She is the portrait of a virtuous woman. We know the popular verses that tell us she is “far above rubies” and that “a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” But we also learn from her how to be a good wife, mother and neighbor. We learn how to use our hands for service to others and the Lord. We learn what kind of godly characteristics women should possess. This godly woman who we read about in Proverbs is given to us as an example of how we, as Christian women, should be. We should mold our own attitude and life after hers. We need to study, verse by verse, how we can walk in this wonderful woman’s footsteps. We need to know this passage inside and out so that we too “shall be praised” for our service to our families and to God.
The Good Wife
Verses 10-12: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
“Virtuous” means: “conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright and chaste.” The woman who possesses these characteristics has a value far above rubies! For those of us who are married to good, godly husbands, it is so nice to feel that this verse is true. Men really do want virtuous women. Since she is virtuous, her husband can fully trust her with his heart. Her husband can have full confidence in her, without having to worry about lack of gain. Husbands want wives who they can have full trust in. The godly wife also does her husband good and not evil every waking moment. She does not talk badly about him behind his back, she treats other men in a chaste manner, she does not do anything in his absence that she would not do right in front of him. Her husband knew what a jewel he had found! She wanted to be virtuous to bring her husband and God glory.
The Hard Worker
Verses 13-19: “She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle.”
She SEEKS wool and flax to willingly make things with her hands. She is eager to be a hard worker! Her hard work brings blessings to her family. Everything she does with her hands is to help out her family. Her main goal is to bring happiness and comfort to her house. When she makes a profit, she does not buy worldly pleasures, but she plants a vineyard to help her household. Many commentaries say that when it compares her to a merchant ship bringing her food from afar, it is saying she went out of her way to look for a good bargain. She was frugal. She is a strong woman, emotionally and physically. She does not rest when there is work to be done. Some use this verse and say that this shows that she was a “working woman” outside of the home, but reading exactly what she does with her hands shows that it is all duties which can be done in the home to help her family.
The Generous Heart
Verse 20: “She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.”
Not only does she bless her family with her work, but she extends that helping hand to the people in need around her. This shows not only that she is willing to work to help others, but that she has generosity and compassion towards her fellow-man. She has been blessed, so she wants to bless others.
The Use of Her Talents
Verses 21-24: “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.”
With her talents and skills, she can make her family live comfortably. She does not have to worry about what kind of weather might come, because she is prepared and ready! She uses her talents to make garments to sell. This provides extra money for the family. Her husband can sit at the gates among the elders and not have to worry about what he has left at home. Remember, she is a virtuous woman whom he can trust. This also involves trusting her with the family affairs and he can have confidence that she will use her talents to make a happy home and he does not have to worry about the household work not being done.
This is already so much that we can learn from this beautiful woman of God, but it is not all! We will finish up this study in a second part. But for now, prayerfully look over these characteristics above and see if you are living by them daily.
By Alicia Bookout
Alicia and her husband, Garrett live in Clovis, NM where Garrett is the pulpit minister for 16th and Pile church of Christ. They have one sweet two-year old daughter, Emma and a second little one due in February. Alicia is a stay-at-home wife and mother. They both graduated from the Bear Valley Institute of Denver.