What defined the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs?

What defined the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs? A look at what the Bible says a beautiful godly woman is, and should be.

What defined the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs? A look at what the Bible says a beautiful godly woman is, and should be.

God praised the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. This is the image of a woman, probably some women in specific in mind, but it really is an essay on what kind of woman pleases God, what she should be and look like. The point of this passage of Scripture is not to try to pin these characteristics on some specific women of history, though doubtlessly there were many women in Scripture that fitted their character to these points. The point is that we should highly esteem such women today that also tailor their lives and character to these same moral points.

While many women in our day despise this kind of woman, God highly exalts this kind of woman. We can separate the way people esteem or despise this moral picture of a woman into two groups of people, those who are saved, and those who are not saved. Maybe some Christian women despise what God says about what real women that please Him should be, but they are treading on thin ice with God. They are under the condemnation of God for their attitude and despising of God’s standards, whether they are saved or not.

But we can definitely be assured that God is not moving on His standards to make these people who despise what God applauds for women. God may change their hearts, or these people can just suffer under the chastening of God, but God’s norms will not be moved.

Where are we today with women?

The issue of this present article is simply to contrast what people do today and what God sees as virtue. Virtue means moral strength. It speaks of something that is uncommon among humanity, but excellent when found. God highly esteems people who have and show moral strength. In every single case of a person with virtue that God praises, it is because they follow God’s leadership and declarations and for no other reason.


Today, we are taught by the world (Satan) that women are a discriminated and persecuted group. “They are victims.” By being victims (really having a victim’s mentality), they should get special treatment from the world. It is interesting to contrast this with God’s view of women. While there are women who are abused, usually from men, that these women have attached themselves to these men through a free will choice that they made to marry such men, but there is no element of victimhood in the Proverbs 31 description of a morally strong woman. The first point we must insist upon is that although no woman should be abused, if you are abused, just get over it. In other words, do not allow abuse done to you from others (from men or even from other women) to define who you are or what you are.

The virtuous woman is a woman who defines herself by what she positives does. She shows moral strength, virtue, a control of herself in such a way that others are not repulsed by her being a victim, i.e. victimhood, but rather, others are attracted to her because of the goodness that constantly flows from her life. This is morality. You can live on the negative side of life, or on the positive side. You choose for yourself. When you refuse to let negative things define who you are, what you do and say, what you constantly dwell on, then you are living on the positive side of life. That is what God wants us to do. Moreover, these moral strengths are good morality in the sight of God and men (humanity).

Let me take this to a higher level even more. We cannot slice and dice life into what we want. Moral abuse from others is not a female only problem! Men are often equally abused from their bosses at work, from their co-workers, from their family and friends, etc. The same problem is true for men. If they focus on how everybody else is harming them, and that defines what they are, who they are, what they constantly focus on, then they are useless morally for God.

I was in a black church picnic in their social hall one time. I was at the preachers table, where various black preachers and evangelists and church workers were all eating. But I am white. Furthermore, I was the only white person there. When one of the younger black preachers began to rail upon President Ronald Reagan for all that he did wrong to black people, I kind of froze. An old black preacher rebuked him. But what he said rings in my ears still today, some 40 years later. “Son, if Joseph had had the bad attitude you have shown by what you just said, God would have left him to die in a prison in Egypt. God could only use Joseph because he didn’t let what others did to abuse him become the focus of his life.

Feminine Independence

The second outstanding observation about this virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is simply that she is defined by her relationship with her husband and family. She is renown by God because of her service to her husband and family. (God also holds some men in this same high respect when these men selflessly serve wife and children, their home. While the woman’s divine task is to serve, the man’s divine task is to provide and make all follow God in purity. God commands him to love his wife. That is his divine primary duty. Nothing wrong with that at all, even though many men refuse to accept this. The issue is not what women have suffered, but rather the problem is that BOTH MEN AND WOMEN want independence from the obligations and duties that God gives them.)

