“A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!” Proverbs 31:10-31 [MSG]

These were the words of King Lemuel’s mother to him. Spoken like a true mother-in-law. Nonetheless, these truly are virtues that any woman would do good to have, and any man would be proud to see in their wives. But beloved, do you realize that many of the women whom Jesus interacted with never possessed these virtues? How did Jesus treat them? What then is Jesus’ stand on women having such virtues? What happens if you fall short?

“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” John 8:3-5

Now, this lady surely would not be one in whom ‘her husband will trust without reserve’. After all, she cheated on him. But how did Jesus respond?

“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:7

In one statement, Jesus did three things; He upheld the law, adding His endorsement to the law that adulterers should be stoned; He upheld His teaching that we should not judge our brethren;

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

And He showed compassion and extended mercy to the woman, for later He did this,

“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11

And for the Samaritan woman who not only committed adultery, she was still living in it, the Bible records for us that,

“Now he had to go through Samaria.” John 4:4 [NIV]

Jesus could have gone through any other route but Jesus felt it in His heart that He needed to go through Samaria, a land foreign to the Jews, a people estranged from them, take a route that Jews themselves would purposefully avoid at that time, just because she needed to meet Him and receive His grace.

Now, make no mistake, her lifestyle was no quiet affair. This lady had a reputation. For this was how Jesus’ own disciples treated her.

“Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.” John 4:27 [MSG]

Yet this was what Jesus offered her.

“Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”” John 4:10 [MSG]

He gave her redemption and His gift of eternal life.

Then there was the woman who was, at the time, considered unclean by the law of Moses because she had a discharge of blood. Yet, when she sought healing from Jesus, this was how Jesus responded to her.

“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34

And for the widow in Nain whose son had now died,

“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Luke 7:13-15

Jesus restored to her her family so that she will have at least a son to ‘rise up and call her blessed’.

Beloved child of God, remember that Jesus said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

Jew or Gentile, sinner or saint, Jesus does not measure your worth by your virtues.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So it does not matter if or not you have been able to live the virtuous life. It does not matter if or not you have been a blessing to your husband and family. Even if you look back on your life and feel like you have lived a wretched life, as long as you have believed and received Jesus into your life, you are righteous, you are as pleasing to our Father as a woman who has all the virtues listed in Proverbs 31. Even if you think that your problem is really of your own doing because you are just plain lazy in the eyes of the world, remember the example of Mary.

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10-38:42

Clean, unclean; virtuous, adulterer; whole or broken; Jesus’ love for us is all the same, because He has made us all equally clean and pleasing in our Father’s sight. Therefore we are all equally qualified and have equal access to our Father’s provision and protection. All He asks for from us is this,

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

And what of Him are you to believe?

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 [NLT]

So then if you believe in Him, then you will also believe in His promises that,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

And if by chance you have never known Jesus; if you have been trying to live the virtuous life by your own energies and find that you keep slipping despite your best efforts; then come to Jesus now, because He stands ready to receive you, love you, make you right with our Father and work in you so that your life will resound with the good works which God prepared beforehand for you to walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Respond and say this to Him.

“Father, thank You that despite my flawed and imperfect life, You still love me. Thank You that because of my flawed and imperfect life, You sent Jesus to die on the cross for me. Thank You for arranging it so that by His death, I too die to my life of sin; and by His rising, I rise to a new life in Him. Thank You Father that sin now has no more hold of my life; and when I next feel like I have slipped, I know that Jesus has washed away my sins completely, once for all, by His shed blood; so that now, there is no more condemnation for me who believes in You. Thank You Father for working in my life and I look forward to walking in the good works which You have prepared beforehand for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved, Jesus’ love for you is unconditional. It is based solely on His perfect, unchanging love for you and never dependent on your own actions or lifestyle; even if you are a man.

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