What does it mean to be a virtuous woman?
We are all too familiar with this Proverbs 31 woman! We strive to be wives, mothers, women like her! It is that lofty goal I think all of us want to attain. But there is another woman we should seek to be like! A woman who can go on to mentor and help mold that Proverbs 31 woman. She is the Titus 2 woman!
Read on to learn what it means to be that woman of virtue and a wife of noble character and how to develop a Titus 2 discipleship ministry!
Updated and republished from 9/21/2020
A Letter to My Younger Self
What would you tell yourself if you could write a letter and send it back in time? Think about all the advice and wisdom you now possess that you would share with your younger self.
I don’t believe in having regrets. Everything in life is a lesson.
But there is much about my life that I would have advised myself to do differently. I would have learned to cook much sooner (or at all!), I would have learned how to manage finances…the list goes on and on!
There are many mistakes I could have avoided with the benefit of a mentor to guide me to the right place in life and in marriage and motherhood, that’s for sure.
Now to be clear, mistakes are ok! They are often good things in the long run. We learn from them and grow from them and hopefully pass those lessons on to others! In fact it’s those mistakes we make that DO make us good mentors!I don’t believe in having regrets. Everything in life is a lesson. Click To Tweet
What is a Virtuous Woman?
Proverbs 31:10 says:
The word ‘virtuous‘ in this verse is the Hebrew word ‘chayil’ and it means:
strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army
It means power and might! Virtuous women are powerful! This woman is a strong woman.
Now, she is not a perfect woman! There is no such thing. But she is a woman with inner strength!
Many people hear this verse and think of virtue as we know it in English. We think of pure and high moral standards, but that is not the word the original language references here with regards to this godly woman.
Here it describes great strength like an army!
- She is strong!
- She is efficient!
- She has wealth (not necessarily monetary)!
- She is one tough lady!
We so often think of how Christian women should conduct themselves but this chapter of Proverbs wasn’t written about a Christian woman. We have to remember that Christian women did not exist at that time! This was referring to a Jewish wife and loving mother.
I point this out for one reason; Judaism is actually a matriarchal society.
Becoming a Titus 2 Woman – Recognizing Being Different Doesn’t Mean “Less Than”
We hear so much about the Bible speaking of how a woman is to be meek and mild, how she is to be obedient to her husband and this is all true! But these behaviors and standards do not come from a place of weakness or of men wanting to control their wives.
Judaism reveres the woman! In fact, my Jewishness was passed down to me by my mother, her mother before her, her mother before her, and so on. It was not passed through the men but the women (although it is becoming increasingly more common now for various sects to recognize it through the father as well).
In fact, the right of return to Israel or ‘aliyah’, the requirements state in the 2nd Amendment of the Law of Return in Section 1, 4B:
“For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”
So when we read in the Bible about how a virtuous wife should conduct herself, she is not being maligned or looked down upon. It is to establish authority, not importance.
Too often in our society we view being different as being “less”. We automatically assume if someone has authority over us it means we are lowly. But do you view your children as less in your own home? Do you see them as having less value just because you have authority over them?
We too shouldn’t assume godly women are looked down upon just because they are under biblical authority as well.
A Virtuous Woman is the Heart of the Home
In the home, the man was definitely the head of the household, but the woman was the heart. She serves God by taking care of her family and teaching her children to grow to be men and women of God.
No, not to cook and clean and do the laundry. There are lots of men who do that on their own if they are single dads. Anyone can do laundry but only a woman of strength and valor can be that helpmeet that a man needs and train up sons and daughters to serve God and their families.
She runs her home like a well-oiled machine. She is a hard worker and protects all who dwells in it and makes sure they are provided for. In addition, she controlled funds and real estate dealings and she did it on her own as Proverbs 31:16 says:
It doesn’t say she considered a field, ran home, got her husband’s permission and then bought it. No! She herself made this decision. So she is not to be viewed as a woman under the thumb of a man. That is not what Biblical leadership looks like and not how a godly man treats his wife.
The woman of valor, the excellent wife, made sure not only her family was cared for, but her servants as well. Yes, she had employees so she was a manager as well! She oversaw the ways of her household. She was busy at work at home but she also delegated effectively. This means that she knew what was going on at all times and she never sat idly by.
My old boss taught me that, as a manager, I needed to “inspect what I expect”. In other words, I should expect my staff to do their jobs but I was ultimately responsible for making sure it was actually done. You cannot just assume everyone is going to do the right thing or do the right thing right!
So our Proverbs 31 woman, while she had staff, knew the ways of her household and “did not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27)
In other words, she didn’t just kick back and eat Bon Bons and watch her “stories” while her staff did all the work. She knew what was going on at all times because she was a good manager of her home and her business dealings!
She was a business woman, a merchandiser, a vintner, a wife, a mother, and a support to her husband and his standing in the community.
