What is the first picture that comes to mind when you think of the characteristics of a virtuous woman?
Do you imagine a worship leader, Sunday school teacher, or camp counselor? Maybe your idea of a virtuous woman is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who never loses patience with her kids or says a harsh word.
All of those are wonderful callings and attributes, but the Bible has something different to say! So what is the actual meaning of a virtuous woman?
In this post, we’ll be looking at examples, verses, and guidelines from the Bible that show us some characteristics of a virtuous woman.
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What Makes a Virtuous Woman?
As Christians, most of us know the term “virtuous woman”. But what does that practically mean for us in the real world today? The answers are found through descriptions of God’s plan for women and examples of women of virtue in the Bible.
The Proverbs 31 Woman
One of the best-known Scriptures about what it means to be a virtuous woman is Proverbs 31. In fact, the Proverbs 31 woman has become famous in Christian circles for the many characteristics she embodies!
Proverbs 31 verse 10 begins a description of the meaning of a virtuous woman by declaring:
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10, KJV)
The writer of Proverbs then goes on to list multiple signs of a virtuous woman. She is:
- Trustworthy (31:11, ESV)
- Hardworking (31:13, ESV)
- Cares for others (31:15, ESV)
- Strong (31:17, ESV)
- Generous (31:20, ESV)
- Well-prepared (31:21)
- Dignified (31:25, ESV)
- Wise and kind (31:26, ESV)
- Industrious (31:27, ESV)
- Fears the Lord (31:30, ESV)
More Virtuous Women in the Bible
Another verse that addresses the meaning of a virtuous woman is 1 Timothy 2:9-10:
“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness – with good works.” (ESV)
Yet another example comes from 2 Peter 1:3, which says:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and virtue.” (ESV)
We see through these verses that what makes someone a virtuous woman is not their job or their lifestyle or how hard they try. It’s their character and attitude towards God, towards others, and towards life itself!
Characteristics of a Virtuous Woman in the Bible
Another way to understand God’s plan for a virtuous woman is through the stories of women He used in the Bible.
Obedient and Trusting Like Sarah
One of these women is Sarah, who is praised in 1 Peter 3:3-6 for how she listened to her husband and believed what he heard from God. Sarah was obedient to God’s revealed will and open to His plans for her life. (Genesis 12:1-20) She also had faith to believe what God promised, even when it didn’t make sense to her at the time. (Hebrews 11:11, ESV)
Humble and Open to God Like Mary
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is also praised in Scripture as one who was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28, ESV). Mary was a young virgin who received the incredible and frightening news that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit with the long-awaited Messiah. Even though she must have been terrified, she accepted what the angel told her by praising the power and goodness of God in choosing her for such a holy and awesome role in His plan. (Luke 1:46-55)
Prayerful and Trustworthy Like Hannah
Yet another example of a virtuous woman in the Bible is Hannah. She made a vow in prayer to the Lord that if He gave her a son, she would give that son back to God to serve in the temple. Scripture says that “the Lord remembered her” (1 Samuel 1:19), and He gave Hannah a son. Hannah then kept her promise by surrendering her child back to God to serve in the temple as soon as he was weaned.
As a mother, I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for Hannah to give up her time to raise the son she had so longed and prayed for! She did it because she had made a vow to God, and she was honored for keeping that vow.
These verses show us just a few of the signs of a virtuous woman that we can begin to cultivate and be aware of in our own lives. Like the women God chose to write about in the Bible, we can choose to be:
How Can You Be A Virtuous Woman?
If all those characteristics sound like a pretty tall order to fill – they are! The good news is that we aren’t left alone to figure out how to do and be all of these things. The Holy Spirit in us is our helper to keep us close to God’s heart and to the plan He has for our lives.
Character is something we can all build! It doesn’t matter what your circumstances in life are, or how long you’ve been a Christian. If you are saved, then you as a Christian woman are called to a life of virtue.
Being a virtuous woman is not something you can approach like a job. It’s not just a checklist of thoughts or actions you can fill out each day. Virtue is a state of the heart and mind. It’s how you think and what your deepest desires are.
One important way to align your desires and character with God’s calling on your life is through having daily Bible time. That might feel like an impossible task for an already busy mom, but I promise you it will be the best five minutes you spend that day!
When you make your relationship with God a priority, that focus on the Lord will spill over into the rest of your life.
Time with God is a crucial part of becoming a virtuous woman! It’s through that time with Him that your heart becomes aligned with God and the characteristics He plants in your soul can take root, grow and flourish.
Of course even with daily Bible time, none of us will ever be perfectly virtuous. We will all sin and fail. Yet because of God’s mercy and grace, we get back up every single time!
What characteristics of a virtuous woman do you think need the most growth in your life? What steps will you take today towards nurturing them?
The strength and ability to cultivate the characteristics of a virtuous woman is yours for the asking right now!
Related Posts and Resources:
- Tearing Down Strongholds
- Beautiful Women in the Bible
- How to Let God Fight Your Battles
- Bible Studies for Women
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Lieren! I’m a Jesus-loving girl living my childhood dream as wife to my best friend and mommy to our three children. I blog at Motherhood Beyond Survival, where I share practical advice, ideas, and encouragement to help moms move from merely surviving motherhood to truly thriving in it! My favorite things include getting lost in a good book, singing in the car, spontaneous adventures, and anything chocolate. Find more from me at Motherhood Beyond Survival.