Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
TITLE: A Virtuous Woman
By Jacquelyn Horne
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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!
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