But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…. II Peter 1:5
What is virtue? It’s not a word that I hear commonly used in our society, but it’s a word that has an impactful meaning. The idea behind the word virtue is moral excellence. It’s honestly living a life of high moral and ethical principles regardless of outside influences. Simply put — personally commiting to go above and beyond to do the right thing even when no one is watching or reward is given.
If you’re a moral person, then you are concerned with what is right and wrong. Most people live as moral people. However, to have virtue by living with moral excellence is a higher degree of morality. EXCELLENCE is the key here. To have excellence in something you must exceed the norm of typical expectations. You must excel by going above and beyond expectations by holding yourself to a standard greater than the customary societal code of conduct. It’s not about living in mediocrity by being good enough to get by in comparison to everyone else, but as an individual, diligently striving every day to do your own personal best to produce immaculate character.
In Proverbs 31:10-31 we have a detailed description of a woman hailed as the virtuous wife. While it’s of tremendous value for wives to learn from her example, you don’t have to be a wife to understand and aspire to the same qualities that would inspire scripture to call her a woman of virtue. What qualities are those? Here’s a brief list from my own reading:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Honorable, Consistent – She is consistently looking out for the good of her family and is especially loyal to her husband so that he completely trusts her. Her husband is held in high-esteem because of her honor.
Takes initiative, Innovative, Hardworking, Focused, Watchful – She is always willing to work hard and doesn’t have to be told or prodded to do it. She carefully identifies her task and focuses her attention on the necessary innovations and sacrifices to accomplish it. She is not idle, but in tune with her household and other’s needs.
Charitable, Prudent, Selfless, Resourceful, Kind, Confident – Her ventures are well thought out and are not only for the well-being of her family, but to supply relief to the poor and needy. Because she preserves and uses her resources wisely, she is not afraid of adverse conditions.
Wise, Fearful, Praised, Excellent – She is wise in her ways because her driving force is the fear of the Lord. She never asked to be praised, yet her high degree of virtue as seen in her morally EXCELLENT works naturally results in great honor being bestowed upon her. She has excelled above and beyond many others who have walked the same path.
“Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:29-31
You want to add to your faith virtue? Learn and earnestly apply these characteristics of the virtuous wife.
Righteous God, I want to add to my faith virtue so I look to Your superior standards to guide me into moral excellence. Thank you that I have the example of the virtuous wife to help me identify what this means. I will learn and earnestly apply the characteristics she exhibits to my own life in hopes that You will see someone whom You can say has greatly excelled by going above and beyond expectations. I don’t do this for my own benefit, but to live my days in fear of You so that You will be praised by my efforts as You deserve all glory and honor. Amen.
Truth in love,
See also A New Year Focus