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(Building a virtuous woman of our generation)

Tofunmi O. Ogunronbi

An Ideal Virtuous Woman

(Are you an ideal virtuous womanto the generation?)

Tofunmi O. Ogunronbi

ISBN 978-978-955-616-8
Copyright 2016 by Celf Shalom
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher or licence permitting restricted copying.
Original Published in hardcover by: CENTER FOR SHALOM
CDS 10 Harmonic Plaza, Jabi Upstairs, Abuja

Printed in Nigeria By: Mustard Communication

I specially dedicate this book to God Almighty, the source of all wisdom and my all in all.
This book is also dedicated to my virtuous mother, Mrs. Deborah Ogunronbi on the occasion of her
60th birthday. She prays for me and ensures that I am where I am today.

Special thanks go to all my mothers in Israel to mention but a few (Mrs. Josephine Adeniran, Mrs.
Ebene Olamijulo, Mrs. Mabel Odunsi, Mrs. Bola Akinbode, Mrs. Dupe Akinfenwa, Mrs. Christie
Atoe, Mrs. Blessing Lere-Adams, Mrs. Freddy Adesina, Dr. Mrs Olu Wilson, Mrs. Orieoma Aghachi,
Mrs. Rachael Olubere, Mrs. Bamike Akinwumi, Mrs. Seun Aderibigbe and Mrs. Adejoke Akinsola). I
love you all.
I will not fail to acknowledge the missing but found rib of my life, my sunshine forever, my hope and
the source of my inspiration for this book.
Deep appreciation goes to Jennifer laundry who gave me the full support I needed to accomplish my
aim on this book writing.
To some upcoming mothers, who challenged and inspired me to write this book, I appreciate you.
I will not forget to acknowledge my spiritual Fathers who believed in me and entrusted me with
greater responsibilities. This has helped me to discover my hidden potentials. May God bless you all
and may your labour of love never go unrewarded.
To my loving Father Pastor Gabriel Ogunronbi, my brother and his family, I thank you all for giving
me the gift of having you in my life. I love you dearly. Ive learned so much from you about life and
facing the challenges of life without quitting.

1. Who is a Woman?
2. What is Virtue?
3. The virtuous Woman
4. The Power and Secret of every woman in Marriage
5. Overcoming obstacles in marriage
6. Are you a type of Hannah?
7. What are your roles to the generations?


Do you want to learn to be the best woman that you can be? Of course you do! However, you might
not be sure what that means or how to achieve it. Many of us have studied Proverbs 31 in search of
these answers, but instead we find ourselves staring into a riddle. This book takes this beloved and
bewildering proverb and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces that aren't quite so difficult to
swallow. I believe that if you take the time to participate in the assignment, you will find the answers
to all of your questions about being a godly, modern woman.
The study of Proverbs 31 can be daunting.
It has been labeled by the Christian church as the instruction book for the true woman of God. Many
women have read and studied this chapter of the Bible in an attempt to become this proverbial
virtuous woman. Instead, women are met with an overwhelming sense of bafflement and confusion
as they try to find a current application for these instructions in their everyday lives.
I was moved to work on this project with the happenings around us and looking at the forth coming
generations. There have been great gaps between them and their mothers. It is high time we
challenged them to take up the responsibility of becoming mothers. It is not until they found
themselves in marriage before they need to build their lives as the virtuous woman of proverb 31. The
greater work also lies in the hand of their mothers. Mothers, how do you train your daughters? Do you
depict the characteristics of the proverb 31 woman?
Today, the waywardness of some children is the parents fault. Are you a good mother like Hannah,
do you tutor your children in a Godly way?
Do you build them up to be like Ruth?
Everywoman has an influence on the generation, like Eve; I am not passing blame on her here, but I
really want every woman to know that you have a POWER as a woman and how you make use of the
power in your hand can affect the generation positively or negatively.
This book has been designed considering our busy schedule and because of our hectic lifestyles, there
isn't a lot of time for us to sit down and do time-consuming research and study. Therefore, this book
is set up in a simple, concise format, beginning with an in depth study of the words "woman" and
"virtue." Then continuing with a breakdown of the proverb, verse by verse. The main purpose of this
book is to present a truth which causes you, the reader, to ponder and meditate on its meaning
until revelation occurs. Remember to be open to self-discovery and change along the way.

Who is a Woman?
...The Origin of every woman.

