WEEK 50— A VIRTUOUS WOMAN
“There is no jewel in the world so valuable as a chaste and virtuous woman.”
Miguel de Cervantes
Written in this passage are the instructions of a wise mother to her son. Here, the son is instructed to take heed of sins he may be tempted to commit and fulfil the duties of his calling. He is instructed to against uncleanness and drunkenness. Next, the mother gives him counsel to do good. He must do good with his wealth, power, knowledge, and interests. He must administer justice with care, courage, and compassion. Then, she gives a description of the virtuous woman he should choose. The virtuous woman provides for her family, takes care of business, furnishes her house, adequately clothes herself and family, trades, and plans ahead. She has many great characteristics, but most important is her fear of the Lord.
Proverbs 31:10–Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. 2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Heavenly Father, we come before you today with thankfulness for the virtuous women you have placed in our lives. Thank you for the great instruction they have given us. We pray for you to help us to remember the instruction given to us by these women and to put it into practice. Help us to be faithful to what you have called us to. Lord we want to always remember to put You first and to always fear You. We pray for our children as we pass this instruction on to them, that they will remember it and use it to serve You better.
THOUGHTS…INSIGHT…What is the Lord saying to me?
1. When many women read this proverb they often feel that they will never measure up to this woman. She seems far above any kind of obtainable reality. It is at this point that we need to remember that this is a composite. Take note that the focus of this text is the character of the woman – not the deeds of the woman. Why do you think character is more important than the deeds of this woman?
2. How does it encourage you to realize the Proverbs 31 Woman probably didn’t do all of the activities listed here in one day?
3. What characteristic of a Proverbs 31 woman is not generally appreciated in our culture today?
4. The woman in Proverbs 31 had a dream. She turned that dream into a plan that kept her active and benefitted her family. Do you have such a dream?
5. Do you speak without a filter? In what ways can you work on being more kind with your words?
6. What mundane task do you struggle with the most? How can you embrace joy in that area as you serve the Lord?
7. What could you do to become more like the woman God wants you to be? If you are a man – what can you do to encourage women to be more godly?