The Virtuous Woman – Willing to Work

First I would like to apologize for the length of time between posts. It seems my life has exploded with a lot of activity lately and something had to give. In this case, it was the Blog.

Now on to our study of Proverbs 31.

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

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Photo Credit: charamelody via Compfight cc

When I saw this next verse, I started laughing. And anyone who has spent any time around me is probably laughing too. Why? I love to knit! I work with wool and linen and cotton and other fibers all the time. I knit in my house, in my car, waiting for an appointment, before church, after church, in the restaurant waiting on my food and many other places and times.

However, though this verse mentions working with fibers of the wooly kind, that is not its main intent. I believe that the main emphasis is on the latter half of the verse. The virtuous woman works willingly with her hands.

In this statement, I see two things. One she works willingly and two she is willing to get her hands dirty. The first observation is in the verse. Her willingness to work is a part of what makes her a virtuous woman. If she does not have what she needs ready at hand she goes and seeks it where it is likely to be found.

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Photo Credit: Syrendell via Compfight cc

For wool, this means raising sheep and then shearing them when the time is right. The shorn fleece is then washed (believe me, if you have ever seen a fleece right off the sheep, you know you may have to wash it more than once.) After it is washed, it is carded and then spun into yarn to be knit or woven into garments. Some fleece is left unspun for various tasks, batting in blankets, fulled to make felt, etc.

For flax, you need to plant the seeds, wait for them to grow, harvest the plant, and beat the stalks to obtain the fiber in the middle of the stalk. It is then spun into thread or yarn and also woven or knit into something useful. Underwear, toweling, summer garments, bandages, swaddling, etc. Linen, the fabric that is produced from flax, was one of the main fabrics of Biblical times.

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Photo Credit: Vasquezz via Compfight cc

The second observation is implied. Obtaining either fabric or fiber was a lot of work and not all of it the clean type. Sheep are animals and you have to feed and clean up after them. Plants require a lot of work as well. So for the virtuous woman to have what she needed to clothe her family, she had to work.

Why was she doing all this work? If we look in the context, we see she was clothing her family and making sure they were warm when it was cold and cool when it was hot. She was working willingly for love of her family.

So how can this apply to us? I am single I do not have a family for which to provide. What is my motivation to work willingly?

The answer is love for God and for others should motivate us to work willingly. So you don’t have a family for which to provide, so what? Remember Dorcas in Acts? She worked willingly with her hands to provide for the needy.

But …

I don’t knit or do any of those other hand crafts like the virtuous woman! That is not a problem. The underlying principle is to use what talents and abilities God has given you and utilize them willingly in His service. Ok, so you don’t know how to do hand crafts, you can learn! Or if you have no interest or ability in that area, look for another area where something is needed. The point is to do it willingly!

The Virtuous Woman – Do Good and Not Evil

Continuing our study in Proverbs 31, we look at the next verse.

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Photo Credit: charamelody via Compfight cc

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

This verse stumped me a little bit. How could I apply something so obviously for a married woman to a single woman? Then I remembered that an earthly marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. In the last post I talked about how Jesus Christ has entrusted to us His reputation and work. If we look at this verse remembering that Jesus Christ is in the role of our husband, we as single ladies will do Him good and not evil all the days of our lives. Ok. What is good and what is evil? To the dictionary!

When I looked up the word good, I found 40 definitions for good being used as an adjective. So I am only presenting a few here.

GOOD, a.

3. Complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; having the physical qualities best adapted to its design and use; opposed to bad, imperfect, corrupted, impaired. We say, good timber, good cloth, a good soil, a good color.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Gen.1.

4. Having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use, or the qualities which God’s law requires; virtuous; pious; religious; applied to persons, and opposed to bad, vitious, wicked, evil.

Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Rom.5.

5. Conformable to the moral law; virtuous; applied to actions.

In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works.Tit.2.

18. Well qualified; able; skillful; or performing duties with skill and fidelity; as a good prince; a good commander; a good officer; a good physician.

22. Promotive of happiness; pleasant; agreeable; cheering; gratifying.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Ps.133.

E”VIL, a. e”vl. [Heb. to be unjust or injurious, to defraud.]

1. Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief.

Some evil beast hath devoured him. Gen.37.

2. Having bad qualities of a moral kind; wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong; as evil thoughts; evil deeds; evil speaking; an evil generation.

3. Unfortunate; unhappy; producing sorrow, distress, injury or calamity; as evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days.

GoodvsEvilThis verse puts two qualities in contrast, the action done will be either good or evil. If it is good, it conforms to the moral law and is virtuous. (See first blog post on Virtuous Woman) If the action is evil, the intent is to injure and it breaks the moral law. So this verse states that the actions the virtuous woman takes toward her husband, conform to the moral law and will not injure him or cause him mischief.

Just as a side note, here is the definition for mischief (as long as we are looking at the dictionary.)


