26 January 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“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; (KJV)
From the earliest moments of my memory, my mother taught me, by word and example, to honor womanhood. I came to understand that true womanhood was above the common standard of compassion and love characterized by their male counterpart. As I grew into manhood, I was always careful, and remain so, to regard the dignity and virtue of a lady. That image of refinement and dignity has been marred in our time by years of immoral teaching in both school and society. Our youth have been corrupted by immoral political and religious powers – religion so-called, but falsely pretended.
The description of womanhood given by King Lemuel in Proverbs 31 gives a wonderful description of the ideal woman clothed in the garments of virtue and goodness. It reveals the greatest masterpiece of God’s genius and love in Creation. If his words were applied to canvas, they would represent the most beautiful Masterpiece of Woman ever created by any artist.
There are remarkable qualities attributed to the Virtuous Lady in this text. First of all, she is VIRTUOUS – a quality less common in our modern day. She is totally faithful and devoted to her husband.
Secondly, she is VALUABLE! All objects of great value are rare, and so is the virtuous woman described. Her value is above rubies. The scarlet luster of the ruby reflects sacrificial character. Unlike a diamond whose beauty comes from without through refracted light, the beauty of the ruby emanates from deep inside just as the love of a virtuous woman for her family and others.
Thirdly, the virtuous woman is INDUSTRIOUS. She is enterprising in her employment at home and business. She labors late into the night hours to provide for her family.
Fourthly, she is WISE. She considers the lay of the property before she purchases it.
Fifthly, she is CHARITABLE. She shares her largesse with the poor and needy.
Sixthly, she is a LOVING and CARING mother. She insures her family are well-clothed and fed. Her garments are of silk and delicate purples. Not only is she a wonderfully caring mother, but is accomplished in the business of her own merchandise and making.
Seventhly, she is STRONG. She is clothed with strength and honor.
She is equal in both honor and wisdom with her husband. In fact, it is her known character that makes her husband a man known in the gates of the city. Her husband is judged by the high character of the virtuous wife. She speaks wisdom to all who will hear. Her labors are unrelenting in maintaining her household and her efforts are never idle.
Both husband and children see her as an example, and surely there is no greater resource in the power of a great nation than a virtuous mother for she teaches wisdom to her children and is guided in her life thereby.
Her beauty comes from the benefits of her natural state granted by God, not by the application of external devices. Vanity is far from the virtuous woman – she knows who she is, and her heart is fixed on God.
The husband and children of such a lady cannot be restrained from praising her good works and character. She is beloved in life and greatly mourned at death. Who among us does not mourn the loss of their mothers, but the mourning is keen for this woman of our text.
Can you see, in your mind’s eye, the great beauty of the woman described? When you hear the words of King Lemuel, do you imagine a ‘Belle of the Ball,’ or a Princess of the King’s Palace? She is definitely a Princess, for she is a chosen daughter of the Lord. The world is not absent such women, but a virtuous woman of the description given is rare and of great value. Every mother should pray that her son should be wise enough to find such a one. Would it not be wonderful if the Church (the Bride of Christ) were likewise as virtuous and wise?