What if Proverbs 31 was written to men? My Response

15 May

For years, my wife has groaned whenever a pastor has preached on Proverbs 31.  I thought the passage was nice.  I thought it should make her happy.  She tried to explain to me how over-whelming the demands of this passage, and how it makes all women…well, come up lacking.

I did not understand until I decided to change it around.  What if Proverbs 31 was written to men?  What if I wanted to achieve the goal of my children rising up and calling me blessed.

So I changed the gender of this passage.  Not for the sake of biblical translation, not for the sake of gender wars…  I changed it so I could get a sense of why Proverbs 31 is so hard for many women.

Here is the chapter with my reflections:

Epilogue: The Husband of Noble Character

10 A husband of noble character who can find?  He is worth far more than rubies.
11 His wife has full confidence in him   (I lost her full confidence on the day, I tried to fix the washing machine.)  and lacks nothing of value.  (Well, my hair is a little lacking these days!)
12 He brings her good, not harm, all the days of his life.
13 He selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 He is like the merchant ships, bringing his food from afar.     (Do Ramen Noodles really come from Asia?)
15 He gets up while it is still night; he provides food for his family (Finally, a YES!  As long as Delivery Counts?) and portions for his servants.
16 He considers a field and buys it;  (I found a house.  I bought a house, and then lost lots of money when the market fell.) out of his earnings he plants a vineyard.  (Therefore, the vineyard will have to wait.)
17 He sets about his work vigorously; his arms are strong for his tasks.   (Never been accused of strong arms, but I am a hard worker.)
18 He sees that his trading is profitable, and his lamp does not go out at night.  (So when did sleep become a BAD thing?)
19 In his hand he holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with his fingers.
20 He opens his arms to the poor and extends his hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, he has no fear for his household;     (I live in Minnesota, so scarlet is not going to cut it, even if I knew how to sew.) for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 He makes coverings for his bed; he is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 His wife is respected within the community, where she takes her seat among the leaders of the land.
24 He makes linen garments and sells them,    (Don’t you have to be a celebrity to sell clothing?) and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 He is clothed with strength and dignity; he can laugh at the days to come.    (Somedays, I laugh.  Other days, I cry.)
26 He speaks with wisdom, (Except when I thought that the telephone timeshare vacation was a good deal.) and faithful instruction is on his tongue.
27 He watches over the affairs of his household  (Oh yeah, where are my kids?  I am too busy sewing.) and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 His children arise and call him blessed;   (My boys do give me nicknames, but this is NOT one of them.) his wife also, and she praises him:
29 “Many men do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a man who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Honor him for all that his hands have done, and let his works bring him praise within the community.         (Isn’t life more than what we do?)

After viewing if from a different perspective, let’s just say…

I understand now.


One Response to “What if Proverbs 31 was written to men? My Response”


  1. From Boy to Man – Part Two – A Response to Albert Mohler | More Than A Beard - October 23, 2014

    […] has recreated  Proverbs 31 – Man’s Edition, a laundry checklist of values and performance-driven requirements that every man is doomed to fail […]

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