Spring 1997, 19 years old, I do not have a job, a boyfriend, a future or a purpose. God, what is Your plan for my life? What do You want me to do? What purpose do You have for me? After returning from Bible College these were just a few of the questions that were going through my mind. Sitting back at my parent’s house, reflecting on the events that have brought me to this point, I realize that the past few years have been the most transitional time of my life. This is where God started me on my Journey of Becoming a Lady of Virtue.
It all began as I became involved in our church’s youth group. I was new to the crowd and felt very intimidated to join in as the others were so involved with God’s purpose for their life. As I continued to attend the meetings & seek God, God continued to draw me closer to Him. It was at this time that I learned the meaning of true repentance and the wonderful free gift of salvation it brings. I learned what it meant to have a quality quiet time with God, a continuous study of His word. I learned the sound of and how to listen to God’s still small voice. I learned how to live a peculiar life so that others would see my light shine and I would glorify my Father in Heaven. Then, as my journey brought me to Bible College, I learned to not take man at his word but to study the Bible to find out what I believe. I learned that having the boldness to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was more satisfying and self-fulfilling then if you just pleased yourself. I also learned how the heartache of disappointing news can be turned around as long as you know that you are following the will of God. And this brings us to the beginning, where I learned what God needed me to do. As I sat on the couch, talking to my mom, trying to decide what my next step needed to be, God laid His burden on my heart. Right then and there, God gave me the conviction to learn how to be the best lady I could be for Him. He placed in me the desire to tell others what I’ve learned. As you continue you will join me as I reflect on my Journey of Being a Lady of Virtue.
What is a Lady of Virtue? Being a woman of virtue as described in Proverbs 31, presents a true challenge for a lady to be a diligent homemaker, a valuable helper, a nurturing mother, upright and God fearing. The virtuous lady receives a reward for faithfulness because she is not dependent on the temporary outward appearance. A virtuous lady puts her trust and strength in the satisfying fear of the Lord with a reverent and obedient spirit that makes her worthy of praise and honor from her family and her Lord. She is a lady that is valued for her moral goodness, chastity and merit. A Lady of Virtue portrays goodness, righteousness, honesty, decency and integrity. Her appearance is proper, honorable, kind and just suitable to the standards God has given us in His word. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 tells us, “For God hath not called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
So, what is it that makes a Lady of Virtue so valuable? She is a lady that is wrapped up in strength and honor, one who thinks how things will be affected before she speaks, and only uses her tongue for the edification of others – this is a lady whose price is far above rubies. A Lady of Virtue knows that if any man among them seems to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (James 1:26) She keeps her tongue from evil, and her lips from speaking guile. (Psalm 34:13) A lady of virtue is a lady that clothes herself in the finest but modest apparel. She realizes that her beauty should not come from her outward appearance; instead, it should be that of her inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV) This is a lady who fears the Lord and is worthy to be praised. She is a lady that sees she can do good work, but is not afraid to work until the job is finished – this is a lady that God will give fruits for her hands and will let her works be praised. A lady of virtue is a lady that believes in whatsoever she does in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him… And whatsoever she does, she does it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord, she will receive the reward of the inheritance: for she serves the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:17, 23, 24)
Why is it important for us to be Ladies of Virtue? Titus 2:3-5 states as ladies of virtue should behave like that which presents holiness. We should not talk about other people; we should not be a slave of much wine. We should be teaching the younger girls and ladies how to be proper and loving wives and mothers. They need to learn from us how to be sensible, pure, kind, workers of the home. We need to be quiet and respectful in everything we do so that the younger girls will learn to be the same way. We must not go around speaking evil of others, or we will teach each other that it is acceptable to gossip. We should always be teachers of goodness and how to be proper. According to Titus 2, we need to be ladies of virtue so that we can teach the younger girls. It is much easier for the younger ones to believe what we are saying is true if we live our lives as their example. When we live our lives this way we will not blaspheme the word of God.
In the day and time that we live in we need to be careful about everything we do. Some people may deny these teachings of God, but they are the sound teachings of Jesus Christ, and are the foundation for Godly living. Anyone who teaches something different disagrees with the correct and Godly teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. They corrupt minds of the people of this world; they do not have truth in them to gain Godliness. They have wicked minds and they have missed out on the truth. This world has made it seem like the bigger and better things you have the more recognized you are on the earth. We brought nothing into this world and we will definitely not bring anything out of this world. We need to be ladies of God, and run from these things. We cannot lose sight of why we are doing what God has called us to do. We must follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness and pass them on to the generations that follow.
As I began my journey of becoming a Lady of Virtue, I read as many books as I could in regards to women’s topics. Books about being a Godly Lady, about loving God with all your heart, about organizing your life to make sure God is not lost in the shuffle. Then I began researching the scriptures, finding out why women were created. What purpose God had for us; and of course, how God wants us to live our daily lives. As I absorbed everything God was showing me, I realized that God had already given me the four major keys needed to open my life to be a Lady of Virtue. I just needed to learn how to use them to unlock my soul, mind, heart and body. So what does it take to find these keys? I started by going back to the basics.
