Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price far above rubies.
Almost stopped reading after that verse? Me too. I've heard it so many times, it's almost a cliché. But when I had to continue reading for a Personal Progress assignment last Wednesday, I considered the timeless picture of motherhood reflected in Biblical times. And for a moment, I felt solidarity with this woman far out of my time and place as I imagined her with Pinterest boards on DIY spindling and motivational blogs reminding her to be kind and patient with her husband and children while darning socks and baking extra unleavened bread for her neighbor who just had a baby.
Now (here's hoping this goes without saying), we don’t need to make lasagnas for the neighbors to be virtuous women. But this place that we're at is timeless. We are fighting a battle that has been raging for thousands of years. A battle within ourselves. And a battle of perception when facing others. Working hard, praying hard, serving hard, and loving hard is not easy. But it is required of a virtuous woman. So how can virtue be victorious?
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour deceitful, and beauty vain: a woman feareth the , she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
I couldn’t help but devour these verses as I saw reflected in scripture the resilient daughter of God I so want to be. And it’s no small list.
Luckily for me, I know this list is not in my power alone to procure. Because for all that I cannot do, my Savior will make up the difference. Ultimately, being truly strong, independent, virtuous, kind, modest, and courageous means knowing I can never do it alone.