Valiant and Virtuous

In God’s revelation found in the Scriptures, we see a subtle trajectory in respect to many issues. The subtle trajectories are also critically intentional and discernible. It is as if God is patiently bringing humanity along through their ignorance to discern their own depravity. Galatians reminds us that “in the fullness of time God brought forth His Son” thousands of years after creation. As a consequence of God’s gifts of Christ and the Spirit, He has revealed his expectation of how to treat each other appropriately and with dignity. Two issues will be our examples.

Slavery was the norm for ancient peoples and cultures. We start to see how God is moving his people toward respecting, dignifying, and even releasing their slaves. As we see especially in Philemon, by the time we reach the epistles in the New Testament, Paul and others are not only saying that slaves must be freed, but that they must be treated and accepted as brothers and sisters.

In a similar way, we perceive the acceptance and treatment of women as evolving toward a valuing of their strength, individuality, as well as beauty from the Old Testament to the New. This study would be a fascinating pursuit. Notice the contributions of Shiphrah and Puah, of Sarah and Hannah, and of Deborah, Ruth, and Hadassah (Esther) in the Old Testament. As Old Testament Jewish genealogies would typically have excluded women, in Matthew’s record of Christ’s lineage, four women are mentioned. Notice the record of their wisdom and relationships with God in the interactions of Mary and Elizabeth as they consider the births of their unborn sons, Jesus and John the Baptizer. Women are detailed as the first to be at the tomb after Christ’s Resurrection. (Is God telling us something?) The book of Acts confirms the impacts of the accomplished women, Priscila and Lydia. We know that Phebe actually delivered Paul’s epistle to the Romans! Lois and Eunice are praised specifically for their Godly influence on Timothy. Jesus had caring and respectful encounters with the “woman at the well,” the “woman with an issue of blood,” and the “woman caught in adultery.” Even that sentence shows our tendency to attach these women to their pasts, yet Jesus freed, forgave, and healed them… and He probably called them by name. 

In Proverbs 31:10-31 we see an incredible description of the valiant and virtuous woman:


Rare and of Great Worth
Impeccable Integrity
Transcends Right with Good
Diligent in Labor
Full of Exotic Surprises
Early to Plan and Prepare
Resourceful and Entrepreneurial
Appointed and Anointed
Overcomes Difficulties
Skilled in Craftsmanship
Assists the Needy
Permeated with Hope
An exquisite Countenance
Enhances the Influence of Others
Designs and Delivers
Clothed in Strength and Beauty
Appropriate and Seasoned Speech
Provokes Productivity
Others Leap to Praise Her
Excellence, Brilliance, Class
Lives within Fear of the Lord
Sheer Radiance