Are You a Lady Wisdom or a Madame Folly?

By: Kristen Clark

What if you lived your whole life thinking you were a smart and empowered woman only to get to Heaven and discover you were actually quite foolish? Thoughts like these stop me in my tracks all the time. They scare me. The thought of spending my whole life striving after what I believed to be right, only to find out I was wrong, is a sobering and tragic thought.

We live in a day and age where examining our motives, character, actions, and thoughts isn’t something we’re encouraged to do. Instead, we’re encouraged to be “empowered” in the things that make us feel good. The things that make us feel confident and successful. The things that make us happy.

The problem with this type of living is that it makes each person their own judge. Each individual person gets to decide their own definition of wisdom and foolishness.

As nice as this might sound, it doesn’t work long term.

At the end of our lives, we will each stand before God Himself and give a personal account of the life we lived (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10). Our lives won’t be judged on a sliding scale of “what felt good,” but rather, “what truly was good.”

We will no longer be the judge — God will.

With that reality in mind, wouldn’t it make sense for us to begin the self-evaluation process now? Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the lives we’re living as women are considered foolish or wise in God’s eyes?

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us guessing. Being the loving Creator and Father that He is, He’s given us a measurable standard to evaluate our lives by. 

The book of Proverbs is one of those divine tools.

I was reading Proverbs 9 the other and came across a really interesting section that inspired the theme of this post. Proverbs 9 is actually divided into two distinct sections: The first section is called “The Way of Wisdom” and the second section is called “The Way of Folly.” This Proverb lays out a very clear picture of what wisdom looks like and what folly looks like.

If we, as Christian women, want to be considered wise in God’s eyes, this passage will help learn how.

Let’s check it out.

In Proverbs 9 there are two very different type of “women” presented to us. The first woman could be named Lady Wisdom and the second one could be named Madam Folly. As we look carefully at each of these women, let’s do some honest self-evaluation and decide which lady we most resemble.

Lady Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-18)

  • Lady Wisdom loves her family and always has their best interest in mind (v. 1-2).
  • She doesn’t go along with what’s popular, but rather boldly calls others to a higher standard (v. 4-6).
  • She uses discernment in conversation and doesn’t waste time arguing with foolish people who aren’t interested in wisdom (v. 7-8).
  • She loves wise counsel and seeks it out. She is eager to grow in wisdom and truth (v. 9).
  • She knows that true knowledge can only come from God. She looks to God as the author of truth and the ultimate authority in her life (v. 10).
  • She understands that the fear of God is essential to being a wise woman (v.10).
  • She is focused on the big picture and wants to live a life she won’t regret (v. 11-12).

Madame Folly (Proverbs 9:13-18)

  • Madam Folly is loud and foolish. You don’t have to wonder if she’s around (v. 13).
  • She uses her feminine allure and beautiful body to sexually entice men who aren’t her husband (v. 13).
  • She longs for the attention of men and is constantly on the hunt for it (v. 14).
  • She is aggressive and pursues men in order to get what she wants (v. 15).
  • She isn’t interested in wise counsel, but rather, gravitates towards foolish people (v. 16).
  • She loves being naughty and convinces herself that sin is actually fulfilling (v. 17).
  • She focused on instant pleasure and pursues whatever seems fun regardless of the long-term consequences (v. 18).
  • She is blind to her sin and can’t see the deadly path that she, or her friends, are going down (v. 18).

Quite the contrast between those two women, right?

Here’s the deal. Lady Wisdom isn’t wise because of random chance. She is wise because she intentionally chose the path of wisdom. She chose the path of God…of life. On the other hand, Madame Folly chose the path of foolishness and sin. She decides what is right and what is wrong, rather than looking to God’s Word.

Just like these two hypothetical women, we have a choice to make in our lives right now. We can either choose the path of foolishness by listening to our hearts and pop culture, or we can choose the path of wisdom by listening to God’s word and obeying His truth.

I know I have a long way to go, but I desire to be a modern woman who is like Lady Wisdom. I want to live my life in a way that truly pleases God. I want my life to impact others and encourage them towards Christ and His goodness.

I hope you will join me in striving after Lady Wisdom too!

Over the next few days, I want to encourage you to read Proverbs 9 for yourself. Pray and ask God to show you which lady you’re more like. Take some notes and journal your thoughts and prayers. Ask God to help you become a Lady Wisdom in your life right now.

Let’s chat below!

  • What stood out to you about Lady Wisdom’s descriptions?
  • Why do you think Madame Folly’s life looks fun but ultimately leads to death?
  • Who is a modern Lady Wisdom that you know right now?

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  • Brittany

    I have just begun my journey into University and these past few weeks I’ve really been praying for a Godly wisdom, not only in my actions , but in my finances, choices and even school work. I’m so glad to have read this post and I think I’m going to start praying specifically for these qualities of wisdom that God has called us to have.

  • Shanae B

    Love the title of this post! Very true we’re always forgetting to examine ourselves through God’s eyes. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bella D.

