The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
+ The Marks of Virtuous Women +
The Scriptures speak of virtuous women in a number of places. In Proverbs 12:4, a virtuous woman is considered a crown to her husband, and in Proverbs 31:10 she is valued far above rubies. In Ruth 3:11, Ruth, the Moabitess, chose to follow the Lord God, and she is called a virtuous woman.
The word virtuous “means moral goodness, purity, ability, and strength.” She has godly character and “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.” In Phil. 4:8, the word virtue is used with words like true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good. The same Hebrew word (chayil) that is translated virtue in Proverbs is translated able men in Exodus 18:21, showing that they were qualified in the position to which they were appointed. They were to be men of truth who feared God and hated covetousness. In like manner, the virtuous woman is one who is wholly given to the Lord in every area of her life. Amen.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Proverbs 11:22
The virtuous woman is clearly described to us in the last twenty-two verses of Proverbs chapter thirty-one. Even though the book of Proverbs in many places describes bad women, it ends on a very positive note describing good and godly women. In verses 10-31, we have a full-length portrait of the virtuous woman, with each verse emphasizing a different aspect or quality about her. Her virtue is connected with her husband (vs. 10-11, & 22), her family (vv. 21, 27-28), her work (vs. 13-19, 24-25), and her character (vv. 20, 26, 28, 30). In the remaining part of the article, we will consider each verse (10-31) individually with a one-word definition and brief summary.
Vs. 10, Priceless: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” She is rare, valuable, and is to be treasured far above rubies. No treasure on earth can be compared to her.
Vs. 11, Trustworthy: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” She can be fully trusted with the affairs of the home, business, and children. The husband has full confidence in her and has no fear of spoil. Trust is an essential ingredient in any marriage and if broken the relationship becomes very strained.
Vs. 12, Faithful: “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” This quality is of great importance. She is not a quitter but is consistent in her love to her husband over the years. She is a source of comfort and encouragement.
Vs. 13, Industrious: “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” There is no idleness in her life. This woman is steady in her work as Rachel was in Genesis 29:1-10, in caring for her father’s camels. The virtuous woman does not waste the precious time God has given her.
Vs. 14, Diligence: “She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.” She is compared to a ship that sails into a distant market and returns with goods. As in her time, and in this present time, there are many parts of the world where there is no refrigeration, and shopping must be done on a daily basis. She is willing to make this sacrifice for the welfare of her family.
Vs. 15, Considerate: “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” She is considerate of her household and thereby is an early riser cooking breakfast. No one catches her lying in bed in the middle of the day. Someone once said to me, “They are not making women like that these days.” The wise virgins of Matthew 25 were prepared and got up at midnight.
Vs. 16, Intelligent: “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.” She is not only willing but also able to handle business. She is very wise and economical because she has purposed in her heart to do so. This woman knows the value of things. Most women today are irresponsible in their spending and do not understand the value of savings. The virtuous woman is not gullible just because she is told something is on sale.
Vs. 17, Strength: “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” She may be the weaker vessel (I Peter 3:7), but she is not a weakling. She is like Rebekah as she diligently got water for the camels. I’ve had the experience and privilege of going to different countries on mission trips and I was impressed with many of the Maya Indian women and how they were not afraid of hard work.
Vs. 18, Enterprising: “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.” She not only gets up early (vs. 15) but here we find her working late. She proves the adage, “Man’s work is from sun to sun but a woman’s work is never done.”
Vs. 19, Laborer: “She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” Again, we see her working steadily with her hands. The tools here are associated with cloth making. She spins the yarn, and then weaves the cloth.
Vs. 20, Compassionate: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” She is willing to stretch out her hands to the poor (Deuteronomy 15:7-8). She never becomes too busy that she cannot help supply the needs of others.
Vs. 21, Ability: “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” She prepares for the future and looks well to the clothing and care of her family. The comfort of those she loves is of more concern to her than that of her own self. There are women who do not know what an iron and ironing board are for. She sees to it that her family’s appearance is well kept.
Vs. 22, Elegant: “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” She is not only a good seamstress, but she also dresses in a manner to please her God. As I have heard, “It is possible to pay too little as well as too much attention to it (dress).”
Vs. 23, Respected: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” Her husband is known among those he works with because of her. A man’s home life will show. Her husband’s peers will know he has a good wife with a good attitude and a cheerful countenance. It will be seen in his disposition.
Vs. 24, Skillful: “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.” As we have already noted, she is very talented and her ability to sew, among many other things, is a great blessing to her family.
Vs. 25, Rejoiceth: “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Her spiritual clothing is strength and honor, and she knows her purpose in life, and she enjoys it. She has nothing to be ashamed of in neither this life nor when she stands before God in judgment.
Vs. 26, Eloquent: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Her speech is always wise and instructive, and the law of kindness controls her tongue (James 3:3-10).
Vs. 27, Busy: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Again, as we have seen in previous verses, there is no time for idleness. She watches over the affairs of her home (I Timothy 5:14).
Vs. 28, Blessed: “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Her family bestows blessings and praises upon her. Her husband and children never forget her sacrifice of love.
Vs. 29, Excels: “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” She goes far beyond the call of duty; for she is never satisfied with the normal. Even though the daughters are praised in the verse, the wife excelleth them all. A man’s home may be well-kept by his daughters but not as well as a good wife keeps it.
Vs. 30, Beautiful: “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Please notice that the key to her beauty rests in her spiritual life. Outward beauty is a fading vanity and will come to nothing, but inward beauty (virtue) is eternal. The fear of the Lord is that which completes her character.
Vs. 31, Praise Worthy: “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” She is worthy of praise because she has earned it (Revelation 14:13). Her actions and deeds speak for themselves (I Timothy 5:17). In most cases, actions speak louder than words.
In closing, every Christian lady should adorn herself by the looking glass of Proverbs chapter thirty-one, for, this is God’s description of a virtuous woman. AMEN.
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523