what does virtue mean to you?

May 6th, 2009 | Posted by

Virtue? Are you serious? I know the word conjures up images of women, dressed collar to boots in black wool, hair neatly knotted and pinned securely to the nape of her neck.

But, I for one, happen to love the word. It’s such a beautiful word that unfortunately has fallen out of use. It certainly won’t be popping up in articles of Vogue or Glamour, but who cares? Have I ever taken their advice…ever?

So why Virtue? Indulge me for a minute while I give you guys a brief lesson on the etymology of the word.

We read the word virtuous only twice in the Old Testament, both times in the context of describing amazing women. Its first use is regarding Ruth and the other describing the ideal woman in Proverbs 31. It’s the Hebrew word chayil.

As I studied it further, I discovered that chayil was used many other times in the Bible. More than two hundred times to be exact. It’s a word that’s most frequently translated by King James scholars into the words – I hope you’re ready for this, because you will never guess – it’s translated army, or man of valor.

Yes, gentle reader! The virtuous woman is a woman of many strengths and heroic courage. Not exactly the picture of Victorian grandmothers dressed in black, or pale-complexioned ladies sipping tea, right?

But is this virtuous woman, in essence, a man? Not on your life. We are uniquely and wonderfully female, with all the complexities implied. A woman of many strengths.

Hopefully you’ll come to discover exactly how that can look as you poke around this site. Enjoy!




33 Comments

  1. Belinda says:

    Cathe,
    WOW! I love it! Virtue is the perfect word for this. As a single woman of God I find that virtue is one of the most precious qualities that is devalued in this world today. It is this quality that I look to my sisters in Christ (the army) for encouragement and prayer. I find that everyday is a battle which I must look to God for the strength and heroic courage to endure. The Proverbs 31 woman is a women of strength, character, integrity, stewardship, wisdom, mercy, and love for our Lord. This is the woman that is worth far more than beauty or riches. I am soooo excited for this!

  2. Justin says:

    Can’t wait to share this site with my wife!

  3. casabuen says:

    This definition of virtue makes sense since the Women is generally the Adminstrator of the home. She needs strength and valor to approach her day and responsiblities of the family. She can only obtain this thru the Lord beginning her day with Him and making her relationship with Him a priority. Then she will see the Proverbs 31 women unfold as God shows thru her. Thanks for your wisdom and example.

  4. [...] I have been so privileged to talk to her about some of the ways she hopes Virtue will reach out, not only to the women of our church, but an even broader scope of women.  Cathe really has a heart for other women and a love for the Lord that is truly a testament.  [...]

  5. croftonmom says:

    Thanks to Cathe and the “girls” at Harvest. I am so thankful for you. I’ll be listening on the east coast in Maryland! Looking forward to becoming a woman of virtue : )

    • laura says:

      I was so happy to see how far this study is reaching…I am a Maryland girl that lives in California and feel very blessed to participate in this study! We all need this on a daily basis…especially in these times. Praise God.

  6. kelly says:

    Dearest Cathe,
    Thank you so much for reaching out to us women!! What a gift you are to me and so many others.
    With Christ’s love,
    Kelly

  7. Gail says:

    I love this, Praise the Lord, we forget how beautiful and wonderful we were created by our father.

    Women have so much to offer our kids, other family members and the list goes on, it’s hard to believe that sometimes we don’t even know it. Thanks for reaching out to us.

    Gail

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Cathe…Just logged on to read and came upon this site. I We went to Harvest in the 80′s and 90′s with our 3 children. My husband used to go listen to Greg when he had the long hair in the late 70′s. I remember all those words we used to use like cool, far out, man!!, and chicks. Wow.. Life really is short here on this earth. We need not take one moment for granted. I can say one thing. The lord has always shown up in our lives when we thought he had forgot about us. I need some sister encouragement right now and am looking forward to being here.
    God bless You
    Linda

  9. Elizabeth says:

    God bless, Virtue what a wonderful way to reach and share the Lord. I will continue to share your website.

  10. neiikokoko says:

    It is remarkable, rather valuable information.

