A Virtuous Woman (Photo credit: Becky F)
I am intrigued by the Proverbs 31 woman. There has been a great deal of discussion recently about this extraordinary woman of God. She has qualities that all women should aspire to achieve. Her character is exemplary. She is willing to rise early to care for her family. Her children and husband call her blessed. She is wise and faithful in what she says. She is not idle, but rather, she works diligently and earnestly. She is of great value in the eyes of all who love her. She smiles at her future…
A question, of late, has been raised…”Why is she smiling at her future?” “What makes her smile at her future?” I can’t get this out of my mind.
This woman is seemingly full of grace. She loves well and works hard. We all know her.
I long to be her. I long to be considered a Proverbs 31 woman. But, it’s a tall order, and for every amazing act she does in the name of the Lord, I am probably undoing equal amounts. There are most likely days when the Lord shakes His head in astonishment at my actions and thoughts. He has placed her on my heart this week…perhaps in an effort to refine me and create in me a spirit of diligence and obedience.
It’s funny, no matter how hard we work to be Godly and upright and take special measures to be ‘good’…we ALL fall short of the grace of God. And, while I am not entirely “ok” with that, I am grateful for His Amazing Grace. His deep LOVE for me…for you. I am awed by His SACRIFICE of His one and Only; the One who took my sin to the cross and washed it clean in the blood of the Lamb. I am grateful.
So, I wake up to a new day. I will keep my eyes on God and (try with all my might) to walk humbly in His will for my life. I will look to the Proverbs 31 woman, not as a perfect woman, but rather as an example of a woman who gives her very best in living for and glorifying the Lord. I will humbly repent when I am not in line with the Lord’s will. I will rejoice when I am obedient, because it is His self-control and discipline that creates in me a desire to stay on the narrow path to His heart.
Beloved, we are in this together. We are, as I wrote recently, here to love and learn. We must love Jesus well; love others as we love ourselves. We must ask forgiveness and be forgiving…of others and ourselves. We must rejoice in the divine presence of our Savior who lights upon our hearts and makes our conscience tender and repentive.
Don’t wallow in the misgivings of your day. It’s not great when we are sharp tongued or hassled by the demands of our lives, but it is great that we serve a Lord who is quick to forgive and set in us a desire to do better.
In my interpretation, this wonderful woman of Proverbs 31 is not a new bride. She is a mature woman who has lived a long and refining life. She has suffered and rejoiced many a day. She has been through a multitude of obstacle and challenge. She smiles, why? Because through it all she is loved and loves the Lord. She knows that her reward is not on earth, but rather on the eternal riches of Heaven. Amen.
Amplified Bible “A capable, intelligent, and [a]virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service]. Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], [b]Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully 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 [of the city]!