By Jessica Brodie, Crosswalk.com
Every Mother’s Day, we honor the special women in our lives who made a difference. Sometimes, these are mothers and other times, they are simply women — godly women whose love, support, and honor helped point us toward God and model righteousness and goodness in an often-difficult world.
That term, “woman of God,” is sometimes called the Proverbs 31 woman after the proverb that describes a woman who is capable, humble, honest, kind, and reflective of the kind of person God wants us all to be.
Other times, it’s used to describe a woman who has devoted her life to the Lord, perhaps through a ministry calling or because of a deep commitment and love for the Lord.
But what does it truly mean to be a woman of God? In truth, a woman of God is much like a man of God — someone who strives to be like Christ and who yearns toward God in every aspect of his or her being.
What Does it Mean to Be ‘of God’?
The word “of” is a functional word used to indicate that something (the former) is part of, originated from, occurring in, or in a direct and symbiotic relationship with another, greater thing (the latter).
To say someone is a woman “of God” (or likewise a child of, or a man of, of a minister of) means that woman is part of God in some way. She originated from God or is in right relationship with God.
Indeed, her life points to God.
Is a Proverbs 31 Woman a ‘Woman of God’?
Many people lift up the notion of the “Proverbs 31 woman,” also called the “wife of noble character.” The Book of Proverbs is thought to have been penned by King Solomon, who strived for wisdom and offered much insight for us on how to live in accordance with the Lord.
Throughout the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is presented as a woman. At the end, in a section titled “Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character,” the author paints a picture of this ideal woman who embodies wisdom and godliness.
As it says in Proverbs 31:10, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” She has a good reputation, is smart and hardworking, and is faithful and compassionate, caring for her family and the poor equally.
Most importantly, she “fears the Lord” (Proverbs 31:30), respecting and loving God in all she thinks, does, and says.
Of course, this is no “everywoman.” She is an idealized person, the sort we should strive to be in our own lives.
Do We Have Any Examples of This Godly Woman?
We see this Proverbs 31 woman throughout the Bible — Ruth honored Naomi with wildly unexpected faithfulness and devotion.
Esther risked her standing and her life to advocate for the Israelites. The virgin Mary willingly and joyfully accepted her role of mother to the Messiah.
The women who followed Jesus endured ridicule, scorn, and hardship to provide for the Lord and help further his ministry. The women of the early church faced persecution, arrest, and death for their devotion to The Way.
The list goes on.
She Is a Disciple of Christ
A woman of God is like a man of God — the point here is not gender roles but perfect identity as a disciple of Christ.
When we are “of God,” we believe in him. We repent of our former sins and set our sights on the new way, which is the way of Jesus. We follow him, doing his will and fulfilling his commands.
Jesus said we must remember the first and greatest commandment, which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and the second, which is to Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40).
He also gave us a job: to multiply his followers. As Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
In essence, we are to leave our old life behind and follow him, devoting our life to him and his way and bringing others along with us.
As the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the early church in Corinth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This is echoed in the Old Testament through the words of the prophet Micah: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
How Can I Become a Woman (Or Man) of God?
We cannot earn our salvation. That comes through faith. As Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
But our lives must reflect our truth. Paul gives excellent advice to his mentee, Timothy, when he advises, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
This is what a godly woman (and man) does. We remember that we are God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Others are watching us, often seeing God for the first time through the way we walk in the world.
Representing him well is both a call and a command — and a testimony.
God gives us some tools to help us live this well. For instance, God gives us Scripture to teach and equip us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He gives us prayer, the opportunity to commune with him and hear him, as well as to present our desires and needs to him.
He also gives us examples of people throughout Scripture who live this well no matter their circumstances.
What Are Some Scriptures That Can Help Us Be a Woman of God Today?
The Bible contains a number of Scriptures that can help us be a woman of God today.
James 1:22 urges us to model God’s Word in the world: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Galatians 5:22-25 reminds us of some attributes of godliness, which is, in essence, living in accordance with the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Philippians 3:9 encourages us to foster true righteousness that is found in Jesus: “Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
And the entirety of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 — love your enemies, shine the light of God, turn the other cheek, give to the needy, forgive, trust God — is a guidebook. In essence, we are to strive to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
No one is perfect except for Jesus. But Jesus is our role model, our head. We are his hands and feet in the world.
A woman of God remembers this and acts accordingly, modeling his ways and doing her part to raise up other believers in his name.
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Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden. She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at jessicabrodie.com. She has a weekly YouTube devotional, too. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and more. She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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