As I began my journey of becoming a Lady of Virtue, I read as many books as I could regarding women's topics. Books about being a Godly Lady, about loving God with all your heart, about organizing your life to make sure God is not lost in the shuffle. Then I began researching the scriptures, finding out why women were created. What purpose God had for us; and of course, how God wants us to live our daily lives. As I absorbed everything God was showing me, I realized that God had already given me the four major keys needed to open my life to be a Lady of Virtue. I just needed to learn how to use them to unlock my soul, mind, heart and body. So what does it take to find these keys? I started by going back to the basics.
Dr. Quinn and Little House on the Prairie are some of my favorite shows. Their lives seem so simple. They don't spend their time worrying about impressing the neighbors; they just live a basic life. The man works the field for food, the woman works the house to meet the family's needs and the children play outside after completing their daily chores. They just have basic lives and they seem very happy and content. Most of the ladies that are talked about as an example of this kind of lifestyle are of the generation of our great grandmothers who were church-going, God-fearing ladies. There is not too much told of these virtuous ladies and their true love, loyalty, sacrifice and uncomplaining days. The only histories of their lives are those that were written on the hearts of the people whom they loved and served. So what is it that makes these women such wonderful examples of how we need to be conducting ourselves as Christian ladies? They were always true to others as well as they were true to themselves. They had the fear of God on their lives and lived as if Jesus could come any minute in the twinkling of an eye. They had standards for their lives and never lived below the standards. They were fervent in their prayer life and everyone knew that they could count on them to reach the throne of God in the times of trouble. They were serious in their daily walk with God and no one was able to shake the foundation that they stood on.
So what happened to the generation of these ladies? We lowered the standard! We were the ones who fought for the equal rights! With those equal rights came a lot more than we bargained for career moms, equal labor for lower wages what was wrong with the way things were? Now days everyone is so unhappy; we thought that the material things and being independent would bring happiness. It doesn't! The only true happiness is from God! The women of the past generations had nothing but God they had true happiness! So how do we get our true happiness back? We raise the standard! We need to be ladies with a reputation of being faithful, dependable, patient and gentle. We need to learn how to fight for our faith, and hold to our eternal life, which God has given to us. God gives life to everyone through the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. We need to promise to God that we will do what He tells us to do, so that no one can find fault in us.
Being a Lady of Virtue as described to us in Proverbs 31 and following the example of the generation before us, is how we need to conduct our lives. God created us ladies for a special purpose and then showed us how we need to live our lives to please Him. Let us make Him proud let us follow His guidelines.
God has chosen us, from the beginning of time, before we were even created, to be saved through the blood of His only son on the cross. We need to be cleaned out through sanctification of His spirit as long as we believe. We must be purified because God wants us to be purified. With all of these things in mind, we must stand firm and keep a strong grip on the truth that we have been taught by the ladies in past generations.
Colossians 2 tells us that if we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior than we must walk in Him. In order to walk in Christ we must be established in our faith by being rooted in Christ than built up in Him for His glory. Becoming a lady of virtue is a process just like anything else; there are steps we must go through to become who God wants us to be. It is like constructing a building, if you do not go in the correct order and follow the blue prints exactly than your building will not be built correctly. We need to allow God to be the master builder of our lives, it is very important that we realize that he knows what He is doing when he is in control of our lives. We try to let God do what He wants to do with us, but then we get tired of waiting for His perfect timing or we don't think He will do the job correctly, so we take control of our lives. It is now time for God to start working His will in our lives. He wants us to do things his way. After all, He is the master builder with the master plans. We have also realized how important it is to choose the correct foundation. Christ can swell in our hearts by faith, but we have to have a firm foundation that is rooted and grounded in the love of God.
Years ago you could tell the difference between a Christian lady and woman of the world. Now it is very hard for us to tell the difference between the two types. God wants us to be set apart, we need to be different. We need to be stronger in our faith. We need to go back to the foundation that those ladies laid down for us. Once we make that choice and lay our foundation, then God can begin raising the standards in our lives. Once we have our foundations set, then we can begin setting up the building on top of it. In making the building there are people working on the inside to make sure that it is strong enough to stand anything that might come against it. That is what the Spirit of God does in us; He makes us strong enough to stand against the trials of the devil.
As a builder begins working on raising the building, you can see how he outlines each room with 2x4s. He is raising the standards for the building. He measures everything exactly how it needs to be and he makes sure all of the boards are standing level. This is what God does for us when He begins to raise the standards in our lives. He makes sure everything is according to His word. These standards are how we will live our lives.
