The Proverbs 31 Woman: Active, Not Passive

by | May 13, 2021 | Women of the Bible | 6 comments

I have been avoiding writing about the Proverbs 31 woman for a loooooonnngggg time. 

But, as my lesson for my branch’s Ladies Circle meeting was approaching, I decided to talk about her and see what my sisters had to say.

I went to them for inspiration on a woman that I never understood.

And what I found interesting was that most of my sisters referred to Proverbs 31 as a set of advice or guidelines, while I saw her as an actual woman, a person with feelings and hopes and sorrows.

In my mind, this woman dealt with all of the things that I deal with. So what made her so unrelatable and unattainable to me?

I have always seen this woman as a woman of extreme patience, kindness, and compassion. She has always been this gracious lady who, no matter what, kept her composure and calm.

But mostly, I have seen her as a very passive actor in her world, letting whatever comes come and whatever doesn’t, she doesn’t chase after it.

This woman thrives because she sits and lets it all happen.

But, alas, I was 100 percent incorrect!

As I dug through this chapter more, I realized something.

Almost every sentence starts with this woman doing something.

For Ladies Circle, I pulled out all of these subject-action combos: 

  • She will
  • She seeketh
  • [She] worketh willingly with her hands
  • She is
  • She bringeth
  • She riseth
  • [She] giveth
  • She considereth
  • She planteth
  • She girdeth
  • [She] strengtheneth
  • She stretcheth
  • She reacheth
  • She is not afraid
  • She maketh
  • She selleth
  • She looketh

So you’re like, “Great, this woman does stuff.”

But here’s the thing. And this is what I realized about her (and what’s important for me). My spiritual life should be a long list of subject-action combinations like the above. What comes after doesn’t matter, but the fact is that this woman is working.

I do not make tapestries or collect meat for my family or plant anything (ever). 

But guess what? All those verbs ahead of all those things still apply to my church life, and I should be filling them out every week for God. 

Maybe instead of planting a field, we’re planting ourselves deep in God’s Word.

Instead of considering market prices for threads, we’re considering how good God is in our lives.

And that is this woman. 

The point of her (in my opinion) is that she is working, even when it doesn’t seem like it because God has been good in her life.

This woman is no passive actor. Instead, she is taking God’s blessings in her life and turning them around for her family and for those around her as well. So that all can see the testimony that she has: that God is with her and so she will not fail.

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


  • Sister Alena spends her days traveling around PA advocating for good public policy and attends the McKees Rocks Branch in Pittsburgh, the greatest city in the world.


  1. Linda Scolaro

    Beautiful perspective. I have always felt sort of intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman feeling like I could never match up but your article puts her in a different lens.

  2. Joann Cotellesse

    The vitreous women is someone I could never be. I feel intimidated by her. Thank you for the new look. I will have to investigate her with a different eye. Thank you Sister Alena.

  3. Sis. Jan Humphrey

    Loved your article! Thanks for your encouragement to add more verbs (actions) to my daily walk with the Lord.

  4. Lydia zaino

    I really enjoyed your article. It was another way of looking at it. Thank you for sharing this with us. Have me a different way of looking at it.

  5. Christina DiCenzo

    Excellent perspective Sister!
    I never ever looked at it that way.
    That’s what makes you such a great teacher!
    Thank you for always working for the Lord.

  6. Joyce D Smith

    There is a company ‘thirty-one’ which sells totes and bags that was started by a christian woman. Thirty-One’s name is derived from Proverbs 31 of the Bible which describes a virtuous woman who exhibits hard work, wisdom, encouragement & care for others. Because of these qualities, she is worthy of reward, honor & praise.
    It has great products. My sister and daughter used to sell them.


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Today's article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci's series Women in the Bible. You know, I’ve never really paid much attention to Rebekah. She’s always been the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob, and that’s really all she’s ever been to me. But I’ve...

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