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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Courage Under Fire: Woman of Valor

by Marilynn Chadwick Who can find a woman of valor? (Proverbs 31:10 OJB) The dictionary defines valor as “courage and bravery in the face of danger.” But the Hebrew word for valor, as I have been sharing with you, is chayil. Chayil is a much more vibrant definition, depicting “a warrior, army, strength, honor, even wealth.” Chayil is actually a military term. So I was surprised to discover that the famed Proverbs 31 woman is called eishet chayil, or “woman of valor.” Woman of valor. What a beautiful description. All over the world, on Friday evening before Shabbat, the Jewish husband will recite or sing “Woman of Valor” as a way to honor his wife—to reflect upon all she has done for him, his family, and for the community (Proverbs 31:10-31). But again, why a military term? Let’s remember that the life of the Proverbs 31 woman would not have been easy. She likely faced marauding thieves, extreme heat and cold, and a myriad of pestilences. She needed to be strong, brave, and always prepared, because in one way or another, she was always at war. On a spiritual level, it makes sense that every woman, every home, every community–in every part of the world–is also at war. The Bible warns all believers to be alert, watchful, armed, and ready for battle against the enemy of our souls (1 Peter 5:8-9). It makes me wonder why we lost sight of the woman of valor in the first place. From the beginning of time, the devil has been intent upon robbing the woman of her true purpose and worth. God created her part nurturer and part warrior. Let’s face it. If you defeat the woman, you can attack marriages, families, and communities. My friend Barbara, who ministered for many years in the inner-city, once said it this way, “If you take down the mamas, you will take down the babies.” It’s time to reclaim the woman of valor. Our world needs women who are full of strength and gentleness. Both tough and tender. Adapted from Woman of Valor, Discovering the Courage and Strength God Gave You by Marilynn Chadwick. To download a copy of Woman of Valor please visit:

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