Virtuous Woman

Proverbs 31:10
     Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the characteristics of a virtuous woman of God.  In God's Word, Ruth is the only woman described as virtuous.

"Virtuous" is the Hebrew word chayil which means strong in all ways.  Who can find? is a rhetorical question asked for thoughtfulness.  It does not mean that it is impossible to find a virtuous woman - it just means that they are rare.

Her price is far above rubies.  A ruby is a very rare and costly gem stone.  It is a rare thing to find a virtuous woman of God.  She is a priceless gem.

Proverbs 31:11
     The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he [she] shall have no need of spoil.

The virtuous woman is trustworthy.  She and her husband have all sufficiency.  The Peshitta text reads her food supplies never diminish.  She has no need of spoil - The family is provided for and they have all sufficiency in all things.

Proverbs 31:12
     She will do him good and not evil [mischief] all the days of her life.

The virtuous woman is of sterling character.  She faithfully stays with her husband all the days of her life and is good to him because he is a man of God just as she is a virtuous woman of God.  They do no evil to one another.  They are good to each other as partners in living the Word of God.

Proverbs 31:13
     She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

The virtuous woman is ingenious and industrious.  She locates the materials she needs to make clothing for her family and she is a hard worker.

Proverbs 31:14
     She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

The virtuous woman of God does not settle for second best.  She provides the best quality food for her family even if it means going to far lands to get it.  She is energetic and demands the best.

Proverbs 31:15
     She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

The virtuous woman of God is not lazy.  She is dutiful and compassionate.  She gets up early and fixes food for her household and for those that work for the family.

Proverbs 31:16
     She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard [garden].

The virtuous woman of God is very versatile.  She is a good business woman. She examined the value of the field, made the decision, and purchased it.  She planted a garden and worked with her own hands to provide more of the best for her family.

Proverbs 31:17
     She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

The virtuous woman of God works out and takes care of herself.  She is robust and healthy.  She keeps herself physically fit.

Proverbs 31:18
     She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:  her candle goeth not out by night.

The virtuous woman of God is attractive and sexually exciting.  She has a high opinion of herself.  The candle represents God's presence in the home.  She does not let the candle go out.  She keeps God at the center of her life.

Proverbs 31:19
     She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

The virtuous woman of God is skillful and thrifty.  She is able to make clothing for herself and her family.

Proverbs 31:20
     She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

The virtuous woman of God is merciful and charitable.

Proverbs 31:21
     She is not afraid of the snow for her household:  for all her household are clothed with scarlet [double garments].

The virtuous woman of God is fearless and she believes in abundance.  She cares for her household and makes sure they have double garments to protect them from the cold.

Proverbs 31:22
     She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

The virtuous woman of God dresses sharply.  She takes care of herself.  She is a good seamstress, tasteful - a refined woman.  Silk and purple are the garments of royalty.

Proverbs 31:23
     Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

The virtuous woman of God is a credit to her husband.  Beside a great man of God stands a virtuous woman of God.  Because of her treatment of him, her husband is popular and is recognized as a leader in the land.

Proverbs 31:24
     She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

The virtuous woman of God is confident in her abilities.  She adds to the family income by using her skills to produce and sell clothing.

Proverbs 31:25
     Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

The virtuous woman of God is well respected by others.  She is honoured for her qualities.

Proverbs 31:26
     She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

The virtuous woman of God applies the knowledge she has with kindness.  She watches what she says.  She is wise, discrete, and kind.

Proverbs 31:27
     She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

The virtuous woman of God is a good mother.  She takes care of her own house and is not a busy body.  She is energetic and practical.

Proverbs 31:28
     Her children [sons] arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

The virtuous woman of God is respected by her family.  She is a good wife and mother.

Proverbs 31:29
     Many daughters [not in the text] have [gotten riches and] done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

The virtuous woman of God is the best of the best.  The strongest of the strong.  She is very honorable.

Proverbs 31:30
     Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised [given thanks].

"Favour" is "beautiful speech."  It is like sweet talk without God at the center.  "Beauty" is "perfect ripeness."  "Vain" is "temporary."  Sweet talk outside of the Word is deceitful, and perfect ripeness is temporary: But the virtuous woman of God puts God first in her talk and in her life.  She is praiseworthy.

Proverbs 31:31
     Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

The virtuous woman works at being a great woman of God, bears fruit, and is thanked by all and recognized by the leaders in the land.

Characteristics of a Virtuous Woman

Mother's Day - May, 1998
Michael Cortright