THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN

Proverbs 31:10-31

 

I.Intro.

A.this description of the virtuous woman is a poem exalting the honor and dignity of womanhood

1.the book of Proverbs frequently warns of the danger of the strange woman and the foolish wife - Proverbs 2:16-19; 5:3-14; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18; 11:22; 14:1; 21:9; 23:27-28; 25:24

2.after all of the warnings, the book concludes with the glory of the virtuous woman

B.this lengthy description of the virtuous woman teaches us the immense importance of the godly wife

1.she is mentioned in many passages of the NT as well - Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18; 1 Tim 2:9-15; 3:11; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6

2.the godly wife contributes as much as anything, to the keeping up of religion in families

3.in choosing a wife, fools will follow their fancy, and the wise will act according to reason and the word of God

II.the virtuous woman’s value - 10

A.she is worth more than precious jewels because she cannot be purchased with money

1.beauty can be bought, but virtue cannot

2.she is worth more than precious jewels because of how valuable her faithful labor is

3.it is possible to buy a house keeper, but it is not possible to buy a woman who is dedicated to a man and his children

a)who is committed to do them good all the days of her life, in every way possible, in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth

b)the wise man will seek after such a woman

B.such a woman only comes from the Lord

1.the man who wants such a woman must walk with God, and please God

2.the man who wants such a woman must patiently seek for her from God’s loving hand

III.the virtuous woman’s dependability - 11-12

A.she can be trusted by her husband because her first love is God

1.the reason that she is in subjection to her husband is because she trusts in God - 1 Pet. 3:5

2.she is faithful to her husband because she fears God, and takes her marriage vows seriously

B.she makes do with whatever her husband provides – 11

1.a virtuous and wise woman can make a little go a long way, but the foolish woman can waste even a large income

2.her management is so skilful, industrious, and economical, that her husband has no temptation to do anything dishonest, to increase his resources

3.many husbands have been driven to deeds of dishonesty through the laziness and extravagance of the partner of his life

C.she does good for her husband - 12

1.she is not one who cares more about her mother, or a friend, or some co-worker than her husband

2.her heart is set on him, and on his welfare and pleasure

3.she takes her job as an “help meet” seriously -Genesis 2:18

D.she does him good all the days of her life - 12

1.she takes her marital vows of “in sickness and in health, till death do us part” seriously

2.she does not allow her heart to become devoted to someone or something else, other than her husband

3.she does not do him good only once in awhile, when she is in the mood

4.her heart is committed to doing him good, and being a proper help meet for him, at all times and for all of their lives

5.there is a wifely love that is unpredictable; passionate today, but tomorrow cold and sullen

6.genuine wifely love seeks the good of her husband, and is as constant as nature

E.she knows how to do good to her husband, which involves many wifely duties

1.the virtuous wife considers it her chief duty to know her husband, and to learn how to please him and help him

2.God made Eve to be a “help meet” for Adam, to be his suitable companion and co-laborer, and the virtuous wife takes this responsibility seriously

3.she knows how to listen when he talks, and to cheer him when he is sad, and to encourage him when he is downcast

4.she knows how to counsel him from a woman’s perspective, and she knows how to pray for him

5.she knows how to keep herself as attractive as possible to please him, and will not defraud him when he is passionate - 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

IV.the virtuous woman’s labor - 13, 24-27

A.her labor is willing – 13

1.she works because she wants to work; no one is standing over her forcing her to work

2.it is a labor of love from her heart, because she is committed to her God and to her family

B.her labor is diligent

1.13 of the 22 verses describe her labor – 18, 27

2.she is not like the young widows described in 1 Timothy 5:13

C.her labor is varied; she has many skills

1.modern radical feminists have looked down on the “lowly housewife,” but this is a foolish perspective

2.a virtuous and successful housewife and mother is a woman of great ability and initiative, and her talents are certainly not wasted in the home