In the Word of God it says in Proverbs 31:23:
Sitting at the city gate among the elders means her husband was a man of authority and wisdom, possibly even a judge or esteemed rabbi. And her demeanor, her reputation all brought him honor and respect. She was a true help meet to her husband and the type of woman who made him proud.
It is no wonder with all she does that she is called ‘chayil’.
I Needed a Titus 2 Discipleship Ministry Myself
I wasn’t taught how to be a wife and I wasn’t taught how to be a mother. Everything I learned I had to learn the hard way. And oh boy did I make some mistakes along the way! I made some doozies!
I got married at 19 and divorced at 21 with a baby! There was nothing wrong with my first husband or even with our marriage. We are still friendly even today! I just didn’t know how to be married! I didn’t know how to handle conflict.
The day after I got married we got in our VW Bug and drove from New York to Virginia where he was stationed in the military. I was alone for the first time in my life and had no one there to guide me or help me through what were, in hindsight, normal marital issues.
There I was, isolated and alone! My friends and my family were all back in New York and this was WAY before the days of the internet!
I never learned the characteristics of being a good wife partly because my mother didn’t have much time to teach me and partly because, as a young girl, I had no interest at the time.
I have so much advice and wisdom gained through my trials that would have spared my younger self (and others) so much pain and heartache.
But through becoming a Titus 2 woman and having a Titus 2 discipleship ministry, I can help the younger woman today learn from those gains.
Who is the Titus 2 Woman?
You see, we all want to aspire to be Proverbs 31 women, but we are not to stop there! Some see that as the crowning achievement, but it’s not!
She may not be as popular in teachings but she’s just as important as her Proverbs 31 counterpart. She is the Titus 2 woman.
We are to learn those lessons in life to be able to go on and achieve what Titus 2 calls us in verses 3-5:
Note it says to be submissive to their OWN husbands. She is to be the crown of her husband, not anyone else’s. Again, this is in the context of the family structure and not saying women are beneath men any more than our children are lesser human beings because they are under our authority.
Titus 2 Discipleship Ministry – A Biblical Responsibility
We are to conduct ourselves appropriately so that we can then mentor younger women (whether they be our daughters or younger women within the Church).
Although we may not be able to send those letters back in time to ourselves, we can BE those letters, living epistles if you will, to other women and help them go on to be the wives and mothers they aspire to be!We may not be able to send those letters back in time to ourselves but we can BE those letters, living epistles if you will, to other women and help them go on to be the wives and mothers they aspire to be! Click To Tweet
We have a Biblical responsibility as a Biblical woman, a WISE woman, to mentor younger women as we grow older. What an impactful ministry that is! God has called us to that Titus 2 ministry!We have a Biblical responsibility to mentor younger women as we grow older. Click To Tweet
Titus 2 Discipleship Ministry – Reaching Out to Younger Women of Faith
If I am not actively mentoring young women of faith, if I am not actively teaching young women and girls what I have learned from the mistakes I made along the way and I sit back and watch them make those same mistakes, then not only have I failed to be obedient to the Word but ALL those lessons I have learned benefit no one but me.
Even worse, someone could experience a hardship that I could have possibly helped prevent.
It is very difficult to open up and share your failures; your failures as a wife, a mother, a daughter.
It is tough to do!! But there is no such thing as a perfect mom and our daughters can learn from our mistakes!
Those failures, those mistakes, come with invaluable wisdom gained. Our mistakes are not in vain!!
They could be simple mistakes. And mistakes are OK! As I said, our mistakes are not in vain! We all learn from them and there is nothing wrong with young women making them. But we have a Biblical mandate to teach them the ways of the Word, even if they make mistakes around the house!
Mistakes like when I was first married, I thought it would be ok to use regular dishwashing soap in the dishwasher. After cleaning a ton of suds off my kitchen floor I quickly learned that it was not a good plan.
I have shared that nugget of wisdom with my daughters. They will never do that thanks to my experience (and hopefully the fact that they have more sense than I did!).
Then there are bigger, more painful mistakes to share. Those are not as easy or as hilarious as suds on the floor but they are more valuable.
Moving From Proverbs 31 Woman to Titus 2 Discipleship Ministry
If you are a young woman just starting off in life, then sure, strive to be that Proverbs 31 woman through God’s grace.
Will it always go as planned? No! It’s a challenge! Will you mess up? Plenty! And there is nothing wrong with that!!
You are a woman of virtue and strength! You are strong and you are fierce, like our Proverbs 31 friend!
Every time you slip up, it will be a lesson that one day your daughter or your niece or a young woman in your church could learn from.
So don’t make becoming a Proverbs 31 woman the goal line for yourself. Make it a stepping stone to fulfilling that much needed, valued, Titus 2 ministry that so many young women need today. That is the true value of a virtuous woman.
Get your FREE 52 Week Bible Reading Challenge Workbook below as my gift to you!Don’t make becoming a Proverbs 31 woman the goal line for yourself, make it a stepping stone! Click To Tweet
King James Bible
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.
Updated from Jan 1, 2020