The ABCs of Christian Character series moves into week 22 today! Since June, Joyice Harris of Raising Boys Homeschool and I have been sharing weekly posts about the Godly character traits want want our children to display. we wish to instill within our children.You can check out the previous character traits by visiting this page. Today both Joyice and I are talking about the importance of virtue. Please visit Joyice. Her posts are always helpful and inspiring.
What is the definition of the word virtuous?
What does the Bible say about being virtuous?
When we hear the word virtue, many Christians immediately think of a particular woman. In Proverbs 31, Solomon describes a remarkable woman, one who is praised for living a life of high moral standards and excellence. Most of Proverbs 31 is dedicated to singing the praises of this woman and a closer inspection of Proverbs 31:10-31 describes exactly why this woman is so revered.
The virtuous woman seems to have it all together. She is trustworthy (Proverbs 31:11), hardworking (Proverbs 31:13), caring (Proverbs 31:15, 20), skilled (Proverbs 31:22), honorable (Proverbs 31:25), wise (Proverbs 31:26), and well respected (Proverbs 31:28). Many view her as a modern day marvel of spiritual superiority.
In fact, over the years, I have heard many a woman express frustration with the virtuous woman and openly declare…
There’s no way I can do that.
I’m definitely not that woman!
It’s impossible to live that type of life.
I’m not even going to try.
I completely understand what these women mean. The virtous woman does a lot and to try to emulate her would seem to be an exercise in futility for many woman.
However, I think frustration arises because most people look at the outer woman and fail to see God at work within her. The virtuous woman did not accomplish all those characteristics on her own! God was at work inside her, giving her the strength and focus needed to become the woman He could use. The latter part of Proverbs 31: tell us so: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
If we’re trying to achieve virtue in our own strength, we’ve failed even before we begin. In our own strength, it is impossible to live a life of virtue. However, if we strive for a virtuous life by seeking help from God, a life of virtue is well within reach. These two verses tell us so.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
Teaching our girls to be virtuous:
Because demonstrating virtue can be hard, I sometimes feel ill equipped to show my daughters what to do. However, that’s no reason to throw in the towel and leave my girls’ character training to someone else. I am their mother, so it’s my job to steer them in a Godly direction. Here is what I do as I try to model virtue for my daughters.
Be real. I don’t run around pretending that I have it all together. Trying to live up to false pretenses is quite a bit of work and doesn’t show my girls what real life looks like. Plus, if I tried to do so, the girls would see me living a lie. Further, if I’m always in perfection mode, my girlies will be afraid to make mistakes, strive to meet a worldly standard of perfection, and end up feeling empty and defeated. The best thing I can do is to be genuine.
Pray. I know I mention this point weekly, but it is such an important one. We must take our requests STRAIGHT to God. I cannot truly say I want my daughters to be virtuous if I haven’t taken the time to pray and ask God to equip me to teach the girls what they need to know. As I pray, God often reveals areas I need to focus on and provides me with opportunities to teach them how to strengthen their character and to honor God.
Work on virtuous character in the context of real life. I don’t always have formal character lessons with the girls, nor do I attempt to tackle all traits at once. As situations arise, we explore how Christ would like for us to behave. We take advantage of real life scenarios to teach honor, diligence, wisdom, patience, etc. We practice virtue in a natural way so the girlies see its real life applications. Helping prepare their little sister’s breakfast demonstrates a caring attitude. Completing tasks completely and without being asked shows the girlies understand the value and effects of hard work. Stopping to pray rather fuss at a sister fosters an attitude of love and compassion.
A prayer for virtue:
Dear Lord, thank you Your Word, the Holy Bible. Thank you for showing Yourself to us in the pages of Your Word. Dear Lord, I thank You for Your dear Son, Jesus, the one who loves us and always wants what is best for us. Thank you for allowing us to better understand the character You want us to display by giving us scriptural biographies to study. These examples of people just like us help us to see that living a Godly live is an achievable goal. As we strive to be more virtuous I pray that you will show us our areas of weakness and draw us closer to You so that we can grow to become the women You want us to be. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.