1. Harm; hurt; injury; damage; evil, whether intended or not. A new law is made to remedy the mischief.

2. Intentional injury; harm or damage done by design.

Thy tongue deviseth mischief. Ps.52.

3. Ill consequence; evil; vexatious affair.

The mischief was, these allies would never allow that the common enemy was subdued.

MIS”CHIEF, v.t. To hurt; to harm; to injure.

So what about us single people?!? We, in our relationship with Christ, will do good actions and will not do anything that will bring injury to Jesus.

So let us look at our actions. Do they line up with the moral law? Do they prevent injury being done to the name and person of Jesus Christ? Am I doing good and not evil?

*Definitions from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary Online

The Virtuous Woman – The Trustworthy Woman

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11

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Photo Credit: charamelody via Compfight cc

This is the next verse in the Proverbs 31 Chapter we are studying. This verse is obviously written about a married woman, so what can I as a single woman glean from it? Well first I see a word or two that need defining. The first word is trust:

TRUST, v.t. To place confidence in; to rely on. We cannot trust those who have deceived us.

He that trusts every one without reserve, will at last be deceived.

1. To believe; to credit.

Trust me, you look well.

2. To commit to the care of, in confidence. Trust your Maker with yourself and all your concerns.

3. To venture confidently.

Fool”d by thee, to trust thee from my side.

4. To give credit to; to sell to upon credit, or in confidence of future payment. The merchants and manufacturers trust their customers annually with goods to the value of millions.

It is happier to be sometimes cheated, than not to trust.

If we look at this definition, we find that a woman of virtue is trustworthy. For a married woman, it means that what her husband had entrusted to her (namely his heart, reputation, life and future) are safe in her care. Since trust is a two way street this also means she trusts him to care for what she had entrusted to him. Next we look at the word spoil.

SPOIL, n. [L.]

1. That which is taken from others by violence; particularly in war, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty.

2. That which is gained by strength or effort.

Each science and each art his spoil.

3. That which is taken from another without license.

Gentle gales fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole their balmy spoils.

4. The act or practice of plundering; robbery; waste.

The man that hath not music in himself, nor is not movd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils.

5. Corruption; cause of corruption.

Villainous company hath been the spoil of me.

6. The slough or cast skin of a serpent or other animal.

From the definitions of these two words, the verse becomes clearer. Because he can trust his wife in all things, he does not need the riches that spoil brings. A virtuous wife will protect her husband’s interests, whether that be business or personal. She will be always on the lookout for his best.

OK, but what about me? What can I get from this verse?

A married, virtuous woman did not become trustworthy overnight. Trust is an earned commodity. It is given when trust given has been returned with fidelity.

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Photo Credit: birgerking via Compfight cc

As a single woman, I need to cultivate the characteristic of trustworthiness or faithfulness. It is one of many virtues that a Christian should exhibit. We are to be trustworthy in the trust that Christ had given us to reach others with His Word. If we look at the verse in the light of Christ the husband of the church, He has given into our keeping His Name, His Reputation, His Life and His Future. His Name is our name now, His Reputation rests on our trustworthiness, His Life is an eternal gift, and His Future is the King of Kings. We have been given the task of spreading His Name and Reputation. What a sacred trust! Are we practicing trustworthiness? Are we as women of virtue developing the faithfulness that will result in Our Savior´s trust?


A Virtuous Woman – Looking at Proverbs 31 from a single perspective

The next couple of months, I will be looking at a familiar passage of Scripture, if you are a woman that is. (Sorry, Guys, maybe next time!) This is something that has been on my heart for a couple of years. When Christian women get together and talk about the Christian Woman, the 31st chapter of Proverbs is inevitably mentioned. The chapter is obviously written for a married woman, but does that exclude single women from being virtuous? Can this chapter be applied to a single woman? I believe that it can if we take the principles taught in Proverbs 31 and apply them to our lives. I will be doing a verse by verse study in how to apply these verses to our single lives. Be prepared the dictionary will come out and maybe even the commentary. I am not sure where this study will end up, but come along for the ride!

I would like to start out by saying that the Proverbs 31 lady did not magically become a virtuous woman by marrying her husband. If this worked, there would be a lot more happy homes around the world. So how did the Virtuous woman of Proverbs get to be virtuous? I believe it was through a lot of hard work (either on the part of the Virtuous Woman or on the part of her mother, probably both.) She had to be taught which characteristics where virtuous and which to avoid. It was a lifelong process of what theologians call sanctification. What makes me respect her even more is, she was an Old Testament saint and therefore did not have the Holy Spirit guiding her every step. In this we have an advantage if we would only allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

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Photo Credit: John-Morgan via Compfight cc

For the sake of clarity, when I refer to the Virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, I will call her Virtue.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10

First, who is speaking? What is the context in which we find this verse? This is part of the instruction given to King Lemuel (whom many believe to be King Solomon especially as he is the author of Proverbs) by his mother. She is teaching him what is important and what is not important to a young man’s live. She touches on what many believe to be the good life, Wine, Women and Song. She exhorts him to leave behind alcoholic beverages and to not give his strength to women. By studying the rest of the chapter, we understand that she does not mean him to abstain from all women, but to give himself only to a virtuous woman. So begins a treatise on what is a virtuous woman.

