~By Debbie Christopher...(part one of two)
It was one year ago this week that my dear mom entered the gates of Heaven. It was a bittersweet time for our family, and we rejoiced in knowing it was a joyous time for her!
In the weeks that followed, my brother and I--along with our spouses--discussed what we were going to have placed on Mom’s headstone with our allotted five short phrases. As we created a list of appropriate, loving phrases and carefully counted letters, we began to tweak our list to fit regulations. My brother recalled that Dad had once mentioned that he wanted 'virtuous wife' on Mom's headstone when the time came. We all responded, "PERFECT!" Our list was complete.
As I think back on the list of memorable phrases and the phrase requested by our dad, I thought I would take this anniversary week to examine what a virtuous wife/woman 'looks like.' Here are some simple, yet telling, thoughts on what it means to be a virtuous woman.
According to a variety of resources that are listed below, the word virtuous is synonymous with words such as capable, commendable, competent, admirable, noble, and excellent. Dictionary.com also uses several of these synonyms in their definition. Wow! What an admirable list in which we should strive to become.
The featured verse is found in Scripture in a much loved section of Proverbs often—and fittingly—entitled ‘The Virtuous Woman'. Solomon concludes his Proverbs to his young sons with his mother’s advice for choosing a virtuous wife. https://bible.com/bible/114/pro.31.10-31.NKJV
The following thought from Allen P. Ross places great emphasis on the importance of the placement of this particular section of Proverbs that is a favorite of many. Ross states that by placing this motherly advice at the end of this book of Wisdom, Solomon, under the direction of God, is referring his readers back to chapter two when he encourages his young sons to pursue wisdom. The emphasis of this structure is a reminder that pursuing a virtuous woman is synonymous to pursuing wisdom. *
~A virtuous woman is a wise woman~
In summary, a virtuous woman is capable, commendable, competent, admirable, noble, excellent, and, wise in her dealings...in her lifestyle...in her career...in her many roles as a woman.
So, how can we, as women, develop these virtues? There is a perfect verse in the New Testament that provides clear direction on doing so. But, you will have to wait till next week!
in the meantime, pursue wisdom…
See you for part two—
* Barker, Kenneth L and Kohnlenberger, John R III, editors, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary- Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Brand, Chad (General Editor), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2015.
Walvoord, John F. and Zuck, Roy B. (editors), The Bible Knowledge Commentary-Old Testament, Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Publishing Co., 2004.