What is an Accountable Woman? A Look at Proverbs 31

What is an Accountable Woman? A Look at Proverbs 31 October 9, 2022
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects fine wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you can surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31: 10-31

I spent 8 weeks studying the above passage when I participated in a bible study, many years ago. I remember when I was first introduced to this passage how eager I was to model the behavior articulated. I wanted my husband to view me as a virtuous woman.

I know that saying something like that in 2022 can be considered taboo. There are countless messages out there that convince women that taking a lowly position like “wife” or “mother” is just a program of the patriarchy. Messages that indicate a true feminist is a woman who rejects all societal prescriptions that confine a woman to a home with babies at her side. That somehow you could lose respect if you choose to be a stay-at-home mother rather than chasing a career, status, and financial wealth.

It’s been said that any woman who enjoys staying at home is simply brainwashed by the patriarchy. It means that a woman is suffering from misogynistic hypotonization. She couldn’t possibly enjoy spending all that time with her children, in the kitchen, or waiting on her husband to arrive home from work. That’s utter nonsense and no good-sensed woman would ever settle for such lowly standards.

More and more societal messaging portends to know what women want and how women should behave. For me, I thought part of the feminist movement was to give a voice to women and to respect their choices in life—whatever those choices may be. The massaging indicates, however, that if a woman chooses to pursue a career, then she is doing what she wants. But if a woman chooses instead, to pursue family life, she is doing what a man wants—even if she believes that she chose that for herself. It’s ridiculous.

But now there is talk that men can be women. So, who knows what to believe anymore?

What I believe is that women are under extreme pressure to compete with the characterizations of women from social media platforms. Now, more than ever before, we have millions of models of various female behaviors to compare. And it can be overwhelming. The messages are intense. So intense that there has been a surge in suicide among the female population (although men still attempt and succeed at suicide at higher rates).

The intensity of the inundation of imitations also paralyzes women in relationships. We have so much information streaming through our heads about how we are supposed to be, that we effectively isolate ourselves with high walls and tightening boundaries.

Maybe following the virtue prescriptions of the Bible isn’t your thing. Maybe you have been led to believe that the model of a Proverbs 31 woman is just too outlandish for current societal expectations. But I think that if we reflect on this passage, we will come to find that the sayings of King Lemuel are describing an accountable woman. And she is truly rare. This is why there are so many conflicting issues spilling out of marriages.


Accountability is itself, a rare commodity. With the incessant political propaganda circulating, combined with distracting alleged “social issues,” the MSM streams for us, endless depictions of anti-accountability. Very rarely will you hear or see a genuine apology. It’s become commonplace practice to deny the things you say and gaslight others for allegedly misinterpreting your intentions. And women ultimately receive the biggest passes. Women rarely have to own their shit anymore. She can simply blame menstruation, blame peri-menopause, blame menopause, blame child-rearing, blame men, blame society, blame inequality, blame the moon, blame it on the rain.

Man has become the ultimate scapegoat and woman is always innocent.

I speak from experience. I recognize how much crap I got away with because I had some cleverly categorized social message to grasp at and throw in my husband’s face, whenever it was convenient. I allowed the messaging of outside sources to infiltrate a very secure relationship. What I should have been doing was communicating with my husband, the person I am in a relationship with. He’s the one who has more insight to offer about “us” than any outside source ever could.

What I have learned as a woman is that I created a toxic relationship with ideas and concepts to skirt out personal responsibility. I don’t know if it was the goal of feminism, but a result of feminism came to be that a woman doesn’t have to be accountable for her actions.

Accountability is attractive to all humans, but it can be the greatest defining feature of a virtuous woman.

Rather than cloaking themselves in red bottoms, eye and hair extensions, and fast fashion, women would do well to clothe themselves in acceptance, accountability, and apology.

I have been married for almost 14 years, and we have been together for 17 years. I have experience with what I am about to share with you. When I tell you that my marriage only got better as I learned to take responsibility for my reactivity, I am not embellishing.

I was influenced to believe that a man could never help me understand my womanhood. I believed that only other women could model for me what virtues were pleasing to men. That’s the first mistake I made. See, as Simone De Beauvoir once pointed out, women have always competed against one another. Of course, De Beauvoir blames a man for this competition, and at one time, I sided with that assessment. But as I have opened my mind up, and once I started listening to my husband, I realized that women, sometimes unknowingly, steer other women in the wrong direction. The advice they give is often not seasoned nor filtered from overt emotionality. She leads others astray, but she also leads herself astray by believing that her emotions are her truth.

