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What Is A Virtuous Woman?

In this post, I will address what it means to be a virtuous woman as seen in Proverbs 31. Let's start by getting a little background.

Genesis 2:18-20 - Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

In Genesis, creation has taken place, and God saw something that was not good for the first time – man alone. It should be noted that God never intended for man to be alone, either in the marital or social sense. This wasn’t a surprise to God, but it highlights what God was about to do next.

In Genesis 1:26 it says Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, …” then in verse 27 it says, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Verse 28 - God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it.

God intended to create male and female and for a husband and wife to come together in marriage and reproduce. However, Genesis 2:18 emphasizes that God saw and said it’s not good for man to be alone. God has designed men and women to need each other, and marriage is the mechanism by which that is fulfilled.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 - Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord.

Before getting any further in this post, I will mention that there is another post available about what is the Help Meet. I would encourage you to read that one as well.

A husband should be thankful for the wife that he has. Many husbands take their wives for granted and don’t realize the blessing they are.

Here are some other verses expressing the value of marriage, specifically the importance of a wife.

Proverbs 12:4 - A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she who brings shame is as rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 31:10 - Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.

The question comes in then. What is the virtuous woman meaning?

virtuous woman meaning

What Is A Virtuous Woman?

If you were to look in a dictionary today at the word virtuous, you would find the primary definition to be conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright. Another term used is chaste, which means pure, undefiled, and simple. The idea portrayed by many who use this word is of a woman who is meek and quiet, does not challenge (especially her husband), and treats her husband as the king. I once read an example of someone describing a virtuous woman as a wife who provides her husband good sex and fun company. A wife who prepares healthy meals and cuts the grass so he can go fishing. They said this is being a spiritual woman because the wife places her husband above herself. Shortly after this, the book mentions that a man cannot appreciate a strong woman who would express her unhappiness with him. I know this idea is not everyone’s definition of the vitreous woman, but it is prevalent enough in the church that similar thoughts or questions about this come up.

The word virtuous in both these passages from Proverbs come from a word that carries the meaning of strength, wealth, and army. This word has the basic idea of strength and influence.

If you look back at the word virtuous, which has been used in many translations, it comes from words meaning: bold, hardy, courageous, brave, exceptionally skilled and able.

When you consider that, the definition of a virtuous woman (wife) begins to take on a different meaning than what is portrayed today. Indeed, this woman has the moral characteristics described, but a virtuous wife is skilled, strong, bold, and excellent. She is courageous and can stand firm. Even as the Bible says, her worth cannot be measured in terms of costly jewels.

Unfortunately, the virtuous woman has been downplayed to mean someone less than she is. Some would want to remind me that the wife is to submit to her husband. Yes, that is true, but many have a crude idea of what that means and which does not fit the scriptural context.

There must be working together in marriage. Yes, the husband is the head. Yes, there is a place for submission. But your wife is not your tool or servant. She has built in her many qualities and characteristics that, as men, we do not, or are our weaknesses. She is an equal partner and should be honoured as such.

I encourage all women to strive to be virtuous women. Look to be a virtuous wife.

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