The Proverbs 31 woman is who a lot of us girls hope to become – one day. She’s someone we strive to be. Becoming this woman is kind of like a gold star we see shining. All we want to do is grab it. And then, VOILA! We’ll miraculously become a virtuous woman – a shiny gold star! But in reality, it’s not that easy. Becoming a shining gold star requires more than just taking it whenever we want it.
Several months ago that was my deepest desire and prayer, “Lord, grow me into a virtuous woman.” But it wasn’t just a statement. It was a cry from the depths of my heart to the Lord. I believed that He would work in me to transform me into a woman who exuded Proverbs 31. I recognized that I had zero of the qualities listed in Proverbs 31. And I’m not kidding when I say that. I know that I am not married, but with knowing that fact, I also know that the time of singleness is so precious. It’s the time we have to prepare ourselves to be wives, if God so wills, and furthermore to strive each day to be holy and acceptable in the sight of Jesus Christ, our true Bridegroom. Isn’t that exciting?! I’m already engaged. Call me crazy, but I don’t mind being crazy. I’m happily engaged to my heavenly, perfect Love, and I’m looking forward to spending forever with Him!
I’ve read and re-read and read again Proverbs 31:10-31 so many times since I prayed that prayer. What exactly is virtue? Who is a virtuous woman? Are only wives called to be virtuous? In order to answer these questions, I began with looking at the definition of the word virtuous. I found the following meanings in the dictionary – morally excellent, potent, efficacious, chaste and righteous. Uhhhhh yeah, I still needed more help to truly understand what this loaded word meant that had other loaded words as it’s meaning. To break it down even further I defined the various meanings of virtuous –
- Morally excellent – the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
- Potent – having or wielding force, authority or influence; achieving or bringing about a particular result
- Efficacious – having the power to produce a desired effect
- Chaste – pure in thought and act
- Righteous – free from guilt or sin
I was a little overwhelmed after reading all of these meanings. How can one word mean so much? How am I ever going to be successful in becoming virtuous? Jesus led me to the answer of these questions by directing me to His Word.
“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and holiness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
2 Peter 1:3-7
After reading this portion, it became clear to me. How will I become virtuous? By His divine power. By the divine nature, which is in me through Christ. And one more thing, by diligence. At times we have a hard time believing that the power of Jesus Christ dwells in us. That’s silly though. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us for nothing. He means what He says. And if His word says that “His divine power has given to us all that pertain to life”, then shoot, we need to believe that. If we believe that, then we need to obey Him. We have to be diligent. We can’t take His love for granted. We can’t take it lightly. We can’t say, “Yay, I’m saved, and I have His divine power in me, now I’m going to continue with life, like what He did for me didn’t really happen.” I know none of us have actually uttered these words out of our mouth, but a lot of us live with this mentality. For a long, long time that’s how I was living (except it wasn’t really living). I was living in disbelief. I was being unfaithful. I was being myself. I wasn’t letting Jesus live through me. We have to believe that His divine power manifested in us has given us the ability to be diligent and become virtuous. Becoming virtuous isn’t the end of it, though. As we can see, virtue comes second in the list of many other qualities we should strive to maintain. Being a disciple of Christ isn’t about checking something off the list. It’s far from that. Being a disciple of Christ requires belief, obedience and diligence in all aspects of life, not just when it comes to preparing to be a wife.
Sisters, I want to encourage you. Know that becoming a virtuous woman isn’t the end all be all of us. Our dreams to be an amazing wife and an even better mom have to die in order for the Lord’s perfect plan to play out. We have to be virtuous for HIM. And be confident that once the desires of our hearts truly become what the Lord desires, there is no better place to be. So yes, let’s strive to be virtuous. Let’s strive to be so precious and rare. But know that being virtuous is what is expected of all of us. It takes hard work; it takes diligence. Our very own Come Awake writer, Julie, once said this awesome one liner, “We must be willing to pay a price, if we want to become priceless.” Oh, how true it is! It’s easy to be just like everyone else, to be just like the world. But we are called to something greater! We are called to become more and more like Christ each day we live. And each day we live is one day closer to spend our forever with Him. I already know I am a shiny gold star in the eyes of my Savior. I am worth so much to Him. I am worth enough that He gave His life for me. And because of that, I will be a virtuous woman for Him now. Not one day, but today.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.