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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: A Virtuous Woman
By Jacquelyn Horne


I was privileged to be at home with my children most of their childhood. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I think it’s the perfect situation for raising a family. But that’s my opinion, and who’s perfect?

Many mothers have to work outside the home; some just like having a career. Often these mothers feel discouraged because many in our Christian society have made them feel less than a virtuous woman. This is not fair.

If we take a good look at the Bible’s version of a virtuous woman, we’ll find she had “many irons in the fire”. She was definitely not a “stay-at-home mom”.

Proverbs 31: 10-23 (KJV) says in part, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…she will do him good and not evil…she worketh willingly with her hands…bringeth her food from afar…riseth while it is yet night… considereth a field and buyeth it…with the fruit of her hands, she planteth a vineyard…strengtheneth her arms…her candle goeth not out by night…layeth her hands to the spindle…stretcheth out her hand to the poor…all her household are clothed with scarlet…her husband is known in the gates…”

This sounds like a pretty industrious woman to me. She worked hard, kept her family in food and clothes, bought property, worked the fields and was a good example as a wife--her husband was esteemed among his peers because of her.

Is she hard to live up to? Of course. But we needn’t think that because we stay home with our children, we have somehow accomplished the ultimate in being a virtuous woman. That’s not what makes us virtuous. Sometimes it just makes us lazy.

I’m not saying that stay-at-home moms are lazy. Neither am I saying that working mothers are less virtuous. I’m saying that whichever route you choose for your household, it’s just the beginning. There’s still a lot of hard work to becoming a Biblical virtuous woman.

A virtuous woman is one who handles her household well. She’s not a busybody, a talebearer, a lazy woman or neglectful of her family. She balances well the responsibility that has been placed on her. She does it all in love, without complaining.

I’m sure that even the virtuous woman of the Bible faced failure. If not, why then did she need to strengthen herself? Yes, she was definitely human, a woman of failure at times, a woman of needs. But she stayed on top of her task and remembered her mission.

So quit worrying about, “Should I stay at home? Should I work?” to become the perfect wife and mother. True, you want God’s will in your choice. But after the choice has been made, worry instead about the quality of your contribution to your family as a whole, about the spiritual teaching and leadership you’re bringing to your children, about how you can make your husband stand out among his peers.

Believe me, if you balance a career, your household responsibilities, your church work, your prayer life and teach your children with love and discipline--all the while managing to keep your husband happy, you’re truly a virtuous woman!

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 1079 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie05/05/07
You handled a delicate subject well. I especially like your final paragraph.
Myrna Noyes05/07/07
Your title drew me in, because I definitely desire to be a virtuous woman! Thank you for showing us that it is not our situation that makes us virtuous; but it is the state of our heart, the choices we make, our life purpose. Very encouraging devotional! :)
Cheri Hardaway 05/07/07
I too found this to be an encouraging devotional. You wrote in such a way as to encourage all women, regardless of which side of the subject they are on. We can never go wrong when focusing on the state of our hearts. Blessings, Cheri
Jan Ackerson 05/08/07
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I can't tell you how many times I've been made to feel less than virtuous because of my life and career choices, and by the Christian community! One of the hard things of my life.
Sara Harricharan 05/08/07
This is a great encouragement! I really liked your easy approach and your final paragraph. You didn't tip-toe around your subject and you didn't just splash it on the front page either. A great balance between them. Great writing! ^_^
Patty Wysong05/08/07
ouch. I loved the line about some of us SAHM being lazy--that's me too often. You did great with this piece. It's such a touchy subject--Working moms are incredible women, and I often feel they achieve that Virtous Woman status by juggling (Successfully!!) all that they do. Good job!
Jessica Campbell05/09/07
I have to disagree with this writing. I am not giving MY opinion, but I am going to give the Word of God. In Titus 2:4-5 (KJV) God says, That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
This is the KEY verse for a Virtuous Women. If her life does not lign up with these verses, she is guilty of blaspheming the Word Of God!
A woman working outside her home, is not a keeper at home!
I just wrote something on this titled Joy!
He who have ears let him hear!
Jacquelyn Horne05/09/07
Jessica.....I'm sorry you disagree with my view, but that's your privilege. You say a woman should (according to the word) be taught to be "sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

Just because a woman works outside the home does not mean she is not a "keeper at home." She can also be sober, love her husband and her children, be discreet, chaste, good and obedient to her husband while she balances a career. She may be being obedient by working for it may be his choice. Scripture fits together. It does not contradict. Both of these scriptures fit together if they are applied correctly.

God bless you,
Teri Wilson05/09/07
I am broken-hearted and horrified that anyone here at FW would accuse a working woman of blaspheming the word of God. This devotional is spot-on. Even in Biblical times women worked outside the home and honored God with their choices and business. Beth Moore works outside the home - is she blaspheming the word of God? No. What about a woman doctor who goes about healing the sick? Is she blaspheming the word of God? I think not. Every woman is given gifts and a calling unique to her alone from the Lord. It is time to stop judging another's life choice or calling.

Joanne Sher 05/09/07
This is excellent, Jacquelyn. Definitely something here for ALL women, no matter their "work status." It truly is the heart - and if we are following God's will, we are right where He wants us, aren't we?
Donna Powers 05/09/07
Very good and thanks for writing this. I once belonged to a church where the pastor preached that women who work are sinning against their husbands. I believe that God knows each heart, and I applaud you for so clearly saying so. Thanks for sharing this
Mariane Holbrook 05/09/07
You took a courageous stand and I applaud you. This is an age-old argument and one that won't be solved at FW. But my vote goes to you, my friend. A fulfilled woman is a great blessing to her family, her church and her Lord. I taught school for many years and never felt a minute's worth of guilt. I was enlarging my territory, as Jabez said, and giving my children an opportunity to take on more responsibility at home to even out the work load. Thousands of sad and depressed women are locked behind the walls of their own houses and made to feel this is where they must remain. This is archaic. God has gifted each of us and wants us all to develop our gifts. A very good piece of writing. You can be proud.
Rita Garcia05/09/07
I applaud you, Jacquelyn, you deserve a standing-ovation for a well written inspirational piece and a right-on comment!
Jessica Campbell05/10/07
I do not have the time to go into all the evidence of what has happened to our society, since women left their homes, and joined the workforce. The results are staggering to say the least. I do say, I know what the Word of God says, and maybe you might want to research the word KEEPER at Home. Keeper-means to guard, watch over, protect, etc...
A woman can NOT guard her home, if she is not there!
Also, the proverbs 31 woman did sell things, build things, etc. But she NEVER left the authority of her husband! She was always under submission to her husband.
I would like to eoncourage women to seek the life that God created for her. To bear children, to keep the house, to love their husbands! This is where true JOY can be found! God's Way is the right way!
I recommend a book for you all, it is Created to be His Help Meet.
I hope it will be a blessing.
Janice Cartwright05/28/07
I found your article to be thoughtful, balanced, and well-written. Often when we look at the history of our nation in regards to the present subject we fail to note that Father was first to have to "leave the home" and go work in the world. This was not out of choice, but necessity. Because if you go further back to a more agricultural-based society, you find the whole family gathered 'round the homefires, so to speak. Unfortunately, or not, we can't turn back the clock, only do our best to serve God and our families in whatever culture we find ourselves.