Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Strong Women by God's Design

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Heather Ford

"Strength and honor are her clothing..."

~Proverbs 31:25a

It’s easy in this day and age to become confused over what it means to be a godly woman living out a biblical, God-honoring life. There are so many voices coming at us, each with their own viewpoint on what femininity is and what “Biblical womanhood” looks like. God's Word, however, presents a beautiful, balanced, and clear picture of His design for us as women - and it's a good one! One of the characteristics of a woman living out her life as God designed her to is strength!



  1. The creation of woman in the garden

God first tells us of His plan to create women in Genesis 1:26-28 when He says, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’”

Women and men were both called to rule and take dominion of the earth, to subdue it, and be fruitful in it. This is a role requiring great strength and fortitude! We see this again in Genesis 2:18 when God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.”

Sadly, the word “helper” in this verse has been taken by some to mean that woman is inferior, a mere assistant, and weaker than the man. But this is not at all the meaning of the Hebrew word translated “helper”. That Hebrew word is “ezer” and is used twice to refer to women, a handful of times to refer to the mighty men of valor who were warriors fighting in Israel’s army, and then used 16 times to refer to God as being the strength, defense, help, and protector of His people.

To be an “ezer” (which is what all of us as women are!) is to be someone who is strong and tasked with the mission of helping, rescuing, strengthening, protecting, and coming to the aid of another.


2. Real-life examples

We are given several amazing examples throughout Scripture of women living out their ezer calling. These include:


  • The Hebrew midwives

In Exodus 1 when the king of Egypt commanded the Hebrew midwives to murder any baby boys they delivered, the women showed a tremendous amount of strength and fortitude and refused to harm the babies. Because of their courage, Moses, the one whom God would raise up to deliver the Israelites out of slavery, survived and was able to fulfill his God-given mission.


  • Deborah and Jael

Judges 4-5 is an amazing account of two strong women being used by God to rescue His people, Israel, from the hands of terrible oppressors. Deborah was the prophet and judge of Israel at the time and, along with Barak, led Israel into battle. Jael, meanwhile, was the woman who killed the dreaded Sisera once and for all by driving a tent peg through his temple. Both were clearly very strong and brave women!

  • The Proverbs 31 woman 

Throughout Proverbs 31, we see proof of just what a strong woman this "Proverbs 31 woman" truly was - it takes great strength to do your husband good and not evil every day, to raise your children up in the Lord, to run a business, to manage a household, and to walk with the Lord faithfully. In addition, in verse 17 we read, "She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong." Verse 25a tells us, "Strength and honor are her clothing". 

As you can see, despite what some may try to say, there is nothing wrong, biblically-speaking, with being a strong woman. In fact, it is part of your God-given design! 

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