(Photo by Samantha De La O)
Clothed in Strength and Dignity
By Samantha De La O
Proverbs 31:25 reads, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future,” (NLT). Whether you’ve read this particular verse for the first time just now, or you already know all of it by heart, Proverbs 31 offers great insight into how we should be living day to day as women of God. It may seem straightforward at first glance, but are we really living by the words in this verse? Let’s take a closer look and see.
Let’s start with what it means to be clothed with strength and dignity. When we pick out the clothes that we wear each day, we tend to choose them with a purpose in mind. Our clothing is an expression of our personal style; our way of showing the world a part of ourselves that we may not have a chance to express in words. If we are to be clothed with strength and dignity, then it is those qualities that we should strive for, in our actions, words, and overall presentation. That means that those qualities should be visible to those around us, from the interactions we have with our co-workers, to the way we present ourselves on social media. Social media is of particular importance here, because in some sense, social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are a form of “clothing” all in themselves. While a person’s social media should not be used to evaluate their entire life, it does give a good idea of what a person wants you to see them as. That being said, our social media may not be the best place to unload our personal problems, and we should always put thought and consideration into what we post. When in doubt, we should try and hold ourselves to the highest standard, and use that to determine if what we are posting is pleasing to God, or just plain unnecessary.
Of course, clothing is used for more than just self-expression. The most basic purpose of clothing is to protect our bodies and keep us warm. When we clothe ourselves with strength, we are relying on the strength of our heavenly father to protect our spirits. When we cloth ourselves with dignity, (which means that we are worthy of honor and respect), we are using the guidelines presented to us in scripture to guard our hearts from those who would mistreat us. When looked at in this way, the verse becomes less of an instruction on how a Godly woman should behave, and more of a recipe for a joyful and God honoring heart.
Finally, Proverbs 31:25 says that we should “laugh without fear of the future,” (NIV). If we have followed the portion of the verse prior to this one, it suddenly becomes so much easier. God wants us to guard our hearts, and he tells us how to do, but not so that we can worry about what may harm us in the future. Instead, God wants us to leave that to him, and delight in what is in front of us right now. If we are clothed in His strength and dignity, we can do so without fear, because we will know his hand is on us as we move forward, doing the best that we possibly can with what he has given us.