Anglican Morning Devotion for 29 April 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
A virtuous woman is one who has obeyed the Commandments of God from her early youth. She responds to the heart-strings of love excited by devotion to God and an affection for others. She is honest to God and to her own soul.
Such a woman deserves our highest regard and respect. Even God’s Word places such a premium on virtue that the Word refers to wisdom in the same manner as a virtuous woman: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” (Proverbs 3:13-15) So, wisdom, like a virtuous woman, is more precious than rubies.
“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.” (Proverbs 31:10-12)
Not only is she trustworthy to a fault, but very careful in her duties as a wife and mother. Unlike a couch-potato, the virtuous woman is enterprising in the management of her home as well as in the means of provision for her children and her husband. The thirty-firstt chapter of Proverbs gives quite an extensive list of admirable qualities of the virtuous woman.
Why does God describe both wisdom and a virtuous woman as “more valuable that rubies?” I believe it is due to the innate qualities of the ruby. The ruby is a gem whose beauty and color never fade, and it never changes due to environmental factors. Its beauty, unlike the diamond whose beauty is generated by refracted light from without, radiates from within the depth of its being just like the heart of a virtuous woman. The red color represents sacrificial love that will lay itself down for loved one.
Rubies are valuable – not just owing to their beauty – but to their rarity. They must be sought out and labored for in the earth. A virtuous woman is likewise rare and cannot be found without earnest searching. Jacob labored fourteen years for the woman of his heart – the blessed Rachel.
Any woman, devoutly loved by her husband, can be that virtuous woman. It is the nature of womankind to always return sincere and sacrificial love in like kind. The Church is an example of that womanly nature. Her Bridegroom (the Lord Jesus Christ) laid down His life for His Bride. The Bride (Church) is able to return the love of the Bridegroom because He first loved us.
Soon, we will observe Mother’s Day. It is fitting that we consider deeply what our mothers, our wives, and our daughters have meant, and mean, to us. If we look intently, we can most likely find many, if not all, the biblical qualities of a virtuous woman in the lady closest to us in love:
“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a ruby. to her maidens. 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” (Proverbs 31:13-28)
SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND.