I think that a lot of women have found this passage, starting at “Who can find a virtuous woman,” all the way down to “Let her own works praise her in the gates,” to be very overwhelming! Do you ever read this passage and think, “I could never be like that,” and feel discouraged?
Maybe you are thinking, “I could never be like the Proverbs 31 woman because I don’t have the time to do all the things she did,” or “I struggle with health issues and can’t keep up with it all.” In this post, we are going to look at how you can become a virtuous woman. It may not be what you think! In fact, you can become a virtuous woman without working every spare minute from before dawn until midnight. That’s actually not the way God intended us to live, so are you ready to find out how you can live a simple, virtuous life for God’s glory?
Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman?
This question may be one thing that makes becoming a virtuous woman feel really hard, if not impossible to attain. After all, if it is so hard to find a virtuous woman that the question is asked “Who can find a virtuous woman?” then who am I to think that I could ever be a virtuous woman?
It is not hard to be a virtuous woman; it is impossible! You may be thinking “WHAT?!” I thought you were going to encourage me and show me how I could be a virtuous woman and still live a simple life. It is impossible for us to make ourselves virtuous. This is something that only the Lord can do. If we surrender to Him, then He will change us and do the impossible in and through us.
It is completely understandable for us to feel overwhelmed when we think of living a godly, Christlike life. I think God wants us to reach the point where we realize how impossible it is for us to be virtuous. But, that’s not where He wants us to stop! The reason why virtuous women are so rare is that we like to try to do things in our strength. It is true that in our strength we can never be virtuous. However, it is equally true that each one of us can be virtuous if we look to the Lord and let Him do it in us. That means you!
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
When you feel discouraged and as though you can never attain the Proverbs 31 standing, let that be your prompt to remember that, “No, I can’t make myself into a virtuous woman, but the Lord can!” Let your discouragement be transformed into a prayer for grace as well as a prayer of thanksgiving for what God is going to.
What Does Virtuous Woman Mean?
We talked about this more in-depth in our last post on this verse, but let’s look at it again briefly. Being virtuous is having moral strength. This means having the strength to do what is right.
Here’s some good news for people who are limited in physical strength! You don’t have to be physically strong and capable to be spiritually strong. In fact, our strength is never enough to enable us to live the Christian life. We have to humble ourselves and ask the Lord for His strength. I think this is another piece of good news for those of us who aren’t physically strong. Our physical weakness can be a constant reminder to us of our spiritual weakness and need for the Lord’s strength.
It is clear that physical strength is not a requirement for being a virtuous woman. So what about having time to do everything? If I don’t have time to do everything listed in the Proverbs 31 passage, can I still be a virtuous woman? Yes, of course you can! In the story of Mary and Martha, who was the virtuous woman? Was it Martha, the one who was bustling about and making sure that everything got done? Actually, Martha was the one whom Jesus gently scolded. Jesus said that Mary, the one who sat at His feet and listened to Him, had chosen the good part.
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
It is more important that we slow down and take the time to spend with Jesus in His Word and in prayer than it is for us to follow a long checklist and try to do everything. As in every part of our lives, we need to find balance. There must a balance between serving and resting, working and worshipping.
However, finding balance is not the only thing. If you try to balance too many things at one time, what is going to happen? You’re going to drop them! It will sure happen if you are clumsy like me! Rather than just trying to find a way to balance everything, it might be time to lay down a few things so that you can be more focused on the things you choose to keep doing. It’s important to seek the Lord’s will about what you are doing and not just think that you have to go on doing something just because you have “always done it.”
How Do I Become a Virtuous Woman?
The thing that makes so many people shy away from the Proverbs 31 passage is how she seems to be able to do everything! I think that some people may have a misconception about this woman. This passage of Scripture was written as a poem in the original language. Rather than talking about a particular woman, this poem is a general list of some of the things that a virtuous woman does. It covers different stages of life and different jobs that a virtuous woman could have. This does not mean that to be a virtuous woman you have to achieve everything on this list, or that you have to try to do everything all at one time.
So, if following this list is not what makes me a virtuous woman, what does? Let’s return to the basic meaning of virtuous: having moral strength. To be virtuous, we must first seek Jesus for salvation and then for strength in doing His will. We also need to ask Him to guide us and show us His will. Spend time with Him in prayer and Bible reading every day. Being virtuous is not so much a matter of doing as it is a matter of being. It is having a change of heart and the desire to do right, and that is something only God can give us. He is waiting for us to ask!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
After that, there is work that God has for each one of us to do. Some of that work may look very similar to what the Proverbs 31 woman had to do. God wants our first work to be helping and caring for our families, be that our parents and siblings or husband and children. If you have health struggles, there are still many ways that you can bless your family, whether it’s writing notes of encouragement, smiling and helping to keep the home cheerful, or praying for them.
The important thing is to start with a pure heart and then seek the Lord’s will and strength. It’s also important to not get so busy with your work that you forget the first step: a virtuous heart. Don’t get so busy that you forget to spend time with the Lord. In fact, being busy all the time is not a requirement for being a virtuous woman. Overstuffing your schedule will more likely lead to feeling stressed and impatient than to accomplishing anything good.
What Does It Mean to Be a Virtuous Woman?
Over the next few months we will be continuing this Bible study and looking at what the Proverbs 31 woman does. Our actions depend on what is inside our heart, so studying her actions will give us insight into what she is like on the inside. This passage first mentioned a woman being virtuous before it talked about her actions. This is because God looks on the heart and is just as concerned about that as He is about our actions.
Let’s do a quick review, and then I will leave you with a simple takeaway about what we have covered. I don’t know about you, but I like practical advice that I can put into action!
Becoming a virtuous woman is impossible in our own strength. So, being a Proverbs 31 woman isn’t necessarily about working harder and writing long to do lists. It is about spending time with the Lord and letting Him change our hearts and give us strength. After all, Mary was the one who was commended by Jesus in that account, not Martha.
Even if you are physically unwell or for some other reason not able to serve as you would like, you can still be a virtuous woman. You can still receive His working in your heart, and you can still shine His love to those around you. We can’t say it too many times that it comes down to surrendering to the Lord daily and letting Him change us.
- Daily ask the Lord to change your heart and give you the strength to do what is right.
- Are there some ways you could make better use of your time? Maybe you need to empty your schedule out a little to make more time for the Lord. Remember, time with Him should come before work for Him.
- Don’t try to do it all! Please don’t overfill your schedule and push yourself to the limit. That is not what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman!
I hope you will leave this blogpost feeling encouraged in the Lord and in what He has planned for your life! Another thing, don’t feel like I am writing this post out of achievement. I have been convicted by this post and need it just as much as you. Let’s continue to encourage each other to press on! If you would like to join us for this Proverbs 31 Bible study, you can sign up right here to be notified when new posts come out.
Which of the three takeaways most spoke to you? Do you have any thoughts on how you could implement it? Your comment could be an encouragement to someone else!