  11. Sara says:

    Friends? How to become a be a woman of God in today’s world? With a husband that drinks and uses drugs in my world is pretty tough to be a woman of God. I’ve tried to share this with “friends at church” and it was only to later lose their friendship since we no longer were holy enough to be around.
    I’ve been going trough this for 11 years with Christ alone. Friendship in my world is not real. I’m sure if I was a pastor’s wife it would be easy to make friends.
    But let me tell you that realizing this only help me to trust and rely on the only one that will never turn his back on me on abandon me Jesus Christ.
    If you are here hoping to find a friend to understand you and support you let me tell you that you will be disappointed sooner or later.
    Seek God and God alone he is the only true friend in our lives.

    • tomekia says:

      You are not alone. I am going through some of those same situations, but I’ve been married for 15 years and I have seven children. I still have to teach them ways of life because we still have to raise our children up in the right way. God has kept me and my children through all trials and He can keep you too. Hold on and don’t give up, troubles don’t last forever.

    • Lynn says:

      Sara, I am with you there. I too have found that Jesus alone is the only one who is truly able to meet the needs I have tried to meet in “church friends”. Sadly, I too have learned that church is not the place for full disclosure about what is going on in my life and with me and my children. Maybe He allows this because He wants to be our One and Only. Never let go of His hand! =)

      • Aber says:

        I believe you have found the answer to your question concerning who to be totally open with. Jesus alone can truly understand being not understood. If we begin to rely on our earthly relationships we tend to neglect our relationship with the Lord. He is our counselor and strength. No question about it, but don’t give up on your sisters in Christ, they’re only human and we can only empathize when we have experienced.

    • Sylvia says:

      Sara, I read with sadness the hurt you have felt among the women at church and the feeling of isolation from them. I have been single now for over 9 years. Although I had sisters in the Lord to fellowship with, during the time of my divorce it also happened that they just about all eventually moved out of the area for various reasons. I visited a few churches, staying at them for several years at a time, but finally settled down and committed myself to one for my sake and the sake of my children. However throughout all that time and in the various churches, I have always felt more family oriented, and felt a kinship more with the married women than in fellowships where the focus was on single-hood. But to my dismay I’ve never quite felt “in” with them as I once did when I was married. There are many reasons I could speculate on why, however it really doesn’t matter- what matters is what you said about only counting on the Lord and trusting in Him and perhaps that is what He is trying to get you to focus on. Sara, there are so many women out there- married and single alike- that are going through much pain and loneliness for so many different reasons, and believe me many, many pastors wives who feel they haven’t a friend in the world, so it wouldn’t necessarily be any easier for you to make friends if you were. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I encourage you to continue to seek out strong, Christian women for friendships and fight any hardness you may have due to the rejection. Place yourself in environments where Christian women are. Avail yourself to reach out to them as well and to pray and encourage them through their trials and hardships and never, never give up praying for Godly friendships. God knows your need and desire for them He is the One in control not the women- Luv, a sister in Christ.

    • James says:

      Thank you for having such a good attitude while suffering for Christ. My heart breaks for you and I pray your suffering gets easier. Myself, I am in a tough relationship and like you I am not giving up on my spouse or my God. I love them both so very much. We can take up our crosses daily and follow Christ and know that our suffering is not in vain. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    • Rohma says:

      Hi Sara, I know and can feel what you’re going through now. I’ve been there . . . It took me couple of years to finally get rid of everything and become the Christian I’ve been praying for. After being cheated on, beaten for so many years, I finally got out of the life I was staying in and now am a single Christian mom doing all I can with the Lord’s help to live your to His will. He sees and hears your heart as He knows what’s best for you and your family.

  12. MERRY JOY HAYES says:

    You two look really cute and happy together! Congratulations on your marriage!

