How’s your week going? I read an article on the Proverbs 31 woman and thought to share with you (like I said in my Liebster and Sunshine award post, she’s one of my role models). Please read and feel free to share your thoughts.
The first part of Proverbs 31:10 literally reads, “Who can find a woman of strength?” The term “virtuous” is from a noun meaning strength, efficiency and ability. Here, it refers to strength of character, that is, moral strength and firmness. In Exodus 18:21, we find the expression used of men. Moses was to find “able men” (literally, “men of strength”) such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. In light of this verse, we can say that a virtuous man (and by implication, a virtuous woman) is one who fears God, loves the truth and hates sin (compare proverbs 31:10 and 31:30). Moses was to look for such men, and the implication is that such men were not easy to find.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” A godly woman like the Proverbs 31 woman is rare and very hard to find in our world today. She is invaluable; her price is far above rubies- no quality of precious stones can equal her worth. She is like a rare gem. No wonder the psalmist cries out, “Help, LORD; for the godly man (or woman) ceaseth; for the faithful fail from the children of men” Psalm 12:1
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” (verse 11). Sadly, this cannot be said of most wives today. Their husbands can’t trust them. Being able to trust your spouse is one of the fundamental foundations of a strong God-honoring marriage. Martin Luther said of his wife, “The greatest gift of God is a pious amiable spouse, who fears God, loves his house and with whom one can live in perfect confidence.”
The husband of the virtuous woman trusts her for two reasons. One, “he shall have no need of spoil. She is not slothful, careless or wasteful. She manages the home so well, and she is industrious, productive, and frugal that her efforts often result in great gain and even profit. Her husband can safely trust in her because he does not need to worry about her financial ability. Two, “she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (verse 12). She constantly has her husband’s happiness in view. Her good is unmixed; her good is not capricious; it is constant and permanent, while she and her husband live. She also adds to her husband’s reputation in the world, for he is “known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (verse 23). He is respected and honoured by others, not just because of the neatness and cleanliness of his person and dress, but because he is the husband of a woman who is justly held in universal esteem.
Moreover, the godly woman is skilled and capable of working with fabric. The modern counterpart would be skills in things like quilting and sewing (verse 13). Notice that she works. There is no hint of laziness in her. She “worketh willingly with her hands.” “She is willingly to get her hands dirty,” as the old saying goes. She is no diva, no prima donna! A woman of God is not “above” manual work. She understands that the duties of a wife and mother include ensuring that her family is well fed (verse 14). A virtuous biblical woman will not only go about to learn the necessary cooking skills but also study sound nutrition and will ensure that her family is fed nutritiously, not with a high proportion of out-of-the-box junk food. She is not given to “sleeping in” in the mornings (verse 15). No! Rather, she is up before dawn to make sure her household is well fed.
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruits of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” (verse 16). Amazing! She is no wimp! She has the intelligence and business since to evaluate a piece of property and buy it. She has her own earnings with which she buys the field and plants a vineyard. She is not afraid of physical work. Like her, many women today have their own home-based businesses. She seems to be a tailor and sells garments and sashes (verses 18, 19 and 24) and she apparently did her business well, working well into the evening, because her trading was profitable. Her home-based skills earn her a profitable income. She is ever willing to share this blessing with the poor and needy (verse 20). She is also fully aware of the priority of her family in her life over other things that might sidetrack her from her domestic responsibilities (verse 21). She is an excellent illustration of the charge to the younger women in Titus 2:5, to be home makers. Not only do her skills earn her an income from the merchants, but also make sure that her own home’s needs are well catered for.
Finally, she has a sense of dignity. She is not frivolous or embarrassing in her conduct. She speaks with wisdom, faithful instruction is on her tongue and she is praiseworthy (verses 25-31).
The Proverbs 31 woman is so exemplary, so virtuous and also so diligent to perform all her duties that you may think it is difficult or even impossible to follow her example. But you need not think this way as a Christian woman. 1 Peter 2:21 instructs us to follow Christ’s example and His steps (Philippians 3:12-14). God has given us a pattern, a mark to shoot for, and though you may come short and often fail, yet His standard is before our eyes. You should never lower the standard of God, even though you fall short of it. Always aspire to pattern your life as that of the Virtuous Woman and by the grace of God, you will become like her in Jesus’ name!
Culled from Christian Women Mirror, June 2014 Edition.
Image credits: Google images