The Greatest Virtue
by Danelle Vingtas
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31 v 30
Despite popular belief, the Proverbs 31 Woman is not perfect. She ‘s not a character that God included in the Bible to make His daughters feel unworthy, rather, she is the perfect example of God’s idea of a godly woman.
Many women shudder at the thought of the Proverbs 31 Woman and many find the idea of her overrated and over-preached. In fact, I was once one of those cynical women who tried to avoid that portion of scripture by any means possible. While God was telling me to study it, I was making excuses not to. I discovered that, deep down, I was just insecure and afraid that I would never measure up to the perfection of the Proverbs 31 Woman. That was my greatest fear. When I eventually stopped throwing my toys out the cot, obeyed the Lord, and really read verses 10 – 31, He revealed to me the most wonderful truth.
What makes this nameless, yet famous woman so significant, is not the fact that she knows how to cook, clean, have babies and stay at home and take care of them. It’s not the fact that she has great wisdom and business sense, it’s not because she’s an all-rounder. That’s great, of course, but it’s her fear for the Lord that makes her a woman of virtue – that’s it. Not her husband, not her kids, but her fear and desire for God is what spurs her on. She is an example to every woman who wishes to please the Lord because she fears Him first and foremost, and every other area of her life flourishes because of that. That is something that doesn’t just apply to married women; it applies to every woman. Just like us, the Proverbs 31 Woman goes through many seasons in her life that needs His grace and guidance.
If we have a closer look at the whole chapter of Proverbs 31, it starts off with the words of king Lemuel, a reiteration of what his mother taught him. The portion of the virtuous/noble wife is a continuation of that, adding on to his mother’s words of wisdom regarding life and the ideal wife for her son.
If anything, the Proverbs 31 Woman should be an encouragement to women to pursue a closer, more intimate relationship with Jesus – not to be “perfect”. King Lemuel’s mother was indeed a wise woman. She realized that “charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,” and she imparted that knowledge into her son’s life. She realized that charm and beauty do not last forever; therefore, he shouldn’t look for that in a wife. It cannot sustain a woman, nor can it benefit her, her husband or her family in any lasting way. The thing that is of most value about a woman and makes her stand out from the rest is her fear for the Lord; that lasts forever.
We may have heard about the Proverbs 31 Woman many times, but may we start seeing her in a different light. May we realize that there is no greater quality, no greater virtue for a woman to have than faith. In every season of our lives, may we aim to pursue the Lover of our souls, our fear for Him driving us to be women of excellence and of noble character.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” – Proverbs 31 v 10