I want to start off this project by asking some important questions. Who is a woman? What is her
position in the world? Can a modern woman live a godly life without compromising her individual
identity? Does a woman have to live in submission? Can a woman be a strong leader? Does the
Bible really have anything worthwhile to say about women? These are just a few of the questions that
I have heard women ask over the past few years. However, I have rarely run into anyone who can
properly answer these questions. I hope that through the study of the Word of God, we will be able to
find personal revelation concerning the true meaning of womanhood
To initiate our quest to become a woman of virtue, I would like to focus on the current condition or
state of womankind. In our post-modern world, the word woman doesnt seem to belong in the same
sentence with the word Bible. The modern woman has undergone a major transformation during the
last three centuries. She has become legally emancipated and physically liberated. To the modern
woman, the Bible seems archaic or primitive. Personally, I have had to redefine myself along with
everyone else as the world has evolved around me. As a matter of fact, I have had to redefine myself
more than once! However, I always try to keep my belief system centered on the Word of God.
God did not intend for men and women to be at enmity with one another. God actually created us to
compliment each other. Therefore, we must search the Word of God to find a remedy for our
Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes
of the heart. The beauty of the Bible is the fact that it is alive with power. That means that no
matter what century you live in you can find relevant meaning and instruction. The Word of God
never changes, but the manner of revelation changes from person to person; situation to
situation. There is always something new that we can discover and apply to our current social and
cultural norms. God saw the end of the world even before he created it. Therefore, it stands to reason
that His Word would encompass everything that humankind would encounter on that
journey. Believe me, the Bible is and always will be current and relevant.

Woman as Gods Image

Now that we are up to speed on the current affairs of women, I would like to look at womens
origins. Genesis 1:26-27 states, Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our
likenessSo God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and
female He created them. To me this is one of the most awesome and affirming scriptures in the
Bible. God made me in His own image! However, this scripture is not trying to denote that God is
either male or female, but that He is both unified and diverse at the same time. Take the Trinity for

example. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit work in separate functions toward a
unified goal. They are three distinct persons, yet only one. This concept is mirrored in marriage
when the man and woman become one flesh yet retain their distinct personalities and
functions. This is just one example of the characteristics of God found in humanity.
When God created man and woman, he gave them equal amounts of His own qualities. While these
qualities are the same, they sometimes vary in their applications. Many modern-day women feel that
God was not equal when He created the sexes. They feel that God favors men. I, personally, do not
believe it! Lets take a look at Gods ability to create as one of humanitys shared attributes. Both
man and woman carry within their bodies the substance necessary to create another human
being. However, God gave the woman a special advantage in this area. While the seed of the man is
vital to fertilize the egg, it is the woman who carries the baby in her body. She plays a physical and
active role in the gestation of the baby from fertilization to birth. She is able to experience first-hand
the miracle of creation while the man is only able to participate as an observer. Therefore, no one
understands God the Creator more than a woman who has experienced childbirth. While this is one of
the more extreme examples of how the attributes of God differ between the sexes, this is not
necessarily the norm. For the most part, the attributes of God are evenly distributed between men and
women. The only real difference is in the function of these attributes in day to day life.
To find true meaning and purpose in our lives, every women need to stop measuring themselves up
against every male counterparts and start measuring them up against the One who made us. Women
need to understand that God was not unfair or unbalanced when He created the sexes. Instead, we
need to view all aspects of the human creation as a beautiful tapestry of Godly perfection. The Bible
says in Deuteronomy 32:4, He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful
Lets continue with the story of the origin of woman. Genesis 2:18 says, The Lord God said, It is not
good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. The original Hebrew passage a
helper that is suitable for him is more properly translated as a partner who corresponds to him. It
only stands to reason that God would create an equal partner for the man. He had already created
male and female of the species throughout the rest of His creation. However, humanity was
special. We were the offspring of God himself so its only natural that He handled our creation a bit
The Bible describes the formation of the woman in Genesis 2:21-22. It says, So the LORD God
caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the mans ribs
and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had
taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.In all of the earth, woman was unique in her
formation. She was the only life form created from another living creation. Man was made from the
dust of the earth, while woman was made from a rib of the man. This is completely unique to the
human female. Why is this so significant? I believe that God did it to make the human man and
woman interdependent on each other. By making her from Adams rib, he ensured that man and
woman were connected by something other than a simple civic or social contract. Adam himself
declared the significance of the womans mode of creation by saying, This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. Adam realized that

