Women of the Bible Series
A Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10)
Proverbs 31:10, Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
In Proverbs 31, we see the characteristics of a virtuous woman. She is hard working, frugal, loves her husband, puts her family first, is trustworthy and wise, and isn't a worrier. Proverbs 31 was written by a king, but taught by a mother. What she taught her son influenced a family, a nation, and the world. Although God never spoke about this king’s leadership, nor how he governed the nation, nor his prosperity. God did speak of what “his mother taught him.”
The Word of God declares that a virtuous woman is a rarity (Proverbs 31:10). She is a treasure compared to being “far above rubies”. A virtuous mother is hard to find, but not impossible. In the end “she shall be praised”. She will be praised by her children and husband (Proverbs 31:28), and by her works (Proverbs 31:31). Praise the Lord for mothers who keep a close and consistent walk with the Lord.
Proverbs 31:10-31 describe an ideal wife and mother—a woman of extraordinary character. Her whole life is centered around honor and reverence for God (Proverbs 31:30), compassion for those in need (Proverbs 31:19-20) and faithfulness and love toward her family (Proverbs 31:27). This passage does not patronize women, and it certainly does not describe an individual with no determination or abilities. Instead, it considers a woman’s capabilities and responsibilities with extremely high respect and honor. The word willingly (Proverbs 31:13) means "with desire, delight, or pleasure." She is not afraid to work and finds fulfillment in working hard. The lack of being prepared will send your stress and fear level very high. This wife and mother works hard, accomplishes much and lives in balance with her independence and commitment to her family. As a result, her family gives her proper recognition and respect. All the ideals described here will probably not be fulfilled in any one woman. But each wife or mother can seek to serve God, her family and others with the abilities and material resources that God has given her (Ephesians 5:22; I Timothy 5:22).
A virtuous mother is a hardworking mother. By this mother’s very actions, she displayed virtue. The Bible gives us 18 examples: seeketh and worketh (Proverbs 31:13), bringeth (Proverbs 31:14), riseth (Proverbs 31:15), considereth, buyeth, and planteth (Proverbs 31:16), girdeth and strengtheneth (Proverbs 31:17), perceiveth (Proverbs 31:18), layeth (Proverbs 31:19), stretcheth and reacheth (Proverbs 31:20), maketh (Proverbs 31:22, 24), selleth and delivereth (Proverbs 31:24), openeth (Proverbs 31:26), and looketh (Proverbs 31:27).
This speaks of a husband that has confidence or trust in his wife. She is not any ordinary wife. She is a virtuous woman. This word "virtuous" means "strong, efficient, excellent, noble, valiant, wealthy." He is describing a woman who has integrity and character. She can stand on her own two feet. The word also gives the idea that she is financially secure because of her hard work, efficiency, and wisdom. Solomon states that her price, her value, is far above rubies or precious stones. Solomon describes the attitude and efforts of a faithful wife who cares for the needs of her family. She depicts the attitude of most faithful people who are concerned about others. Strong marriages have strong relationships between the couple. The faithful spouse produces stability in the marriage. Solomon states that the virtuous woman will do her husband good and not evil all the days of her life, indicating she will do her best. The virtuous woman is attentive to those under her care. She looketh well to her household. The word looketh means "to be attentive, keep watch, or to watch closely." A woman that is gracious, kind, or generous, gains favor and honor from others. A wife that is consistent in her love and a help to her husband will stimulate trust, security, serenity, support, and self-confidence in her husband. One way to be gracious is to be grateful to God for what He has done for you and grateful to other people for their love and kindness. She is recognized also for her words of wisdom and kindness (Proverbs 31:26). She speaks virtuously because her heart is full of virtue. Moral goodness will not come out if there is not moral goodness inside. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke of this in Matthew 12:34. The Word of God reveals to us that this virtuous mother first spoke of her husband (Proverbs 31:11-12, 23, 28). A mother of virtue is submissive to her husband. A husband whose wife is virtuous is a man who is truly honored and blessed (Proverbs 12:4).
Although some say the virtuous woman is unrealistic, I know several women who exemplify this passage. This passage is not a description of some unattainable goal, but a role model we should seek to follow. Abraham Lincoln recognized the value of a godly mother. He said, "No man is poor who has a godly mother." A godly mother's value is enormous. She will be a good influence on her children for the rest of their lives. Although much value is put on physical beauty, the real beauty of a woman is the inward beauty. A woman's substance and beauty are her virtue.
Every Christian mother wants her child to marry within God’s will and to have a blessed and fruitful marriage. This does not happen by accident. What an example a praying mother is who is an example in words and in walk. Every mother has within her the ability to be a mother of great influence wherever she is planted in life. She plays an important role in being key to her child’s potential and prosperity in life. The lessons she teaches her children often carry into the next generation. One way a mother helps her son seek and find a virtuous wife is by being a virtuous mother. What lessons will she teach her children? What lessons can you teach your children that will inspire them to live these lessons they have been taught?
Prayer: Lord, help me to reflect Your character that I may inspire others to come to know You through Your Son Jesus Christ. Although I’m imperfect, and at times inconsistent, I desire to be influential that I may impact others for You that they may aspire to do great things for You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.