A Worthy Woman – Exploring the Passages

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. According to Proverbs 31:10-12 (printed below), of what value is a worthy woman to her husband?

A worthy woman…is worth far more than rubies. (11) Her husband has complete confidence in her, and he shall lack nothing of value. (12) She does good to him and not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

The Hebrew word translated “worthy” contains the concepts of moral strength and integrity. According to verse 10, such a woman is more valuable to her husband than precious gems. The first part of verse 11 literally says, “The heart of her husband trusts in her”—i.e.; her husband can count on her and not be disappointed, because she is trustworthy, faithful and dependable. She proves herself to be his true friend (note Proverbs 17:17a and Proverbs 18:24b). She is, by virtue of her integrity and commitment, a continual source of blessing and of good to her husband, not a source of harm (verse 12).

2. What does Proverbs 11:22 (printed below) tell us about the importance of discretion in a woman’s character?

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

“A gold ring in a swine’s snout” is painfully out of place and incongruous. A ring of gold was an elegant piece of jewelry; it is totally inappropriate and even offensive to see such a thing in a swine’s snout. Likewise, it is just as offensive and incongruous to find a woman who possesses physical beauty but lacks discretion—i.e.; a woman who lacks a sense of what is right, proper, appropriate, tasteful, tactful, gracious, honorable.

3. According to Proverbs 14:1 (printed below,) after God, what should be a woman’s top priority?

Every wise woman builds up her house, but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1)

A wise woman invests her energies in the building up of her home and family. All her activities, however diverse and far reaching, contribute to the well being of her home; they are not undertaken at the expense of her home or as a substitute for her home. In contrast to the wise woman, “a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.” Would you ever pick up an axe and start hacking your own house to pieces? If your top priority is not your home and family, if your energy and attention is found to be focused somewhere other than your home, you are tearing it down.

4. What activities occupy the time and attention of the worthy woman? See Proverbs 31:16,20,24 (printed below)

She evaluates a piece of property and purchases it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard… (20) She opens her arms to the poor; indeed, she extends her hands to the needy… (24) She makes linen garments and sells them, and she supplies the merchants with sashes. (Proverbs 31:16, 20, 24)

The worthy woman is an enterprising and successful business woman (verse 16). She is able to evaluate a piece of property, negotiate the purchase of that property, and turn the land into productive and profitable use. According to verse 24, she is engaged in a profitable garment-making business: confidently dealing with the buying public and with businessmen, providing a high quality product (linen garments). Furthermore, she is actively involved in a ministry of charity in the community (verse 20). She is complying with the command of Deuteronomy 15:11. Note: We must consider, also, the focus of this woman”s life: she makes her home her top priority: she carries on all her business activities on behalf of her family, not at the expense of her family (note verses 11-12,15, 21,27)

5. According to Proverbs 31:30 (printed below,) what is the most valuable asset a woman can have?

Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears Jehovah—she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30)

“Charm is deceptive.” A woman may be charming and thus attract men to herself; but if there is nothing of godly substance below the surface of her charm, then that charm is deceitful; it is an alluring package, but disappointingly, there is no substantial content. “Beauty is fleeting.” Mere outward beauty, all by itself without the accompaniment of the beauty of a godly character, is empty, it is lacking in lasting, spiritually nourishing substance. “But a woman who fears Jehovah”—one whose life is governed by a holy reverence for the Lord her God—”she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30c).