Proverbs Chapter 31, Verse 30. Near the end of this incredible portrait of the Proverbs 31 woman, we see this verse: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” How can you say that any better? Charm is deceitful. We can be so deceived by charm in this world, and particularly when it comes to attraction for women to think that charm is what matters most. Or, for men to look for charm, it’s deceptive. It’s deceitful. And beauty is vain.
This is what is worthy of honor: a woman who fears the Lord, who walks in wisdom and His way.
Obviously, we know this is not talking about the kind of beauty that we see in other places in scripture, thinking about places of the New Testament where we see the unfading beauty of gentle, quiet spirit, so beauty is a good thing, a good gift from God. At the same time, just looking at physical beauty and thinking that’s what matters most, that’s vain for women to think that, for men to think that about women. It’s vain.
So, see the deceit and the vanity here, but then this phrase, “A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Now, this is what matters. We know. We’ve seen throughout the Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so it makes sense. We have the wise picture of a woman here, and this is what is worthy of honor: a woman who fears the Lord, who walks in wisdom, who walks in his way. This is what matters.
Oh, and courage. Women who are listening to this, may this be your priority: the fear of the Lord far more than charm and beauty that would fear God. Men, that we would honor and encourage to fear God that we would look for, when they think about a wife, to look for a woman who fears God, to put the priority in focus there.
Help us, we pray, to see that real beauty is found in fearing you. Real honor and worth is found in knowing you, fearing you, walking in your ways. So, I pray. We pray for our sisters in Christ you would help them to fear you, and help them not to be deceived. Help them not to focus on that which is vanity.
Lord, we pray for men to look for this, and women, to look for a woman who fears you. For husbands who are married, to help nourish and cherish their wives that they might fear you more and more. Oh God, we pray for a flourishing of biblical womanhood in your church.
Sisters who are listening to this, a flourishing of biblical women who fear you, and Lord, use us as men to help encourage and nurture women who fear you. All to your glory, we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.