Proverbs 31:10 : Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
An article written by Daniel Sheard in Israel, My Glory, March-May/1988, entitled “Who Can Find A Virtuous Woman?” gives God’s picture of Wisdom. He writes: Men, I am sorry. God did not personify wisdom by applauding the virtues of a man. This is not to say that He could not; God can do anything. But He did so by picturing wisdom through the finest qualities of womanhood, and there is something uniquely appropriate in this analogy. The Book of Proverbs praises the supreme value of an excellent wife by alluding to her as wisdom itself, a priceless gem. “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies: (Prov. 31:10; cp. Prov. 3:15, 8:3). God did not conclude this, the most famous book on wisdom ever written, with a platitude that is difficult to grasp. He gave a flesh and blood picture of true excellence and did so by describing the ideal wife.
I appreciate this perspective of a virtuous woman. It’s a good view and one that we should take note of. We tend to be down on ourselves so much. When I teach on a virtuous woman, most women think they’ll never attain unto what is laid down in Scripture. To me, it’s like the Christian walk. If we look at those around us, we’ll tend to get discouraged. We’re all at a different level. Just like children, you wouldn’t expect your 6 yr. old to do what a 15 yr. old is doing. It’s the same with you. God sees you right where you are and that’s where you need to get up and get going from. When more light is given, more is required. We don’t get in bad shape over night, so we shouldn’t expect to fix everything overnight.
Definition of Virtuousness: goodness, righteous, purity. A conforming to standards of what is right and just and to approved codes of behavior; goodness implies inherent qualities of kindness, benevolence, and generosity.
The virtuous woman is a woman of strength; though the weaker vessel, she is yet made strong by wisdom and grace and fear of God. Perhaps one reason for the rarity of a virtuous woman is that she is seldom sought. Too often the search is made for accomplishments and external qualities rather than for godly internal worth.
In the book, Me? Obey Him? pg 12-21 by Elizabeth Hanford Rice we read, ” If the Lord Jesus Christ, God Himself, submitted to the authority of the Father, it is no shame or dishonor for a woman to be under authority. A woman is subject to her husband, but she can still go directly to God to ask anything she needs or desires and get it as quickly as if she were a man. God hears the prayers of a godly woman as quickly as he hears the prayers of a godly man.” I Cor. 11:7-12 says…You are a representation of your husband. During the time when I was so depressed, I would go to church and look like the unhappiest person there. I didn’t want to be there. I felt no good. Then one day when my husband was preaching, he made the statement that a woman is a representation of her husband. If she looks down, sad, mad, angry, happy, you name it, it is a reflection on her husband. That sentence jumped out at me. I knew that my husband loved me, he was good to me, and here I was telling all the world what a miserable husband I had. It was enough to bring me out of my present condition. God made the man to be the achiever, the doer, to provide for the home and protect it, to be high priest and intercessor for the home. God made the woman to be keeper of the home, to make a haven within its walls, a retreat from the stress of battle, the nourisher of the children. Make your home a haven. About 13 yrs. into the ministry my husband had to take on a job. He had a horrible boss and had a stressful day, everyday. He would step inside the door of the house, sit down, and say, “Oh how wonderful to be home. Peace and contentment.” Does your husband feel that way. Or is your home a place of turmoil and discontentment? What kind of a home do you make for your family?
A woman is different from a man! A woman is different in her body, in her interests, in her thinking, in her abilities: not inferior– different. A woman can choose nearly any occupation she likes. But I deny that she will find fulfillment that will surpass that which a godly Christian woman finds who, secure in the knowledge of her womanhood and its rightness, builds a home for her husband and children! Her confidence in her ability to be a help, meet for her husband’s needs comes as she finds her place in the order of authority. WOMAN’S NATURE REQUIRES OBEDIENCE I Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man,. Eve’s sin was because she was deceived. Adam’s was not. He knew the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit. She did not. Women are more often led into spiritual error than men. It might be because of her emotions. But, she doesn’t have to be led in error. That is the reason God commanded her not to usurp authority over the man, so she can be protected from false doctrine. Submission to our husbands gives us an umbrella or protection. When a wife rejects her God-given authority, she leaves herself open to false teaching. When a woman takes the spiritual leadership of the home, it always leads to tragedy. My mother was an excellent example to me in her submission to my father. Submitting has not been a struggle for me. I enjoy not having the responsibility of answering to God for decisions. The thing I answer to God for is whether I submitted to my head and supported him. You don’t always have to agree with them. There have been times I didn’t agree with my husband, but then that’s where prayer comes in. I gave it to God and left it at that. It’s our nature to want to manipulate and control to get what we want. We can’t do that. Sometimes God will use a mistake to teach a lesson that wouldn’t otherwise be learned. We need to keep our hands off.
The following are some examples of those who chose their own way instead of trusting God. We need to take heed to keep from making the same mistakes.
- Sarah- Gives Hagar to Abram to help God out. Arab-Jew conflict still going on today Gen. 16
- Rebekah- I’ll cook the venison for your father- we’ll deceive him so you can get the blessing. She was never able to see Jacob alive again. Gen. 27
- Solomon- Let his many wives take the spiritual leadership of the home. They turned away his heart after other gods. I Kings. 11
Proverbs reveals the wisdom Solomon gained about strange women. We would do well to take heed to his instruction. God expects a woman to obey her husband. The husband-wife relationship pictures the holy, sweet relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church, and also because we are commanded in Scripture to obey. Eph. 5:22-24 The Lord intends for marriage to be as delightful, as sweet and intimate and tender as the relationship He wants us to experience with Him. The virtuous woman is faithful to her husband. A virtuous woman is one who is pure, who abstains from a sexual relationship other than with her husband, a woman who is not suggestive; she is free from obscenity and indecency; she is modest, pure and decent. How do you dress? Are you modest? What is modest? Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful. (Webster’s 1828) Be careful about how you dress. Dress to glorify the Lord not to draw attention from the eyes of men. When you get ready to go out, ask yourself these questions.
- Is my garment too tight- does it draw attention to the wrong areas? What about the weight of the material, is it too thin?
- Is it too short- when I sit, am I covered properly- check your legs.
- Am I pleasing in my husband’s eyes? We’ll study more about all this in the lesson on beauty.
Strive to be God’s woman. In no other book in the Bible besides Proverbs do we find so many references to loose women and grim warnings against any association with them. Of 28 references to “woman” in Proverbs, 19 of those references are bad. Women in this day and age are sacrificing their femininity and nobility and are striving to be more like men. Let’s be Christian women who want to keep ourselves unspotted from the world and glorify God by our lives. We cannot reach that goal of excellence without the Lord Jesus Christ and the strength he offers. We must know Christ personally to draw upon this strength. Only then can we work towards the goal of being God’s virtuous woman. Sharon Rhoades says in her book, Pattern From Proverbs 31, A virtuous woman is a complete, happy, fulfilled woman when she has the characteristics of the Proverbs lady. She is the personification of all the virutes and strengths of character demonstrated throughout the book of Proverbs. She is definitely a pattern to follow.