1. She is rare.

Rare means uncommon, not easily discovered. She’s one among thousands, or “one in a million.” The Proverbs 31 woman was rare, because she lived with wisdom and diligence. She was virtuous, and this made her unusual. If virtue made her extraordinarily valuable, we can conclude that living without virtue makes one, at best, common, or run of the mill. What is it, specifically, that makes us valuable?

2. She fears the Lord.

Having the fear of the Lord doesn’t imply that this model woman was afraid of God, but that she highly respected God and what He can accomplish in and through an obedient heart.

Wisdom leads us to recognize, hate, and run from evil. It keeps us from becoming prideful, arrogant, and full of ourselves. Wisdom leads us to be grateful by recognizing and acknowledging who it is that provides for and blesses us.

When we’re cognizant of the source of our blessings, we naturally want to share this good news with others. Wisdom leads us to make wise choices and to be a blessing to others. It prevents us from going down a road that will lead to our destruction; the natural consequence of making poor choices. Proverbs 1:7 points out that the foolish don’t simply ignore, but despise wisdom and discipline.

A virtuous woman, on the other hand, is full of the grace and wisdom of God. If you recognize that you’ve made poor choices that have led to foolish living, do as Proverbs says: Seek after godly wisdom. In response, the Lord will straighten your crooked path and add blessings to your life. Bear in mind that a different roadmap is always just one decision away.

3. She values her relationship with the Lord.

She rises early in the morning. By spending time with the Lord while it’s yet early, her day is ordered with right priorities. She seeks the Holy Spirit as her guide, consequently limiting time wasted on things of little importance. Her motives toward her family and others are pure since she’s free to love as Christ loves. This liberates her from excessive negativity, anger, resentment, and bitterness. Her countenance is cheerful, her demeanor inviting. She’s productive and multiplies her resources.

She’s obedient to her Savior and Lord. Her intimate relationship with the Lord keeps her humble in spirit and beautiful in His sight. A woman who pursues the Lord won’t spend her time chasing worthless things. She won’t be drawn to potentially toxic people and relationships. If she’s married, she looks for like-minded, mutually edifying friendships.

4. She is trustworthy and honest.

A wife who can be trusted with confidences is rare indeed. Many women, when talking to friends or others, reveal personal confidences that have no business going outside their marriage. Such intimate matters aren’t to be revealed to others. To share personal information about one’s mate undermines the marriage and dishonors the spouse. This isn’t building your house but tearing it down with disrespect. An honoring wife holds confidences and protects those entrusted to her care, responding with kindness, loyalty, and intercessory prayer. Her husband and children can be respected in the community because she doesn’t bring them shame or harm.

5. She possesses godly virtues.

Her dress and behavior are modest, pure, and chaste. She’s dignified. She develops the “fruit of the Spirit” in her life: fruit that produces such desirable traits as patience, loyalty, tolerance, and love. She’s moderate and restrained, never extreme in opinion and statement. She’s confident. Confident that wisdom is of infinitely more value than fading beauty. Dignity is her true beauty.

6. She’s strong and devoted to her work.

She’s an astute businesswoman who contributes resources to her household. This doesn’t necessarily mean a godly woman must feel obligated to work outside the home while she has young children in her care. If she’s able to stay at home during her children’s formative years, she’s creative in managing the family finances, finding inventive ways to be thrifty or to bring in income while working at home, where she can remain the primary influence in her children’s lives. Many women save money by shopping carefully and learning to be content with their home, hobbies, church activities, and families. Excessive shopping and spending reveal that emptiness has crept in, and lack of purpose leaves us wasting our valuable time and resources. Developing a ministry and interest in others will keep you from pursuing empty interests.

Augmenting our income can come in many ingenious forms. Learning how to creatively prepare nutritious meals on a budget, mastering sewing and finding fashionable clothing at high-end thrift or consignment shops are all rewarding endeavors. She’s able to care for others because she busies herself with multiplying what she has. She isn’t prone to idleness (laziness) or gossip. She guards her words and speaks well of others.

7. She seeks godly friendships.

Solomon advised us to be careful regarding unwise friendships, cautioning that we eventually take on the characteristics of the people with whom we surround ourselves. We find numerous biblical cautions on this rule of bonding, among them:

•“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

•“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3)

•“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)

Taken from my book: “A WOMAN OF GRACE AND STRENGTH” by Lilliet Garrison. Sold at Amazon.com. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Lilliet-Garrison/e/B004H28MCU


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