The Virtuous Woman

Reading: Proverbs 31:10-31

“The virtuous woman” passage in Proverbs 31 has always been a beautiful explanation of the role of a mother.  This week I would like to focus on families, and so today, since I am a mother, I thought I’d start with this.

When I read this passage these are the qualities I find, translated into modern English:

  • She is faithful and loving to her husband
  • She is ready to work
  • She seeks out the things her family needs and brings in the best
  • She wakes up early and gets everybody going
  • She is wise financially
  • She is strong
  • She works the whole day long
  • She serves the poor
  • She has everything prepared for her family for times of need
  • She makes clothes (okay, maybe not so pertinent)
  • Her husband is wise
  • She produces good things for her own enrichment (and her family’s)
  • She is wise
  • She is kind
  • She is always working for her whole family and is not idle
  • Her children and husband love her
  • Beauty is vain, so it doesn’t matter what she looks like
  • She fears the Lord

The thing I love most about this passage is it describes a woman as incredibly important and strong for her family.  A lot of times I think we are taught to think of women before modern times as meek, weak, unimportant, and dominated over by men.  However, this passage I believe shows how strong and vital women have been throughout time.  The woman described here is working hard because she loves her family, and is incredibly smart and involved in the community.

I especially like the last phrase, “Let her own works praise her in the gates.”  What could be more precious to such a woman than the praise of her own family and children?  It reminds me of a sister in our ward who recently bore her testimony.  She expressed how grateful she was for her “charmed life”, and yet you could see it was her own hard, loving work as a mother that was bringing her so much joy as she saw her own children growing up and starting families.

I believe that my role as a mother is to create a home that will be a strength to my husband and to my children as they grow.  I believe it is the most wonderful thing I could do with my life, far more important and valuable than any career or worldly experience.  Yet, it is often overwhelming as I put so much on myself.  Today when I get discouraged I’m going to try to stop for a moment and remember what it is all for, and while I can’t do everything, what I am doing is great and give myself a pat on the back.

What qualities of the virtuous woman do you find most interesting?  What qualities do you or the women in your life have that bring strength to your home?

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