In my book, “And She Called Him Lord,” I wrote about being a virtuous woman. Recently I had to speak to a group of women leaders, and their theme scripture was:
PROVERBS 31:25-26 AMP
“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared]. She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].”
What does the scripture mean when it says “strength and dignity are her clothing?”
Strength: the quality or state of being physically strong
Dignity: a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control
A virtuous woman is worthy of honor, but if she cannot exercise self-control, she should not expect people to treat her with dignity. Joyce Myers said “If you don't learn to control your thoughts, you will never learn to control your behavior.” A virtuous woman has the comfort and satisfaction of her virtue in her own mind. I recently started reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Myers, because I knew that in order for me to walk in purpose and be clothed in strength and dignity, my mind had to be under control.
If strength and dignity are your clothing (which is your outer appearance), distinctive features, how do people perceive you? Do you care? Once upon a time I use to say “I don’t care how people perceive me.” Internally it wasn’t true, but I was trying to be a strong woman, and not a woman of strength. When I was told that I was like a pineapple (rough on the outside, but sweet on the inside) I thought that was a good description, but in reality, I wanted to know how could I be a women of strength, and not a strong woman. See a strong woman would let everybody know, by her actions, that she wasn’t to be messed with, but a woman of strength shows grace.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on a virtuous woman provided me some in-depth understanding of a virtuous woman:
A virtuous woman-a woman of strength (so the word is), though the weaker vessel, yet made strong by wisdom and grace, and the fear of God:
A virtuous woman is a woman of spirit, who has the command of her own spirit and knows how to manage other people, one that is pious and industrious, and a help meet for a man.
A virtuous woman is a woman of resolution, who, having espoused good principles, is firm and steady to them, and will not be frightened with winds and clouds from any part of her duty.
Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by how high you jump in praise, but how straight you walk in obedience.
It’s time to be a woman of strength who is clothed in strength and dignity.
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