When I was a young girl, my mother used to pound into my head Proverbs 31, The Virtuous Woman. She always told me to read it and I’m glad she did because it is one of my most favorite references in the scriptures today which gave me high self esteem and standards, yet kept me humble. Today, media perpetuates Black Women in Media and loud, angry, mean, unhealthy, gold Diggers, Jezebels, hypersexual, uneducated, “ratchet” baby mamas instead of modern Matriarchs and community heroines. Guilty are the many female celebrities who contribute to the exploitation of women of color. Unfortunately, many women are not able to make that connection between demoralizing buffoonery that contributes to putting oneself at risks for mental health issues, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. This is the information age, a time of enlightenment where anything you would like to learn is on the internet, so there is no excuse for promoting and funding our own genocide and demise of generations to come.
H.R.H. Empress Menen was one of the most virtuous women we have as an example today. Upon her passing, Our Majesty gave a speech proclaiming, “All of you knew her well but she was more intimately known by I. She was devoutly religious and did not lose her faith even in the time of hardship. During the memorable days of Our companionship We never had differences that needed the intervention of others. As Sarah was to Abraham, so was she obedient to I. Our wishes were mutual until we were separated by the Almighty. Her assistance for the good of the young, the old and the needy requires no testimony for they are greater than thoughts and words.”
Do you long to be a confident, strong woman– daughter, mother, wife, sister, friend– a woman who is far more precious than the most valuable jewels on this Earth and is praised by her husband, children, and those around her? The Almighty gives us an example of such a woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. If we want to be valuable in the sight of our husband, children, family, neighbors, and most importantly, Our Creator, we can look to this example for guidance in becoming a woman who is worthy of praise and honor.
Examine this checklist of the traits of the virtuous woman, and check off the traits that you have and work on the ones that you don’t!
Virtuous Woman Checklist:
Strong: “Who can find a virtuous woman” (31:10) is rendered “woman of strength”, literally strength of character. This woman fears God, loves Truth, and hates sin. (Ruth 3:11, Prov 12:4). This type of woman with strong moral character (virtuous) will not make her family ashamed… “She Girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms” (31:17) and “strength and honor are her clothing (31:25). To be girded is to be ready for action. She is ready with strength that energizes her to be able to accomplish physical tasks that need to be taken care of because she is not weakened by sloth or laziness as we will see.
Valuable: “Her price is far above rubies” (31:10). Why are precious stones so costly? Because they are so rare. This woman is not like everyone else: her moral strength and character and inner beauty make her like a rare gem that is very valuable.
Trustworthy: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust her” (31:11). This woman has done things that cause her to be worthy of her husband’s trust. Examples include not being wasteful with money (31:11) and knowing she has good intentions always for him (31:12) which we will discuss further. Do we give people reasons to trust us? Or are we deceptive, selfish and wasteful?
Thrifty, Frugal: “So that he shall have no need of spoil” (31:11). She does not waste her time or money on unproductive, slothful activities: she is a productive asset to the family. She is not a financial liability, wastefully shopping too much, incurring credit card debts, and causing financial loss; rather, she even contributes to the finances with her industrious talents from the home as we will see.
Good: “She will do him good not evil” (31:12). Her life and her deeds are a constant blessing to her husband. She always wants what is best for him, and he never has to worry that her intentions are bad.
Consistent: “All the days of her life” (31:12). This woman does good to her husband every single day. He can count on her today, tomorrow, and always to be there and be good to him. He doesn’t have to worry that she will threaten to leave or quit. She is going to be there “until death do us part”. She will not break her vows.
Diligent, Hard-working: “Seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands” (31:13) and “riseth also while it is yet night” (31:15) and “her lamp goeth not out by night” (31:18) and “eateth not the bread of idleness” (31:27). Over and over again, we see that this woman is not lazy! She finds the things she needs and then works with them, not with a forced, bad attitude, but willingly with delight or pleasure. She uses her time and resources to benefit her family at all hours of the day. She is not one to stay up all night and sleep in all day, like a lazy person.
