How many of you just like to make lists so that you can cross things off and feel as if you’ve accomplished something? I thoroughly enjoy being a stay at home mom, but sometimes I get to feeling unproductive and guilty that my husband is slaving away all day as I hangout with the kids. So I will make a list of things to do like fold clothes, get the mail, read a book, make tea, clean the kitchen, normal everyday stuff, just so I can have something to show when he asks what I did with my day.
I know I’m not the only one who does this. Women like to make lists and cross things off so we can feel validated! Today we’re going to look at two very different lists. One is a list of women the world deems outstanding, and the other list is the characteristics of a godly woman from various scriptures.
Instead of trying to come up with a list of characteristics of the world’s best woman, I just googled the top 10. There were so many different categories of bests – athletes, most beautiful, most powerful, etc. I chose to use the first five of the top 10 most outstanding women of 2015 by askmen.com, and put a little bit about why they chose these particular women. It’s a little outdated, but this list gives us insight into how the world, (men in particular) measures success, value, and importance.
The World’s Top 5 Most Outstanding Women of 2015:
- Emma Watson – Actress. “Her alignment with the United Nations “He for She” campaign has made her the face of feminism right now, and she’s helping change the way men think about women. Now that’s power.”
- Ronda Rousey- UFC fighter. “A pioneer in the women’s division”
- Kim Kardashian – Celebrity. “A force to be reckoned with”
- Taylor Swift – Singer – “Megastar”
- Lindsey Vonn-The greatest female skier of all time. “A warrior”
They’re all famous, the best in their field, strong, rich, stylish, successful, physically fit, and beautiful by the world’s standards. They’re all inspirational and influential women. These are the women that our young women will choose to model themselves after and aspire to be like, if we don’t choose to be godly women and give them something better to follow after.
You know, the world’s women have to work really hard to get to where they are, to maintain that level of outward physical beauty, strength, and performance. It’s all about the image they portray. They’re all in the spotlight constantly being watched by the world, and if they want to keep that position, they have to work their tails off to be the best at what they do. I bet it’s exhausting to live that life.
Christian women do face a similar issue, in that there is always somebody watching you. You may not consider yourself anybody special, but somewhere along your walk in life, someone is looking to you as their model of Christianity. If you have children, or younger siblings, be sure they are watching you and learning from you. Especially in the days we live in today.
The world is waiting for those people who have the “Hi my name is Christian” tag on to fall, so they can say-“Look, you’re no better than me, why would I want what you have?” So, you want to make sure you are walking closely with the Lord, so they can see Jesus in you, and have a desire to know Him.
This may be how the world views outstanding women, but there’s really only one opinion that matters, and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ’s, so let’s go over the list of characteristics of the Word’s woman, the godly woman that the Lord wants us to be. This is not a complete list of every instruction to women, but just the character qualities that should be present in the Word’s Woman. This is what a woman within the body of Christ should aspire to.
The Word’s Woman
- The aged women in the church – Behavior that becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things. Titus 2:3
- The younger women in the church– Sober, loves her husband, loves her children, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands. Titus 2:4
- Deacon and bishop’s wives– Grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 1Timothy 3:11
- Wives in general– Submissive to their husbands, reverence their husbands, in subjection to their husbands, possess a meek and quiet spirit. Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24 & 33, 1Peter 3:1-6-Turn there and read it-In verse 4 we see something inside a Christian woman that God says is valuable, it’s of great price, it’s costly, it’s very precious. It’s a meek and quiet spirit.
This is not a mousy and silent spirit, but a humble one. This is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. A woman who has a meek and quiet spirit is not out for her own glory or self-willed. She trusts in God’s sovereignty in every situation. This is the complete opposite from the world’s woman. She doesn’t have to dominate, she’s content to fulfill her role as help-meet to her husband, to let him lead, and to let God be God in their marriage and ministry. She is ruled by the Holy Spirit of God inside her. So obviously you can’t be a wise godly woman if you have never surrendered your life to Jesus Christ. If you’re not born-again, you have no power over your flesh.
The Word’s woman is a virtuous woman-Proverbs 31:10-31. She’s trustworthy, a hard worker, an early riser, industrious, enterprising, compassionate, giving, a good seamstress, married to a leader, an entrepreneur, wise, kind, busy, praiseworthy, and fears the Lord. She has it all and gives her all. She is wise, and actually, she is wisdom personified.
Proverbs 31 is an acrostic poem, with each line beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s about a woman who is rare, and valuable, whose price is far above rubies. God uses the words “more precious than rubies”, “better than rubies”, and “above rubies” to describe wisdom in Proverbs 3:15, Proverbs 8:11, and Job 28:18. This is the last proverb in a book all about what wisdom is, and how to attain it, apply, and abound in it.
This final proverb is not necessarily a checklist of characteristics to measure ourselves against, but a list of attributes of wisdom. The driving force behind a godly wise woman is verse 30-“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the LORD,she shall be praised.”
Proverbs 9:10 says that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” So if we want to be godly women, the Word’s women, we have to start there, with the fear of the Lord. If you don’t fear the Lord, you’re not going to submit to His authority over your life, and you won’t obey His word. If you don’t fear the Lord, you won’t follow Him. If you don’t fear the Lord, you won’t grow in wisdom or understanding, and will never mature into a godly woman who is pleasing to the Lord.
