by Meagan Davis
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”In this culture, we hear a lot about this Proverbs 31 woman. She is the woman every Christian wants to be. And this verse is one of the verses that is quoted often because appearance is so elevated in our society. Christian blogs of all kinds tell us that life is not about beauty; it’s about fearing the Lord. Motivational pictures quoting this verse are the backgrounds on our phones. You may even have a sticky note of it on your bathroom mirror. Christian women are more than familiar with this verse.
But what is it really saying to us?
This is the question that has been plaguing my mind recently, so I decided to study this verse out on my own.
Favour: charm, elegance, acceptance; to find favour in the eyes of someone, to be acceptable to him
Deceitful: lie, deception, disappointment, falsehood
Favour is deceitful: The idea that we have found favor in someone’s sight, that we are acceptable to him, is a lie. It’s not true.
Beauty: beauty, gracefulness
Vain: a breath of the mouth, vapor
Beauty is vain: Breathe in. Now let it go. Our beauty and grace is gone just like that.
Praised: to shine, to be clear, brilliant; glory, boast
A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised: The woman who reverences God, who gives Him the glory in her life, she in turn will shine, will be boasted of.
We often focus on the favor and beauty part of this verse, the part that we’re not supposed to be focusing on. Don’t wear too much makeup. Don’t spend too much time in front of the mirror. Don’t spend so much money on your appearance. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
If you focus on what you’re not supposed to be focusing on, aren’t you focusing on the wrong thing?
So where should our emphasis be? Fearing the Lord. The acceptance that you receive from others because of your beauty isn’t real. The beauty that you do possess is gone like a breath of the mouth. Why focus on things that are so…meaningless and quickly gone. The focus is on what you should do; not on what you shouldn’t do. Focus on completely committing yourself to an unrelenting love and fear of God. A woman who is sold out for God, who holds Him above everything else in her life, she shall be praised.