So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

So, What is the Virtuous Woman?

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

Beautiful blond sexy woman warrior with sword outdoor

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!

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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.




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