she was more than a helper. She was an actual, physical part of him. She was the truest sense of a
One of the things that have been fascinating in this story is Gods decision to make the woman from
the mans rib. So why did He use a rib? This is my thought. A rib is a part of the skeletal system. It
is a bone. Bones constitute the foundation upon which the body is built. If there was no skeletal
system, the body would be unable to stand in one united form; it would fall apart. In like manner, the
man and woman together form the skeletal foundation of the human family. Husband and wife;
Father and mother. They are unique, yet unified at the most foundational level. Now we have found
that women were made as equal counterpart to the human male. Gods creation was and is balanced
and equal. Job 37:23 declares, The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice
and great righteousness, (he does not oppress). He does NOT oppress! If and when womankind
finds herself oppressed in this world, God is not the one to blame. This is a major lesson we need to
learn before we proceed in this project. God loves each of his daughters and gave them a unique

This is the part of the creation story where things go terribly wrong for humanity. The first verse
says, Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said
to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden? Isnt that the
way it always starts with Satan? He asks you a question that casts a shadow of doubt on God. He
uses your own God-given ability to think and reason against you. Once Satan has thrown that lie at
you, you must make a decision to believe it or reject it. Unfortunately for humanity, Adam and Eve
believed the lie.
Later, in verse six, it says, When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and
pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave
some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. There is no way to know what sort of timelapse occurred between the conversation with the serpent and the consumption of the fruit. However,
I believe it took a long time. God was not only the creator of the world, but He was their father. He
was actively communing with humanity at this stage of history. It would have taken more than a few
days to convince both the man and the woman that God had lied and the serpent was telling the
truth! That lie must have eaten away at their minds for quite some time. Tragically, the two of them
The next verse states, Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were
naked That was the beginning of the end for humankind. They were no longer the same. Their
decision to believe and act upon a lie instantly altered the very fiber of creation. Adam and Eve
quickly hid themselves when they heard Gods footsteps in the garden. They knew that they had done
something terribly wrong and that they would be punished. Once God called them out of their hiding
place, then the blame game was born into the world. The woman blamed the serpent. The man
blamed the woman. No one admitted their culpability and repented. Who knows what would have
happened if their reaction had been one of repentance? Well never know for sure. The blame game
is what we will be studying here. From the inception of this conflict, unity between the sexes has
been critically damaged. The family foundation has been severely fractured. Our society is awash in
an identity crisis of epic proportions. The problem is that men and women are still blaming one
another for the condition of their souls. Humanity has still not accepted their individual culpability
and repented to God. Matthew 7:1-3 admonishes, Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the
same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to
you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank
in your own eye? Also, Galatians 6:2-5 says, If anyone thinks they are something when they are
not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in
themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their
own load. We need to focus our attention inward, and stop focusing on exterior influences. In the
end, we will answer to God for our own actions.
Because of the errant choices made in the garden, God pronounced three punishments; one to the
snake, another to the woman, and one on the man. I would like to look at these individual
punishments for a moment so that you can fully understand what happened. There is one common
factor I want you to notice. Each of these punishments involved two things: pain and toil. The
punishments were the same for each individual involved. No one received a more grievous
punishment than the others.

Genesis 3:14 pronounces the punishment for the serpent. Cursed are you above all livestock and all
wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will
put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your
head, and you will strike his heel. Because of the serpents complicity in inciting rebellion against
God, the serpent and his offspring were forced to pay obeisance to Him for the rest of their existence
by slithering prostrate on the rough terrain of the earth.
Genesis 3:17-19 declares the punishment of the man. To Adam he said, Because you listened to
your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded youCursed is the ground because of
you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and
thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your
food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will
return. This is pretty straightforward. The harvest of the land would no longer be selfsustainable. Food would not grow without supervision and care. Man would have to plow, plant, and
pick. Anyone who has ever kept a garden knows that this means hard work that brings about fatigue
and pain.
The punishment that I want to concentrate on is that of the woman. Genesis 3:16 says, To the
woman he said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give
birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. The punishment
is obvious. A woman will be in great pain and toil during childbirth. Not too many people have a
problem with that portion of the scripture. It is the next phrase that causes all the commotion. Lets
discuss the next phrase, Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. After
studying both the etymology and context of the words desire and rule, I have drawn some
conclusions. This portion of the scripture is not an actual part of the punishment, but rather a
reminder to continue acting within the already existing laws and boundaries set up by God before the
The first word desire reminds the woman that even in the face of extreme pain and toil, she is to
continue to follow the command Be fruitful and multiply. She was not to give up on sexual
relations with her mate simply because of the threat of a painful birth. The second word rule was
used to remind the woman that she would continue to exist under the leadership of her mate. The
male had been given the leadership position from the very beginning. (Gen 2:5-15, 1 Timothy 2:1314) God was not punishing Eve by telling her that her husband was suddenly to rule over her. That
hierarchy was already in place. God was simply reminding her to continue following her mates
leadership, especially in the light of her recent failure to recognize the serpents deception.
Now here is the big question! Why should there be leaders and followers? Matthew 6:24 states, No
one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to
the one and despise the other Being a leader or follower does not affect your worth as a human
being. It merely suggests your function in the everyday process of life. However, if everyone aspired
to be a leader, chaos would ensue and nothing would ever be accomplished. Rejecting leadership is
not a phenomenon that is solely characteristic of women. All humanity has this aversion to trusting
someone to direct our lives. That very concept is the reason behind the man and woman eating the
forbidden fruit in the first place. The serpent promised that if they ate the fruit, they would become
like God. If they were like God, they would no longer need him for leadership and guidance. Its
the age-old trap of Satan! Remember the story? Isaiah 14:12-14 says, How you are fallen from
heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the
nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will
ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Sound familiar?

