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The Biblical picture of a virtuous woman is against a woman holding civil office.  In Prov. 31:10-31, we are given the biblical picture of a woman who fears God and walks in His ways. The center of her interest and the place of her ministry are in her home.  Of her husband it says: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (Prov. 31:23). The “gates” in Old Testament times referred to the place where the leaders of the city (i.e., “the elders of the land”) would gather to discuss community affairs, administer civil law, and judge in criminal and civil cases. The “gates,” therefore, is a reference to the “city hall,” the “capital building,” the “courthouse” or, in short, to the seat of civil government.  Note that the husband of the virtuous woman is active in the gates; not the virtuous woman herself; she is active in her home.  However, also note that the virtuous woman’s works are to praised in the gates (Prov. 31:31).  That is, those who are leaders in the community ought to recognize the great work that she is doing in support of the community by faithfully fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother “at home” (1 Tim. 2:15; 5:10, 14; Titus 2:3-5). Furthermore, the virtuous woman does make her presence felt in community concerns through the influence that she has on her husband (and mature sons) that her wisdom and knowledge will help to direct the affairs of the community.  It is her husband who sits in the gates, but his renown and ability as a civil leader is due, at least in part (if not largely), to her help and support.  It is the husband who speaks and judges in the gates, but it is his wise and godly wife who is his chief counselor.

- William Einwechter, Should Christians Support a Woman for the Office of Civil Magistrate? (July 8, 2004), at http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/ballot_box/should_christians_support_a_wo.aspx.