Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Characteristics of a Godly Woman: Part 1

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy of: Bethany Laird

"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.'”

~Genesis 2:18

Friend, I am so excited about the study we are kicking off today! You may remember that last week I shared a devotional on the topic that there is not "one-size-fits-all" approach to biblical womanhood. I want to piggy-back off that devotional a bit now as we journey through a study together through the month of July that will hopefully help us to understand God's design for womanhood even better.

This study may or may not be what you are expecting. If you have read very many blog posts and books on the topic of biblical womanhood, then you have likely grown accustomed to the typical list of character qualities of a godly woman contained in many of those resources - characteristics like meek and quiet, submissive, gentle, etc. And while these are certainly biblical words and concepts, certain circles in Christian culture have misconstrued and misunderstood the meaning of these words in some cases and, in other cases, made the mistake of solely looking to these words as the only descriptors of women, the only way "femininity" can be expressed.

Not only is this harmful to women with various personalities and in various situations, it is flat-out unbiblical, as well. It is a belief that is depriving us of the kind of full-orbed picture and description of femininity that we are actually given in the Word.

Here is another interesting thing to consider - there is not found in the entire Word of God a separate list of unique characteristics given to women that are not also given and applied to men, as well. While there are certainly God-designed differences between the sexes, there are also far more similarities than we realize. Are women called in 1 Peter 3 to have a meek and quiet disposition? Yes, but Jesus (a Man!) exhibited the same kind of disposition on a regular basis (not to mention the fact that meek and quiet is not synonymous with being weak!). Are women called to be loving, kind, patient, and gentle? Yes, but so are men - these are simply fruits of the Spirit that are cultivated in the lives of those who are God's own and who are walking by the Spirit. Are men called to be strong protectors? Yes, but so are women as we  saw in a previous devotional when discussing our design as ezers. 

So, today, as we go through just a couple of the characteristics of a godly woman which we will be looking at this month, keep in mind that these are truly characteristics of a godly person in general, as well.

Characteristics of a Godly Woman:

  • Strong and Courageous 

As we have already seen, women were created by God to be "ezers". This Hebrew word refers to someone who is a strong, competent, capable, protecting, guarding helper. To be an ezer is to be willing and able to go to battle for someone, to come to the rescue of someone, to be strong and courageous in the face of war. To present a Victorian picture of femininity as some do where women are weak, faint easily, are the ones who have to at all times be guarded, protected, and ruled over, is to disregard the plain teaching of God's Word about His intentional design for His daughters. 

For further study on women being strong and courageous, references to check out would be Proverbs 31:10 (the Hebrew word translated "virtuous" or "excellent" in this verse is "chayil" - the same Hebrew word elsewhere translated as "army", "man of valor", "forces", "valiant", "strong", "might", and "power".), Proverbs 31:17, Proverbs 31:25, Esther 4:16, and Judges 4:9.

  • Hardworking

The Proverbs 31 woman was nothing if not incredibly hardworking. She willingly worked with her hands, did not eat the bread of idleness, looked well to the ways of her household, was a business woman working in real estate, gardening, and merchandise, saw to the needs of others, and more. Ruth was another wonderful example of a hardworking woman when she willingly went out into the fields to glean in order to provide for herself and her mother-in-law. Lydia (see Acts 16:14) was another business woman not afraid of working hard. Even just the ezer design of woman illustrates that women were created to be able to work hard in order to fulfill the calling of God on the lives of His people.

As we journey through this survey of the Bible together over the next several weeks and come to a better understanding of what God's design for us as women truly looks like, I hope you will come away encouraged, inspired, and excited about God's wonderful design of you and the part you can play in the work of His kingdom!

Reflection Questions: 

1) What comes to mind when you think of character qualities of a godly woman?

2) What surprised you or stood out to you from today's devotional? 

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