Do you ever think about the qualities of a virtuous woman? I do it from time to time. Mainly because I want to embody those qualities in my own life. Well, my thoughts on this subject led me to a particular woman of influence in the Bible…Naaman’s Wife’s Servant.
The servant girl embodies the qualities of a virtuous woman. Most people think of Proverbs 31 when it comes to being virtuous, but she is so far beyond those elements. The qualities of a virtuous woman are generosity, loving heart, kindness, excellence, and full of hope.
Her not so virtuous entry…
She was first introduced to us in 2Kings 5, as you may remember, Naaman was 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. But, she was.
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?
At any rate, one day while working, she made an astounding statement that would change Naaman’s life forever. She said to her mistress (i.e. her boss lady):
“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 – 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.
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 anyone spoke to her at all, much less listen 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 lied 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, 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 – the second 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 with 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.
Hopeful – She had to be 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 indirectly move one of the most powerful men in the country.
Finally, the qualities of a virtuous woman in our lives.
What is your daily life doing for God’s reputation?
What is it doing for your OWN reputation? Do people know you to be generous, kind, and a woman of excellence?
Do they know me to be? Man, I don’t know but, I’m going to work even harder at it!
Think about it, 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 “take-a-way” for us all.
If we do, 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 story from BibleGateway.com in the Message translation. 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