Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How I Viewed Virtue, Then Changed My Mind

Virtue. I imagined a delicate woman standing high above the rest with flowing light hair and a glowing complexion. Her dress flowed in the gentle wind, all pearly white and bright. Her gaze void of any anger and well maybe just expressionless. Contented just to stand there looking radiant, is what I pictured.

I probably overly exaggerated my depiction. I don't ever really see a woman and think, "oh she is virtuous no doubt!" What makes this accurate is the way I viewed virtue, in an abstract sense. It looked exactly like I just visually portrayed. I made it look like a doll left to take the breeze with brightness. Let me explain where I went wrong...

I was in the typical chapter of Proverbs looking at the virtuous woman. I had already made preconceived ideas, but I was determined to figure out how to become this woman. Why I thought it was a goal to become expressionless, I don't know. It was probably just because it was in the Bible and with a bunch of wise words. 

In the past couple of years I have gotten used to looking up words in my Webster Dictonary app. Verbs, adjectives, nouns, even names. So I looked up the word "virtuous." I was unashamedly surprised. 

Here are the definitions I was given: morally good, potent, efficacious, honest, and honorable. 

What does potent and efficacious even mean? I looked those up as well. (For all you vocab gurus please don't mock, my curiousity should be enough) 

Potent: having force, authority, or influence
Efficacious: having power to produce a desired effect

I then looked up the meaning of virtuous in Hebrew:

Chayil: strength, an army, a force (men, means, other resources), comes from the Hebrew root: Chuwl, which means to writhe in pain and sorrowful

Ok so I had the English and Hebrew definitions and roots, I then took to synonyms. 

Valor: courage/bravery, strength of mind/spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness

BAM! This is the kind of woman that I wanted to be! Courageous. Firm in mind. Influencial. Having authority. Suddenly this virtuous woman seemed more than unattainable, she was like a queen ruling a country with power, poise, and determination. All who listened to her did so in fear, even when her crown was set aside. She got down and dirty in order to conquer land. Even sorrowfully. She had means to be influencial. Gifts. She was more than radiating light and tranquility. She had feelings that moved armies and established the strength to keep her mind steady in dangerous encounters. 

God isn't calling me, or any woman, to sit pretty. Ya, He knows He made us to be beautiful and alluring creatures, but He also created us to be powerful. We multi-task constantly and get deep in relationships. We were also designed to carry humanity in our womb, bare it into the cold world, and then present it fearlessly. Despite circulating advice and our own limitations we raise humanity. 

What I have learned is that God has called us to be brave, powerful, influencial, and strong in our spirit. How do we obtain this character trait? Ya, I wondered that and became overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility. I know my limitations. I know my innate desire is to fear, fumble, and fluctuate in my feelings. 

Who can find a virtuous wife (woman)? For her worth is far above rubies.

That last part doesn't appear to be an answer at first glance, but if you look deeper it is. I saw the word rubies and wanted to know what it meant to be worth more than rubies. I also wanted to know the worth of a ruby. Before I get going on a different topic, I am going to share something that changed my overwhelmed heart into resolution. 

There aren't many places in the Bible where it talks about rubies. Mostly in Proverbs the gemstone is brought up, but I want show you where it was found in Job.

No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Here is mentioned a second time that rubies are worth less than something else. What is that something else here? Wisdom. Maybe I am taking a leap, but for some reason this made me put virtue and wisdom side by side. Two powerful traits that seem unattainable and are worth more than rubies. 

Later on I will be discussing how one obtains wisdom, which is strikingly similar to obtaining virtue. Man, this post was long! I hope you made it through. :)

1 comment:

Jane said...

Thanks for sharing this! I look forward to more of your blogs :)