One of the reasons for that is that women often put a lot of stock in assumption. Although the feminine energy is more intuitive, the female force is also, often, overwhelmed by emotionality. Our emotions can interfere with our good senses. This means that our skill at reading energy and sensing our surroundings can be interrupted by the redundant emotional expressions we employ. What we think we sense or intuit about our husbands or our surroundings can be tainted by egoic emotions at bay.

Women don’t like to admit this. Admission of this very intrinsic component of our feminine divinity makes us feel vulnerable. And when we feel vulnerable, we get defensive. When we are defensive, we are reactive and out of touch with our intuition. So we lean on assumption. And we only opt for assumption because we build fantastical, emotional stories in our minds, and because we are emotional thinkers, we actually believe what we think because it made us feel a certain way. Women allow their thoughts to become their beliefs because we unfortunately attach emotions to every single solitary thought we have.

When we are high in emotionality, our intuition is low, so we depend on assumptions to tell us what is taking place. We traipse back into our memory boxes, and out comes a previous situation that made us feel the way we feel now. We then convince ourselves that our feelings are trying to tell us something truthful. The last time I felt this way, this was taking place. That must mean what is taking place is the same thing.

Here’s an unfortunate aspect of our feelings, ladies. They do lie to us. Most of our feelings are habitual. We circulate through a few emotions in our day and that becomes our normalcy. The things we claim to feel become a conditioned response to our reality. This means we aren’t always conscious of the feelings we feel. And if we aren’t walking in awareness (another thing we struggle with), then we won’t see what we are doing.

Our “feelings” can turn into assumptions, which lead to accusations and sometimes abuse. It’s not enough to just know that a woman is emotional. A woman must also know how to manage her emotions. And not for the sake of men, but for the sake of women. And also, for the sake of her children.

The thing is a woman is not obligated to attach an emotion to every single solitary experience in her life. Consider how draining that is. Once I wake up in the morning, must I express emotionally how it feels to wake up, or can I just wake up? Must I consider how making breakfast in the morning makes me feel, or can I just recognize that I must eat, therefore I must cook? Must I consider my feelings the next time I start a load of laundry? Or can I just recognize that my laundry is dirty, therefore I must wash it, dry it, and put it away?

Women complicate everyday tasks and relationship routes when we attach emotions to every experience. It is good that a woman is emotional. It is good that women can model positive emotional expression. This is why we are so necessary in the world.

Men, on the other hand, very rarely attach emotion to thoughts. And many studies indicate that men just don’t think as often as women do. This is not a dig at men. This is a brilliant component of the masculine mind. It is not constantly inundated with thoughts because of the very nature of the logical brain. Man is mathematical. And what we know about math is that it doesn’t require feelings to be validated.

And listen, I am not trying to judge women for our emotional minds. It’s a brilliant component of the feminine mind. And when we bring woman and man together, we have a beautiful unity of various components that contribute to connection.

An accountable woman contains her emotions. She understands that not every feeling must be expressed. She reserves her energy and her emotionality so that she doesn’t have to apologize so often for dramatic outbursts.

The thing I recognized about my own behavior in my marriage was that I struggled with apologizing for my emotional reactions. I leaned on the social messages that circulated that told me an independent woman is unapologetic. And for a time, I tried to subscribe to those sentiments. But I didn’t like how my behavior and my unapologetic emotional power trips made my husband feel. See, although men are not as emotional as women, that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.

My husband expressed to me that my assumptions always made him feel like he was being accused of things he didn’t do. He’d ask me, “Why can’t you just ask me to do something, rather than assuming I won’t help me?” I would tell him, “I shouldn’t have to ask, you should just know what I want.” Here’s the problem. I was asking my husband to assume to know what I want. Not only was I comfortable with making all the assumptions I did about my husband, but now I was teaching him that assumptions were acceptable when it came to me. But I also cannot stand when others make assumptions about people they don’t know. Why would I teach my husband such contradictory messages?

Telling a woman that she shouldn’t have to ask for help is just absurd. In fact, the narrative that a person shouldn’t ask for help, ever, is just bonkers to me. I won’t know you need help unless you ask for it. I don’t know what you want until I ask you what you want and wait for you to tell me. Why on earth would I listen to messages that convince me assumption and ignorance are components of a healthy marriage? How could that be so?

We are so easily seduced by the spectacle, aren’t we?