    This is great! I always enjoy self-examining tests, and this one was no exception. I think I desire to be like Lady Wisdom, and convince myself that I have some of her attributes, but am ultimately struggling with Madam Folly.

    I have a question; what is the difference between having a fun, outgoing personality and being obnoxious and foolish?

    • Paige

      Hi Bella! Your question caught my eye; I think it’s a good one!

      Here’s my thoughts on your question: Having a fun, outgoing personality is a God-given blessing. I know a few ladies who have this trait, and they are fun to be around and make me feel comfortable and welcome. (I’m naturally on the quieter side.) I think this trait can either come naturally or can be cultivated over time.

      The difference between fun and outgoing and obnoxious and foolish is that the latter often (though not always) happens when one is trying to draw attention to oneself or thinks more highly of oneself than they ought. (I can speak from personal experience: I often do “dumb stuff” when I’m trying to make a good impression or have people notice me! Kinda defeats the purpose…) It’s having a “me” centered focus rather than an “others” centered focus. Only by the grace of Jesus can this folly be overcome, and thankfully, it WILL ultimately be overcome.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

      A Sister in Christ

      • Bella D.

        Thank you, Paige! It was so sweet of you to respond with such a great answer. I definitely struggle with that, and have been wondering for a long time how to balance the two in the places they should be.

  • Kelsey Thoman

    I absolutely LOVE this post! Definitely covers the goals I have in my life!
    (Btw, not to be discouraging at all, but you bold point says “contact” instead of “contrast” I believe. Also the paragraph underneath switches from present tense to past tense) Not a big deal at all! Just trying to make sure your points are clear.
    Thank you so much for taking time to inspire us towards wisdom!!! ❤️

  • Winnie

    This is a great post! But lady Wisdom isn’t hypothetical, she’s Mary, the mother of God.

  • Kimmy

    Thank you!
    Blog posts like these make my bible study more fun <3

  • Grace Obe

    What stood out to me about Lady Wisdom is that she doesn’t waste time arguing with fools who aren’t interested in wisdom. This is a difficult way to live, since fools are everywhere, even in some of our own families! However, I can see that peace is gained by avoiding these types of arguments/conversations.

  • Sateigdra Knowles

    Loved this. I read Proverbs 9 a while back but today that will definitely be something I sit and carefully read again. Thanks for sharing this Kristen.

  • Alisha

    Wonderful article…I want to a lady wisdom

  • tfrohlich

    “She doesn’t go along with what’s popular, but rather boldly calls others to a higher standard (v. 4-6).” This stood out to me the most about Lady Wisdom. I usually consider standards that God has for me, but want to focus more on holding others to a high standard too in a loving and God-honoring way.

  • Krystel Lumacad

    Thank you so much for this post. The description that stood out to me most about Lady Wisdom is ‘She is focused on the big picture and wants to live a life she won’t regret “. A modern lady wisdom I know right now and has been a great model for me as a Christian girl is you and Bethany, my cell group leader Ate Julie Ann and our Pastor’s wife.

  • Pousiliu Chawang

    This post really challenge me and comes to my attention that I possess both lady wisdom and madam folly characters in some way or the other. To be frank I’m struggling to resist some of the madam folly in me. I found a true modern lady wisdom in Bethany and you and I’m trying my best to pursue like you both.

  • Anna Kae

    I think every once and a while Madame Folly surfaces in me, especially when I get focused on bringing myself attention. Her way seems so fun but in the end, it really amounts to nothing. I want to try to focus on the big picture as I live day to day. Thank you for the post, Kristin! I am grateful for the work that you all do with GirlDefined!

  • One small detail: when we get to Heaven, only those who do not believe will be judged by their works (and will be found failing). Those who believe in Christ will be covered by His perfection through the Great Exchange, and there is no improving upon perfection. We will either be saved and therefore perfect, or not. We don’t do good works because we’re being judged by them. That’s called justification by works, and that is the exact false doctrine that Martin Luther balked against and what began the Reformation. We do good works because the Holy Spirit is working in our lives to cause us to will and do them. We do them because we love our neighbor for Christ’s sake.

    I was just reading an expose on Proverbs (“Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman” by Elizabeth Ahlman) and it was soooo cool to see that Jesus was the walking talking Wisdom spoken about in Proverbs. So cool!

    <3 your comparisons here!!

  • BaddestBinchOnTheBlock

    Here’s how to tell if a woman is Lady Wisdom or Madame Folly. Walk up to her and say “Hey sweetheart, you wanna make twenty bucks the hard way?”. If she slaps you and stomps off, that’s Madame Folly. She charges a lot more than twenty bucks. If she starts foaming at the mouth and spastically reciting Bible verses, that’s Lady Wisdom. Stay away, she may have an std because she didn’t know to make her recently saved husband take a blood test.

  • futurecop

    Love this!!! It goes right along with comparing the Proberbs 7 and Proberbs 31 woman. I’m reading a book right now called “Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild” by Mary A. Kassian and I highly recommend it to any woman pursuing Biblical womanhood!!

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