“She is a woman in control of her thoughts, feelings and emotions. I can almost see her, stately, svelte, smart, winsome…the kind of woman people clamor to be around.”
1. Proverbs 31: A Must-Study for Christian Women
Proverbs 31 is a must-study for any woman serious about her God and her Christianity. Period. I have committed to refresh my vision every morning by reading through the passage of the virtuous woman.
Here’s my snap shot of the virtuous wife for today’s woman:
2. The Virtuous Woman: A Lifetime of Traits
The descriptions of the Proverbs 31 woman, I believe, are somewhat seasonal. That is, the passage encapsulates all that a virtuous woman strives to be in a lifetime, not necessarily all at once. We need not read the condensed version and feel overwhelmed; this is the course of a life, activities and responsibilities waxing and waning with the seasons. But, there are some traits that run constant in her character.
3. Trustworthy and Good: The Heart of a Virtuous Wife
“The heart of her husband trusts in her…She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”
I don’t know about you, but this verse gets to my heart. This woman’s husband trusts her with everything–his reputation, knowing she speaks well of him, his money, knowing she respects his hard work, his feelings, knowing he is safe in her presence. She “does him good.” Pause here and reflect on that. If I only read one verse each morning, it will be this one. I want to do him good, to be a “crown” and not “rottenness” to him.
4. The Resourceful Diva: A Woman’s Business Ventures
“She considers a field and buys it;…She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.”
She is an income-earning Diva. Or, for modern-day application, she was resourceful, and maybe being thrifty and saving her husband’s income is equivalent to earning one. I love this about her. But, she prioritized this part of her life too. She earned income by several different means, all allowing her to be flexible and tend to her priorities first. Her business wasn’t one dictated by someone who ignored the needs of her family. She was able to pick it up or lay it down as her time demanded. And her business savvy served only one purpose–to provide for her household.
5. Prioritizing for Success: The Virtuous Woman’s Strategy
We know from the passage that whatever business ventures she pursued, her home was well cared for, they had no needs she hadn’t met, she had prepared for winter (probably through storing food and securing necessary clothing), and she was busy serving her family as well as those around her with physical needs. This is such an important thing to understand as we allow Scripture to shape our understanding about our roles as women. We are so NEEDED…sometimes to the degree it feels we’re pulled in every direction. But the virtuous woman guarded her priorities. She was able to be an asset to her family by earning an income AND take care of her household and those around her. That takes careful strategy.
6. Strength and Dignity: The Clothes of a Virtuous Woman
“Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come”…
Twice the passage refers to her being dressed in strength. This image is particularly important because it flies in the face of what feminists claim an “unliberated” woman is. The Proverbs 31 woman is NOT timid or inferior or incapable. All those years ago, despite what the culture steeped in paganism thought of women, God exalted them, giving them the highest rank of dignity. A virtuous woman is strong and free from anxiety about tomorrow. I love that! She is a woman in control of her thoughts, feelings and emotions. I can almost see her, stately, svelte, smart, winsome…the kind of woman people clamor to be around.
7. Productive and Industrious: The Busyness of the Virtuous Woman
She “does not eat the bread of idleness…works with willing hands….She rises while it is yet night…Her lamp does not go out at night….”
She is PRODUCTIVE. She is not idle. She spends her time on things that will benefit her household. She is industrious and busy. But in all of that, she is “a woman who fears the Lord.” And you can be sure she did not neglect, amid the busyness of life, the training and instruction of her children in the things of the Lord.
8. Chiseling into Rare Worth: Reaching for the Standard
The virtuous woman is not some picture of perfection so unattainable we skip over her; she is a standard for us to reach for, as we pray for the Lord to chisel us into this woman of rare worth.
(For a great, encouraging resource, check out The Excellent Wife.)