A virtuous woman is known by:
The excellence of her character – Prov 31:10, 29 – she is virtuous and, therefore, her price is far above rubies. According to gemsociety.org “Rubies are the most valuable members of the corundum family. Large gem-quality rubies can be more valuable than comparably sized diamonds and are certainly rarer. Likewise, a virtuous woman is rare and of greater value than a rare ruby, “far” more valuable.
The godliness of her life – Prov 31:30 – she fears the Lord. She doesn’t seek favor; favor is deceitful. One day, the Jews in Jerusalem were crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Less than a week later, they were crying, “Let him be crucified. Let him be crucified. His blood be on us, and on our children,” [Matt 27:22-25]. A virtuous woman, thus, knows not to play to the favor of society. Better to be accepted in the beloved [Eph 1:6] than to be approved by society.
The Christ-likeness of her marriage – Prov 31:11-12, 23 her husband trusts her because she is trustworthy. Society’s pattern is to date and fornicate until you find a mate. That’s not the way to build trust. A virtuous woman, who fears God, let’s God prepare her for her husband so she can be given to him as a prudent wife from the Lord [Prov 19:14]. In a Christ-like marriage, her husband loves her like Christ loves the church and she is in subjection to him as the church is in subjection to Jesus Christ [Eph 5:22-25].
In a good marriage, the husband is a man of good report [v.23] and his wife is content to live within his provision [v.11]. She’ll do him good and not evil all the days of her life [v.12].
The quality of her parenting – Prov 31:14-15, 21, 27-28 – notice the food in v.14-15 and the clothing in v.21. Her concern is for the essential necessities of her household, food and raiment [1 Tim 6:8]. So, she doesn’t spoil them with luxuries, yet she doesn’t skimp on the necessities. She provides nourishing, quality food. She brings it from afar and she rises before dawn to properly prepare it. She is very different than most mothers in our fast food, pre-packaged, microwave society in which we live today. She also makes all the clothes for her family and herself. They are made of “wool and flax,” [v.13] and of “fine linen,” [v.24], they are “good” [v.18], they are warm [v.21] and they are comely [v.21-22].
The abundance of her work – Prov 31:13, 16-19, 22, 24-25, 31 – one of the most notable qualities of this virtuous woman is that she is working all the time. She is never idle [v.27]. She works willingly with her hands [v.13]. She begins cooking before dawn [v.15], she works in the vineyard during the day [v.16], and she spins wool and flax and makes clothes, girdles and merchandise at night [v.18-19, 21-22, 24]. She doesn’t envy her husband sitting in the gate with the elders of the land while she’s working from pre-dawn to late at night [v.23]. She is strong [v.17] and she is honored for her strength [v.25] rather than her beauty [v.30].
This virtuous woman typifies the bride of Christ. “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” [Eph 2:10]. Likewise, we are to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord,” [1 Cor 15:58], to be “zealous of good works,” [Titus 2:14], and not to be “weary in well doing,” [1 Thes 3:14].
The liberality of her giving – Prov 31:20 – as if this virtuous woman did’t have enough to do to take care of her household, she is generous with her provisions and the proceeds of the sale of her merchandise. Notice that she “stretcheth out her hand” and she “reacheth forth her hands” to the poor and needy. She’s not tight with her money. The poor don’t have to come begging. She is reaching out to them. We can learn to be better givers by following her example.
The wisdom of her words – Prov 31:26 – as you can see, this virtuous woman doesn’t have much time to sit around talking. She has lots to do. However, when she does talk, she “openeth her mouth with wisdom.” What she has to say, therefore, is worth hearing. And when she speaks she is kind. Like her, when we speak, we should “speak as the oracles of God,” [1 Pet 4:11].
Conclusion: Is it any wonder that a virtuous woman is “blessed,” [v.28] by her children and praised by her husband? Even her works “praise her in the gates,” [v.31]. She rejoices at the time [v.25] when she is rewarded with the fruit of her hands [v.31]. We should be encouraged by her example to work diligently for the Lord, knowing that our work for him will be rewarded, as well [Col 3:23-24].