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Virtuous by Design
by LaTara Ham-Ying
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Websterís Definition of Virtuous: as conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright.

Why not face it, the woman in Proverbs 31 comes off as the most perfect woman.

What a slap in the face it would be, if the passage were titled ďA Most Perfect Woman.Ē Itís hard enough dealing with the word Virtuous and all that it entails.

However difficult it may be for any woman of God to read the passage in Proverbs and try to live accordingly, God in His infinite wisdom, created each of us Virtuous by Design.

As women we sometimes have the most difficult time understanding our worth to God. If we read Proverbs 31(10-31) without praying for an open heart and wisdom to understand, we will never see the value we have in Christ. Before we take the time to read this passage again, it may be important to go beyond it and find out how virtuous we are meant to be.

From the time God created the world, we were created to be virtuous. Genesis 1:26-27 states that we were made in the image of God. Our Father is the essence of virtue. He is virtuous and He designed us to be like Him. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the power of virtue becomes ours. We just have to take hold of that power.

For you formed by inward parts; you covered me in my motherís womb.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written
The days fashioned for me
When as they there were none of them.
Psalms 139:13-16

In a secret place, by skillful Hands, and with a knowledge of who each of us would be, our virtuous forms were made. Before there was a thought of you or me on our mothersí minds, we had a Father who designed us fearfully and wonderfully. He knew better than anyone else of our worth and understood the purpose for our virtuous design.

There was a method to Godís wonderful madness when He created us to be who we are. Read 2 Peter 1:5-8:

But also for this very reason, giving all dilegence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perserverance, to perserverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you
you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

To be virtuous is a character trait we develop as we grow in Christ. It starts with faith, which is simply to believe and accept. Once this occurs, our deisre to be conformed and more like Christ increases. Something in us wants to become biblically moral and this is where virtue steps in. From this virtue all of the other character traits become a part of us as well, allowing our branch to produce more and more good fruit. Without virtue, we cannot develop and thus the design does not get the recognition it deserves.

Now, if we go back to Proverbs 31, we will see this woman in a new light. Itís not that she is perfect. Her branch has simply developed and is producing lasting fruit. Somehow she caught hold to the fact that she was fearfully and wonderfully made. It was this revelation that led her to become the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs who intimidates most of us.

We donít have to be intimidated, though, because we too were designed with the same virtuous intentions.

Itís not that we all have to strive to be the best cook. We are not all called entrepreneurs. Some of us canít sew a button to save our lives. We canít all shop at Lord and Taylorís; but most of us can afford Wal-Mart.

Perfection was not her goal and it should not be ours either.

Her goals were to give glory and honor to her Designer. The only way she could do this, was by walking in the path He laid out for her. This is why she did what she could. It was her calling to use the talents and gifts she was trusted with. It was why she was virtuously designed.

Her calling was not yours. Your purpose is not mine. My destiny is my own.

Each one of us were born for a specific purpose. We each have a destiny to fulfill. This is why none of us should be intimidated by the Virtuous Woman.

We are all Women of Virtue!

You were designed with Virtue in mind. You were designed with your own story. You branch awaits the fruit you will produce.

My sisterÖWalk Your Virtuous Path!

Copyright©2005, LaTara B. Ham-Ying

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lauren Beyenhof 28 Jul 2006
Your article seems off-target. Proverbs 31 is about a mother describing the kind of wife her son should look for. All of the Proverbs 31 woman's virtues blend together with the ultimate purpose of being a wife whose character makes her husband respected. Instead of holding it up as a measuring stick and foolishly letting it impact our self esteem, we should be reading it with a different mindset. Being a woman of virtue is not about following a step-by-step guide to keeping house.
Jennifer Solla 12 Jun 2005
Wow! I know that it is by divine appointment that I came across your article. I am doing an in depth study of the proverbs 31 women. your insight has been most helpful. Thank you!
Venice Kichura 29 May 2005
Excellent article! What an encouragement to any of us women who struggle with low self worth, thinking, "I'll never measure up to that Proverbs 31 woman...Thanks for sharing..You did a great job!


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