  13. cookie says:

    Hi,
    I was just here browsing the site & listening to Pastor’s teachings for this week (Jan13, 20010) and stumbled onto Cathe’s New Idea and I think it’s awesome! I think women, us….Christian women, need and would value a site like this. I know I am looking forward to coming back! I have harvest.org as my browser page so in the morning before work I can check out Pastor’s teaching in the AM. I like that a lot! GOD BLESS you both for serving our Lord with all your hearts and the WONDERFUL teaching we are Blessed to receive from you both!
    ;0)
    Cookie Sweikert
    Vineland, NJ

  14. Beverly says:

    I just received the monthly newsletter from Harvest in the mail. To be honest I usually read it and then well I’m ashamed to say this, I toss it, because I don’t want to have a mound of papers that take over my life.
    But this time I checked into Virtue Harvest for women and it has grabbed my heart. Not only do I want to follow and get involved with Virtue, I so want to start supporting Harvest as best I can. My husband and I live on Social Security as our main income. The Lord is good and enables us to survive on this. However, we do support missionaries and tithe and all that, but my heart is to give more to deserving ministries and I’ve determined in my heart that I Want to support Harvest, even if it starts out that its not very much. All because I’m interested in Virtue. Cathe you are precious. Oh, and you too Greg.
    Love to you both, in Christs’ name, Bev v

  15. teddy says:

    Hi Greg and wife, Ya I snuck a peak at that clip. I can say for sure, a lot of us guys that have a clue about a good lady, are looking for a woman like this. Thanks and God Bless, Teddy

  16. Heather Hansen says:

    It’s funny that I came upon this website through Pastor Greg Laurie’s Facebook page :) :) :)…and I just fell in love with it. I love the encouragement to grow in our walk with Jesus Christ..but also focuses on those other areas that makes life so special :) :) :)…food, fun etc ;) :) :)
    Thanks for putting this together. It’s a lot of hard work and I appreciate the blessing that it is to me. and to so many others :) :) :)
    Love and hugs from Oregon :) :) :)

  17. Carolyn Lamberth says:

    How exciting! I see Virtue as an on-line magazine with the benefit of Christ as the undergirding. I love how relevant the Lord is!

  18. Kasey says:

    A virteous woman…hard to find, but not as hard as one might think to be :) I too, am a Pastor’s wife and I appreciate what Cathe has to say here so very much.

    Iron sharpens iron, Cathe mentions that and it is so true. I was wondering if Cathe might create a “Discussion” board here for women. I live in a very rural area of Kentucky at present, a bit of culture shock after being raised on the coast of Florida….miss the Atlantic ocean :) So, I am not in your area but would love to connect with other women of God (not wearing a bun) :)

    Blessings
    Kasey

  19. Armida says:

    You guys make me smile!

  20. Belnda says:

    Hello sister Cathe,
    Just here for the first time.. wanting to be a part of Gods sisterhood. I know that I will grow and become a Virtueous woman of God. My husband is incarcerated and I need to be strong and uplifting him in God’s words always… He is saved and Loves Jesus as much as I do.. however we do have our struggles and I need sisterly guidance on how to be a Godly wife.

    Thank you for this site in Jesus glorious name..God Be with us all always!

  21. Kim says:

    Hi Cathe,
    You have been a motivation for me. I am a wife of 26 + yrs, mom of 5 [ 25 to 6 yrs ] and have 3 almost 4 grand-kids. I have a heart for the younger moms in our church. I’ve been facilitating a Mon. night women’s study. Our moms like topical studies – on being wives, moms etc., I was wondering if you have any suggestions? We are just about to end our current one and will resume in June. So I have time to prepare if the Lord & my Pastor want to continue. Favorites were Kay Smith’s “Pleasing God” & “Reflecting God.” I’d like to get them more into inductive if possible, and I hope you can help :)
    Thank you for being an amazing example of a Virtuous woman, and an encouragement to someone like myself in ministering to women.

  22. Charlene says:

    May I ask for prayer? Prayer for our failing marriage? Prayer for God’s strength, God’s wisdom, God’s guidance, and God’s peace throughout this tumultuous trial. Prayer for my husband to seek God above all, and myself the same. For each one of the children and grandchildren involved, their salvation first and foremost and they would not be harmed in any way through this trial. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! May God be with you and yours!
    With Love in Christ,
    Charlene

  23. Lance and Crystal Kairis says:

    We just joined! God Bless The two of you and look forward to this relationship in Christ with ya’ll!

  24. Ipirinye E Abechi says:

    Wow! This is awesome. I have heard messages on the virtuous woman but never heard it like this. If every woman can carry this as an armour into her day, I guess the world would soon be smiling down us. Imagine the ease that comes with understanding God’s word! Remain blessed my sister.

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