I have noticed in my conversations with other women that many people seem to misunderstand the idea of what it is to be a virtuous woman. It appears that some fall into the camp of believing that it is a holier than thou, pietistic characteristic. Not really attainable. Or at best, a forced public face of holiness. I have heard, “Oh, you’re the ‘virtuous wife’.” As if I believe I am somehow elevated in my estimation of myself, and think I am the one and only. Please, let me be clear when I say that I desire to conduct myself in such a way that I bring honor to Christ, my husband, and my church in the way I live. I also know that I fail miserably. A lot. More than I like to admit privately or publicly. I have no delusions of who I am based on my own merit. And yet, Proverbs 31 extols the virtuous woman. She is a good thing. And she is a real thing. She isn’t some fantasy that no woman can hope to become. We are not to say, “Oh, well, yes, that sounds all good and fine, but REALLY, I can’t be expected to be that.” And then go on our merry way ignoring this person: the virtuous woman.
I came across a wonderful blog post by my friend, Kelly Crawford, who blogs at Generation Cedar, the other day where she discusses this very topic. She gave me permission to share her post with my readers. You can find the original post here.
What You Need to Know About the “Virtuous” Woman
by Kelly Crawford
A big smile broke out across my face yesterday when I was showing my girls how to study the Bible using a Strong’s concordance. I had chosen Proverbs 31:10 and we were looking up the word “virtuous.”
If you grew up in a Christian home or church, you are well-familiar with talk of what it means to be a “virtuous” woman. Some women don’t even like to use the word anymore because its meaning has become jaded, its image attached to self-righteousness piety (sadly, but true). At best, we think it means “good, godly, pure.”
I was so surprised to see the word in its original Hebrew. Look:
a force, strength, ability, might, efficiency, wealth, army
And the writer of Proverbs rightly asks, “Who can find this kind of woman?”
I submit, she is still hard to find. She is hard to become. She is hard to raise. But we must commit to the task.
I’ve seen a disturbing trend among young mothers and wives the last few years and I’ve thought a lot about our response to it. With the ability to “peek” into the lives of others so easily through facebook and blogs, I see mothers who struggle, complain and all but give up on their task, concluding it’s too hard. They are weak, frail and emotionally volatile.
And I confess I’ve been her.
I think we need more pluck. I know I do, and I certainly want my girls to have it. But pluck is such a small word now. We need virtuous women.
It’s ironic that the stereotype of women who devote themselves to home, believing God has made them helpers to their husbands, should be “pathetic” and “weak.” The Bible gets blamed for “oppressing” women and giving them a so-called lower station.
But it’s in the Bible where we find that a virtuous woman is akin to an army, a FORCE, to be reckoned with, no doubt. And as we raise our daughters, we know they need to be strong to hold up to this arduous task of raising the next generation, as that work is done in the grinding out of days and weeks and months and years.
So we’re not talking here about “making sure they know how to mop.” That’s not the picture of the virtuous woman I see from Proverbs 31. There’s a whole lot to her, to knowing how to be efficient in all areas of life, to ruling her home well, to managing different personalities and challenges, to educating her children, to being wise, to coming alongside her husband and bearing him up, to saving money, to making money, to being alert to the needs around her, to ministering–she is an army in one lady.
I know that one little Hebrew word has breathed new life into my efforts as I seek to raise virtuous women. Efficient, mighty, able women. May we raise up a strong force for the glory of God!
- See more at: http://raisinghomemakers.com/2015/what-you-may-not-know-about-a-virtuous-woman/#sthash.KTPcEuez.dpuf
I am so thankful to Kelly for writing this. She shares so many of my thoughts. A virtuous woman. Yes! An army. A force. Ladies, we have a gigantic job before us as we raise our children, run our homes, minister to our church body, and love our husbands. It is not for the faint of heart. Kelly has helped breathe new life into my ministry in my home. A virtuous woman. Yes, please. I have three daughters I am helping to raise. These words have empowered me with a better vision for how to attack this challenge before me. I pray it equips you as well.