We have learned that humanity was created in the image of God. They were warned not to eat of the
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve believed a lie and passed that lie to her husband. The
two of them ate the forbidden fruit and were punished by God. So, what happened next? Genesis
3:22-24 says, Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good
and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live
forever therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which
he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden,
and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. That is the tragic
end of the story of creation. Man and woman made a conscious decision to break the law of
God. This act set in motion a multitude of repercussions. Their bodies received in them the DNA of
death the moment the juice of that fruit touched their lips. Humans were separated from their former,
intimate mode of communion with God. The earth was cursed so that it brought forth imperfection
and death. Good and evil now battle for superiority in the mind of each human. Those are just a few
of the consequences that occurred after the fall of mankind.
It is now apparent that humanity suffered a critical, crippling blow that day in the garden. We are no
longer the same as we were in the beginning. Sin has altered us physically, mentally, and
spiritually. Consider this: the modern human is at a great disadvantage because of the time lapse that
has occurred since the beginning of time. Its like the old saying which goes thus, A lot of water has
passed under the bridge. Our laws, government, society, culture, and religion are all products of our
sinful condition. We are a culmination of a history filled with sin, violence, and corruption. If we try
to sift through all the incidents and occurrences in history to gain proper perspective, we are doomed
to failure. Our only hope in regaining any similitude of humanitys original perfection is to pattern
our lives after the Word of God.
Thankfully, in the aftermath of the fall, God made redemption possible. He sent His son, Jesus Christ,
to rescue us from our sinful nature. Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of
God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Notice that the word wages is used. Death was
earned when we ate the fruit. We knew the consequences, yet we chose to take the risk. However,
despite our rebellion, God sent Jesus to save us. Our present, physical bodies will still die;
nevertheless, our spirits will live on in a glorified body. Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. This scripture
explains the process of mortality morphing into immortality once again. Its awesome! Meanwhile,
we must live godly lives here in this present earth. 1 Timothy 4:7 says, Train yourself to be
godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise
for both the present life and the life to come. This is the goal of The Virtuous Womans Project. We
want to learn to live a godly life here on earth until we are reunited with our Heavenly Father. We
want to be the best daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend, co-worker and unique individual that we can
possibly be. We want to be like the woman described in Proverbs 31, Who can find a virtuous
woman? For her price is far above rubies.

Your first assignment is to answer this question: Do you feel that modern society has succeeded in
correctly defining the role of a woman? Explain. After you have considered and answered the
question, ask yourself the following questions. Is there room for improvement in our society? Has
the law taken this issue too far in some areas? What can be done to create an equal and peaceful
society for both men and women? *Remember, we are examining ourselves in a search of the
truth. Self-awareness is the key to growth.
Your next assignment is to strip away your cultural and social biases and write a list of female
attributes that you feel reflect the image of God. Try to discern why God gave women these attributes
and how they vary/differ from those of a man. For example, God gave each of us strength. How did
God distribute this to each of the sexes? (This may help: keep the image of a set of balancing scales

in mind as you do this exercise. Divide the attribute by putting mans portion on one side and
womans portion on the other side.) Afterwards, consider how the varying degrees of strength in men
and women compliment and balance each other in the family and community.

