Just now, I was thinking about the qualities of a virtuous woman. I was going to turn to Proverbs 31 – the usual place we find her depiction. I didn’t for some reason. Instead, I remembered a servant girl who captured some of those qualities. Learning about her broadened my scope of virtue beyond that essentially impossible “ideal” found in Proverbs 31. Like me, she was someone who had some hard “knocks” in life but still embodied Godly virtue. In her specific case, the qualities of a virtuous woman are generosity, a loving heart, kindness, excellence, and full of hope.
Let’s begin with her not-so-virtuous entry…
She was first introduced to us in 2 Kings 5 in the Bible. As you may remember, the passages introduce us to an influential man named Naaman, a commander of the King’s army. Such a position rewarded him great societal significance. In other words, he was important. He was “big Willy.” He was “the Man!”
Nevertheless, he had a weakness. A big one: he was a leper.
As you know, leprosy, at that time, was somewhat equivalent to AIDS in the 1980s. It was incredibly repugnant and loathsome to many. But, a woman of Godly influence was in his life, a woman with the qualities of a virtuous woman. I’m not sure he even knew it. Still, she was.
Lessons from a Virtuous Woman
She was kidnapped but not forsaken.
I’m talking about a young girl who lived in Naaman’s prestigious household.
She was likely stolen from her own family to be Naaman’s wife’s maid. Or worse, she could have been the “prize” or a benefit of warfare. Sad, right?
One day, while working, she made an astounding statement that would change Naaman’s life forever. She said to her mistress (i.e., her owner):
“I wish that my master were with the prophet who is Samaria!” Then he would cure him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3)
What a generous thought! She spoke up – and used her personal knowledge to help Naaman.
An embittered person would have kept the information to herself and hoped his arm fell off. Not her! She was big-hearted; she was a sweetie pie.
What is one characteristic of a virtual woman?
She soooo had one of the most important qualities of a virtuous woman – Kindness.
From that one comment… that one statement…this important man went to the king to get permission to visit the prophet.
Why would the words of a little servant girl generate such drastic action? Have you ever thought about that?
How could someone so socially “insignificant” move the captain of a mighty army in such a way?
There must have been something very credible about her to foster such attention to her statement.
Now, don’t forget the days in which she lived.
In those times, women were held in very low regard. Children (especially female children) had even less social standing than women.
Then, add to the equation that she was a slave. Geez!
She was lucky that anyone spoke to her at all, much less listened to anything she had to say!
So, again, why did her words carry so much weight with Naaman?
Your life speaks volumes, Christian Lady!
I think the secret lies in her day-to-day behaviors, habits, and interactions with others.
In my mind’s eye, I can see her carrying out her daily chores, smiling and humming praise to God. I know I’m adding some dramatic flair, but she had such faith in the Lord, that it’s feasible, right?
In spite of the fact she had every right to weep, I envision her searching for ways to magnify God in her work and conversation. Shouldn’t we all be like that? I think so.
Excellence is another of the qualities of a virtuous woman
You know, I’ll bet she was a young woman of excellence, too.
Think about it. Had her work been shoddy, she would have had very little influence on Naaman’s wife, but I’ll bet she performed her tasks to dutiful perfection.
For instance, she was probably not stealing post-its or swiping pens from her office. *hehe*
She was faithful and trustworthy. Those qualities are the qualities of a virtuous woman, and they garner respect. Respect means people will “hear” you and take heed to what you say in my opinion, that is more precious than money.
Hopeful – She had to be full of hope!
This is the third element of a virtuous woman I wanted to spotlight. A Godly woman of virtue is full of hope.
I imagine that she missed her mom and family terribly. Yet, she recognized that her life was hidden in God, and she chose to trust Him with her future. She hoped in the Lord.
Only then could she have the courage, confidence, and influence to move one of the most powerful men in the country indirectly. She knew God had her covered, and whatever she did or wherever she ended up, she didn’t so much fear a man’s title. She trusted God and put her confidence and hope in Him.
That will give you the confidence to speak up when you need to, won’t it?
Finally, the qualities of a virtuous woman in my life..and. yours
As I’ve asked myself, I want you to ask yourself: what is your daily life doing for God’s reputation? What is it doing for yours?
Back in the day, I wrote a post about God’s reputation in this world. We have a huge role in crafting it.
It’s important we do so properly because we need to be able to influence people for Jesus.
After you think about what your reputation is doing for God, here’s another question I pondered: what is your daily life doing for your OWN reputation? Do people know you to be generous, kind, and a woman of excellence?
Back to me: do people know me to be a generous, kind woman devoted to excellence? Girl, I don’t know but I’m going to work even harder at it after thinking about it now.
|Qualities of a Virtuous Woman
|What it looks like
|she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life (Prov 31:12)
|Kind and Generous
|She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (Proverbs 31:13)
She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (Proverbs 31:14)
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Proverbs 31:15)
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands, she planteth a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16)
|She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (Proverbs 16)
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (Proverbs 31:21)
The Power of a Virtuous Woman
Think about it with me, Christian Lady.
Would someone listen to your advice based on who they know you to be and how you behave on a daily basis?
Live your faith daily in your work, ministry, and relationships. I think that is a lesson or “takeaway” for us all. Don’t you?
If we consistently show up as generous women willing to help while being kind and excellent, we’ll be just like that little girl: a woman of influence who embodies the qualities of a virtuous woman.
Regardless of our social status, race, or how much cheese we have in our bank accounts!
Here is the WHOLE story from BibleGateway.com in the Message translation. There is so much drama in this one little story.
5 1-3 Naaman was general of the army under the king of Aram. He was important to his master, who held him in the highest esteem because it was by him that God had given victory to Aram: a truly great man, but afflicted with a grievous skin disease. It so happened that Aram, on one of its raiding expeditions against Israel, captured a young girl who became a maid to Naaman’s wife. One day she said to her mistress, “Oh, if only my master could meet the prophet of Samaria, he would be healed of his skin disease.”
4 Naaman went straight to his master and reported what the girl from Israel had said.
5 “Well then, go,” said the king of Aram. “And I’ll send a letter of introduction to the king of Israel.”
So he went off, taking with him about 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothes.
6 Naaman delivered the letter to the king of Israel. The letter read, “When you get this letter, you’ll know that I’ve personally sent my servant Naaman to you; heal him of his skin disease.”
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he was terribly upset, ripping his robe to pieces. He said, “Am I a god with the power to bring death or life that I get orders to heal this man from his disease? What’s going on here? That king’s trying to pick a fight, that’s what!”
8 Elisha the man of God heard what had happened, that the king of Israel was so distressed that he’d ripped his robe to shreds. He sent word to the king, “Why are you so upset, ripping your robe like this? Send him to me so he’ll learn that there’s a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman with his horses and chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha’s door.
10 Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.”
11-12 Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet.
13 But his servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?”
14 So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new.
The qualities I want to be a virtuous woman are generosity, a loving heart, kindness, excellence, and full of hope. Cool, right?