Provider of Food: “bringeth food from afar” (31:14) and “giveth meat to her household” (31:15). She goes and gets food for her family to eat and serves it to them. Many wives today neglect providing food for their families, making their children or husbands find their own food.
Careful Decision-Maker: “considereth a field, and buyeth it” (31:16). The word consider here demonstrates careful thought into the matter of the field. She does not make rash, impulsive decisions.
Purposeful Buyer: “with the fruit of her hands, she planteth a vineyard” (31:16). She bought the field carefully and with a purpose: a purpose that had the benefit of her family and the future in mind– she planted a vineyard there.
Industrious: “Sees that her merchandise is good” (31:18). She purchased a field, planted a vineyard, and was able to experience the rewards of her hard work. Her reaping is good because her sowing was good… “she maketh fine linen and selleth it” (31:24). She used her talents to make money for her family.
Provider of Clothing: “Layeth her hands to the spindle” (31:19) and “Not afraid of the snow for her household for her household are clothed” (31:21). She provided the necessities of life for her family, including clothing. Not only did she make sure they had it, she made it herself, another example of her hard work and resourcefulness. She was not afraid of them getting sick or dying in the cold because she was taking care of them.
Charitable: “Stretcheth out her hands to the poor” (31:20). This woman had a drive to help those in need, even outside of her own house, that could only be driven by a sincere compassion and sense of mercy for others.
Supporter and Contributor to her husband’s successes: “Her husband is known at the gates” (31:23). Isn’t it interesting that we find this phrase among a description of this virtuous woman. The old saying goes, “Behind every good man is a good woman”. A woman can be a tremendous influence for good or ill on her husband. Where would this man be without his Godly, industrious, faithful, loving, hard-working wife (Prov 12:4)? Are you a hindrance or catalyst to your husband’s success and happiness?
Confident in her future: “She will rejoice in time to come” (31:25). This woman can be happy about the future because of her choices she has made in the present. She is working hard and knows that the rewards of her labor are yet to come, physically and spiritually.
Wise: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom” (31:26). This woman knows when to speak and what to say. She is careful with her word choices. She relays instruction from her mouth. She uses her mouth to teach her children (Prov 1:8).
Kind: “in her tongue is the law of kindness” (31:26). Our speech reveals our heart. Out of a kind and loving heart will come kind and loving words. This woman was kind and spoke kindly to others.
Guardian: “She looketh well to the ways of her household” (31:27).”Looketh well” is rendered “spieth” in psalm 37:32 and a watchman in Ezekiel 3:17. This woman is watching out for anything that might endanger her family. Some parents don’t watch their children: they don’t know where their children are, what they do, what they watch, or who they hang out with. I love this quote; “Parents should be looking well to their moral habits, their religious instruction, and attendance on the means of grace; giving them time for secret prayer, and reading the Word of God, bringing them to the daily ordinance of family worship; inculcating the careful observance of the Lord’s Day; anxiously watching over their manners, habits, and connections…Who can have the claim to a virtuous woman, who does not feel this weight of family responsibility?” (Charles Bridges, Proverbs)…She is also concerned about the well-being of her family. We have already seen examples of her providing food and clothing for her family. She watches out for them and makes sure they have what they need.
Loved by her children and husband. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” (31:28) “Many daughters have done virtuously but thou excellest them all” (31:29). She has invested herself into the ones she loves, and she is rewarded with their praise and adoration. They thought of her as the best wife and mom ever. Do your husband and children love, adore, and praise you?
Finally, this woman is praised and will be rewarded for choosing godliness, hard work, kindness, wisdom, charity, thriftiness and good over worldliness, laziness, meanness, ignorance, greed, wastefulness and evil:
This is the woman who The Almighty wants praised. A virtuous woman. We see here how we can be the woman that The Most wants us to be. We should strive to be pleasing to Our Benevolent Creator and seek His praise by following the example of the virtuous woman.
Additional Sources: Calling Her Blessed