“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
We all want a prescription for something. Take five minutes and scan the newspaper, magazine rack, or the internet and there is sure to be a multitude of prescriptions for a number of different things. “Five ways to improve your health.” Or type into a search engine “How to be” and the options are unlimited of what we can be. How to be happy, how to be successful, how to be pretty, just to name a few. The search for things that we cannot seem to find ourselves is the front line of many TV shows, talk shows, advertisements, internet searches, headlines for newspapers or magazines. As a society we are inundated with prescriptions for whatever we feel we are lacking in life. When we get to the end of the day, the question becomes, “Did any of these prescriptions really work?” Or are we still searching for that secret that will transform our lives?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people want a quick fix to whatever is ailing them. Even when a person has bronchitis it takes ten days of antibiotics in order to get well. Not only are there no overnight quick remedies, there is also no overnight improvement to our character or station in life. Booker T. Washington said, “Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”
Proverbs 31:10-21 is the prescription for a virtuous or excellent woman. Instead of looking on the magazine rack, we as women should be looking in the Word of God for the answer to those perfect qualities for which we are so eagerly searching.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10). It is interesting that this section of Scripture starts out with a question. Is it to tease the reader, or is it to say that these women that are virtuous are hard to find? As we spend time studying this passage of Scripture, we will see that these women are hard to find. Many of us would rather peruse the magazine stand or the internet for the quick remedy to becoming an excellent or virtuous woman. The principles laid out in this chapter of the Bible are not easy nor are they for the faint of heart. “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).
The first time the word “find” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 2:20, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Here we see that there was no woman that could be a helper for man. At least by the time we get to Proverbs 31:10, there are women that are virtuous, but they are difficult to find.
The Hebrew word for “virtuous,” chayil, is used in many different ways in the Old Testament. I love how these different ways add to our definition of the virtuous women. Chayil, is used to mean wealth, men of activity, army, able men, valiant, men of valor, mighty men of wealth, strength, and power. As God inspired this Scripture to be written, He chose the word “virtuous” to describe a valuable woman. God could have chosen another word, but rather He chose “virtuous” to describe an incredible woman. As women we can be an army of valiant men who are wealthy and mighty. That analogy breathes excitement into my being as I think about what God thinks is possible through me, not a lowly woman, but an army of valiant men. Be careful not read into this that we should be out on the battle field saving our country. As we continue looking at this passage, there is no hint of us using these qualities outside the realm of our home and community. Just think about what could be accomplished through women if they felt empowered to be a valiant army of men with wealth and might.
“Who can find a virtuous women?” (Proverbs 31:10). She can be found right inside each of us. We must put forth the effort and not “give up on doing good.” (Galatians 6:9). This is no time for the sissys, rather it is time for the valiant to take a stand and prepare for the challenge.
- Do you feel defeated as a woman in this task of being virtuous before you even start?
- Read Galatians 6:6-10 to understand the context of verse 9. According to verses 8, 9 what is being used as an analogy?
- With this thought from Galatians 6: 9, 10 in mind look at Galatians 5:13-15. What is sown in these verses? There is positive and negative.
- What will be reaped from the above that is sown?
- My grandpa was a farmer. He had cows and acres of corn and wheat. When he went out to plant his field he did it one seed at a time. To be specific, I should say his machines planted it one seed at a time. As a child we had a large garden and I remember all that went in to this garden. When we planted, it was one seed at a time. When we harvested, we gathered many times over what we planted. How does this thought go along with Galatians 6:9?
- Do you feel like a valiant army of courageous men or like a timid mouse?
- Evaluate your response. If a timid mouse, what is causing you fear? If a valiant army, what is causing you not to fear?
- How can you take your new found courage and use it to mentor the next generation?