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  • Writer's pictureRenée Purdie

A virtuous woman and her leading man

By Denise Renée Purdie

I’ve read Proverbs 31 a number of times, but never noticed the first nine verses and consequently thought the entire chapter pertained to virtuous women. It’s an interesting take on who should and should not drink!

Proverbs 31:1-9 KJV

[1] The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. [2] What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? [3] Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. [4] It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: [5] Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. [6] Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. [7] Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. [8] Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. [9] Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

What I really want to discuss though is me thinking the list of you what a virtuous woman must be and do is rather long. I’m going to review it again and see if I can pick out the major attributes.

Proverbs 31:10-31 KJV

[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. [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. [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. [23] Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. [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. [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.

She is industrious, wise, kind, compassionate and loyal. Well, you couldn’t really say fairer than that so I’d say this verse is a wonderful place to start when thinking about the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

I, of course, started wondering where the companion list is for a man worthy of this virtuous woman. We can look to some of the Biblical characters for this, but I do remember something about deacons so let me see if I can find it.

1 Timothy 3:2-13 KJV

[2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; [3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; [4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; [5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) [6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. [7] Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. [8] Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; [9] Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. [10] And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. [11] Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. [12] Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. [13] For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

That’s kind of a tall order too! Smile. But it gives us a bit of a roadmap. I don’t know about the sober and grave part as a sense of humor is one of my favorite attributes, but I understand many circumstances call for a certain gravitas.

I found a terrific webpage that shares some Scriptures and attributes and I’ll copy a few for you, but here’s the entire link for you to peruse:

What Qualities Does A Good Husband Have

Here are some qualities that a good husband should have, along with relevant Bible verses:

Proverbs 3:3

Faithfulness: A good husband is faithful to his wife and keeps his marriage vows. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Ephesians 5:25

Love: A good husband loves his wife unconditionally and sacrificially. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

1 Peter 3:7

Respect: A good husband respects his wife and treats her with honor. “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

Colossians 4:6

Communication: A good husband communicates effectively with his wife and listens to her needs and concerns. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness: A good husband is willing to forgive his wife and seek reconciliation during conflicts. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:2

Patience: A good husband is patient and understanding with his wife, especially during difficult times. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Philippians 2:3

Selflessness: A good husband puts his wife’s needs ahead of his own and humbly serves her. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

Joshua 24:15

Leadership: A good husband takes responsibility for leading his family spiritually and setting a godly example for his wife and children. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

I’m sure there are many other verses and advice we can take, and I would love it if you would share any that you uncover with me in the comments.   

Keywords: virtuous woman, husband material, Biblical advice

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