Once upon a time I was twelve years old and my family attended a homeschooling conference in preparation for which I had to memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 in the King James Version.
I don’t remember learning too much at the conference, but I’ve always been grateful to have memorized that passage in the rich old English: “Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies? The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, and he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life . . . .”
It’s a glorious bit of descriptive work: this busy and bounteous woman, clothed in “silk and purple” and “strength and honor,” rejoicing in time to come. (Or, as some translations have it, “laughing” at time to come.)
In his book This Momentary Marriage, John Piper connects this woman to “the holy women who hoped in God” from 1 Peter 3:1-6: they wore a gentle and quiet spirit, submitted to their husbands, and did “not fear anything that is fearful.”
The point is that the “virtuous woman” is not defined by considering and buying fields and delivering girdles to merchants, she is defined by hoping in God. She doesn’t laugh at times to come because she has strong arms and her husband sits among the elders of the land, but she can laugh at times to come because her God is a strong God who sits with the earth — and all its elders — as the footstool of His feet.
She wears the glorious robes of Christ’s righteousness and feasts on the abundance of His love, standing only by His grace, and glad, in that grace, to be small, that He may be great.
©2015 by Stacy Nott