What makes a woman of virtue?
Is it what she does, how she acts, or how she looks? The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31 works, seeks and makes. She brings her food from afar and rises while it is still night. She considers and buys; she takes care of her household. She delivers, brings, and perceives…
This woman is known for her virtue and there is none that can compare. Her price is far above rubies and it is no wonder as to why her husband praises her. Her children rise and call her blessed and she is girded with strength and beauty. You can read of her entirety in Proverbs 31:10-31.
If you’re anything like me—a wife and mother—you’ve made the similarities already between this woman and the modern wife and mommy. I love the part that says, “She rises also while it is still night…”
Any other Mammas out there relate to getting up in the middle of the night, maybe with a sick toddler, nursing infant, or the list-a-mile-long of things needing to be done the next day, coursing through your mind, making it impossible to sleep?
Another part that makes me smile is when it says, “She perceives that her merchandise is good; She brings her food from afar.” Sounds like grocery shopping!
There is nothing new under the sun!
As modern-day mothers we wear the same umpteen zillion number of hats as this Woman of Virtue. We cook, clean, bake, organize, plan, coddle sick children, nurse nursing-infants, all on top of perhaps working outside of the home.
The task set before her and us is daunting—it is no wonder God said it is not good for man to be alone—we do it day in and day out. We do it for our entire lives.
The Lord God said, “…I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
As if it were not enough, we not only have our children to consider but also our husbands and all of their needs. It puts my heart in check when I read that, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so he shall have no need of spoil.” After most day when the kids are in bed, leaving me drained, for lack of a better word, my husband has needs. Like, really!? Him too!
Yes, him too! God knows I’m crazy about mine and want only good things for him, but… how much can one woman take?
Last but not least, we find ourselves maybe at the bottom of the long list of people and needs, needing attention. We shower… do our hair… maybe wear a little makeup… try to look presentable… try to eat well… maybe exercise.
If you’re anything like me—a stay-at-home mommy of three children, all under the age of three years old, you probably have wondered as have I, “What! In the world! Am I doing!?
If there is anything that is going to be put off the list because of there simply not being enough hours in the day, it will most certainly be me every time.
You been there?
Most of my exhaustion of being a mother isn’t even the physical demands laid upon me by the little hands of my children—it’s the emotional wellness of my own mind. Sometimes I am just too exhausted to take a shower and brush my teeth. And Exercise? Yea right! I can barely peel myself off the wall next to the cheerios that have been glued there for who knows how long, let alone think about purposely making myself sweat! After the long day of temper tantrums, time-outs, cluster-feedings, piles of laundry, dishes, poopy diapers, I consider myself lucky to still be alive. Seriously!
I just cannot help but wonder if The Virtuous Woman felt any of the same feelings that I feel every day? Did she ever have meltdowns because she wasn’t organized and couldn’t get everything needing done in a day, accomplished? Did she ever loose her cool because she was just one person trying to do everything? Did she ever feel like she was lost in the mess of her house and to-do list, forgetting when it had happened but not having the slightest clue as to how she could find herself ever again?
I am only guessing here, but probably?!
She wasn’t some special breed of woman with super powers that made it impossible for her to crack under pressure—she was more than likely just like you and I. Proverbs 31:10-31 never leads on that she did any of the like, but she was human. How could she not have gone through some of the things that we experience day in and day out?
Like my entire family showing up for pictures in clean clothes, smiling and looking like we have it all together. Ha! Look is right. When in reality, my husband and I had survived the fight of our marriage, made up and are still clinging to one another despite of the words that were said, and two toddlers and a baby, who I can’t believe God would entrust us with, still alive and well!
You been there too?
The thing is this. This woman probably had the same mommy meltdowns that you and I have, perhaps she yelled at her husband at times for his lack of using his God-given brain—sparking yet another fight, stressed over the endless hours of housework seemingly swallowing her whole, couldn’t find time, and tried to take care of herself so she could stand herself.
But here’s the best part. She was still called A Woman of Virtue! Her value was still more than that of rubies! Even though you may, like me, loose your marbles and mind on a daily basis, you are still a woman of virtue. You have value and you are irreplaceable to your children and husband. No amount of money can match your value!
Still though, I cannot help but wonder how she did it? There were a million things that she did each and every day—despite whatever meltdowns she may or may not have had. She must have been organized to some extent and managed her time well.
My favorite part of Proverbs 31:10-31, “She made herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. She strengthened her arms.”
My translation, in other words—She took care of herself!
It is my opinion she could have thought she was “just” a stay-at-home wife and mom. She could have easily thought to herself, as have I on several occasions, “My job isn’t really of value compared to that of my husband’s. I do enough, I don’t need to shower and put clean clothes on. I’m not worth it! No one other than my children and husband are going to see me.”
But she clothed herself in purple silk! That makes my faded, stretched-out yoga pants and day-old, barfed-on shirt look like rags. God knows I feel better about myself when I shower, put on some cover-up, and straighten my hair, even when I’m not going anywhere.