The Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10 – 31)
The Proverbs 31 Woman is the “Ideal Woman.” She is the woman of virtue, strength, beauty, and prestige.
“Her husband has full confidence in her…” and “her children arise and call
her blessed…” (Proverbs 31: 11 and 28),
but, What newlywed has total confidence in his or her spouse?
What infant, toddler, school-age, or teenage child sings the praises of a dutiful, diligent parent?
The trust, the love, the reverence the Virtuous Woman’s husband and children have for her was not developed overnight. Though the Proverbs 31 Woman is the Ideal Woman, she is still a woman.
Jesus once stated,
“…If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at
her” (John 8:7b).
Later, in the book of James it is stated that,
“We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2).
When we read the Bible, we are reading the stories of those who lived long ago. The events of some of their lives were recorded during the time it occurred; however, much of the events are told after all is said and done.
The few women of the Bible are extraordinary women. But none of their stories reveal the heartache, pain, character changes, freak-out moments, or lash out moments. Their stories are written and shared after their lives have reached their final stages.
As humans, we must be trained, guided, and prepared for our destiny. The people of the Bible are examples of the reward, testimony, and faith earned through the endurance of trials and suffering. Because nothing good comes easily, James chapter 1 verse 12 encourages us with these words,
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood
the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those
who love him.”
The same is true for the Proverbs 31 Woman. She is portrayed in these verses as a married woman with a husband, children, and servants who fully know her capabilities. It does not speak of her during single-hood, pregnancy, or early stages of homemaking. The deeds that are mentioned throughout the passage are habits the Virtuous Woman is known for carrying out consistently.
Habits take time to form…
Character takes time to build, especially Godly Character.
The Bible tells us,
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character,
hope” (Romans 5: 3 – 4).
Every human is born with flaws in his or her character. It is the flaw that excels most of us into overdrive when we truly strive to become Godly women. I believe the Proverbs 31 Woman is no different from you or I. The Virtuous Woman is strong, disciplined, wise, and aware of the stature God needs for His ministry.
But, she had to take the time to study, practice, and grow into God’s expectations:
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it
day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).
According to Matthew Henry in his Commentary on the Whole Bible, some women merely look like the Proverbs 31 Woman due to outward beauty and surface qualities; however, when their husbands dig deeper, they realize they married a fake.
Every woman who has committed her life to Christ has a seed of the Virtuous Woman planted in her soul. The attributes that her husband sees in the beginning are real treasures. Jesus uses her marriage, children, career, and service to nurture and grow these treasures which creates the Virtuous Woman.
When anyone accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior, they become God’s child, and
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the
Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father,' …. [and] the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-
control” (Galatians 4:6 and 5:22 - 23b).
All of these qualities are found in the Virtuous Woman, and all are given to the woman who accepts Christ into her heart.
Becoming the Virtuous Woman is a journey, though.
Receiving the Fruit and walking in the Fruit are not the same thing.
The journey of exuding the Fruit of the Spirit and the qualities of the Virtuous Woman requires persistence, courage, change, and intimacy with Christ.
You can begin your journey by learning more about the Fruit of the Spirit.
My name is Margaret McDowell, and I am with For EverLasting Revelation. A nonprofit organization that aims to journey with women through motherhood with God and purpose. I am not a Biblical scholar, but I am an experienced sinner who seeks God for love, guidance, and mercy.