Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Study on Virtue

Proverbs 31:10 says "Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies."

It’s a good question, to be honest. Many women can’t even name off a list of virtues- or what they mean to her as a woman- let alone live them out. Over and over again I have run into women who say they want to be Godly women, and men who say they want to marry a Godly wife, but neither of them can tell me what that means. How can you be or find something you know little about?
So, as part of my own personal exercises in The Word, I did a study. As I have come to the end of said study, I felt my findings might be helpful to those reading my blog, thus, I am posting them here for you. In this study I first searched for biblical virtues, and then studied what the Bible had to say about each of these virtues. Thus I will give the virtues found in alphabetical order and give you the highlights from my study of each virtue. Keep in mind that these virtues are not only applicable to women, but that many, if not all of them, apply to the believers in Christ as a whole.

As a side note, I use multiple different translations of the Bible when I study. I believe that different translations, when seen together, can give a much fuller picture, as opposed to just one version. Thus, I fondly use my Geneva Bible (everyone must have one, I’m telling you), KJV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV (on occasion I will look up something in the NLT, but I am not fond of that one, so it is not frequently, if ever, in my study notes). So, if you are KJV only, I am sorry, but my notes will hold more translations than just that. I do not hold to the KJV only mentality, for multiple reasons.

Also, this is in no way an exhaustive look at these characteristics, nor have I included all of the scriptures from my study or my scribbly scrawls on index cards and loose leafs of paper. I passionately believe that we are each called to study out the scriptures for ourselves. We should not rely on the study of others, for it is the Lord who reveals the truths of His word to us. I love reading other people’s study notes, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but I hope that my notes will help send you all on your own study, as well, so this is a sort of wet your whistle type of thing.


Definition: The desire to do good to others; goodwill; to be filled with benevolence toward one's fellow creatures; an act of kindness; well-minded towards others; reconciled with.


1 Corinthians 7:3, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Hebrews 13:15-16, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Personal thoughts: Since benevolence is one of God’s attributes, it must naturally be one that women are called to exhibit, both in our personal lives and in the church. In fact, in the book of Acts we see time and time again where The Body of Christ showed, and acted out, benevolence towards one another. But the Bible makes it clear that women shouldn’t just be materially benevolent, but more specifically, they should be benevolent in their actions towards others, specifically seen in 1st Corinthians when the scriptures talk about how a husband and wife should treat one another.


Definition: Generous in donations or gifts to relieve the needs of indigent, ill, or helpless persons i.e. a charitable man giving much money to feed the poor; kindly or lenient in judging people, acts, etc; charitable in the opinions of others; pertaining to or concerned with charity.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.”

Deuteronomy 14:28-29, “At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”

Deuteronomy 15:7, “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.”

Isaiah 58:10, “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Matthew 6:1-4, “"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 25:34-40, “"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Luke 14:13-14, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

1 Timothy 6:17-18, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

Personal Thoughts: Over and over the Bible talks about charity, either specifically, or in action. A virtuous woman should be a living example of charity as it is defined in scripture. As the ever famous Proverb’s 31 says, she should be clothed in good works. Not because those good works are what will get her into heaven, but because those good works are a natural outpouring of what God has done for her. She should be constantly doing good for her God, her husband, her children, her church, others, the lost, etc.


Definition: Free from obscenity; decent; undefiled or stainless; refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion.


1 Thessalonians 4:7, “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”

Ephesians 5:26, “That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”

Romans 13:13, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

1 Peter 3:1-2, “ Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

Titus 2:5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

1 Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

1 Thessalonians 4:7, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

Personal Thoughts: When people think of chastity, they automatically think of a woman who is physically pure, i.e. a virgin. However, when looking over the scriptures, it becomes very clear that physical purity is only one aspect of chastity. Women are called to be pure in thought, action, heart, and body. They are to be pure in all things. Their motivations, their deeds. Being a chaste woman is so much more than being a woman who refrains from physical intimacy outside the confines of marriage.

Courageous (fearless) -

Definition: Possessing or characterized by courage; brave; conquering fear.


1st Corinthians 16:13, “Be on guard, stand fast in the faith, be courageous and strong,”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Psalm 31:24 “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Personal Thoughts: She is not afraid. Mentally and spiritually she prepares herself for the troubles and cares of this world. When things come up unexpectedly she doesn't go to pieces, but instead, she leans on the Lord. She doesn't lose her head. She doesn't become an emotional basket case. The Bible doesn’t say she is devoid of fear, but that she finds courage and strength in Him. True, feminine women are soft, yet strong. They have grace, beauty, and power.


Definition: Judicious in one's conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature; prudent; circumspect; showing prudence and circumspection; decorous; modestly unobtrusive; unostentatious.


Proverbs 2:10-11, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee”

Psalms 112:5, “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.”

Samuel 25:3, “Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding and discretion, of a beautiful countenance.”

Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”

Titus 2:5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Personal Thoughts: It becomes quite clear, when looking at the scriptures, that discretion is a must have for the virtuous woman. It safeguards us, particularly our mouths, which, as women, we struggle with. Interestingly enough, the virtue of discretion implies that we are not gossips. We have control over our mouths- what we say, how we speak to others- and that we think before we speak. Learn this one, girls. It saves us a lot of trouble, in the end.


Definition: Not proud or arrogant; modest; courteously respectful.


Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Ezekiel 16:49, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 12:12, “And when he humbled himself the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good in Judah.”

