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A Role Model for a Godly Woman
Oh, to have a church built up with the deep godliness of people who know the Lord in their very hearts, and will seek to follow the Lamb wherever he goes!
For years, people have thought of the woman described in Proverbs 31:10–30 as the kind of person Christian women should aspire to be. You can find greeting cards, wall art, decorative plates, coffee cups, T-shirts, and other items with this passage printed on them because so many women know someone who exemplifies this woman’s traits and so many want the words that describe her to apply to them. Many obituaries and funeral services include these words because people feel they are appropriate for godly women who have lived exemplary lives.
We don’t want to make the mistake of being legalistic in our understanding of the qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman. While her habits and practices provide great examples for us, God made each one of us to be unique. Because it is often our very uniqueness that equips us to do and be all He has planned for us, we want to be careful to emulate the habits of the Proverbs 31 woman in ways that are authentic, not legalistic or rigid. This is why the guidance of the Holy Spirit is so important to this process. We aren’t striving to become like someone else; we are prayerfully seeking to become the fullest expression of who God intended each one of us to be. Nevertheless, the Proverbs 31 woman definitely demonstrates many qualities of a godly woman, and for that reason, I want to start this book by looking closely at the way she lives her life.
An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence], and he will have no lack of gain.
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil all the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax and works with willing hands in delight.
She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure]; she brings her [household’s] food from far away.
She rises while it is still night and gives food to her household and assigns tasks to her maids.
She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently]; with her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong.
She sees that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].
She stretches out her hand to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].
She opens and extends her hand to the poor, and she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
She does not fear the snow for her household, for all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them; and supplies sashes to the merchants.
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; and she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].
She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].
She looks well to how things go in her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired); her husband also, and he praises her, saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.”
Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised. (Prov. 31:10–30 AMP)
I hope you’ll take time to read these words more than once and think about yourself and your life. You’ll probably see some characteristics of the godly woman that you think describe you fairly accurately and recognize some things that she did well and that you do well, too. As you read about her, you may also realize that you want to improve in certain ways, and you may find areas in which you do not excel.
Part of growing as a godly woman means building on what you’re already good at and improving in areas that are not your greatest strengths. It also involves knowing yourself well enough to recognize what your strengths and weaknesses are. I have a friend who absolutely is not a good cook. She doesn’t like cooking, has no desire to like it, and doesn’t do it. So, either her husband cooks or they order carryout, and that is okay. Part of being a godly woman is embracing your uniqueness and feeling no shame if you aren’t like other women you know.
Throughout this book, you’ll recognize that some of the habits that will help you grow in godliness are mentioned in Proverbs 31. For example, there’s a verse on excellence, one on serving others, one on discipline, and one on generosity. All of these describe the godly woman.
A godly woman possesses great strength and is a blessing everywhere she goes. I believe this is what you want for yourself and what God wants for you. You can count on Him to help you!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 John 2:15–16
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