Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
You won’t hear this often in our utopian based Christian culture, but this chapter was not intended to be an expose’ on the attainable goals of womanhood. This was not a description of any woman who ever has been or ever will be an inhabitant of this planet.
The word translated “who” is a Hebrew question (who?) usually used when seeking the identity, ancestry, or an external fact about a person. But it has a very important shade of meaning when it is used as it is in this verse. “In impassioned prose, and especially in poetry, implying the answer few or none; it is equivalent to a rhetorical negative.” BDB
This passage is definitely Hebrew poetry (each verse begins with a Hebrew letter), and therefore it has, by use of this word, the implied answer of “few or none” can find such a virtuous woman. The question then is: did the author believe there was or ever could be such a woman? I believe the intent of the writer was to declare that no women can meet this description. The Hebrew Scholar and pastor, John Gill, agrees, “But, the description cannot agree with any of the daughters of fallen Adam, literally understood; not with Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon; nor with the Virgin Mary; nor indeed with any other; for though some parts of the description may meet in some women, yet not all in one.”
Some reader may now be thinking, “What if your wife reads this?” I hope she does, because it will give me the opportunity to tell her one more time how much I love her, and I love her just as she is now, was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. That I will stay in love with her whatever comes. I hope she stopped worrying about being the perfect wife and mother years ago... and has just let herself fall into the unconditional, adoring love of her husband, children, and grandchildren. You have no idea how much I love this woman.
Some people worry so much about being something they aren't, that they can't enjoy being just who they are, and let themselves be loved in a rapturous unconditional way. I am not saying that we should not strive to be better, we should. But striving to be better is also a declaration that we haven't reached that goal. And there is a comfort in knowing that those nearest you know that about you... and seem to not even notice, because they love you... the real you.
So what is the reason for this chapter in the Bible? I think I have just stated it. It is a standard too high to reach… but is that not always the case with perfection? The perfection of the law is there for one main reason: to show us how far we are from perfection. When we know this, and only when we know this, can we let ourselves fall into the unconditional, adoring love of our Savior. We have no idea how much He loves us.