Seeking Virtue, Not Perfection.
I was feeling down about the mistakes I've made over my lifetime this morning... Sometimes, no matter how well things are going, I find reasons to beat myself up about my past.
So I opened my Bible and started flipping through Proverbs. The spirit led me to the passage about the virtuous woman. I've read it so many times before but today, it was like a reminder to me: Virtuous is not the same as perfect. I am a virtuous woman, despite any mistakes I have made. I meditated on this scripture all day.... I highlighted parts that resonated with me most. Funny how the Universe provides us with exactly what we need in the exact moment that we need it.
A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who that can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country].
She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.
She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].
She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].
Her husband is known in the [city's] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
She looks well to how things go in her household, and does not dwell in idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity)
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her
He says, "Many women do noble things. But you are better than all the others." Charm can fool you.
But a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned.
Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 Amplified)