What kind of standard do you have in your life? Greenville, SC is a mill town. Each mill has its own housing development surrounding it. The houses in the "mill villages" are all the same; they all have 4 basic rooms, maybe a bathroom. Some of them are even split into two houses that share the kitchen. Imagine living in those conditions now. It just wouldn't work. We're too busy competing with the Jones' that we have left the simplicity of life. The mill houses have a solid foundation, a structure that lasts even today and with the proper redecoration, they have a style that shines. The houses that are being built today do not hold these qualities. They are stick houses built so quickly that at the first sign of danger they will crumble. God showed me the differences in these houses to start me on my journey.
To be a Lady of Virtue, God wants us to be like the mill houses. The Bible is our foundation. God's word is the rock that we need to build upon. As long as we follow what God has to say, our foundation will survive the natural disasters that may come our way. Then God wants to build in us a structure that lasts through the trials of life. This is where He showed me about the keys. We each have 4 basic rooms that He desires to be the doorkeeper. The rooms are our soul, mind, heart and body. He holds the keys. The key needed for our soul is salvation, for our mind is meditation, for our hearts is sanctification and for our body is purification.
The curse of today - everyone wants to be happy. We are all looking for answers to life's hardest questions. This has been a treasure hunt for generations. There was a time when women thought the answer to true happiness was to get out and make a name for them. They thought men were happy because they were able to get up and go to work everyday. They thought if they had equal rights then they would be happy too. But what happened? The plan didn't work out right. We've gotten our equal rights, and our successful careers, but all that did was add to our workload. Now we're expected to be full-time wives, mothers, and housekeepers and hold down a full-time career.
The problem with the plan is that it's not how God designed it to be. Because of the fruit incident in the Garden of Eden God punished us like any father would punish his disobedient children. The ground was cursed with weeds; the snake was cursed to crawl on his belly. Adam (men) was cursed to work the ground and provide for his family, Eve (women) were cursed to have sorrow baring children and her desire would be to take care of her husband and he would be over her.
Women's liberation changed everything. Have you ever thought of it like the modern day Adam & Eve story? Think about it. Adam and Eve were living in perfection without a care in the world, then along comes a snake in the grass to change everything. The snake talks to the woman because she is more vulnerable. Eve looks at the fruit, it is very appealing to her eyes, but yet she knows it's wrong. Then, the snake tells her a little lie, he says she wouldn't die if she ate it, but she would gain knowledge; the pride of life is one temptation that always gets you into trouble. Once Eve ate the fruit she decided to share it with Adam, that's when sin entered unto the world. That's why God had to punish us.
So how does this apply to today? Well, things were fine and dandy, the men would work and the women would raise the children and manage the household. Then war came, and the women had to go to work in order to supply for their families. And then the snake came on the scene; he told woman that she wasn't important just being at home and she needed to continue working even after the war had ended to make something of herself. Being at home was no longer looked at as the norm. So women went out and began getting successful careers. Business people realized that it was more economical to hire women at a lower wage to do more work than men. So little by little the women started filling the jobs that the men used to fill and little by little the men began backing down and allowing women to do the work. Men aren't equipped with the knowledge of how to manage a household so we now have to have a full-time job and still be full-time housekeepers.
What can we do to correct things? We need to raise the standard. The bible says, when Satan comes in like a flood, God will rise up a standard... Satan has been sending down the showers and the floodwaters are rising. That's the part of the flood that is the most dangerous, what do you do to get away from the danger? You climb up out of the way. Generations to come will not survive if we can't get them out of the danger. We need to be an example to them; we need to be their role models.
Let's take a look at the role model God has given to us. The Proverbs 31 lady. She is a lady that works willingly with her hands. She is dedicated to growing in the Lord, and teaching His ways to her children. She is supportive and faithful to her husband; she is caring and compassionate to those in need. She is attractive and makes sure her family is presentable without bringing a hardship to their budget. She is wise in her business transactions and always gets the best deal possible. She is a lady of excellence, with others looking up to her in awe. She is the picture of true happiness and true happiness only comes from the Lord.
If you want to find this happiness, if you want fruits for your works and praises to be made, then we need to raise the standard! We need the fear of the Lord! We need to be ladies of virtue!
Lady of Virtue Ministries started as Janelle Goodwin attended Bible College in upstate NY. Janelle became burdened to see souls saved from eternal condemnation. Upon returning home from Bible College, she also became burdened to see women of the world develop characteristics of a Proverbs 31