NOTE: Today's devotion is a sample from Discovering the Treasures of a Godly Woman: Proverbs 31.
I once read about a woman who went to an art museum. Determined to see it all, she whisked from room to room, from painting to painting. Each time she criss-crossed the museum, she saw a gentleman seated on a bench across from one painting. He remained there the entire time, drinking in the glory of one masterpiece.
Dear one, as we step into this study of the woman God puts on display in Proverbs 31:10-31, purpose to do like the man above did: pay attention to detail, appreciate gracious beauty, and seek to comprehend God’s message. Then beseech His help in reaching toward the excellence revealed in this woman.
The Proverbs 31 Woman
Read Proverbs 31:10-31. Check here when done ______. Then write out verse 10.
As we seek to describe the woman in Proverbs 31, realize that the word “virtuous” or “excellent” is used some 200-plus times in the Bible to describe an army of men and men prepared for war.
This Old Testament word refers to a force and is used to mean “capable, strong, valiant, powerful, worthy.” Its primary meaning involves military strength. Just as the two forces of mental toughness and physical energy are primary traits of an army, they also mark God’s Proverbs 31 woman.
A Virtuous Woman
The root word for “virtuous” or “excellent” is used only four times in the Bible to describe a woman or women. Look at them now.
- Ruth 3:11—What did Boaz say about Ruth? What do you learn about Ruth’s character in Ruth 1:16-18 and 2:11? And about her physical condition in Ruth 2:2, 17, 23?
- Proverbs 12:4—How is this excellent woman described, and what does this imply about her? And how is the other kind of woman described, and what does this imply about her?
- Proverbs 31:10—How is this excellent woman described, and what does this imply about her?
- Proverbs 31:29—What accolade does the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman have for his wife?
Now, back to Proverbs 31:10. What is the question asked regarding this woman that indicates her value? What words strike you most and why? The choice of descriptive words used to describe God’s ideal woman (“who can find?” and “far above rubies”) indicates that she’s a rarity. She must be searched for and sought after because she is so rare.
Developing Godly Excellence...
This section of our study is devoted to responding to what we are discovering from God’s Word about each quality of the Proverbs 31 woman. Think through what you’re learning about godly character. Review your discoveries about each of the topics above and then answer the questions.
- A woman of excellence—How do you measure up in mental toughness and physical energy, and what improvements must be made?
Which one of the references to the four “excellent” and “virtuous” women spoke most to your heart and why?
- A priceless gem—After learning what “virtuous” and “excellent” mean, why do you think such a woman is so rare?
I still remember the day I discovered the meaning of the word “virtuous” or “excellent.” As a result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit through what I was reading in the Bible and of a desire for the character and strength of this godly woman, I pursued her excellence.
My first step was to apply my strength and energy to better things than lazing on the couch and non-stop reading. I wanted to be strong in character, mind, and body. I wanted to be an asset to my family and others. To be a woman of worth and excellence, a woman who is priceless.
I’ve shared my heart’s desires. Now...how about yours?
Dear Lord, I desire to become a woman who, like and army, moves through the challenges and duties of life with virtue, kindness, stamina, endurance, and power—Your power. Amen.
How do you assess yourself in these areas: trustworthy and honest, thrifty, strong in character, kind, wise, holy?
Choose one attribute to grow in over the next six months. Reassess, and begin again. By this time next year, you will be a lovely Proverbs 31 woman!
God knows the value of the work He has given us and what it takes mentally and physically to accomplish it. He will provide the strength we need.