Personal Thoughts: Humility is something that is gained and practiced as we grow in wisdom and grace. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary defines “humility” as: “a prominent Christian grace. It is a state of mind well pleasing to God; it preserves the soul in tranquility and makes us patient under trials.” Biblically speaking, humility is the opposite of pride, something which men and women struggle with equally. God calls women to be humble and place others before themselves. This is not to say that women should have no self respect, by the way.


Definition: Working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent.


Proverbs 31:13-16, "She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."

Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”

Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”

Proverbs 31:13, "She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."

Proverbs 31:17, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

2 Thessalonians 3:7-13, “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. ... “

Personal Thoughts: Industry is the opposite of laziness and slothfulness. It is interesting to note that God never calls us to be workaholics, but to be industrious. On the same note, he also directs us as to how we are to be industrious. Did you know, the word "household" appears four times in Proverbs 31 as the direction of the Proverb’s 31 woman’s area of industry?


Definition: The state or quality of being kind.


Proverbs 31:26b, "... and in her tongue is the law of kindness."

Luke 6:27-31, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

I Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Philippians 2:3-7 , “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

Personal Thoughts: Feminine, virtuous women are kind in word and action. It is rather self explanatory.

Loyal –

Definition: Faithfulness to commitments or obligations; faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc; faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity; characterized by, or showing faithfulness to, commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.


Proverbs 31:11-12, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Personal Thoughts: Loyalty is the opposite of treachery. When I think of loyalty, I think of the verse that tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”. There is no better definition of loyalty to God than that.

Meek and Quiet Spirit-

Definition: Humbly patient; docile.


Proverbs 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."

James 1:4, "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

1 Peter 2:21-23, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”

1 Peter 3:4, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Personal Thoughts: Meekness is the inward strength to depend on God to fight our battles, meet our needs, take care of situations, change people, etc. without taking things into our own hands. Meekness is not weakness, it is strength. The inward strength to truly let go and let God. Having a quiet spirit, I think, goes hand in hand with that, but has little to do with how much you actually talk. A quiet spirit is a calm spirit, meaning she rules her emotions and will very well. A woman with a meek and quiet spirit is able to sit still and wait on God. “She lets patience have her perfect work in her life and situations”. To be perfectly honest, everything I found in scripture didn’t reference woman’s mouth, but instead, her spirit. After all, it says a meek and quiet spirit, doesn’t it? My studies implied that this means a woman with a meek and quiet spirit is one who is continuously quelling any violence in herself; she avoids relying upon her own point of view and forcing it upon others; she restrains her immediate impulses and emotions, avoiding doing things rashly and without due consideration. The control over our mouth is a side effect of having control over your spirit and your emotions.


Definition: Willing to obey; complying with or submitting to authority.


Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."

Colossians 3:18, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."

Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Personal Thoughts: She is obedient to her parents as a young woman, and her husband after marriage. Her desire is unto him (Genesis 3:16). He is the head of the family (1 Corinthians 11:3). Anything with two heads is a monster. She allows him to lead. With the type of submission that she has to the Lord, she also directs a similar, though not the same, submission to her husband. "Submission" means "to be subordinate to, to yield under." In fact, did you know the term subjection is actually a military term that speaks of rank? According to 1 Corinthians 11:3, God has the highest rank, then Christ is under Him, then the husband is under Christ, then the wife is under her husband, then last the children are under the parents.

Reverent –

Definition: A feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration; the outward manifestation of reverence; a gesture indicative of deep respect.


Ephesians 5:33, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Proverbs 31:30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Personal Thoughts: Interestingly enough, in scripture we see that women should have a reverential awe of their God. She should be a woman who fears the Lord and has a proper respect for the authorities over her (parent, husband, church). A reverential and holy respect. She is not proud, rebellious, or stubborn toward Divine leadership, family leadership, or spiritual leadership.


Definition: The quality or state of being strong, bodily, emotionally, spiritually, etc.


Proverbs 31:17, "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Personal Thoughts: She is not a weakling. She becomes stronger and stronger in body, intelligence, emotions, spirituality, etc.


Definition: Capable of being instructed.


Titus 2:4-5, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”

Hebrews 12:6, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Personal Thoughts: That they are willing to learn. That’s really what being teachable is. You don’t think you know everything and recognize you are fallible.


Definition: the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.


Proverbs 31:26a, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom ...."

Proverbs 9:9, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”

Proverbs 13:14, “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”

Ephesians 5:15-16, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Personal thoughts: Wisdom is the ability to use and apply knowledge rightly. She fills her mind and heart with the word of God, and then uses it appropriately to every situation she faces in life.


And don’t you feel good about yourself, and all of your accomplishments, now? I wasn’t. In fact, I was a bit downcast after my study. I mean, now I could see, without a doubt, how many virtues I, personally, had not mastered yet.

So, why then did I share this with you? Was it because misery loves company and I wanted to make you all feel just as downcast as I? No. See, I was only downcast for a moment. Then I realized that this list didn’t mean a thing. I mean, it does, in one sense. It was an exercise for me in helping me understand what makes a Godly woman, but in and of myself, I can never accomplish these character qualities. If I depend upon my own power then I will surely fail in my quest for godly, virtuous living. I must cry with Paul and say, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." (Rom. 7:18). God, by His grace and by the power of His Spirit can enable us to live lives that are pleasing to the One who died and rose again for us. May we reckon ourselves to be dead unto sin (Rom. 6:11) that the Lord might be manifested in and through us (2 Cor. 4:10-11). We cannot become all these things, but God can! The God who indwells us can enable us.

So hang in there, ladies, and don’t lose heart! And Gentlemen, the same goes for you.

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