What exactly does it mean to be a virtuous woman? This is a common term that we hear, but do we really know what it means? I think that any Christian woman would have a desire to be a virtuous woman, and it’s clear from Scripture that we should be virtuous, so I think that it’s important for us to know about the true virtuous woman meaning.
Virtuous Woman Meaning
This post begins a series that is in keeping with the blog name: A Ruby in the Rough. I chose that name to reflect my desire to become a Proverbs 31 woman but also to show that I am still a work in progress, just as we all are.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10
As an introduction to the series today, we are going to start by looking at some dictionary definitions of what it means to be a virtuous woman. Now a word of caution here. Words and their meanings change a lot, so just any dictionary is not good for Bible study. I recommend using the Merriam Webster 1828 dictionary. It a Biblically-based dictionary with Scripture verses included, and it sheds light on words and their original meanings.
Okay, let’s start by looking at the virtuous woman meaning. I’m going to list out some of the definitions for you to read, and then I’ll discuss them a bit.
- Morally good; acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, and abstaining from vice; as a virtuous man.
- Being in conformity to the moral or divine law; as a virtuous action; a virtuous life.
The mere performance of virtuous actions does not denominate an agent virtuous.
- Chaste; applied to women.
- Efficacious by inherent qualities;
Let’s take this one definition at a time. Being virtuous is obeying God’s moral law and keeping away from sin. It means doing what is right as well as not doing what is wrong. To know what God’s law is, we must read His Word and find out the way He calls us to live.
Not only does a virtuous life involve doing right, but as the second virtuous woman definition pointed out, it involves being right. This should be no surprise when we remember the second half of Matthew 12:34 and also verse 35:
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
What is in our hearts will come out in the way we speak and live. We cannot live godly lives and follow the Lord unless our hearts have been changed. And the only way that we can have our hearts changed is by coming to Jesus. Only then when we ask for His forgiveness and grace will we be changed. Our hearts will be made pure and we will be given God’s power to begin to live virtuous lives for His glory.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
The third definition points out that a virtuous woman is chaste. Some of the definitions of chaste are clean, innocent, modest, and pure. As women, God calls us to be clean through His saving blood and then to live lives that are pure and modest. Being modest applies not only to the way that we dress but also the way that we live. We should not try to draw attention to ourselves, but should live quiet and pure lives for God’s glory.
Titus 2 calls the aged women to “be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Since this is the way God will call us to live as older women, then I think it is important for us to start practicing while we are young and are forming our habits. Even if we are not married, we can still help care for the home we live in and honor and obey the authorities that God has placed in our lives.
The fourth definition sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Efficacious means: “having the power to produce a desired effect” In other words, someone who is virtuous is also someone who is effective. When we are truly walking with God and allowing Him to work through us and produce good fruit in our lives, this work will be effective and powerful.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
When we allow the Lord to cleanse us and make us into pure vessels that He can work through, then we can be used in an effective and powerful way. The power does not come from ourselves but from the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
Practical Virtuous Woman Meaning
Word studies help to bring in a lot of insight about a virtuous woman’s meaning, but they’re not enough by themselves. I don’t know about you, but I really like practical and specific instructions. Words like modest and effective can seem a little vague. You can’t really say “I am going to go and be effective.” But, you can say, “I’m going to go cook a meal for my family,” and then that can be effective. That is where our working definition of a virtuous woman comes in. God gave us a very detailed and practical example of a virtuous woman in the Proverbs 31 woman passage. We will just look at an overview of some key points today.
A virtuous woman cares for her family. She is a hard worker. While she toils faithfully in meeting the needs of her own family, she also doesn’t forget to help the other needy people God brings across her path. A virtuous woman also takes the time to look after her own health and be a good steward of her body. So our virtuous woman meaning applies to the heart and then to every area of life. The bottom line is: a virtuous woman goes in the strength of the Lord and faithfully completes whatever task He has for her to do.
Did you enjoy the introduction to this series? Please sign up so that we can continue this in-depth Proverbs 31 series together. Oh, and there’s some printables in the freebies archive (including a prayer journal) calling your name!!
There is so much more we could dig out of this passage, but I think we’ve gone in deep enough for this introduction. If you have any thoughts about this word study, please share! Your comments are a blessing, and I’m so thankful that we can “come together” from near and far and walk along the path of the Christian life together.
What is one thing that stood out to you from this Bible study that you can take with you?
Thank you for spending time with me today! If you want to follow along with us on this new Bible study, you are welcome to sign up and join the journey!