Your assignment is to write down a list of reasons why you feel that God set up a hierarchical system
in the world. Now answer the following questions: Why does humanity have problems with
leadership? Does the male/female relationship function better under male leadership? Explain your
answer. What would happen if there was no hierarchical system in place? *Remember to base all
your findings on the Word of God. Our goal in this study is to re-align our lives with the Word of
God. Why should we do this? John 1:1 states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. If we want to reflect the image of God, we must reflect the Word
of God. The two are one and the same.
Your assignment for the week is to study Genesis 3. Then, I want you to really think about the
manner in which Adam and Eve blamed one another for their own sin. (Remember, before eating of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they probably would not have reacted that way. However
sin had entered into their hearts. The change was instantly vicious!) Now, I want you to make a list
of instances in society and culture where men and women blame one another. I want you to explain
whether these accusations have credence or if they are merely an ongoing behavior that has evolved
into a social norm. I want the examples to be occurrences in workplace behavior, spousal behavior,
unspoken rules in community, parental roles, etc. (Example: Men always treat women unfairly in the
workforce. This is a common statement about men Make your own list and dissect it.)

Your assignment is to consider the womans role in society and the family. Then, I want you to
answer the following questions. What would the world be like without women? What would be the
differences, both good and bad? Would the world function properly without us? Explain why or why
not. *I want your answers to cover a broad range of subjects (physical, emotional, spiritual), not just
the obvious effects on procreation.
Your assignment is to take some time to consider the battle between good and evil for superiority in
the human mind. Then, I want you to make a list of things you battle against in your mind on a
regular basis; particularly areas that cause distrust in God. Then, I want you to make this list a matter
of daily prayer over the period of this study. Ask God to help you learn to control your mind and
conquer your doubts and fears. Ask God to reveal the correct way to live your life according to His
Word. *We will learn more about how to use the scriptures in mental battle as the study progresses.


Now that we have a better grasp on who we are and where we came from, we can concentrate on the
proverb virtuous woman. Proverbs 31:10 says, Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far
above rubies. This statement makes it pretty clear that virtue is an important characteristic in a
woman. Yet, to become virtuous we must first understand the word. I fully believe in doing word
studies when reading the Bible. It gives you a more in-depth idea of what God is trying to convey to
the reader. So, before we begin, I have an assignment for you. Take a moment to jot down your own
definition of the word virtue. Don't look it up! Simply write down what you "think" it is.
Virtue in your own word
How many of us really know the actual meaning of the word? When I first did this, I was surprised
by the difficulty of pinpointing an exact definition. I had an idea, but it was hard to put into
words. At the back of my mind I saw this sweet, innocent girl dressed in a flowing white gown
skipping through a field full of daisies while the wind gently blew her long, golden locks of hair. This
was a very idealistic image of virtue. Then, I imagined a young Victorian girl buttoned up to the neck
and sitting in a parlour while her parents arranged for her to marry a stranger. This was just plain
archaic. Finally, I had an image of a woman from my childhood. She was a local church member,
well-versed in the Bible, perfectly groomed, and straight-laced in her public behaviour. At the time, I
couldn't have imagined that woman doing anything wrong, but, in reality, she was the biggest gossip
in town and was single-handedly responsible for running off every pastor and congregation member
in the church. So, as you can see, the attempt to come up with a definition for virtue proved difficult
In the end, I had to look it up in the dictionary. The dictionary actually had several meanings for the
word. Having virtue means that you possess the following things: moral excellence, merit, potency,
and chastity. Its funny, but I ended up looking these words up as well. I wanted to be sure that I
fully understood the meaning of virtue. At last, bravo! I discovered that virtue is something amazing
that it is a behaviour showing high moral standards.

"Paragons of virtue"
goodness, virtuousness, righteousness, morality, integrity, dignity,
rectitude, honour, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, purity; More
principles, ethics
"the simple virtue of farm life"
antonyms: vice, iniquity

A quality considered morally good or desirable in a person.

"Patience is a virtue"
strong point, good point, good quality, asset, forte, attribute, strength, talent,
synonyms: feature
"promptness was not one of his virtues"

antonyms: failing

A good or useful quality of a thing.

"Mike was extolling the virtues of the car"

merit, advantage, benefit, usefulness, strength, efficacy, plus, point

"I can see no virtue in this"
antonyms: disadvantage
Virtue is the description of a strong, capable person with the desire and ability to do great things.
Virtue according to Wikipedia: A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and
thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics
valued as promoting collective and individual greatness.

What is a moral virtue?

