May 12, 2024 – Proverbs 31

Lesson Date: May 12, 2024 – Mother’s Day

Focal Scripture Passage: Proverbs 31:10-31

AIM: To lead students to examine the Bible’s descriptions of a virtuous woman, and to select at least one area of their life that needs improvement and commit to do whatever is necessary to become a person of virtue.


Before class: Read the notes on Proverbs 31 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students to name some famous and/or influential living persons.  Write the names they give on the board.  After listing all the names on the board, ask the following three questions about each person in the list:

“What is this person famous for?”

“What do you know about this person’s character?”

“Is this person known for having godly, virtuous character?”

Allow time for responses concerning each person listed on the board.

Tell the class that today is Mother’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate and show appreciation to the mothers in our lives.  Tell them in honor of Mother’s Day, this morning we will study the familiar passage of Proverbs 31, which describes some of the characteristics of a virtuous woman.  Ask: “What does the word ‘virtuous’ mean?”  Allow time for some responses, and then tell the students a dictionary definition of “virtuous” is, “having or exhibiting virtue; morally excellent, righteous.”[i]

Tell the class the title of today’s lesson is The Virtuous Woman.  Tell them we will examine the Bible’s descriptions of a virtuous woman, but many of the truths of this lesson apply to men as well as to women; God wants all of us to be virtuous people.



  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the Old Testament book of Proverbs.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Godly Parenting; we discovered some of the Bible’s guidelines for wise, godly parenting).
    • Ask if anyone would recite last week’s memory verse (Prov. 22:6).
  2. The Blessing of a Virtuous Woman.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 31:10-12.
    • Ask: “Does verse 10 imply that virtue is very common; in other words, are there lots of virtuous women in the world?” (no, virtue is very rare today).
    • Ask: “According to verse 10, how valuable is a virtuous woman?” (more valuable than worldly riches).
    • Ask: “According to verse 11, how does the virtuous woman’s husband feel about her?” (he trusts her, he has confidence she will manage the household and not waste his money).
    • Ask: “According to verse 12, how does the virtuous woman treat her husband?” (“she will do him good and not evil”).
    • Ask: “How long will that good treatment last?” (for a lifetime).
    • Tell the students that Proverbs 12:4 says, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
    • Explain the following:
      • It is a blessing to be married to a virtuous woman.
      • The same is true of a virtuous man: he is a blessing to his family.
      • If there were more virtuous people in the world, there would be far fewer divorces, dysfunctional families, and abusive relationships.
    • Summarize: The virtuous woman is a rare and valuable blessing to her husband and family. The same is true of a virtuous man.
  3. The Work of a Virtuous Woman.
    • Tell the class the next verses we will study describe the work of a virtuous woman.
    • Read Proverbs 31:13-14.
    • Ask: “What does verse 13 say about a virtuous woman’s attitude toward her work?” (she works willingly).
    • Ask: “What does verse 14 say she brings to her family?” (food and necessities).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 31:15-16.
    • Ask: “According to verse 15, when does a virtuous woman start to work?” (early, before daylight).
    • Ask: “Why does she do that?” (to feed her family).
    • Ask: “According to verse 16, what kind of wisdom does a virtuous woman have?” (the business skill necessary to help manage and provide for her family).
    • Read Proverbs 31:17-20.
    • Ask: “According to verse 17, what does she do for herself?” (keeps herself strong so she can care for her family).
    • Ask: “According to verse 18, how long does she work?” (until late at night).
    • Ask: “According to verse 19, does the virtuous woman work with her hands?” (yes).
    • Ask: “According to verse 20, who does she care for and help?” (the poor and needy).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 31:21-22.
    • Ask: “What does she provide for her family?” (proper clothing).
    • Read Proverbs 31:23-24.
    • Ask: “Why do you think the virtuous woman’s husband is well known?” (for having a virtuous, wise, prudent wife; in other words, her godly character is evident in his life).
    • Ask: “According to verse 24, how do her skills bless her family?” (by adding to the family income).
    • Summarize: The virtuous woman is a hard worker who blesses her family. The same is true of a virtuous man.
  4. The Wisdom of a Virtuous Woman.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Proverbs 31:25-27.
    • Explain the following:
      • Verse 25 says the virtuous woman is clothed with strength and honor.
      • Her clothing is the exact opposite of the harlot described in Proverbs 7:10.
      • Christian women should dress modestly, in a way that draws attention to their godly character, rather than to their physical appearance (1 Tim. 2:9-11; 1 Pet. 3:1-5).
    • Ask: “Do our modern clothing and entertainment industries promote this type of clothing?” (absolutely not).
    • Stress the fact that it is foolish and fruitless to try to be a virtuous person while dressing like someone without virtue.
    • Ask: “According to verse 25, how does the virtuous woman look to the future?” (with confidence).
    • Ask: “How does verse 26 describe the virtuous woman’s speech?” (wisdom and kindness come from her mouth).
    • Ask: “According to verse 27, how does the virtuous woman care for her household?” (well; without laziness).
    • Summarize: The virtuous woman is very wise; her character is revealed by her words and appearance. The same is true of a virtuous man.
  5. The Reward of a Virtuous Woman.
    • Remind the students that we have already learned about the blessing, work, and wisdom of the virtuous woman; the remainder of the chapter describes her reward.
    • Read Proverbs 31:28-31.
    • Ask: “What reward does verse 28 describe?” (praise from her children and husband).
    • Ask: “What reward is found in verse 29?” (praise from everyone who knows her).
    • Ask everyone to look at verse 30.
    • Ask: “Which does our world glorify the most – beauty and popularity, or fearing and obeying the Lord?” (beauty and popularity).
    • Explain the following:
      • Popularity and fame are fleeting.
      • Physical beauty fades with age.
      • Beauty and popularity don’t last long.
      • It’s what’s on the inside that really matters: character, virtue, and genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
      • Here’s a test for what matters most to you: Do you spend more time on your appearance and on trying to be popular, or on your relationship with the Lord and your character?
    • Tell the class that the virtuous woman will be praised and rewarded for her godly character.
    • Ask: “What is the ultimate reward for trusting Jesus?” (eternity with him in heaven).
    • Tell the class that verse 31 says the virtuous woman’s works will praise her.
    • Summarize: The virtuous woman focuses on eternal values, resulting in praise from family, others, and even from her own works. The same is true of a virtuous man.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that the title of today’s lesson is The Virtuous Woman.  Tell them we have discovered the blessing, work, wisdom, and reward of a virtuous woman.  Remind them that many of the descriptions of the virtuous woman apply equally to men, because God wants all of us to be virtuous people.

Direct everyone’s attention back to the names of famous or influential people written on the board.  Ask: “Which of those people do you think fits the Bible’s standard of being a virtuous person?”  Allow time for responses, and ask why the students answered as they did.

Ask: “Now let’s get personal; what if your name was written on the board?  How do you compare to the descriptions of a virtuous woman we’ve discovered today?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Ask everyone to think of at least one area of their life that needs improvement.  Ask: “What can you do to be a person of virtue in that area?”  Tell them to make a conscious commitment to God to take that action.  Allow a moment for silent prayer, and then voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Proverbs 31:30.  Encourage them to follow through on whatever commitments they have made today.



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