The Proverbs 31 Woman – Virtue

{For the introduction to this series, go here.}

Let’s start by remembering one very important fact. The 31st chapter of Proverbs is a remembrance of the words spoken by King Lemuel’s mother. The woman that is referred to in verses 10 through 31 is a wish list, of sorts, in my opinion. This is not the diary of an actual woman – it is a mother, instructing her son and perhaps her daughters as well, what kinds of qualities are honoring to God in the life of a woman. We can find freedom and life in these words, not condemnation, when we dig in to find the character qualities that the Proverbs 31 woman would exude. It’s not a checklist of everything we need to fit into a day. It’s a story full of character qualities that we can build up in our lives so that we too are honoring to God.

First thing that King Lemuel’s mother lists – virtue.

proverbs-31virtue

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.  

— Proverbs 31:10-11

Virtue is one of those words you hear in old stories or movies. It’s not something that you hear in regular conversation any more. So what exactly is virtue? One dictionary defined virtue as ‘behavior showing high moral standards.’ To have virtue is to do things with excellence, not for your own gain, but because you know what is right. To live a virtuous life is to live a life that has value far beyond what your bank account or friends list reads. A virtuous life is a life hidden in Christ, one that is building treasures in heaven and not on a corruptible earth.

The heart of her husband … begins verse 11. Whether or not you have a husband, these verses carry a great deal of wisdom. Let us just think about living a trustworthy life. Are you a safe place for the people in your life? Are you trustworthy? One that people know they can share with, depositing their prayers or hopes or even hurts, knowing that those words will be safe with you? Do people see time with you as a gain? Do you build people up and encourage rather than tear down or causally insult as has because some common place with young people? Maybe you’re not sure. Or maybe you are sure and you see some areas where you need to improve. This verse is the perfect place to start –

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Phil 4:8 {emphasis mine}

This is perhaps the most important lesson of womanhood for young ladies to learn. We all remember the tempestuous waters of the pre-teen and teen years. Teaching our girls now to carry themselves in a virtuous manner, loving the Lord and creating in their hearts a safe place, showing themselves to be trustworthy and to be seeking good things — this is how we eliminate bullying and mean girls. Dive into this one with your girls. For me, it’s meant that I’ve hard to take a hard look at my own words and actions. That is what this Christian walk is all about – constantly sharpening and working to be more like Him.

To access the journaling and study questions on virtue, I’ve created a free download. There is a sheet for women here and a sheet for mothers and daughters here. I’d love to hear from you, if you use these sheets. Are there enough questions? Would you rather a different format?


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