Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:25
"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future"
This is the Hebrew word oz which means strength or might or power. The virtuous woman is not a frail woman who is all about beauty but cannot do anything. The virtuous woman can do many things and her clothing, according to this proverb, is not her daintiness but her strength at doing actual things that need to be done.
In biblical times – as well as today – women are encouraged to get by on their beauty and helplessness. This is not the advice to women in the Scriptures. While beauty is a plus if God gives it, it is the woman who works hard at righteous activities that is praised and not the lazy bimbo who uses her beauty to get out of work.
Unfortunately, in high school some young ladies are culturized to count on their looks rather than their hard work. Do not get caught in this trap. Learn to work hard. Develop strength in a number of directions.
This is the Hebrew word hadar which means an ornament, honor, splendor. It has been translated by all those terms as dignity and beauty. The idea is that the virtuous woman is more than just a pretty face. She has a lady-like quality and a dignity and bearing that is so much richer than just external beauty and sex appeal. We need women of substance who carry themselves with significance and class. God is in each generation, raising up women like this who do not succumb to the passing fancies of fashion and fads but instead please God with how they speak, how they act, and what they allow to turn their heads.
This is the Hebrew word lebush which means garment, clothing. The writer of the Proverbs here is saying what Peter is saying about Godly women in 1 Peter 3 – that it is not the clothing or jewelry or hair styles that make a woman godly; it is something about her soul. It is something about how she lives, reacts, and acts that says that this woman is aimed at pleasing God and not man.
This is the Hebrew word yishaq from which we get our English word Isaac. It means laughter or amusement.
The woman of virtue smiles or laughs at the future because of her industriousness and planning; her life is getting better. She is not the frantic woman who has bet her life on her beauty or sex appeal and is seeing it fade. The woman of virtue is becoming more desirable, not less desirable as she gets older. She is more secure because righteousness builds over time.
This is two Hebrew words which mean latter days. When the virtuous woman is old, she will enjoy the company of her children and grandchildren and the investments that she has made in those relationships and the business relationships that will be paying dividends.
She did not sell herself cheap, auctioning off her soul for pieces of her body. But instead she developed a deep soul and industriousness in regards to her talents and roles. She smiles at the future because it means continuing relationships until God calls her home.