Six basic characteristics:
1. Virtues are dispositional feature of character: they make us good and make us do our jobs well-they
affect our character, not just our lives. (They "actually engage the will"-moral virtues if possessed are
(in the sense of must always be) used.) Therefore, we can predict how a person possessing the virtue
will act and react in different situations. Someone who acquires honesty is an honest person; honesty
disposes this person to act honestly.
2. Virtues are voluntarily acquired: we aren't born with them; it is up to us to acquire them. As they
are beneficial to us, we have every reason to acquire them.
3. Virtues involve acting with judgment-they blend emotion and judgment. They are an "emotional
perceptiveness"-involving "hitting the target," in the right way, at the right time, etc. Courage is the
blending of reason with fear, so that we learn to respond appropriately to our feelings of fear, maybe
to run when appropriate, and to stand fast when we should.
4. Virtues are needed for living well: Without a virtue, our live would be spoiled. No one would
choose a life without the virtues.
5. Virtues are pervasively relevant to all roles in life: central in all areas of life. Success at any project
in life will require moderating our fears appropriately, being honest with ourselves, being fair,
objective, etc.

6. Virtues involve acting with a proper motive: you cannot exercise a virtue for the wrong motive.
Some motives, like greed, malice, spite, envy, are completely incompatible with virtue.

A woman with virtue is the woman who not only knows what to do but follows through with the
appropriate action. This is the person that King Lemuels mother told him to seek after. The person

What is virtue? Why is it important in the Christian life?

The Christian moral life is one that seeks to cultivate and practice virtue. A virtue is a habitual and
firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best
of himself (CCC, no. 1803). An effective moral life demands the practice of both human and
theological virtues.
Human virtues form the soul with the habits of mind and will that support moral behaviour, control
passions, and avoid sin. Virtues guide our conduct according to the dictates of faith and reason,
leading us toward freedom based on self-control and toward joy in living a good moral life.
Compassion, responsibility, a sense of duty, self-discipline and restraint, honesty, loyalty, friendship,
courage, and persistence are examples of desirable virtues for sustaining a moral life. Historically, we
group the human virtues around what are called the Cardinal Virtues.
This term comes from the Latin word cardo meaning hinge. All the virtues are related to or hinged
to one of the Cardinal Virtues. The four Cardinal Virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, and
There are a number of ways in which we acquire human virtues. They are acquired by frequent
repetition of virtuous acts that establish a pattern of virtuous behaviour. There is a reciprocal
relationship between virtue and acts because virtue, as an internal reality, disposes us to act externally
in morally good ways. Yet it is through doing good acts in the concrete that the virtue within us is
strengthened and grows.
The human virtues are also acquired through seeing them in the good example of others and through
education in their value and methods to acquire them. Stories that inspire us to want such virtues help
contribute to their growth within us. They are gained by a strong will to achieve such ideals. In
addition, Gods grace is offered to us to purify and strengthen our human virtues, for our growth in
virtue can be hampered by the reality of sin. Especially through prayer and the Sacraments, we open
ourselves to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Gods grace as another way in which we grow in virtue.
The Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity (love) are those virtues that relate directly to God.
These are not acquired through human effort but, beginning with Baptism, they are infused within us
as gifts from God. They dispose us to live in relationship with the Holy Trinity. Faith, hope, and
charity influence human virtues by increasing their stability and strength for our lives.
Each of the Ten Commandments forbids certain sins, but each also points to virtues that will help us
avoid such sins. Virtues such as generosity, poverty of spirit, gentleness, purity of heart, temperance,
and fortitude assist us in overcoming and avoiding what are called the seven deadly or Capital Sins
pride, avarice or greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth or lazinesswhich are those sins that
engender other sins and vices.
Growth in virtue is an important goal for every Christian, for the virtues play a valuable role in living
a Christian moral life.

Before we delve into the actual meat of the proverb, I want us to further dissect the meaning of
virtue. The first application of the word according to the dictionary is moral excellence. According to
most dictionaries, to be moral is to conform to a standard of right behaviour. As a Christian, these

right standards are outlined in the Bible. However, these standards have been intertwined into a
vast web of narratives, laws, parables, and proverbs. To fully reach a level of moral excellence, we
must commit ourselves to study the Word of God on a daily basis. We cannot follow a moral code
that we neither know nor understand. There is an old saying, knowing is half the
battle. Knowing and understanding the requirements is the first step to accomplishing any goal.
2 Timothy 2:15 says, Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. To become an expert in a particular field, a person
must study everything there is to know about that topic. The more intricate the subject matter, the
longer it takes to master it. For example, it takes a medical student eight or more years to attain a
PhD. Would you really


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