Proverbs 12:4 says “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” We can be a crown or a cancer, we can compliment our husband or make him cringe, we choose which one it will be.
Ruth is the only woman in the bible who is specifically called a virtuous woman, so she would be our example to follow, like Job was the example for the men. In Ruth 3:11 Boaz tells her “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”
Ruth had an awesome testimony of faithfulness, loyalty, humility, obedience, and service. The whole city knew her story and witnessed how she responded to the adversities of life, how she gave up everything to follow her mother in law to Bethlehem, and worked in the field to feed them both. If you haven’t read it yet, or need a refresher on what a humble, obedient servant looks like, read the book of Ruth.
The temptation of our flesh is to look at this list of character qualities and go to one of these two extremes- either we feel like we are complete failures that will never measure up, never get it right, and we fall into condemnation, and give up trying. We make excuses and get defensive and demand everyone just accept us the way we are. Or we go to the other extreme and work as hard as we can to meet every single qualification perfectly. We revert back to pioneer days and make everything from scratch, live off the land, sew our own clothes, and focus on all the physical things that the virtuous woman did. Then we sit back and look at these lists and check off all the things we do, overlook the character we lack, and justify ourselves as godly women because at least we aren’t like Gabby McGabster who gossips about everybody and everything, or Lazy Lucy who can’t seem to keep her house clean.
There is a third approach we can take to this list. The bible says that men look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1Samuel 16:7). God’s more concerned with the condition of our heart, and with us being the women He wants us to be than doing good works to appear holy, righteous, or godly.
In Luke 16:15 Jesus says to the Pharisees that “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” And in John 7:24 to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” We need to line up our thinking with God’s, and see godliness the way that He does. We need to get our hearts right about it.
Here are four practical ways that we can be the Word’s woman:
- Evaluate–Honestly, prayerfully, with scripture not against the lost world or other believers, determine where you’re at. If you’re not sure how you’re doing in these areas, be like David in Psalm 26:2 and ask the Lord to “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” And Psalm 139:23-24-“Search me, O God, and know my hear: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
- Eliminate–Wrong thinking, false doctrine, previous experience, sin, excuses, get rid of anything that is contrary to the Word. Confess it, forsake it, and don’t return to it. 2Corinthians 7:1 is a great memory verse for this: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Don’t be stubborn, rebellious, and hard-hearted. Get rid of that junk that hinders your fellowship with God and with others.
- Establish–God as authority over your life. Set His Word as Truth and the standard by which everything in our lives should be measured. Just because the world thinks it’s okay doesn’t mean that it is. The bible is your standard. The world isn’t your authority and neither are you. You are bought with a price, your life is no longer your own. Humble yourself, sit at the feet of Jesus and say like Samuel in 1Samuel 3:10 “Speak for thy servant heareth”. Get rooted in the Word of God, planted firmly in the Truth. Another great memory verse is Psalm 119:38-“Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.”
- Execute–Obey the light that God gives you. Start studying each quality, memorize a key verse about it, surrender your will in that area, and let the Spirit of God rule over your flesh. Choose minute to minute, hour to hour, day by day to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of your flesh. Change is not easy, but the reward of obedience is well worth the effort. We miss out on so much peace because of our rebellion and disobedience. James 1:22-“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
These four things-Evaluate, Eliminate, Establish, and Execute, are the right response to the truth of scripture, even those truths that just hurt when they cut right through us. When God says right to us that we are not sober, submissive, or strong, that we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are wise and godly women just because we faithfully attend church every Sunday and have been saved for 20 years, or whatever the case may be, that’s painful. Sometimes the truth hurts. We have a choice in those moments, when God wants to sanctify us, refine us, and prune us, we can humble ourselves and let Him conform us to the image of Christ, or we can go on unchanged. We can continue in our hard-heartedness and rebellion, and stunt our spiritual growth.
We can be offended by the truth and push it away, or we can be transformed by it, and hold it close.
In a nutshell here, if you ask what does God require of His daughter’s, and how can I be the Word’s woman? Well, He wants us to be wise, virtuous women. If we look at our example in scripture of this virtuous woman we see Ruth- a humble, obedient, servant. Wisdom is personified, deemed rare and very valuable. This is also portrayed in the NT in the person of Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, the Word of God in human form. He is the epitome of wisdom, the perfect humble, obedient servant. And He lives inside of those who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Him.
By His Spirit inside us ruling over our fleshly desires, and worldly aspirations, our hearts can be changed. We have the power to be who He saved us to be. Study the scriptures, saturate your mind with divine truth, surrender your will to God’s, stay Spirit filled, and you will be the Word’s woman. Simply put, “more Jesus, less of me, that’s where I gotta be”.
This is such an extremely broad topic that covers every aspect of the woman’s life, but really, no matter what age, marital status or occupation, what God is really after is your heart. He wants an intimate and personal individual relationship with you. He wants to be your best friend, the one you run to with everything, the one you rely on for strength, security, and stability. He just wants you. He loves you! If you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus Christ yet, will you do that today?
~Acts 16:31~And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
- Would you consider yourself a woman of the word? Why or why not?
- Does the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 intimidate or inspire you?
- What changes is God prompting you to make to represent him well?