The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 has always fascinated me. In different times of my life, she has frustrated me or made me envious because I knew I could never be that together. Now I can see possibilities for some of her attributes to at least develop in me because of how the Lord is working in my life. I guess I have finally learned enough to know that I can't ever measure up to her capabilities on my own. I think that maybe she is written about to show us what we can do if we truly surrender our life to God. Not doing the same things or even in the same way, but in the way God planned for us to shine in our own individual lives when we let go of our control, our plans, goals and striving and surrender to what is so beautiful in our hearts.

I think also that I was frustrated thinking of her as my role model because life is just too complicated and full of mistakes to fit her ideal. Now I realize that's exactly what she ideal.
The Virtuous Woman
Proverbs 31: 10 - 31

10: Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

11: The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

12: She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

13: She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.

14: She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.

15: She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

16: She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17: She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.

18: She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.

19: She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.

20: She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21: She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22: She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23: Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.

24: She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25: Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.

26: She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27: She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28: Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:

29: "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all."

30: Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears 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.

With a little imagination, we can read between the lines in her life and see her experiences as she makes it through another day, weary from normal problems and dificulties. Of course she cried, got angry at times, felt like there were just too many problems. But she always found her peace again in prayer to a loving, personal God. We are not so very different from her. Her failures were just as painful to her as ours are to us, the ideal is, how quickly do we turn them over to our Lord and rest in the knowledge that He will work out everything for us?

The lesson is always, We can't do anything on our own. Our flesh nature is not going anywhere as long as we are on this earth so we best keep it submitted to God. We can't straighten it up or make it better and we are all subject to the temptation to control our own lives and our loved ones lives. Sometimes we give in to the desire to get our own needs met rather than waiting on God to do it. The virtuous woman was dealing with this on a daily basis. She was beautifully human and suffered all the things we do. Her peace and success came from quickly surrendering when problems came, lettting God guide her and direct her. She lived from her heart and that is not an easy task in this world. It was no easier at that time in history than it is now

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