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The Perfect Woman: Virtuous Woman Part 1

I have good news for you. Becoming like that perfect woman of Proverbs 31 isn’t as hard as it seems!

You are reading Part One of the mini-series subtitled “The Virtuous Woman.”

I’ve concluded that the virtuous woman of Proverbs was like Carolyn Ingalls (of Little House on the Prairie), Mary Kay Ash (of the cosmetics), and Cindy Crawford (beautiful model) all rolled into one. Homemaker par excellence, there was nothing that Perfect Woman couldn’t do. 

Nothing she couldn’t do

Spinning, weaving, sewing, and knitting. Cooking, baking, and directing the household help. And with her magazine worthy house and gourmet cooking, her husband’s friends and business associates were always wined and dined in style. Her family always well-dressed and mannerly.

And she was also Businesswoman Extraordinaire. Buying, selling, and trading. Dealing in real estate, farming, and commerce. Never allowing an opportunity to slip through her fingers. And all the while fashionably dressed and beautiful, every hair in place, and perfectly made up.

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.

Proverbs 31:16-18 WEB

Yet her excellence didn’t stop there! She seemed to never sleep, yet had energy enough to help the poor and needy, more than likely as president of many local charities. She was tireless, impeccable, and flawless.

No wonder I never really liked her! She leaves me feeling that I fall sadly short. How could I, an ordinary, average homemaker, ever match this icon of the superwoman? Yet, isn’t that what God wants?

It takes commitment

I’m not so sure that the Lord wants us to become just like her. For one thing times are different now, and even this woman’s portfolio would likely be greatly changed. If she lived today, even she might not spin or weave. But also because likely not every woman in biblical times did everything the virtuous woman did. Take Esther for example. As queen with multiple servants she possibly did little physical labor at all. Yet a more virtuous woman would be hard to find!

Becoming a virtuous woman takes commitment, which she had in spades. She was highly committed and applied herself wholeheartedly to all that she did. And if we’re really honest, that’s something we sometimes lack.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

No carbon copies

We may never excel in all the ways this woman did, but I’m not sure that’s what the Lord is really asking of us. He doesn’t want carbon copies of her, for he made each of us in our own unique and special way.

He has a special and individual plan for each of us. And all he really asks is that we tend to things with our whole heart. Just like this woman, striving for excellence in all we do.

It’s wholehearted commitment that pleases God. Not that we do things perfectly. But that we give them our all and do them to the best of our ability. And when we slip up or fall, we confess our errors or weaknesses – and keep on trying.

It’s up to us to change

So determine today what holds you back from excelling like the perfect woman, and then commit to making changes.

  • Distractions you need to get rid of?
  • Unhealthy comparing of yourself with others?
  • Or are you just trying to do too many things?
  • And possibly even things the Lord never asked of you?

Take time today to prayerfully discover what the Lord would have you do in your present place and time in life. Then ask his help in devoting yourself wholeheartedly to those tasks!

And perhaps you might discover that becoming more like that Perfect Woman isn’t such an impossible goal after all!

The Lord isn’t after carbon copies of the Proverbs 31 woman. All he really expects is that we do our best with what he gives us to do!

Images: Woman at desk by Kaboompics. | Woman standing by Daria Shevtsova.

By Signora Sheila

I am a wife, mom, nonna, blogger, and missionary in Italy. But really, I'm just an ordinary woman on a journey, trying to slow down enough to hear the still small voice of God and live for all that is truly important in this world.

14 replies on “The Perfect Woman: Virtuous Woman Part 1”

I’ve heard some say that these are all excellent attributes to strive for but it doesn’t mean that one single woman did all of these things. I like what you said, Sheila, about how we’re not to be carbon copies of this woman but are to do our best with what God gives us to do. This is an encouraging blog and I thank you for sharing your insights with us.

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I always think that Proverbs woman must have done different things in different seasons. At least it gives me hope that if I don’t try to do it all at once, I may hit the mark!

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What a wonderful thought–a high level of commitment, the willingness to finish well, never settling but striving for excellence because we are His children. Love this! And I will readily admit, comparison is my kryptonite. Comparing myself to others because I think they’re better or do it better or will achieve better than I will. Thanks for this timely reminder, my friend. Well said.

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So true. The heart of what you said, serves as a reminder that I “can do all things through Christ…,” and that “Without Him, [I] can do nothing.” We definitely need Him at the center of our lives. Thank you for this encouraging word.

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I once heard a helpful explanation for the long list of accomplishments that the Proverbs 31 woman achieved. She did not undertake all of these tasks all on the same day–perhaps not even in the same week. What if the list covered her efforts over a season? Much more doable! I agree with you, Sheila. The takeaway from this chapter is to follow the unique plan God has for each us, tend to those things wholeheartedly, and strive for excellence–not perfection. (There is a difference.) Thank you for another thought-provoking post, my friend!

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That hits the whole thing right on the head. In fact, in subsequent posts, I bring out that much og what we read on her is a progression of seasons! And as you state, one of striving not for perfection (which is llimpossible for us humans) but for excellence because we’re doing it for the Lord. Thanks for this insightful, dear friend!

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