What is a virtuous woman? Many definitions describe her as: a woman having or showing high moral standards, a woman who is morally excellent or an upright and righteous woman who conforms to ethical principles.
The king in Proverbs describes her this way:
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:11-31)
The Proverbs 31 woman has often been cited as the perfect woman. She is able to do all things effortlessly, her house is flawless, and her children are raised to perfection. Her accomplishments are extensive and she excels compared to all other women. To think of her is awe-inspiring. To become like her is impossible. Or is it?
When reading about the Proverbs 31 woman in its entirety, it can be overwhelming and she can appear out of reach. But, when you examine who she is and her accomplishments little by little and study her characteristics, now, she is within our grasp. The characteristics I find in this woman of virtue are not only attainable, but they are virtues Christian women strive for. To name a few: She is trustworthy, a hard worker and a manager. She is strong and a good steward of her time and finances. She is generous and giving. She speaks kindly and encourages with her words.
Again, this is just a small list of the traits of the virtuous woman. As you read through Proverbs 31:10-31, you will discover many more qualities. All are achievable and encouraged in the Bible. With a teachable heart, humble spirit and guidance from The Lord, we all can become this virtuous woman.
What characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman do you hold? Which characteristics do you still need to cultivate?