Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Christian woman, do you want to be the best of the best? Here is a very exceptional woman. There have been many good and virtuous women, thankfully. But there have not been many like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. This description, composed by a king’s mother to identify the kind of woman her son the king should marry, is a detailed list of the marks of a perfect wife. This kind of woman earns the praise of God and men.
Both children and husband laud such an extraordinary woman (Pr 31:28). This verse has the glowing and tender words of her husband, as this is the only verse in the lengthy description in the second person. Having known this woman intimately and personally for many years, he praises her for the wonderful companion and helper she was and continued to be. He rightfully exalts her to a place of preeminence over all other women.
This woman is no average virtuous woman – she is overwhelmingly exceptional. The standard here is not a low bar; it is very high. This is a woman fit for a king. Remember, King Lemuel’s mother drew this portrait (Pr 31:1-2). What a glorious sketch of the perfect woman! For ambitious women, your goal should be to learn all there is to know about this woman and copy her life. Why settle for less? Being second best is losing!
The detailed picture of this wife overwhelms most women. They see her amazing daily diligence, tireless industry, domestic foresight, business savvy, sartorial skills, decorating finesse, creative planning, sweet spirit, moral integrity, satisfied husband, spiritual zeal, and happy family – and they forfeit! It is impossible to do all that, they say. But it is possible, if a woman were totally committed to the goal, with the strength of Jesus Christ.
Rather than resent it, women should thank the Lord for such a clear description of the perfect woman. You cannot match her in one day, week, or month. But diligent efforts will accumulate quickly. Her reputation is achievable. But you cannot even get close with less than all-out effort. The sleepy life of leisure of the average loser is out the window.
Why not be the best? Athletes run to win a prize (I Cor 9:24-27). Who runs to lose? Why be an average wife? Second place is like third place, or last place. Only one wins, so run to win. Crowns are won by temperance in all things – and the virtuous woman is a temperate woman – highly disciplined in self-denial, diligence, graciousness, etc., etc.
Christian woman! Your Creator and all men and women are watching. Your husband and children are watching. How do you approach your day? There is hardly anything more beautiful and praiseworthy than a great woman, especially today. How will you respond? God and this queen mother wrote your job description, and you can fulfill it. You can earn the precious praise of this proverb and make the world a better place, starting today.