3.she knows how to work with wool, and to makes her own cloth, and to sew - 13, 19, 22, 24

a)while there is no need to make cloth today, sewing remains an important skill

b)many Christian women sew clothes for themselves and their daughters because it is so difficult to find ready-made clothes that fit the biblical standard of modesty

c)her clothing is feminine as befitting a woman; she knows that she is different from the man, and her clothing reflects this difference

d)Her clothing is modest, as befitting a virtuous woman, and is a reflection of her virtuous heart (Compare 1 Peter 3:2-4 and Proverbs 7:10)

e)her clothing is attractive, as befitting a woman who is the glory of her husband – 22

f)her clothing is honorable – 25

(1)the virtuous woman does not wear anything that would bring dishonor to her

(2)even in these wicked end times, men tend to honor women who dress honorably

V.the virtuous woman’s distribution to the poor – 20

A.she stretches out her hands to them

1.this refers to her zeal in meeting their needs; her alms-giving is not a mere ritual

2.she gives from a heart of compassion and personal concern

B.at the same time, a wise woman is discriminate in her giving

1.she does not give to professional beggars, or to the lazy, or the wasteful; but to the truly needy

2.many beg because they are too lazy to work, or because they have wasted their substance on liquor and drugs and gambling

3.the Bible says he who does not work, should not eat - 2 Thess. 3:10

VI.the virtuous woman’s wisdom - 26-27

A.the fountain of her wisdom is her fear of God, and her love for His Word - Prov. 31:30; 1:7

1.it is impossible for a woman to be truly wise and virtuous without a right relationship with God, and without a cherished relationship with the Bible

2.in the midst of her busy household schedule, the wise woman finds a way to spend time in the Scripture, and is careful to walk in fellowship with Christ

B.her wisdom is evident in her speech

1.when the virtuous woman opens her mouth, it is not to backbite someone or to tell an off color joke

2.there is no wisdom in discussing the latest Hollywood scandal, or gushing over the latest vain fashion

C.her wisdom is evident in her kindness; everything she does is subject to this wonderful law - 26

D.her wisdom is evident in that she looks well to the ways of her household – 27

1.she is not content that her household be fed properly and clothed nicely; she is concerned about their “ways” or how they live

2.she makes sure that her children are trained in God’s Word, and are taught to walk in the fear of God

3.the virtuous woman instructs her children in the Scriptures and gives them good laws to obey - Prov 1:8

VII.The virtuous woman’s praise - 28, 31

A.the virtuous woman may not win a Hollywood Oscar, or be chosen as one of the world’s “most desirable” women, but she has her share of praise even in this world

B.she is praised by her children - 28-29

1.it is impossible for children to pay their parents back for all that they do for them, but at the very least they should show thankfulness

2.selfish and sinful are children who grow up and ignore their parents and do not speak with them

C.she is praised by her husband - 28-29

1.no one knows the value of a virtuous woman better than her own husband, because he is the object of her sweet devotion and the chief benefactor of her labor

2.he cannot refrain from bestowing praise on the one whom he finds to be the sweetener of all his cares, his faithful adviser in perplexities, his comforter in every distress, his best friend, and his endless joy

D.she is praised by her works – 31

1.it is in the gates that the virtuous woman’s works praise her; which refers to the place of ruling and judging in ancient times

2.the virtuous woman will not be praised only in private by her own family

3.in this present wicked world, the virtuous woman is rarely, if ever praised in high places, but there is a City where she will definitely be praised

VIII.the virtuous woman’s superiority – 30

A.virtue is better than favor, because “favour is deceitful”

1.”favour” refers to a favored position in life, to privilege and fame and fortune in this world

2.such things are deceitful in that they are so fleeting, and undependable, and because there is no eternal value in them

B.virtue is better than beauty, because “beauty is vain”

1.it is vain because it is fleeting

2.it is vain because it tends to pride and self-centeredness

3.it is vain because it tends to cause one to be consumed with the physical, and the temporal; and to neglect the spiritual, and eternal

4.beauty is vain because it is of no value before God, and if not accompanied by godliness it is as foolish as a pig with a gold ring in its nose -Proverbs 11:22

IX.the virtuous woman’s future – 25

A.her future is very bright; She will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ, and rejoice in the New Jerusalem for ever more

B.when pride and folly and iniquity are eternally past, such a one shall appear in the Lord’s presence with rejoicing

C.how sweet it will be for her to hear His words of approval, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”