Do you ever find yourself feeling like you don’t measure up because of what you’ve been through? Me too.

I remember when I first read Proverbs 31, which describes a woman of noble character, many years ago as a young wife and mom. I thought the Proverbs 31 woman was overwhelmingly perfect.

And as I’ve walked through hardship in my life over the last several years, I’ve found myself not just intimidated by Proverbs 31 but defeated by all the qualities the woman she had that I clearly don't.

That’s why my heart feels especially tender toward those of you who would rather skip over Proverbs 31. I know what it’s like to have these words sit heavy on your heart with a resounding declaration of “I’m not enough” and “my life looks nothing like hers.”

But what if I told you the heart behind Proverbs 31:10-31 is one of celebration and not condemnation?

The first thing I want us to take note of is that this isn’t just a chapter about a wife of noble character. It’s a chapter about a woman of valor. A courageous woman. A woman of strength and dignity.

And the fact that you are reading this, seeking God, and pursuing healing for the painful circumstances you’ve walked through is evidence that you are a woman of valor, courage, strength and dignity. So Proverbs 31 is for you and me.

And in the Jewish culture, these verses are read out loud on the Sabbath as a celebration over the women. This is in no way condemning what they aren’t but celebrating how they, in their own unique expressions, live out the virtues detailed in this chapter.

Isn’t that the way it should be?

Courageous women celebrating each other — and those they love celebrating them. All under the banner of honoring God, serving out of love and smiling at the future. That’s the heartbeat behind what we do here at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

I also love how Proverbs 31:30 reminds us of what is truly worth celebrating: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lᴏʀᴅ is to be praised” (ESV).

Notice it’s not a woman with a spotless house who is to be praised. It’s not the mom with perfectly behaved children who never skips pages when reading books to them. Honestly, it’s not even just for a woman who is married and has children.

It’s a woman who fears the Lord who is to be praised. This isn’t an “I’m afraid of God” kind of fear. This type of fear is referring to having a heart completely in awe of God. It describes a woman who honors God by seeking Him in everything she does and trusting Him wholeheartedly with her life.

What if we speak these words over ourselves and the other women in our lives as a form of celebration instead of condemnation, realizing that our stories don’t disqualify us?

Reminding you of this truth and who the Lord says you are is so important to us here at Proverbs 31 Ministries. My life has personally been changed by this ministry, and I pray it does the same for you. It has been the greatest honor to come alongside you for the past three decades ... and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through us both in the years ahead.

Get to know our President a little more with these resources:

Lysa TerKeurst is President and Chief Visionary Officer of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, and It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way. She writes from her family’s farm table and lives in North Carolina. Connect with her at or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.

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