She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25)
I’ve been meditating on this scripture lately. What does it mean to be clothed with strength and dignity? You can’t go to the mall and find either of these things. Strength and dignity is spiritual clothing—they come from knowing God.
The purpose of clothing is to cover us, to hide the parts of us that need to be hidden or protected. Thus, the scripture can be read as “She is protected and hidden behind dignity and strength.”
Dignity is defined as the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. The Proverbs 31 woman knows who she is; she knows her worth, for she is the daughter of the Most High!
She is clothed in dignity because she knows who she is; she is clothed in strength because she knows who God is.
When we come to know God, we come to know our value and develop a strong sense of self. This is a powerful source of protection. When we know our worth, we won’t settle for less than what we know we deserve.
Another source of protection comes from our strength. Where do you find your strength? In your physical size? Your money, status, talents, beauty? All of these things are fleeting and will ultimately fail you at some point. These are not true sources of strength.
God is attracted to weakness, vulnerability, to hunger and thirst. When we claim to be strong on our own, we are making a statement that we are full, and we don’t need God. When we come to know God, we come to realize that when we are weak, we are strong.
The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t made strong because of her accomplishments; she accomplishes because she is made strong in knowing the Lord.
When reading this verse, I like to think of the word “dignity” as synonymous for “her”, as it relates to her own level of self respect. I think of “strength” as synonymous for God, as God is the source of her strength. With this in mind, I can interpret this scripture to read as “She is protected and hidden behind her self respect and her faith in the Lord.”
When we have these two key things—
1. A realization of our worth
2. Faith in God (which is our strength)
—what can really harm us? What can really harm us when we have faith that God works everything out for our good? How could even the harshest of words or rejection even touch us when we know our value?
Finally, we come to the very end of the scripture “and she laughs without fear of the future.”
She is able to live a life free of anxiety and worry because she puts all her faith in the Lord. She knows nothing and no one can change who she is nor the plans God has for her. When we remember who we are and who God is, we are able to live in joy, peace, freedom, and refuge.
Because she knows Him, she knows she is loved, she is precious, she is protected, and she is free.