Thirty Days in Proverbs 31 for Busy, Busy Mamas, Day 1: The Root

30DaysProverbsDay1The virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 is one inspiring lady! Look at all she accomplished — spinning, weaving, sewing, real estate, farming, shopping, ministering to the poor, managing her household.

But she can also be a bit discouraging. How in the world did she ever manage to do all those things? I can remember days when it was a challenge to even get out of my bathrobe before my husband came home from work!

If you’re tempted to feel like a failure every time you think about the woman described in Proverbs 31, I think you’re going to feel a whole lot better by the time we’ve spent thirty days getting to know her better. She shouldn’t intimidate us. We should admire and emulate her!

Before we start looking at all the fruit of this amazing woman’s life, we’re going to take a look at the roots that nourish this fruitful tree!

Assignment: Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you begin your study today. Then read all of Proverbs 31. Today is the only day we will be reading the first nine verses of the chapter. After this, we’ll be focusing on just verses 10-31, where we learn about the virtuous wife.

As you read Proverbs 31, look for the following information::

  • Who wrote this chapter of Proverbs?
  • Whose words is the author sharing?
  • Who is being spoken to?

When you have finished reading, take our your notebook and record what you have found.

  • Then look in the chapter for the words praise and bless, or any synonyms of these words (words that have a similar meaning).
  • Highlight each appearance of those words with a yellow marker or colored pencil.
  • Make a simple chart to organize your observations.
    • Divide your page into three columns.
    • At the top of the left-hand column, write the word “Verse reference”.
    • Label the next column to the right, “Who or what  is doing the praising”
    • Label the third column “Who is being praised”
  • Reread the verses that include the words praise and bless, and use your chart to organize what you find. (At least one verse will not directly state who is doing the praising, so don’t let that worry you.)
  • Pray about what you have found. What is the main characteristic of the woman who is praised in this chapter?
  • Is this a trait that you and the Proverbs 31 woman can share, even if you don’t know how to spin yarn or plant vineyards like she did?

As we continue to study this chapter, we should keep this truth in mind. This is the root that produces all the beautiful fruit of the virtuous wife’s life.

For your children:

You will need paper, and pencils or crayons for this activity.

  • After choosing a translation of Proverbs 31 that your children will understand, read verses 10-31 aloud, asking the children to each listen for one verse that they would like to illustrate. They should not tell anyone which verse they have chosen.
  • When you have finished reading, have them each draw a picture to represent one verse from the passage.
  • When they are done with their drawings, have them hold them out where everyone can see them, and read the chapter again.
  • As the children hear a verse that they believe has been illustrated, they should raise their hands and point to the appropriate drawing.
  • When all the children’s drawings have been identified, read verses 30 and 31 one more time. Ask the children to tell you what kind of woman is being praised in these verses. Discuss what that means.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this study with us. I’ve read and made my chart. Still praying for God to give me clarity here. Looking forward to the rest of the study.

  2. So excited to study Proverbs 31. For years I always thought the virtuous woman was praised for the work of her hands only. Praise God! Its her godly living and worship. I can feel the chains of self judgement falling.

  3. This is the first time I have attempted a study of Proverbs 31. I was expecting to end the lesson feeling condemned. I ended the lesson feeling very encouraged. Thank you!

  4. What an encouraging start to this chapter, thank you! I’m not really clear who is being spoken to though? It was written by King Lemuel, spoken by his mother. So is King Lemuel being spoken to? Thank you again!

  5. So, I thought about this a little more in the shower 🙂 and the verse says, “which his mother taught him.” So King Lemuel is being spoken to. I read the question as who was King Lemuel speaking to, when it seems he is simply recording what his mother taught him. I’m clear!

  6. Yes, Heidi, it’s “the prophecy his mother taught him.” 🙂

  7. As I was doing the study, I initially was thinking the woman is taking care of others and putting the needs of others before her own. Then it hit me, verse 30 – a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. That is what makes us blessed and praised, that’s it, that is all we need, God will do the rest. That is so simple and what an amazing blessing we receive.

  8. I have wanted to do a study on Proverbs 31, so excited about this! Thank you for doing this. I have 2 little girls, 6 & 7, that I am doing the children’s activities with, so in essence, they are doing this study with me….I absolutely love that!! What an awsome thing to be learning & teaching my young daughters at the same time. Thank you so much!!

  9. I’m lost on the praise and bless/synonym part. How many verses are there that have that? I only see 3. I know what synonym means. Are there other verses like the ones that clearly state praise and bless? Did King Lemuel write it? Speaking his mothers words? Ugh, day one not going well. Over thinking it, I believe.