Women are also sold the lie that if their husband doesn’t read their mind, he doesn’t love them. Women have opened the door wide open and invited the Accuser into their relationships. How can a woman be so easily convinced that her husband doesn’t love her? Because a meme said so? Women cannot read the minds of men, and men cannot read the minds of women. And I am not sure we would want that capability, anyway.

An accountable woman does not accuse her partner, period. Along with assumption, accusation is easily preventable in a relationship. Woman, if you are concerned that your partner is not being honest with you, just ask him. Don’t build a story in your head. Don’t’ believe what you think. Just ask. Men are happy to answer our questions.

Most accusations come from unfounded speculation. There’s no evidence that her man is behaving badly. It’s more likely that her ego got the best of her, and she believes the story she built. Women do that a lot. Because we attach emotions to our thoughts, it feels real. Convicted by contrived fiction, she will act out her emotionally fantastical enterprise by accusing, and projecting onto, her partner. Consider this common example: A man has a vivid dream and calls out a name or says something out loud, during his sleep. A woman will instantly accuse her husband of infidelity because he dreamed about something. An elaborate script begins to unfold in her head, and before she can even converse with her spouse, she has already decided he must be cheating on her.

An accusation of infidelity is one of the most complained about commentaries from men. It is expected that he walks around blindfolded because even the very act of looking at another woman is considered infidelity to so many women.

I wonder why a woman even gets married anymore. If all you depend on is assumption and accusation, you’ll never experience joy and fulfillment from a relationship. Women, we have got to stop believing that our only tools are the storylines we build in our heads. If you don’t believe your husband, if there is no trust, and you are always accusing him while refusing to apologize when you hurt his feelings, why are you with him?

Ladies, it’s really simple, if you lose your cool and overreact about something, apologize. What I know about my own man is that he is always ready to apologize, even if he isn’t sure what he is apologizing for. It got to a point where I told my husband, “Babe, you don’t always have to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ You didn’t know.” But too often, women insist that men will always have something to be sorry for, while she remains unapologetic and demands 100% acceptance of her feminine nature.

When are we going to let men be unapologetic in their nature? How did we get to this place in society where women’s rights and the right to work became more about tearing down the masculine? It’s not supposed to be this way. Rather than thinking just men or just women need to be unapologetic, why not insist on a more neutral message for both sexes? If you done fucked up, apologize. If you were in the wrong, apologize. If you were reactive, say, “I’m sorry.” Apologies don’t diminish our essence and they don’t mean we are any less of a person.

Apologies are one way we can be accountable for our actions. Having a vulva does not mean that we don’t have to own our shit. We are humans, too. We don’t know what we are doing any more than our men. None of us have Cliff’s Notes version for life or marriage. But saying “I am sorry” is one of the easiest ways to open communication, acknowledge the mistakes we made, and invite our partner back into connection.

Let’s go back to Proverbs for a moment. Verse 18 says, “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” Let’s break that open. This verse isn’t just talking about how she makes money to keep oil in her lamp. This verse talks about how she is profitable in her endeavors, trading her time and attention to provide. But the part about her lamp not going out. That speaks to her energy level as well. Remember how I said we women could stand to conserve our energy from emotionality? An accountable woman—a wife of noble character—doesn’t let her emotional energy burn up too quickly. She is seasoned in her emotions. She reserves positive emotions for the night. Maybe it’s just the erotic lens I have on life, and maybe it’s just because I have such an appreciation for sex, but I see this as an expression of horizontal refreshments. Her lamp always has oil in it. Her lamp doesn’t go out at night. For me, this means that she reserves erotic energy for her husband at night. Even though she works all day, tends to the children, cooks, etc, she doesn’t tell her husband “I am tired” or “not tonight, I am exhausted.” She has reserved her energy so that she doesn’t turn away from the battery charger that is her husband’s.

An accountable woman understands the nature of the masculine. She understands the importance of horizontal refreshments. She pursues pleasure and desires her husband. She never tries to change the nature of the masculine, but rather, learns how to accept and adapt to the masculine nature. An accountable woman is affectionate and attentive to the needs of her man.

Men are screaming for affection and attention. Men are dying for an encouraging word and a sensual touch. In a society that has convinced men that masculine intimacy is a sign of same-sex attraction, in a society that has convinced both men and women that touch= sexual attraction, men depend on the open invitation of intimacy they believe marriage will bring about.

Why are you even married?

I have to ask, why get married if you don’t want a touch or don’t want intimacy, or don’t like horizontal refreshments? It’s as if the messaging out there has been intentionally designed to convince women that sex is a useless endeavor. More and more married men are quietly quitting their marriages because their wives refuse to meet their physical needs. And sure, women have been convinced that only men have those needs and those urges, but I am here to tell you, that’s a big lie perpetuated by ideologues that want to depopulate the planet.

