Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
Your clothing is probably the most noticeable thing about how you appear to others. Clothing in the time that the book of Proverbs was written was pretty much a ” head-to-toe” affair. There was not much to be seen of a woman’s appearance other than the clothing that she wore. God gave me the face I have, and most everything else that characterizes how I look, so I have no choice in those areas of my appearance.
But clothing is a matter in which I can make choices. Now this verse is not talking about literal clothing that i take out of my closet, but about virtues or character traits that can and should adorn my life a a Christian lady. Those character qualities or “personality traits” that I demonstrate are what other people see about me, and I have choice in how I appear to others, and in the kind of testimony that I radiate to those around me.
Strength and honor are the visible things about this lady’s character that people see first when they look at her life. and since clothing is an area of choice, then strength and honor are the virtues or traits that the virtuous woman selects out of this spiritual wardrobe and “puts on” when she gets up in the morning. Strength, as is translated throughout the Bible, suggests physical might, military force, wealth and property or the ability to acquire them, being capable or of great ability, being valiant, and even being influential. A concordance says that the word “strength” in this verse means “strength, might, hardness’.
While I’m sure that hardness is not a characteristic of her appearance or attitude, it might very well describe the unbreakable fiber of her conviction, character and resolve in the face of opposition. A Godly lady chooses to adorn herself with strength.
lets look at “honor” in the same way. Honor, Beauty, majesty, splendor, importance, worth, and nobility are all implied by the ways in which the word is used. Vine’s Expository dictionary says, “…this word is a counterpart to Hebrews words for ‘glory’ and ‘dignity’… a combination of physical attractiveness and social position. ” It is often used to speak of the honor and majesty of the Lord, as well as the stately majesty of earthly royalty.
While I don’t believe a clean-living, pure hearted lady seeks to set herself up in a position to draw or demand honor from others, I do believe that she realizes that she is a daughter of the king — the king of kings, in fact and she chooses to conduct herself in a honorable way in which befits her royal birth. I’m sure if I was writing this verse in Proverbs 31, I would have invented a list ten miles long of virtues we ought to incorporate — I tend to do that. But since God wrote it, He said ” Strength and honor are her clothing..” A virtuous woman will choose to put on a strength of character that demonstrates itself in her purpose and resolve and unyielding conviction, and by choice she will adorn herself with a beautiful and majestic dignity that only the Lord can bestow.
Wife of Evangelist Dennis Corle