The verse above gives the impression that virtuous women are hard to find. First the question, who can find one? Then the statement that her price is far above rubies. So what does virtuous mean? How can a person strive to be virtuous if they do not know what the word and concept mean?

Definition from Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary –


1. Morally good; acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, and abstaining from vice; as a virtuous man.

2. 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.

3. Chaste; applied to women.

4. Efficacious by inherent qualities; as virtuous herbs; virtuous drugs. [Not in use.]

5. Having great or powerful properties; as virtuous steel; a virtuous staff; a virtuous ring. [Not in use.]

6. Having medicinal qualities. [Not used.]

Strong’s Dictionary defines the Hebrew word translated as virtuous here –




From H2342; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength: – able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train, (+) valiant (-ly), valour, virtuous (-ly), war, worthy (-ily).


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Photo Credit: charamelody via Compfight cc

When we combine the two definitions, we come up with moral strength. So a virtuous woman is a morally strong woman. Ok, so what is moral or morality? (Again from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)


MOR”AL, a. [L. moralis, from mos, moris, manner.]

1. Relating to the practice, manners or conduct of men as social beings in relation to each other, and with reference to right and wrong. The word moral is applicable to actions that are good or evil, virtuous or vicious, and has reference to the law of God as the standard by which their character is to be determined. The word however may be applied to actions which affect only, or primarily and principally, a person’s own happiness.

Keep at the least within the compass of moral actions, which have in them vice or virtue.

Mankind is broken loose from moral bands.

2. Subject to the moral law and capable of moral actions; bound to perform social duties; as a moral agent or being.

3. Supported by the evidence of reason or probability; founded on experience of the ordinary course of things; as moral certainty, distinguished from physical or mathematical certainty or demonstration.

Physical and mathematical certainty may be stiled infallible, and moral certainty may be properly stiled indubitable.

Things of a moral nature may be proved by moral arguments.

4. Conformed to rules of right, or to the divine law respecting social duties; virtuous; just; as when we say, a particular action is not moral.

5. Conformed to law and right in exterior deportment; as, he leads a good moral life.

6. Reasoning or instructing with regard to vice and virtue.

While thou, a moral fool, sittest still and criest.

7. In general, moral denotes something which respects the conduct of men and their relations as social beings whose actions have a bearing on each others”s rights and happiness, and are therefore right or wrong, virtuous or vicious; as moral character; moral views; moral knowledge; moral sentiments; moral maxims; moral approbation; moral doubts; moral justice; moral virtue; moral obligations, &c. Or moral denotes something which respects the intellectual powers of man, as distinct form his physical powers. Thus we speak of moral evidence, moral arguments, moral persuasion, moral certainty, moral force; which operate on the mind.

Moral law, the law of God which prescribes the moral or social duties, and prohibits the transgression of them.

Moral sense, an innate or natural sense of right and wrong; an instinctive perception of what is right or wrong in moral conduct, which approves some actions and disapproves others, independent of education or the knowledge of any positive rule or law. But the existence of any such moral sense is very much doubted.

Moral philosophy, the science of manners and duty; the science which treats of the nature and condition of man as a social being, of the duties which result form his social relations, and the reasons on which they are founded.

So then a virtuous woman, whose price is well beyond that of rubies, is a morally strong woman, a woman who follows the moral law God set down in the Bible. As single women in ministry, this is something that is of great use to us. We are called to be examples, to teach others what the Bible says, to demonstrate that teaching in our lives. We are called to be virtuous women.

So the start of our journey as virtuous women is in our relationship with God. First, we must have a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus. If you have not accepted Jesus free gift of salvation, i.e. you have not recognized that you are a sinner and you can do nothing to save your soul from eternal death, have not recognized that Jesus paid the debt for your sin by dying on the cross and have not accepted His gift of payment for your sins so you can have eternal live instead of death, that is your first step. The Bible teaches that one cannot be morally right with God unless their sin debt has been paid, either by them through eternal punishment or by Jesus’ payment through His death on the cross.

If you have taken this step, then what? How can a woman be virtuous? Regular Bible study is a start. How can someone put a moral law into practice if they do not know the moral law? By studying what God has set down in the Bible, we learn what He expects from us. Which leads us to the next step, putting that moral law into practice. This is not an overnight transformation, but a lifelong process. (Remember that hard work I mentioned at the beginning of the blog?) This is a step that will last the rest of our lives.

Does this mean that I will only be considered virtuous when I reach Heaven? No. this means that while we are here on this earth, we will still have to contend with our human nature, whose instincts go against God’s moral law. We will stumble and fall along our journey, but that we are trying to keep to the moral law will define us as virtuous women.

How is your journey as a virtuous woman going so far? What gems have you picked up along the way that could help someone else? Please leave your comments below.