Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character; The Virtuous Wife; The Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10 – 31)

Scripture Text:

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Proverbs 31:10 – 31

Questions:

1. (Women) Of the TV sitcom women of the 1980s and 1990s, with whom do you identify most? What about these women do you admire?

  • Roseanne Conner (from Roseanne)
  • Jill Taylor (from Home Improvement)
  • Claire Huxtable (from The Cosby Show)
  • Elaine (from Seinfeld)
  • Someone else? ______________

2. “A women’s place is in the home.” What feelings does this slogan evoke?

3. Would the author of this epilogue be applauded by feminists or traditionalists? Would he or she (perhaps Lemuel’s mother; see Proverbs 31:1) support equal rights for women? Or gender-defined roles? What makes you think so? Which verses support which view?

4. (Men) To which of women in Question #1 would you prefer to be married? Why?

5. Verses 10 – 31 form an acrostic (each verse in succession begins with the next letter of the 22-character Hebrew alphabet). How might this carefully crafted epilogue and personification of wisdom relate to the prologue (Proverbs 1:1 – 7)?

6. From this chapter, how would this ideal woman define her “place”?

  • the house: managing the day-to-day affairs of the home
  • the House and Senate: making policy decisions
  • the city market: on a shopping spree
  • the city market: as an entrepreneur

7. What does the woman of this chapter manage? Children? Domestic help? Property? Money? Business partnership? All of the above? Which of these roles do you see as the primary one for her? Why?

8. What abilities make her praiseworthy in the eyes of her husband? He children? The city fathers? The poor and needy?

9. What is her spiritual life like? Her appointment calendar? Her workplace? Her personal temperament?

10. How could anyone become like this woman? What does verse 10 imply? Is she just a symbol for some spiritual quality? An actual woman? Or both?

11. If she represents “God’s ideal woman”, should an “average” woman (single or married) aspire to her qualities? Likewise, should a man? Why or why not?

12. What would you think of a person who aspired for these qualities, but came up “a buck short”? What if she came up “woefully short”?

13. Which of the domains managed by this ideal woman are also things you are involved in? Which of these roles energize you?

14. How does this woman who “does it all” compare with your image of the woman today who “does it all”? What are the similarities? The differences?

15. How can women today follow her example without wearing themselves out and compromising their role as a wife and mother?

16. She spent her expertise and resources on the poor and needy (verse 20). To whom or what mission do you give yourself?

17. She feared the Lord and received the praise of children, husband and co-workers. Apart from the Lord’s favor, whose opinion or praise matter most to you? Who is harder to please – your family or your co-workers? Why?

18. (Women) What do you think is the “reward she has earned” (verse 31)? What reward do you think you deserve?

19. (Men) In what way could you best reward the work of the woman in your life? How do you expect the woman to respond?

20. We’ve finished our study of Proverbs. What stands out? What changes are you still praying about? In what ways are you wiser now than when we started? What disturbed you the most?

Important Note:

We will begin a month-long study of “Song of Solomon” starting Monday July 7. If you are married (or will be studying with your significant other) get ready for a multitude of questions about the emotional, spiritual and sexual intimacy within marriage.

Taking into account the nature of the subject matter and that many of you will be studying this book with your spouse (or significant other), I will publish 2 posts per week (instead of 5) until the end of July. Look for the study questions on Monday and Thursday of each week.

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