily duties.
The woman described in Proverbs 31 is so exemplary and so virtuous, and so diligent to perform all her duties that women today, who have the heart to please God, may find it difficult or even discouraging to try to follow her example. They might think, “How could I ever measure up to such a godly woman? When I think of how I have carried out my responsibilities as a wife or as a mother or even as an unmarried woman, compared to this person described in Proverbs 31, I am of all women most miserable!”
Let not your heart be troubled. In 1 Peter 2:21 believers are told to follow Christ’s example and follow His steps, and yet who could ever measure up to the quality of life and virtue displayed by the sinless Son of God? We all fall far short. We have not attained His level of perfection, and yet we “follow after” and “press toward the mark” (Philippians 3:12-14). God has given us a pattern, a mark to shoot for, and though we come short and often fail, yet God’s standard is before our eyes. Though we may fall short, we never want to lower God’s standard.
There are other stellar examples of godly persons in the Scriptures, whose lives often put us to shame; yet it is our joyful privilege to imitate them and follow their example. Think of men such as Joseph and Daniel and Paul (as a converted man). Most Bible characters had their flaws, and certainly, these men did as well, and yet nothing negative is said about these three in the Bible. They are wonderful role models for believers.
In and of ourselves we will surely fail in our quest for godly living. We will come to the end of ourselves and recognize our own bankruptcy. With Paul we will cry out, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18). God, by His grace and by the power of His Spirit can enable us to live lives that are pleasing to the One who died and rose again for us. May we reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (Romans 6:11) that the life our Lord might be manifested in and through us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11). We cannot, but God can! The God who indwells us can enable us.
When we do fail to measure up to the kind of person God wants us to be, we can still rejoice that we have an Advocate with the Father (a Helper in court!), Christ Jesus the Righteous One (1 John 2:1-2). He pleads on our behalf; His work on Calvary’s cross has already satisfied all of God’s just demands. We can confess our sins and enjoy God’s wonderful forgiveness and fellowship (1 John 1:9).