The last four parts of the Proverbs 31 series have dealt just with verses eight and nine. We are now moving onto verse ten.
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. (AMPC)
I got so excited when I started researching this verse and diving into what God really means here. Firstly let us start with some basic definitions. I used The Cambridge Dictionary.
capable: able to do things effectively and skilfully, and to achieve results
intelligent: showing intelligence, or able to learn and understand things easily
virtuous: having good moral qualities and behaviour
This sounds like a pretty tall order so let’s look deeper to see what God is actually talking about here.
A virtuous woman is not just measured by her physical ability but also by her spiritual maturity and fruit. Proverbs 31:30 shows us just that: “but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!” (AMP)
In Luke 10:38–42. Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better portion because she chose to sit at His feet and not concern herself with physical works. This is not to say that only sitting at Jesus’ feet is important because then we would simply do nothing but grow fat on the Word. Communion with God is vitally important because once filled with His Word and moving under His anointing the works we perform are not ours but His through us. First get filled with the Word and then do the works we have been called to do.
What are the benefits of living a virtuous life?
“A virtuous and worthy wife [earnest and strong in character] is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” (AMP)
I am motivated to be the best wife that I can be so that my husband delights in me. When he is pleased with me my life goes well, my marriage functions as it should and I am fulfilled. When I am fulfilled it is easy to give, it is easy to support, to be a shoulder to cry on, to face life’s challenges and to be strong!
“He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.” (AMP)
I certainly want God’s favour. I need God’s favour. Without it I am striving in my own strength and that is just plain difficult. When I am a true wife to my husband, he finds favour. Why? Because he is happy, I am a crowning joy to him and he is fulfilled. When he is fulfilled he functions much better and is better able to face life. When that happens it spills over to me and life is altogether much better.
So this is a full circle. When I get my heart in the right place and focus on being the best wife I can be, my husband becomes a better man and my life becomes easier. So in turn it becomes easier to be a good wife.
“House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord.” (AMP)
If I read even deeper into this then as a wise, understanding and prudent wife I belong to the Lord and He gives me as a gift to my husband to bless him. I belong to God. I am His. So if He owns me then He makes me beautiful. Let’s look at it this way. If I want to give someone a gift of a beautiful flower plant I take its natural beauty and make sure the best comes out of it. So I choose the most beautiful one I can find at the nursery. I read the label to see how it should be cared for, I make sure it is well watered and that while in my care, I care for it well. I wrap it with a large ribbon and bow, I clean out the dead leaves and cut off the dead flowers. I present it to my friend in the best possible condition.
So how does this translate to us as gifts from the Lord to our husbands?
“I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.” (AMP)
So backed up by John 15:1-2 God Himself is the Vinedresser, the Gardener, the One who prepares me to be a woman of virtue, married or unmarried. He prunes me, He tends me, He dresses me, He protects me. All I need to do it submit to His care and grow and produce fruit to the best of my ability. He takes care of the rest.
So after God Himself has done all of this in me, I am far more precious than jewels and my value is far above rubies or pearls. I have not done much compared to what God has done in me but I gain the value and become a person so valuable that He sees me fit to give me to a man to be his wife.
This Proverb is not only for married woman. There are many women who never marry but they serve God’s Kingdom and being capable, intelligent and virtuous is of very high value to the people we serve. Just as much as God prepares women who marry He also prepares women who do not. Our value does not come from being married but from what God does in us. We are of great value before we marry, not because we marry.