Proverbs 31:10 (KJV), “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
Rubies? Why does scripture compare the virtues of a godly lady to rubies?! Why not diamonds or gold or silver? When I did research on the topic, I began to correlate the similarities between a virtuous woman and the ruby ~ and then I realized how valuable a virtuous woman really is.
Legend says that when God created precious stones, the ruby was the most valuable among them. These days, rubies are both rare and extremely expensive.
A virtuous woman is not born with the qualities described in Provers 31. Virtue is defined as “moral excellence; goodness; righteousness; conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude. Chastity, virginity. Of good or admirable quality or property.” Synonyms for virtue include integrity, character, goodness.
There are many processes she must go through in order to be considered virtuous. The more she is refined, the more valuable, or expensive, she becomes. According to eHow.com, in order for a ruby to truly be considered priceless, it must undergo an intense heat treatment as well as being cut, polished and cleaned.
These are some of the same steps that we as women must go through in order to be virtuous. The heat and pressure that we endure through trials purifies us and brings praise to Jesus, just like I Peter 1:7 says: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ..”
Also, if you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — they were thrown in the fiery furnace when they did not compromise their beliefs, but when they were brought out, they were not burned and neither did their clothes smell of smoke. In the end, the fire they went through did bring glory to God because many people were there to witness their miracle. So, for the virtuous woman, you do not know what furnace you will be thrown into in order for God to show himself to someone else. Like the song “Through the Fire” says, it is the fire that makes us strong; we go through these moments so that when even harder times come, we won’t crack and break because we have been molded and we will endure!
We have all been through hard times, but there are some that seem to be much more difficult than others. Unlike the fire, these particular situations are possibly the ones that raise your value even more because the pain is experienced. In the fire, you are surrounded by flames and it is scary–but there is no pain because you are not being burned. In this deeper refining process, however, there is much pain. These processes cut and deep-clean in areas that we thought were ok. Have you ever done an exfoliation treatment? Most of the time it’s unpleasant – there is much rubbing and the ingredients in the cream are usually very rough and gritty. But after the cleansing is complete and the irritation goes away, the skin that was once looked dull and dry has been rubbed away and the skin beneath it is beautiful and smooth. These are the trials we go through that change us into better people; when there is pain involved, time seems to stand still because there is nothing to relieve the pain. There is nothing you can do–there is no pain medication, no natural remedy or vitamin to take for this situation that is so horrible. So what is there to do? Wait. Stand. Pray. Have faith. Remember: patience is a virtue.
Although it is impossible to see through to the other side of the tunnel–it’s dark, scary, painful–Jesus does know what’s on the other side and He really does have a purpose behind what is going on. And at the end, you WILL be virtuous if you “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” (Exodus 13:14)
Being virtuous is not a quality that everyone will possess because it does not come easy. From reading about the purification process, we know that it is actually very difficult and time consuming. Just like the “wanna-be rubies,” there are those who want all the goodies and the prestige that virtuosity brings, but they not willing to put forth the time and energy to truly becoming virtuous. And just think: if all of this time and energy goes in to simply making a hard stone very beautiful and valuable, how much more time and energy must God spend on us to make us women truly beautiful and valuable? We are human beings… the creation that God made in His own image, the people that He gave His life for because He loved us SO MUCH! This is why a virtuous woman is so valuable – why her “price is FAR ABOVE rubies” — because Jesus Christ loves us and He is the one shaping us into who He wants us to be.
You are beautiful and your value is worth more than the $10,000 ruby I found today on Google — because of your virtue.
And the value of your virtue exceeds far greater than that of the most expensive ruby. Being virtuous is definitely a quality to be desired, but it does not come without price; however, once that price is paid, the value of your virtue is priceless.
Images via Thia Photographie