The example of the Proverbs 31 woman has been misused in the past, Trillia Newbell said. But there's wisdom to be found in her story too.

The Proverbs 31 woman was excellent not because of what she did, but who she adored, Trillia Newbell said.

NEWS | Meredith Flynn

Iconic TV moms June Cleaver and Clair Huxtable were products of their times – 1950′s idealism and 1980′s feminism. The matriarchs from “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Cosby Show” have been idolized by women and by culture as ideals of femininity and, basically, having it all together.

But idolizing those examples, or that of any other cultural icon, leads to condemnation, said Trillia Newbell. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s consultant for women’s initiatives spoke today on biblical womanhood to women gathered at the ERLC’s summit on the Gospel and sexuality.

The June’s and Clair’s of television might see their influence wane as the culture changes, or at least they’ll be replaced by other ideals. But what about the one many Christian women have heard about from the time they were old enough to find Proverbs in their Bibles?

“I already know that many people are tired of the Proverbs 31 woman,” Newbell said of Scripture’s ideal wife. “She too has been idolized. It hasn’t been helpful.

“But no worries,” she assured her audience, “I’m not merely going to be talking about how excellent she is.”

Instead, Newbell talked about why the Proverbs 31 woman is held up as an example of excellence in the ancient poem. It wasn’t because of what she did, but rather who she loved. Near the end of the chapter, we discover she fears the Lord.

“If the call to be a God-fearing woman completely freaks you out, God provides the grace for it,” Newbell said. For Sarai, who laughed when He made her a promise. For women throughout Scripture. Even for the woman in Proverbs 31.


An almost-Gospel is no match for the sexual revolution.”

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

A gentle and quiet spirit is not about volume.

“Woo-hoo! Otherwise, I’d be in trouble.

“It’s about a heart that fears and loves the Lord.”

Trillia Newbell, speaking on biblical womanhood

When I die, I want my children to be able to say that was the godliest man I ever met. And I want my wife to be able to say I would marry him all over again.”

Pastor Matt Carter, on his two life goals

“Satan would love for your children to be morally pure, as long as that’s not the fruit of the Gospel.

…With Satan, any path to self-righteousness, any path to self-exaltation is a good one. Satan doesn’t hate morality, he hates the cross.”

David Prince, on teaching your children about Gospel-centered sexuality

Our approach to teaching our children about Christian sexuality cannot be, ‘Just say no. Just don’t do it.’ That’s not a Christian sexual ethic. …We want them not to just have a right view about what to say no to, we want them to have a comprehensively Christ-centered, Christian view of sexuality.”

David Prince, pastor of Ashland Avenue Baptist in Lexington, Ky., at the ERLC summit on the Gospel and sexuality

You’re not defined by your temptations. You’re not predestined by your temptations. You’re not necessarily sinning by your temptations.

“We have to show people what it is to take up their cross and follow God.”

-ERLC President Russell Moore on exhorting people struggling with sexual temptation