The Virtuous Wife
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears 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.
These words written above are the epitome of what I want to be as a wife, as a mother, as a woman. They are the picture of a woman who is strong, solid, supportive, and hard working. (Important note: while this particular passage is speaking of a “virtuous wife”, the word wife comes from the Hebrew ishshah which is defined as “woman, wife, female”, and I feel this is applicable to all women whatever their current role is . . . Strong’s Concordance 802)
There is a common misconception that Christianity demeans women . . . that the bible doesn’t hold women in high regard. Make no mistake, that is a lie, sadly perpetuated both in and out of the church, but a lie none the less. Godly women are neither less than nor are they to be regarded as weak. While I do believe in very traditional roles in marriage (and in life), and my husband is the leader of our household, we are also side by side, equal partners. Neither of us dominates. Neither of us controls the other. Domination and control are not part of a Godly marriage or life.
I am a stay at home mother/house wife by choice. It is the hardest job I’ve ever held. Being a wife and a mother has also been the most important job I’ve had . . . and ladies that’s true regardless of whether you choose to work outside of the home or not . . . you and the role you hold . . . in your family, your church, your place of work . . . are irreplaceable and invaluable.
I am an educated woman (I say that not to brag but purely as a means to an end in explaining the choices I’ve made) who chose to leave my career to raise my family. Until I had my son, my personal plans had me moving upward into school administration as the years progressed, and my husband supported me in that as he also supported me staying home (that took a little more time and prayer to get us comfortable with the one paycheck thing). I continued to work full time for the first five years of Andrew’s life (and part time until Anna came home at the end of 2015) because at that time we did not have the luxury of making any other choice. I fully realize that it is a privilege to be able to stay home, but I also want to acknowledge it was and is a choice. It was both my desire and prerogative to change the path I was on. But there’s also this perception in the world’s economy that I somehow settled . . . that because I’m not “using” my degree in a capacity that brings home a paycheck, I’m somehow wasting my education (I actually use it more than you’d think . . . hello home school 2020 and 7th grade pre-algebra). I do not, for a second, regret the time it took to receive that education as it was important in shaping who I am, but I also have no regrets in laying that aside and making sacrifices to be able to do what I do now. That’s not everyone’s reality or choice nor should it be. And I want to be clear that regardless of whether you choose to stay home or work outside the home there is room for both.
I say all that to say this (I promise there is a point). The world and society do not see or value women the way God does. What should be regarded as the most honorable and empowering of all roles, the role of a Godly woman (however that may look for you as long as it’s biblically sound), is often seen as a compromise and a concession and a settling for “less than” in today’s culture. The world’s idea of empowerment is not God’s idea of empowerment. The world’s view of a strong woman is not God’s view of a strong woman. (Completely acknowledging I’m side eyeing a certain Grammy performance which I did not nor do I have any plans to fully view other than what I’ve seen and read in the news . . . that is not “woman power” folks . . . that is purely demeaning and degrading to everything God lovingly and masterfully created us to be as women. . . and that’s not up for debate with me . . . not even a little.)
March is Women in History Month. March 8th is International Women’s Day. And with the deluge of social media posts about empowering women and strong women, I find myself reflecting on the kind of woman I wish to be . . . I find myself looking inward and outward and most importantly, to God’s word to define both what kind of example I want to set for my children and the type of women I want to celebrate in my home.
I want to celebrate and emulate the Proverbs 31 woman. I want to celebrate women of the bible like Ruth who forsook her own home and family to stand by her mother-in-law and who played an integral role in the lineage of Jesus (book of Ruth). . . like Deborah the prophetess, judge, and warrior who heard God’s voice and led the children of Israel into battle against Sisera and his army which ultimately led to his death by the hands of Jael, another woman worth mentioning (Judges 4-5) . . . like Esther, the queen who bravely saved the Jewish people from complete annihilation (book of Esther) . . . like Anna the prophetess who had been a widow for decades and did not depart the temple until she bore witness to the birth of the Redeemer (Luke 2:36-38) . . . like Mary the mother of Jesus who found favor with God to be the mother of the Most High (Luke 1:26-38) . . . like Elizabeth, Mary and Martha, Rahab, Mary Magdalene, Hannah, Sarah . . . the list goes on . . . in a time when women were not often given praise or deemed worth mentioning in the annuals of history, the bible gives us no shortage of women to imitate.
And modern day history has left us no less rich with Godly women . . . from Lottie Moon to Corrie Ten Boom to Elisabeth Elliot, to name just a few and continuing on to women living and working for Christ, today, known to me from a distance through their ministries and known to me in my own, personal, everyday life . . . I won’t even try to start naming women in either of these categories as I’m sure to leave someone out but know they are both single and married . . . they are young and older . . . they are mothers in both the actual sense and surrogate mothers within the church and their communities . . they are nurses, teachers, ministers, counselors, business women, missionaries, friends, sisters, and leaders . . . they are strong, beautiful, women of God. These are the woman I will hold in high regard . . . these are the women I want to celebrate . . . these are the Proverbs 31 women.
Copyright 2021, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.