Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.…
Three things concerning woman as she is portrayed in the Proverbs.
1. Her power both for good and evil is emphasised. She is recognised as important in the social structure.
2. Her position, as portrayed here, gives us a high estimate of the life of the Jews as a nation. You can always tell a nation's character from the character of its women.
3. The Jewish woman was a wife and mother. She took the place God made for her, and filled it excellently; and in that for any one in any place lies the highest success in life.
I. THE VIRTUE MOST DEALT WITH HERE IS INDUSTRY. Look at this model woman, accepting with a cheerful and masterly mind the place God has given her, bound to do her best to satisfy its conditions, and so destined to genuine content. To work is God's intention for us, and if we have any thought of wishing to live for Him, work will not be to us an episode so disagreeable that we are to escape from it as soon as possible, but rather that for which we are made and that in which we ought to be most at home.
II. THE MODEL WOMAN IS EFFICIENT IN THE MANAGEMENT OF HER HOUSEHOLD. The word "virtuous" refers not so much to purity as to adaptation to the place where God has put her. The meaning is, "Who can find a capable woman?" Her capability is shown in her addressing herself in strength to the exigencies of her place. It requires wisdom to do anything well. The ideal woman uses her good sense to advantage in the management of the home. Nothing is more worthy of one's most acute thought than the inconspicuous duties of the home.
III. THIS IDEAL WOMAN IS FULL OF ENTERPRISE. There is something very homely and natural in this portrait of the thrifty housewife turning an honest penny when occasion offers. This is the overflow of her exuberant interest in the prosperity of her household. Her business enterprise is not a sign of her seeking new interests outside of the home, but on the contrary a sign of her greater devotion to it. Home over everything, everything for the home, is her idea.
IV. THE IDEAL WOMAN IS SYMPATHETIC. She does not forget the poor. Her vigorous mind does not make her a hard, calculating person of business. She is still a woman, full of sympathy for the unfortunate, ready to help the unsuccessful. Back of the calculating mind lies the warm, throbbing heart, thrilled with the highest emotions.
V. THE IDEAL WOMAN IS WISE OF SPEECH. She is the counsellor of the household, giving good advice and teaching them that kindness which is life's truest wisdom. The easy running of home affairs makes a great difference in the happiness of every one. Home is where the character of the children is being formed. The widest empire does not offer a more dignified throne for the exercise of high wisdom than the mother's seat in the home. The results of such a good woman's life are visible. She has a happy husband. She has appreciative children. She has a good name. May God give to many a girlish heart a new dream — not of fair, but of good women, that shall reproduce itself in a strong, gentle, wise life.
(D. J. Burrell.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.