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Scripture:  Proverbs 31:29  "Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all."

There is a total difference in "doing" a virtuous act and "being" a virtuous person.  Proverbs 31:10-31 list the things that make up the character of a virtuous woman.  She is trustworthy with her marriage vows and does that which is good for husband all the days of her life.  She takes care of business needs and works willing with her hands.  She rises early and prepares food for her family.  She takes care of herself and strengthens her own body.  She stays up late at night in order to get the necessary things done.  She clothes her family and herself with comfortable and beautiful clothing and she also reaches out to the poor and needy.  She causes her husband to be known in the city and to have honor in his workplace.  Her mouth is filled with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She is never idle but always energetic as she takes care of her entire household.  

Many are capable of doing some of these virtuous works, but it is quite a challenge to conquer the entire list and do it all with excellence.  If you get up early before everyone in the house, fix the breakfast and the lunches for the day, it is hard to stay up and be the last one to go to bed at night.  If you work all day with your hands and take care of business needs, it is difficult to find the time to exercise and strengthen yourself.  With everything on your list, you must also factor in time to care for the poor and needy without neglecting your own family's needs.  This is not to mention that at the end of the day you must prepare the meal while everyone else is resting from their day of labor.

As you accomplish all of these things you must also be an encourager to those around you.  Words of wisdom must continually come from your mouth and the law of kindness be on your lips.  The list is longer than you want to look at and the energy is just not there to complete all of the task.  That is why virtue is about "being" and not just about "doing".  Even Jesus pulled away from the needs of the people to rest.  He did not run to every battle or even make haste to reach Lazarus before Lazarus died.  He waited for God.   

The virtuous woman always excels.  She is not in pursuit of natural favor because she has discovered that it is deceitful.  She does not seek beauty in itself, for she has found it to be vain (Vs. 30).  The key to her life is spiritual.  She has gained wisdom because she fears the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).  This aspect of her character makes the difference in her life.  It governs her natural affairs of life and causes her to be stable in relationships.  Because of the godly virtue that reigns in her heart, her husband is able to trust in her and openly praises her.  Her children respect her and rise up and call her blessed.  Her love and reverential fear of the Lord has created within her a servant's heart and even her works speak out in praise to her. 

This is a virtuous woman whose price is so far above rubies because she cannot be bought. She serves because she loves and does not love because she is served by others.  If you want to be considered virtuous, the conclusion is simple.  Seek to be virtuous in your heart and then virtuous acts will follow what your virtuous heart demands and dictates. It is then that you will excel above all.  +++

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