by Shawn Brasseaux
Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this Bible study to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 24 years… my mom!
WHAT KING SOLOMON WROTE ABOUT MOTHERS/WOMEN OF GOD
Proverbs 31 is often called the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” chapter. Let us begin reading Proverbs 31 at verse 10:
“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
The virtuous (godly) woman is priceless—“her price is far above rubies”—for she is quite rare! Her husband safely trusts her. He has no need for material riches, for he is rich by having her as his wife! The virtuous woman will not harm her husband. She will submit to his headship and leadership (Ephesians 5:22-24; Titus 2:5). She will treat him with respect: as long as she lives, she will not abuse him or belittle him.
“13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”
The virtuous woman is a hard worker: she does not sit around and do nothing. She seeks wool and linen to sew and weave. She cooks for and feeds her household. She contemplates a field, and buys it in order to plant a vineyard. Again, the virtuous woman is not lazy: she works hard.
“18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”
According to the Bible, the virtuous woman weaves and sews to make merchandise to sell or trade. She stays up late working hard. The virtuous woman is compassionate: she pities the poor people who have little to nothing. She provides her family with clothes that keep them warm, so she does not fear snowfall. She makes herself clothing of silk and purple.
“23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”
This verse means just what it says. Her husband is famous for being married to her. She has such a distinct lifestyle that others marvel at those who know her (especially her husband!).
“24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
As we said regarding verses 18-22, the virtuous woman works hard. She produces goods (clothing, fabrics, et cetera) in order to sell them to make a living. What an expression—“Strength and honour are her clothing.” Strength and honor are her very nature! The virtuous woman speaks wisdom (God’s Word), and her speech is kind and gentle. She meets the needs of her household: again, she is not lazy (“[she] eateth not the bread of idleness”).
“28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
The children of the virtuous woman praise her for her godly living. Her husband speaks well of her; he is proud to be her husband. The virtuous woman is a role model—she does not need to be sinless because she cannot be sinless. What is the virtuous woman, according to God’s Word? She is defined in verse 30 as “a woman that feareth the LORD.” The works of the virtuous woman praise her, for they reflect her godly beliefs and high values (her inner man).
WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL WROTE ABOUT CHRISTIAN MOTHERS/WOMEN
We would also do well if we read what the Apostle Paul wrote about older Christian women and/or women who were mother-like figures to younger women. The Bible says in Titus 2:3-5 KJV:
“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
The virtuous woman should not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol and emotions (sober minded), be a teacher of good things, love her husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) her husband… “that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters): it is her duty as an older Christian woman to set an example for younger women.
She should be a hard worker, she should meditate on the things of God (the Bible), her speech should conform to sound Bible doctrine, she should be hospitable and caring, kind and loving, she should respect and love her husband, she should love her children, and she should be modest and cautious in her actions—“that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
A Christian woman need not try to meet the Bible’s standards of womanhood/motherhood in her own strength, for she cannot meet them in her own strength. In the person of Jesus Christ, God has equipped the Christian woman to become a virtuous woman, a woman who values the things of God, and who places her faith in the Word of God.
When a Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).
Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest! Then, you will become the virtuous woman described on the pages of Scripture, thus bringing glory and honor to the great God and our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.