Read Proverbs 31:1-31
Questions to Consider
1. Briefly review lesson 2 (link above) to refresh your memory on the context and background of this passage.
2. Considering the context of chapter 31, the person who spoke these words, and the person to whom they were spoken, were verses 10-31 originally meant as instructions to godly women? If not, how would you characterize the purpose and intent of this section?
3. Verse 10 introduces the passage as being a description of what kind of woman (her station in life)? Look carefully at the attributes of the ideal wife described in 10-31. Are these attributes that only characterize married women? Why or why not? What is the foundation of being an “excellent wife”? How does this foundation apply to all Christian women?
4. List the actions which typify a godly wife/woman (13-22, 24,26). In what ways are you performing similar actions in your own life?
5. Describe the attitudes and attributes displayed by a godly wife/woman (12-18, 20-21, 25-27). In what ways has God grown you in these attitudes and attributes? Which of these attitudes and attributes do you feel God needs to grow you in the most? Why?
6. How do a godly wife’s/woman’s actions, attitudes, and attributes affect others? Those dearest to her (11-12, 21,23,26-29)? Those she is responsible for (15,21,26-27)? Her community (2,23)? How does affecting others correlate with the concept (from lesson 2) of stewarding our influence over others in a godly way?
7. What is God’s assessment of a godly wife/woman? (10,29-31). (Notice where these verses giving God’s assessment are situated in this passage. How does this strategic placement of these verses help emphasize the godly value of the woman’s actions, attitudes/attributes, and affecting others contained in the verses in between?) Step back and take a “flyover” view of God’s Kingdom: why does God consider a woman’s godly actions, attitudes/attributes, and affecting others to be so vital, precious and praiseworthy? Some think God (and the Bible) treat women as “second class citizens” or less valuable than men. What does this passage have to say about that?
8. How does this passage – these actions, attitudes/attributes, affecting others, and God’s assessment – point us to Christ?
9. In lesson 2, we learned that many scholars believe Lemuel was actually Solomon himself. Compare 1 Kings 11:1-10 with Proverbs 31:10-31. What were the actions and attitudes/attributes of Solomon’s wives, and how did they affect him? What was God’s assessment of Solomon for letting them affect him this way? How does the 1 Kings passage support and prove the Proverbs passage?
The “Proverbs 31 Woman” is often considered the icon of biblical womanhood, and in many ways she is. But how do we get there from here? Next week, we’ll start at the very beginning…a very good place to start!
Most of the attributes in 10-31 are not exclusive to married women. Imagine you’re teaching this passage to a women’s Bible study class in which all of the women are single, divorced, or widowed. How would you apply each of these verses to their lives? For example, in verse 28, the women in your class may not have children or a husband to “call her blessed”/”praise” her, but who would?
Suggested Memory Verse
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.