Remembering the Righteous Woman

By Cindy Koch

Until I taught a Bible study on Proverbs 31, I really didn’t know how very much women were hurt by this chapter in the Bible. Now, this is the inspired Word of God, and all of Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (1 Timothy 3:16). Certainly, women are in need of this, just like any Christian. Proverbs 31 is a beautiful Hebrew poem about a righteous woman who fears the Lord. But in the hands of our Christian women’s community, it is beginning to resemble a baseball bat in the hands of an ice skating maniac.

Our Lord Jesus was made flesh to walk on this earth. The eternally just God didn’t change His rules even though His beloved Son tread upon the broken earth. And yet, Jesus—both God and man—came to fulfill all righteousness. Never sinning, perfectly righteous, he stepped into the the baptismal waters of repentance for the sin of God’s people. Far from deserving the punishment of death, He willingly took on the sins of the world, like a lamb led to the slaughter. But He rose up from the grave and defeated death, sin, and the devil. From the beginning until the end, Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice would now define sinners: restored and renewed on account of Christ.

Somehow, when women get to Proverbs 31, they have forgotten the story. Instead of the righteousness of Christ, they point the finger back to the righteous act of a wife. Instead of a life of identity and blessings freely given, they list out the rules a woman must keep. And by continually hearing the story of your “righteous acts” as a Proverbs 31 woman, you are robbed of the incredible comfort of the Gift of righteousness by Christ alone.

My sisters, I pray you will hear and be comforted by the Gospel according Proverbs 31.

One thought on “Remembering the Righteous Woman

  1. Some American women, both Christian and non-Christian, would despise the role of the virtuous role model in Proverbs 31. They have been inculcated with feminist politics since childhood, clinging to the notion of full equality with men, embracing personal freedom as rightfully more preferable to servanthood. Even a hint of patriarchy offends them easily. They have been liberated from the slavery of male domination. And since the feminist movement began, what happened to the virtuous wife? She has found her freedom. She can destroy her unborn child through legal abortion, she can divorce her husband, and she can demand equality in employment and social standing. Women who have a problem with Proverbs 31 would also have a problem with Jesus, since He taught His followers from scripture, and Proverbs 31 speaks to humility, not demanding one’s rights.

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