Proverbial Foolish Women

Scripture thoughts from thishappymom.comProverbial foolish women. Now there’s an attention getting topic for Monday morning.  This has been on my heart and mind for a couple of weeks now (or longer) and I think I finally figured out what I need to say.  At least the first part.

I don’t want to be just a Proverbs woman.  I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  Not the ladies who sell those really cute purses and bags.  I’m talking about the verses in the bible that describe the ultimate woman.  Proverbs 31:10-34.  Go look, I’ll wait.

That woman rocks.  She has a clean house, she runs a business, she had house servants,  her kids love her, her husband loves her.  That woman has got it all going on!  She’s famous for being this perfect unattainable model of womanhood.  There are dozens of bible studies written on her.  I can’t imagine what kind of pins she’d put on Pinterest, but they’d be pretty freaking amazing.

But sometimes I worry that I’m that OTHER Proverbs woman.   She haunts me.  She’s the one I was thinking of when I posted some scripture yesterday.  You know, the one who tears her house down?   As I said then, I want to be a wise woman who builds my house up.

Here’s a look at proverbial foolish women.

  • A quarrelsome wife is like constant dripping on a rainy day. (Proverbs 27:15)
  • Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  (Proverbs 25:24)
  • Better to live in the dessert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.  (Proverbs 21:19)
  • The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. (Proverbs 9:13)
  • Like a gold ring in a pigs snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.  (Proverbs 11:22)
  • A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)
  • A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.  (Proverbs 19:13)

what would she pin?Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.  I don’t like it.   Not one little bit.  It’s pretty convicting stuff. I think Solomon’s (he’s the guy who probably wrote those verses) description of a unhappy wife is pretty accurate.  He should know, he had a bunch of wives and even more concubines.  So he speaks with some experience. (Per wiki: He had 700 official wives and 300 concubines according to the Bible at I Kings 11:1-7).  Those first three verses are sometimes translated as “contentious” woman.  I think of them as the “contentious woman scriptures.”

If I don’t want to be foolish and contentious, then I want to be… wise and peaceful?  smart and happy?   Oh, you know what I mean.. the one that is the opposite of  proverbial foolish women.  I did a little more digging in the bible to see what it had to say.  (OK, for the quarrelsome part, I started by looking at the content in my CTB.  that thing rocks)

Here’s the scoop from Proverbs on wisdom and peace:

  • A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:16)
  • Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
  • A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.  (Proverbs 11:16)
  • Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.  (Proverbs 1:5)
  • He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
  • When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom; when a wise man is instructed, he gets knowledge.  (Proverbs 21:11)
  • A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.  (Proverbs 16:23)
  • Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. (Proverbs 10:14)
  • The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. (Proverbs 10:8)
  • The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.  (Proverbs 16:21)

So, I have a pretty good picture of the kind of woman I want to be (the Proverbs 31 lady) and a picture of what I don’t want to be (the “other” Proverbs lady).  I also have a pretty clear picture of how to get there.   Looking back at that second set of scriptures, I can figure a woman who is filled with wisdom and peace is…

Patient.  Pleasant.  Sweet.  Healing.  Kindhearted.  Listening.  Learning.  Heart-driven.  Teachable.  Discerning.  Leadable.   Instructable.  Full of Knowledge.  In control of the Tongue.

Big calling.  It probably describes my hero (the Proverbs 31 lady) pretty well.   Most importantly, it describes the kind of person I want to be.  Not just as a wife or as a mother… but who I want to be even when I am by myself…. outside of any roles or expectations.  It provides a word picture of what I want going on inside my heart and soul.

For what it’s worth, there is a third female described in Proverbs.  She’s no lady.  Go look if you don’t believe me.

Your challenge for the week:  Pick one verse from Proverbs that speaks to you.  Write it down and try to memorize it this week.   I’d love it if you share what you pick in the comments below.

* disclaimer — I’m not a bible scholar.  I’ve done a bit of studying of scripture, but nothing formal or fancy.  Just so you know.

edited 3/17/13 for SEO and to add new artwork.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. hey, just wanted to say that it wasn't Solomon who wrote proverbs 31. It was Lemuel's mom. He was a king and his mom gave him advices about finding a good wife.

    • I looked into this at some length. Here is the best answer I could find. It’s from the Benson Commentary

      “The words of King Lemuel — Of Solomon, by the general consent both of Jewish and Christian writers: this name signifies one from God, or, belonging to God, and such a one was Solomon eminently, being given by God to David and Bath-sheba as a pledge of his reconciliation to them after their repentance. Possibly his mother gave him this name to remind him of his great obligations to God, and of the justice and necessity of his devoting himself to God’s service. It must be acknowledged, some have doubted whether Lemuel was not a different person; but, according to Dr. Delaney and many others, without sufficient reason. “I know,” says that judicious divine: “that some modern critics, contrary to the unanimous judgment and tradition of all antiquity, have raised some scruples upon this head, as if Lemuel were not Solomon, but some other king, they know not who. I have examined them with all the care and candour I am capable of, and conclude, upon the whole, that their objections are such as my readers, of best understandings, would be little obliged to me either for retailing or refuting.”

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