The Four Keys
Dr. Quinn and Little House on the Prairie are some of my favorite shows. Their lives seem so simple. They do not spend their time worrying about impressing the neighbors; they just live a basic life. The man works the field for food, the woman works the house to meet the family’s needs and the children play outside after completing their daily chores. They just have basic lives and they seem very happy and content. Most of the ladies that are talked about as an example of this kind of lifestyle are of the generation of our great grandmothers who were church-going, God-fearing ladies. There is not too much told of these virtuous ladies and their true love, loyalty, sacrifice and uncomplaining days. The only histories of their lives are those that were written on the hearts of the people whom they loved and served. So what is it that makes these women such wonderful examples of how we need to be conducting ourselves as Christian ladies? They were always true to others as well as they were true to themselves. They had the fear of God on their lives and lived as if Jesus could come any minute in the twinkling of an eye. They had standards for their lives and never lived below the standards. They were fervent in their prayer life and everyone knew that they could count on them to reach the throne of God in the times of trouble. They were serious in their daily walk with God and no one was able to shake the foundation that they stood on.
So what happened to the generation of these ladies? We lowered the standard! We were the ones who fought for the equal rights! With those equal rights came a lot more than we bargained for – career moms, equal labor for lower wages – what was wrong with the way things were? Now days everyone is so unhappy; we thought that the material things and being independent would bring happiness. It does not! The only true happiness is from God! The women of the past generations had nothing but God – they had true happiness! So how do we get our true happiness back? We raise the standard! We need to be ladies with a reputation of being faithful, dependable, patient and gentle. We need to learn how to fight for our faith, and hold to our eternal life, which God has given to us. God gives life to everyone through the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. We need to promise to God that we will do what He tells us to do, so that no one can find fault in us.
Being a Lady of Virtue as described to us in Proverbs 31 and following the example of the generation before us, is how we need to conduct our lives. God created us ladies for a special purpose and then showed us how we need to live our lives to please Him. Let us make Him proud – let us follow His guidelines.
God has chosen us, from the beginning of time, before we were even created, to be saved through the blood of His only son on the cross. We need to be cleaned out through sanctification of His spirit as long as we believe. We must be purified because God wants us to be purified. With all of these things in mind, we must stand firm and keep a strong grip on the truth that we have been taught by the ladies in past generations.
Colossians 2 tells us that if we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior than we must walk in Him. In order to walk in Christ we must be established in our faith by being rooted in Christ than built up in Him for His glory. Becoming a lady of virtue is a process just like anything else; there are steps we must go through to become who God wants us to be. It is like constructing a building, if you do not go in the correct order and follow the blue prints exactly than your building will not be built correctly. We need to allow God to be the master builder of our lives, it is very important that we realize that he knows what He is doing when he is in control of our lives. We try to let God do what He wants to do with us, but then we get tired of waiting for His perfect timing or we do not think He will do the job correctly, so we take control of our lives. It is now time for God to start working His will in our lives. He wants us to do things his way. After all, He is the master builder with the master plans. We have also realized how important it is to choose the correct foundation. Christ can swell in our hearts by faith, but we have to have a firm foundation that is rooted and grounded in the love of God.
Years ago you could tell the difference between a Christian lady and woman of the world. Now it is very hard for us to tell the difference between the two types. God wants us to be set apart, we need to be different. We need to be stronger in our faith. We need to go back to the foundation that those ladies laid down for us. Once we make that choice and lay our foundation, then God can begin raising the standards in our lives. Once we have our foundations set, then we can begin setting up the building on top of it. In making the building there are people working on the inside to make sure that it is strong enough to stand anything that might come against it. That is what the Spirit of God does in us; He makes us strong enough to stand against the trials of the devil.
As a builder begins working on raising the building, you can see how he outlines each room. He is raising the standards for the building. He measures everything exactly how it needs to be and he makes sure all of the boards are standing level. This is what God does for us when He begins to raise the standards in our lives. He makes sure everything is according to His word. These standards are how we will live our lives. What kind of standard do you have in your life?
Greenville, SC is a mill town. Each mill has its own housing development surrounding it. The houses in the “mill villages” are all the same; they all have four basic rooms, maybe a bathroom. Some of them are even split into two houses that share the kitchen. Imagine living in those conditions now. It just would not work. We are too busy competing with the Jones’ that we have left the simplicity of life. The mill houses have a solid foundation, a structure that lasts even today and with the proper redecoration, they have a style that shines. The houses that are being built today do not hold these qualities. They are stick houses built so quickly that at the first sign of danger they will crumble. God showed me the differences in these houses to start me on my journey. To be a Lady of Virtue, God wants us to be like the mill houses. The Bible is our foundation. God’s word is the rock that we need to build upon. As long as we follow what God has to say, our foundation will survive the natural disasters that may come our way.
God wants to build in us a structure that lasts through the trials of life. This is where He showed me about the keys. We each have four basic rooms that He desires to be the doorkeeper. The rooms are our soul, mind, heart and body. He holds the keys. The key needed for our soul is salvation, for our mind is meditation, for our hearts is sanctification and for our body is purification.