Biblical Womanhood: Defined. A closer look at Proverbs 31

When we silence a part of the Church, then the Church and the world will fail to see the fullness of who God is.

Laura Porterfield joins us today to discuss Proverbs 31 and how it has often been used to prescribe a gender role for women to faithfully morph themselves into.  This kind of rigid thinking produces shame and the feeling of being deeply flawed when a woman doesn’t fit that mold.

As we look at the many examples of Godly women specifically named in the Bible, we notice that they are a very diverse group of women.  They do not conform to a single list of traits or duties, but they each use their unique gifts and circumstances to bring glory to God through faith and obedience.  Interestingly, one thing that they did have in common is that they were not quiet.  They were brave and strong.  

Many people see this passage as a guide to women.  It is actually a guide to a son from his mother on what to look for in a wife.  People also use the passage as a sort of checklist for women, but it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of character traits.  In our current Christian culture, we also tend to focus on certain parts of the passage that fit the mold of our prescribed role for women, while skimming over traits that do not fit the mold easily.  

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Living fully into who God made you to be, without feeling like we need to hold back on the ways we are gifted or the talents that we have is God’s design for us.

Nowhere in this chapter is this woman defined by her husband.  She is her own person. A serious and common misconception is that a Godly woman’s spiritual life, economic life, and daily life are dependent on and revolve around her husband. This is not the case with the Proverbs 31 woman.  Her husband has full confidence in her and praises and honors her.  

She parents by example, which is so much more powerful than just talking.

When we say that women can’t speak in church or can’t teach men, then those aspects of who God is are hidden, and our theology becomes distorted.  There are aspects of who God is that we can learn from people who see different sides of Him.

There is no one way to be a woman of God any more than there is one way to be a man of God.  The summation of the law is to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.

There are so many ways to be a Godly man and woman. We hope this episode frees you and is a part of your healing and reconciliation back to your Creator. You are loved and celebrated, just as you are, wherever you are. 

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Music: “A New Day” by Michelle Raybourn

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