In Genesis chapters 1-3, God tells us how we got here and what our purpose and station in life is. Among other things like the command to work, God explains how man fell into sin, and Eve is the key here. Because God created woman to be the helper of man (Adam), and she overruled the authority that God gave Adam to make critical decisions for herself and family and she made decisions without even consulting Adam, so God gave all women including Eve some curses (likewise man is cursed for his part).

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

While the force of these commandments given to all women is what is God’s will, and we do not want to diminish anything at all from them, God’s idea for women BEFORE SIN ENTERED was that she was to complement her man. Note that at the same time, her completeness is also defined in the pairing, a man and a woman married together under God’s eye. If women want to look at their situation before God as slavery, that way of thinking is wrong. There are just as many men which look at God’s obligations and duties for the man as slavery, but this is the unsaved person talking. Christians don’t complain about their divine obligations and duties. Maybe it would be better to think like I heard one woman put it. “God made man. But after making him, God said, no something is just not right. The piece of pottery that I made is flawed. How do I fix it? Woman. Now he is perfect!

While the women’s liberation movement is firmly emplanted into the minds of every single person of our day, it is strangely absent in Proverbs 31. This woman “knows her place,” and she is neither lord over her husband nor an absued and mistreated slave. So let’s go there and have a discussion on the woman’s place.

The first thing to note is that women are not inferior to men, but that they are different from men. Their unique calling and “place in life” are given to them by God for their blessing and benefit. When women insist in pushing and focusing their lives on a women’s liberation, what they really are doing is denying God’s say in their lives. What they are also doing is removing initiative and motivation from the men under their influence. This comes back to haunt them when there are children and a household involved, and the men just “walk off” from their responsibilities. You cannot morally obligate men to do what is right in God’s eyes when you castrate them and isolate them from their manhood. Women should be submissive to their husbands. But at the same time, God does not allow the husbands to be dictators and kings, and their wives their slaves. The Bible presents the situation that women are virtuous, they are morally valuable, and if a man is to be morally obligated to something as women are, then the men are to treat their wives as a delicate and precious thing which the man protects and provides for her, and the man always takes the brunt of our evil world so that his wife and children don’t have to suffer. So when a man highly seeks that his wife and family “are not suffering,” this is the key element of a man’s obligation. Here the corresponding word to virtue (which is a feminine adjective in Hebrew) is correctly “valiant” which is the masculine version of the word “virtue”. It means morally strong!

Submission is a problem

But before we move on, let’s take another round with the woman’s submission to her husband. Actually, all children of both sexes are to be submissive to their parents, and this is the father’s authority especially. Don’t think a king ordering his slaves to bring him some food or something, but rather think the father imposes the moral law in the family, which his own life being a moral example, and then the father disciplines his children when they do not obey. Most problem kid problems stem from the absense of the family in the disciplining element. So the old concept of a woman is under the authority of her father, and then the father walks her down the aisle in her wedding to transfer that authority to her husband is valid.

The Trinity Example

But let’s look to the Trinity to understand submission. The Bible presents that the will of God the Father is the master plan for everything.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

So Jesus, which is also equally God with God the Father, was totally consumed with doing the will of God the Father. Actually, this is the only thing he had in mind the whole time he was on earth, and really in eternity past, present, and future. So there can absolutely be submission of one to another without being inferior in any way. The key here is unity in the Trinity. When women take women’s lib (another form of victimhood) as “their cause,” there is no unity in the marriage or the family. The two people, husband and wife, are really independent one from the other, and as a result, they often collide because they are following different wills, different purposes, different goals, etc. What happens is a difficult thing to get a handle on.

What happens is the man, who is responsible before God for treating his wife and family well, becomes the submissive one to his domineering wife. She overtakes the decision-making process. He learns to live in this situation always without being responsible except to obey the wishes of his wife. Yet at the same time, in a biblically ordered family, a valiant husband obeying God first and foremost, he always wishes to please his wife. What is the difference? When the woman is the leader in the marriage, the man can shift the blame for everything wrong to his wife. When the man is the leader in the marriage, he responds to God for what is wrong. (His wife is not domineering, but submissive.)

What defined the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs?

More Posts on Women’s Rights

Author: Pastor Dave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *