By: Melody Mohnhaupt
We all know the one, famous, go-to verse for Christian women: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” Proverbs 31:10. At times I forget all about that little, tiny word “virtuous” and think that being a woman in itself is valuable. I forget that the virtue we carry is what brings us our true value.The word virtue means: having or showing high moral standards; chaste; righteous. Without this virtue we might actually be detrimental.
There’s a verse in Proverbs 21 that says, “It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house”. What that’s saying in modern terms is- you're better off living in the corner of an attic than in a mansion with an argumentative woman. Ouch.
When I see verses like this it sure does bring me back to reality. Just because I’m a woman, it doesn't mean I am already full of spiritual value. It doesn't mean I’m worthing of any praise. It actually reminds me of so many verses in the Bible that warn against deceitful, seducing, hotheaded women. It reminds me that if i don't actively change my attitude and cleanse my way of thinking, I could easily become that woman.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious (quarrelsome) woman are alike; Whoever attempts to restrain her [criticism] might as well try to stop the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.
It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious and troublesome woman.
A virtuous and excellent wife [worthy of honor] is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him [with her foolishness] is like rottenness in his bones.
The wise woman builds her house [on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives], But the foolish one [who lacks spiritual insight] tears it down with her own hands [by ignoring godly principles].
The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit [deep and inescapable]; He who is cursed by the Lord [because of his adulterous sin] will fall into it.
I could easily become offended by these verses. I could think they are sexist and archaic ways of thinking, but when I really take a good look at what these verses are conveying, I see how needful they are! It shows me how much power we as women have; and we can either use our power for good or to bring destruction. We can either produce life or death.
When I reflect on my younger years, I see now that I was much like this destructive woman. I was wandering aimlessly. My thoughts were impure and my heart was seductive. I thrived on the idea of making someone desire me. My words were like honey. I know I caused boys to stumble.
At home I was a fiery, argumentative woman. My words rarely brought peace, but rather stirred up strife. My level of sass was off the charts, but I justified that by saying, “That’s just how I am. I’m Italian. Deal with it!” My soul was quick to snap back at whatever it didn't like to hear. I’m sure I was certainly not pleasant to live with. When I was in a bad mood, people knew to get anywhere far from me. Sound like someone we just spoke about?
I ignored Godly principles although I knew full well exactly what they were. I was raised in the church. Of course I knew right from wrong. I knew the standards the Lord held me to, but I did what I wanted anyway. I tried to get as close to the line as possible without “technically” going over. In the realm of the spirit, I was dangerous.
You know what the most dangerous part of it all was? It was because I didn't even see the danger in myself. I didn't really believe I was seductive. Even if it was just in my heart. It was still true. I didn't believe my quarrelsome behavior was wrong or even something I could or should change. I didn't think the things I did were “that bad”’ so even though I felt guilty, and knew it was wrong, I found myself doing the same things over and over.
Through years of learning lesson after lesson and allowing myself to be changed, I know that is no longer the case. However, each day, each moment, if I’m not careful, those qualities can creep back into my character. If I don’t continually wash myself with the Word of God and abstain from ungodly things, my soul will return to its default mode, which is sinful and hazardous.
I’m sharing these things because, even though you may never admit it to other or even to yourself, I know many of you are a lot like me. You struggle with the same things I’ve struggled with. It is painful to come to that realization, but we must if we truly desire deliverance. We must be brutally honest with ourselves.
We were created for so much more than this. We were created because man wasn't complete without us. We were created to be that ruby and precious jewel that is worthy of honor and praise! We were created to attain our spiritual value.
Do me a favor and go read Proverbs 31: 10-31.
Here are a few characteristics of a woman that is obtaining her spiritual value:
- righteous/ chaste/ pure (vs.10)
- faithful/ trustworthy (vs. 11)
- reverences others over herself (vs. 12)
- has a willing heart (vs. 13)
- selfless (vs. 14, 15)
- strong (vs. 17, 25)
- works diligently (vs. 16, 18, 19)
- compassionate (vs. 20)
- wise/ kind/ mindful of what comes out of her mouth (vs. 26)
- practices self control/ uses her time wisely (vs. 27)
- fears the Lord (vs. 30)
This list is a visible guideline of how to increase our spiritual value! Take each one and practice it in your daily life. As I said earlier, we, as woman, carry so much power. What are we using it for? Which woman do we want to be? We have the choice and we CAN be changed. Believe it or nor, our God is THAT good. He can mold us and shape us if we let him.