  10. Thanks Pam for offering this Bible study. I need to remember that it is not on my own strength or a better schedule that will make things run smoothly. My walk with my Lord should always come first. It is too easy for me to try to figure things out on my own each day, but it is a woman that fears the Lord that will be praised.

  11. Firstly, I want to give you a HUGE thank you for your books – Polished Cornerstones, Plants Grow Up, Ruby Doll kit, and others I have been using to disciple my children. I am a support teacher and I am always recommending your curriculum to the families I work with because my family has been so blessed by your programs.
    Secondly, this is so timely as I have been struggling through some deep hurts by friends – feeling so disposable. What has the Lord spoken to my heart today through Proverbs 31? There are only 3 people whose opinions matter to this woman – her children, her husband and her Lord. I am holding on to that truth today. My children love me, my husband adores me and trusts me and I am walking closely with God. This truth brings healing to my heart. Thank you for allowing God to use you in this way!

  12. In reading through this chapter verse 26 is an encouragement to me.
    “The teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” I am reminded that my tone with my children needs to stay sweet and encouraging as I teach and train them.
    “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” – Prov.16:21

  13. Thelma Kindervater

    This study promises to be a huge blessing …the gems from the chapter and the comments of like-minded/hearted women. Although my daughter is grown, I am glad to be a part of this study. We never outgrow our need for learning who God wants us to be…who He already sees us being.

  14. Pam, this is the first time I am reading your blog and I’m exited to study Proverbs with you! I have seen several bloggers write about this skilled and busy lady- picture that we have been given. I have always wondered how to apply biblical proverbs into today’s life. After all, the book of Proverbs is wisdom literature and sometimes conflicting in its instructions (classic example in chapter 26:4-5). I think the way to understand it is to realize that it contains general truths to be thoughtfully applied to specific circumstances. I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ll be learning this month!

  15. Just started this today too and love the simplicity of your studies Pam! 🙂

    And thank you Aimee for that amazing truth and observation! I needed to be reminded of that today too 🙂

  16. It’s so nice to hear all your comments! DJ, you’re right . . . you’re overthinking. 🙂 You’re doing just fine! The reason I mentioned the synonym issue is because we’re not all working with the same translation. There may be some variations in words used. Lots of times I try to compare all the translations, so we can anticipate any variations. I didn’t last night, due to time and energy limits. 😛 I’m working in the ESV, and I find three “praises” and one “blessed”, which I would mark.

    You’re also right about King Lemuel. We don’t know exactly who King Lemuel was, or if he represents someone else, but King Lemuel is writing the chapter, and he is sharing what his mother taught him.

    I’m glad you’re asking questions. Feel free to ask whenever you’re wanting some help. But don’t worry. No one’s correcting your work! 🙂

  17. Encouraging start, I agree! The woman who fears the Lord – she works very hard, motivated by her fear of the Lord. It is so easy to get caught up in a need for the approval of man, but there is freedom in being motivated out of a desire to please the Lord. Then, when we are praised by others, we can receive it as praise from Him through the lips of our husbands and children. But when we feel overlooked, we need not fear, for we know that He sees.

    Thanks for the great study! I look forward to the rest!

  18. Great comment, Michelle!

  19. Yes, great comment Michelle! It helped me a lot. Thanks!

  20. Thank you Pam for this daily devotional! =)

    I have poured over this passage hundreds of times, and I have somehow always missed the “who wrote it” and “to whom.” Shockingly, a king is reciting an oracle that his mother taught him. This leads to me to question whether or not the king’s mother (a queen herself) was intentionally imparting, in her son, the wisdom of recognizing the attributes of a “noble” woman, understanding what those should be in order to successfully find a helpmate worthy of the calling. While we have much to learn regarding the beautiful Godly character this woman exhibits, for the first time I read it as the description and duties of a queen. By no means am I attempting to “let myself off the hook” but honestly I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief. Is that crazy?

  21. Thank you so much, Pam, for blessing us with your free studies. I get so much out of them because I am a very visual person and need the colors and interaction with the page to keep my focus.
    If a king heeded (or at least respected) his mother’s good and godly advice, how much more does that elevate the important job of a mother to train and raise godly children!!!

  22. Thank you for this study. The two verses that stood out were:
    1. v. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teachings of kindness is on her tongue. Unfortunately when I open my mouth that is not always the teaching that is on my tongue! I have been praying for God to control my emotions and tongue for years now, but I’m not giving up!
    2. v. 27 She looks well t the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. This is an are in which I feel my family, especially my husband, do not understand nor respect. They cannot understand why I will not sit and watch fruitless TV shows they’ve recorded for hours. I’d rather do something useful or go to sleep!

  23. Thank you for posting this bible study! My husband and I are in seminary and do not have children yet, but I am finding your study to be such a great blessing as I reflect on what it means to be a woman who fears the Lord. Thank you!