Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.…
The Bible, which is the great reservoir of the rights of man is also the storehouse of the rights of woman. Woman's Magna Charta is the Word of God. It teaches us to honour woman; it warns every man that if he degrades woman he degrades himself, and that everywhere man rises as he lifts woman up. This text is a woman's estimate of what woman should be. All the parts that women have contributed to the Bible are poems; this is no exception.
I. THE DOMESTIC QUALITIES OF WOMAN. The question of the text is indeed a warning that the kind of woman about to be described is a model not always attained. It is not every woman whose price is "far above rubies." In ancient times the women made the garments which their husbands wore. We call the unmarried woman a "spinster"; and the word wife means a "weaver." It is the woman who keeps the house together. This is the description which a woman gives of a woman's domestic qualities. She must be wife, she must be lady, she must be housekeeper.
II. THE PERSONAL QUALITIES OF THE MODEL WOMAN. It is said that she is strong. As far as her strength is the result of careful and conscientious attention to the laws of health, it deserves to be described as a virtue, and a virtue that ought to be cultivated. If the future race of men is to be strong, the present race of women must first he strong. Then she is industrious. She not only saves the money others have entrusted her with, and uses it well, but she uses her own energy until she sells her own merchandise, and her industry increases her possessions till they become such that the watch-lamp has to be lighted that at night they may be secure. Strong and industrious, she could afford to be generous. But though she is generous, she is provident. She is also elegant, a lover of beauty Ruskin says, "A woman's first duty is to please, and a woman who does not please has missed her end in life." She is beautiful in her speech. She should take an interest in everything that interests every man in the house. She is kind, but orderly. She keeps discipline.
III. LOOK AT HER REWARD. "Her husband praiseth her." "Her children call her blessed." The sweetest, daintiest, purest blossoms of a woman's heart will only flourish when she is praised by him she loves best. This is the true reward of the true woman. Her character is the secret of her power and her reward.
(W. J. Woods, B.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.