Today, we begin the book club from Darlene Schacht, creator of Time Warp Wife , and also the author of The Virtuous Life of A Christ Centered Wife. Today, we are going to be looking at the first chapter, which is on the topic of virtue.
I love the way the book starts- talking about how none of us are perfect. I know I feel that way. At 5’2 – I feel like I got shorted (no pun intended!) in the height department. My weight is a constant battle, one that I feel like me and the Lord deal with often. I can be passionate – and that often comes off as a turn off. If I feel strongly, I let you know. I speak truth, but sometimes, give too much grace. Currently, there are dirty dishes in my sink waiting on the dishwasher that didn’t get run yesterday and piles of laundry to fold. I write about topics like worshiping through your homemaking and being intentional in our marriages and our parenting. Yet, I am not perfect. I live in a fleshly body with a spirit that is longing for its heavenly home. So, if you are coming here looking for perfection, this perfectionist hasn’t figured it all out yet. Nonetheless, I will write – and today, that is on virtue.
Darlene starts with this quote, still in the introduction.
“With joy, I am reminded (from Proverbs 12:14) that I’d rather be a crown than a trophy wife, and I would rather have virtue then vogue.”
We were created to be a crown jewel. The Virtuous Woman is often said to be of great price, one far about rubies. I have shared before the story of my engagement ring, and the rubies that my sweet husband had placed in it. My husband is one of God’s greatest examples of His love for me. It reminds me how much the God of the universe loves me – to provide me with such a wonderful leader and best friend. God knows my name, knows the number of every one of my hairs, and most importantly, he knows the deepest depths of my heart- and He loves me the same. As Chris Tomlin would say, He is an amazing God!
There are two women in the Bible that were referred to as virtuous – one was Ruth, and the other was the infamous virtuous woman. The story of Ruth was always a favorite of mine in Scripture. I was single later in life, and so I loved the story of how God brought Ruth her husband. There were some key character qualities that made both Ruth and the Virtuous Woman women of virtue – and those are some of the things I want to look at today.
1) Sacrifice. The word does not always elicit great feelings inside of us. We know we have to give something up, and I have learned, it is often the things that either we like, or that are hardest to give up. In Ruth’s case, we see a widow who had lost it all. She could have gone back to her home, with her mom and dad, and stayed there. She could have found a new mate in her home land, Moab. She could have returned to the God’s that the Moabities served. However, she choose to sacrifice the easy road, the road that made more senses, and go and care for her mother – in – law who was also recently windowed and son-less. I don’t know that traveling with a woman, who changed her name to mean “bitter” would have been my first choice as a newly widowed young woman. However, Ruth choose the road that God would have her to go on – the road that required sacrifice. She went toward God with reckless abandonment, and he rewarded her for it! When we read Proverbs 31, we see a lot of sacrifice by this woman. She rises while it is yet night and provides for her house- she sacrifices sleep. Again, something hard for me! She sacrifices making herself look good, and only speaks well of her husband – so much so he is known in the gates, and he trust her! She buys fine linen to clothe her household- if you are clothing children- you know that isn’t cheap! We see sacrifice! There are sacrifices we make as wives too! I have learned that the areas in which I sacrifice the most, are often the ares that I long to NOT sacrifice in – but the ones that bring God the most glory in our marriage.
2. Conform- We have to conform to our values. We can not let the world conform us. Ruth conformed to the new lifestyle that her husband and then her mother in law had. She back like the Israelite woman. We see her do this in the way that she cares for Naomi. The way that she even interacts with Boaz and the relationship that unfolds. We don’t see how the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 conforms, however, speaking from experience, I know that the task don’t always come naturally. She is kind, nurturing, has a servant heart and puts others above herself. These things are attributes that come as we conform to Christ, these characteristics are manifested in our life. (Romans 12:1-2) This is a battle. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us, fighting for us to NOT become these kind of women! We must battle for it – on our knees, and in the Word of God.
We need to realize that this “work” of virtue doesn’t save us – we are saved by grace. There is nothing you can ADD to Christ blood – it is the ONLY thing that saves us. Virtue, however, is something we build. It is not something that comes immediately into our life. It takes effort. We see that we need to build in on top of our faith. A faith that grows out of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every virtue we are going to look at – is going to take effort to build on to our faith. As we do this, pray, and ask God to show you HOW to apply this virtue to your life. Where virtue needs to be added. Verses that you can memorize to go with each one.
Remember, this word means strength. It will take strength and endurance. Just like any race, it will take endurance and training. (Hebrews 12:1) Being virtuous means being strong. Strength sometimes means being meek – which is strength under control. There is a balance there. We will talk more about this in the coming weeks!
Ladies, I am excited. But, I also know as we choose to conform to the image of Christ, there are going to be growing pains. Be prepared for that, and don’t give up. Push through the tough moments, resting in the strength of God, as He builds you into the virtuous, strong woman he desires you to be.
Worshiping God With My Life,