The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 gives a portrait of the Christian woman most of us desire to be. She is described as industrious, loving and generous. She exercises strength, self-control and wisdom. The imagery of verses 19 and 20 is particularly beautiful. This passage tells us the virtuous woman’s hands are never idle: “She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy” (NASB).
The Proverbs 31 woman gives us a level of godliness and selflessness to aspire to, but her accomplishments may intimidate us. Our musings may reveal our insecurities. We may wonder if the virtuous woman ever felt worn out from her service. Did she sometimes become discouraged, overwhelmed or cranky? And did she ever feel loneliness? Although verse 28 tells us her children blessed her and her husband praised her, did anyone understand her?
When I think about the virtuous woman, I wonder if she had at least one godly friend. A sister with whom she could share her joys and frustrations. Someone ready to offer a listening ear, a word of encouragement or a helping hand. An honest confindante who could encourage her to be her best self, and when needed gently urge her to rest, reflect or release.
I am blessed with many sisters in Christ, but today I am thinking of my best girlfriend, Vonda. Vonda and I met at church when my husband, Joe, began law school in Lexington, Ky. We became fast friends, as we spent time together learning new crafts, visiting tea rooms and touring historic homes. Vonda and I have shared prayer and Bible study, and enjoyed ladies days and retreats together. Vonda’s sweet spirit and easygoing nature encourage me to be more loving. Keeping in touch is difficult now that we have children and live in different states, but she is still such a special encouragement to me. Today is Vonda's birthday, and I hope that she will smile when these pretty pink tulips are delivered to her door.
As we strive to emulate the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31, may we find joy seeking virtue together. And may God bless each of us with the gift of a Christian friend. Because sometimes, when a virtuous woman stretches out her hand, she is blessed to find the hand of another Christian sister extended in friendship. And what a blessing it is to share the Christian walk, hand in hand, with a godly friend.