There’s also a lot of spiritual rhetoric that encourages people to believe that higher consciousness operates outside the “base desires of sex”. This is yet another lie perpetuated by industries that market Marxist ideas to shatter monogamy and the institution of 2 flesh becoming 1. I assure you, there is no higher form of connection and unity, no experience of consciousness that is higher than coming together as one flesh.

There are many physical health benefits to sex. There are also emotional and mental benefits to sex—not just for men, but for women as well. And of course, there’s the spiritual component of sex that rarely ever gets talked about. Sex, especially for men, is a sign of love. But it’s also what strengthens connection. Sex really does bring us closer to God. I think that’s why marriage once was treated as a sacrament and why there are so many religious affiliations with marriage. Marriage now has become purely transactional.

An accountable woman shows appreciation. I have listened to hundreds of men tell me what they want from the women in their lives. At the top of that list is appreciation. He wants to be thanked for his contributions just like you want to be thanked for all you do. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel appreciated. Again, there are messages out there convincing people that they don’t have to show gratitude. Expectations and demands have shoved gratitude in the trunk and I am not here for it.

An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. I personally have noticed a complete change in my environment by simply being appreciative of all that I have in my life. I remember to thank my husband for going to work. Sure, he’d do it anyway, and he’d work even if I wasn’t here. But there’s no harm in being appreciative. It’s how we let another know how much they mean to us and that their efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Politeness is missing in our relationships. I am not insisting that you must say thank you for everything your partner does. You may be saying “thank you” all day if that’s the case. But just like women like their emotions validated, just like women want to be seen and heard, so do men. Men want their productivity validated. That’s one of the reasons they talk about work so much. It’s something he is good at. And he knows that it provides for his family. He is proud of that part of his life. Women, don’t you like to be noticed for what you provide in the relationship? Why wouldn’t your husband also like this?

If your mentality is that “he’s the man, he’s the father, that’s his role, that’s what I expect from him,” you’re looking at this whole dynamic entirely upside down and backward. He is not obligated to provide for you, but he chooses to do so. It always surprises me how often women demand obligatory dynamics from their partners but then create double standards for themselves. Is he obligated to work for you? Then are you obligated to cook for him if you stay home? Are you obligated to have sex with him?

Let’s stop inserting obligation and expectation in our relationships, and instead, consider implementing a new lens on how we look at these components. He chooses to get up every day and go to work to provide for this family. He chose this job with this many stressful expectations to keep his job. He chooses to put himself through stress so that he can provide for you the lifestyle that you have.

Maybe that is why he has such high hopes that you will choose to provide for him what benefits his lifestyle. And for most men, that’s really simple. It’s sex. You may consider it a lowly exchange, but to him, it’s the reward of heaven for having to endure hell. Meaning, you bring him to heaven. Don’t deny him entrance into the Kingdom, please.

An accountable woman is aware of her power and her glory, but she is humble and gentle despite her potential fury. An accountable woman is empowered by her emotions and expresses them gingerly and affectionately.

Woman is worshipped despite what American main-stream-messaging is telling you. She holds great power and influence. She can make or break a man’s spirit with one simple look. Her touch can soothe or scathe. Her words can speak light into the world or cast a spell of darkness. And without the know-how to control her emotions, she will burn her entire world to the ground if she’s not careful.

I implore women to pause and reflect on their relationships. Ask yourself, am I an accountable woman? Am I showing affection or am I constantly hurling accusations? Am I showing appreciation or am I acting like nothing is good enough? A little self-awareness can go a long way in a relationship.

If you’re struggling with how to be an accountable woman, or if you are an accountable man desperate to give your relationship one more try, consider following me on TikTok. I share all my advice for free.



About Danielle M Kingstrom
Danielle is a writer, podcaster, and home-school teacher. She lives in rural Minnesota on a farm with her husband and five children. Together, they maintain a fourth generation legacy farm and raise chickens and cattle. When she is not reading, writing, or self-educating; she can be found outdoors in nature’s naked elements. Danielle is an avid gardener, a lover of art, knowledge, and always a student. She is active in revitalization projects within her community, partnering with committees to bridge the Rural Divide. Unafraid of sparking controversy, Danielle is a frequently published author, appearing regularly in her community’s local newspaper; writing about provocative issues and asking challenging questions that raise a few eyebrows. She is currently working on two books. You can read more about the author here.

Browse Our Archives