The pursuit of godliness is essential for men and women, young and old. The need for an ever growing number of grounded and flourishing godly men and women in Christ’s church can’t be overstated, for this is what God calls us to in our respective roles. Therefore, we need to continue to be good students in Christ’s school as we pour through the Scriptures, as we learn, have reinforced, meditate on, and apply characteristics that are evidence of the fruit of the Spirit’s work in our lives.
As we’ve briefly considered some characteristics of godly men (which you can read about here), today we focus on characteristics of godly women. God has made, called, gifted, and blessed his daughters to be valuable and virtuous. As we know, not all women can claim to be women of biblical virtue, especially considering that many have been influenced by and have latched onto the upside down and sinful characteristics and ways of this world under the guise of feminism. In fact, many today, even those who profess Christ, appear to be more like the world than those that are living by the Spirit. However, God set the design and has kept the matter straight from the beginning. He provides a clear definition of what a woman is, as well as a clear picture of how she should live. Further, God then calls and equips His daughters to be virtuous.
What does it mean to be a woman of virtue? What do virtuous women look like? The Proverbs 31 woman provides great practical detail in answering that question! Such women are those who hold to the high moral excellence that God teaches us in the Bible.
So, what characteristics should be present in the heart and life of a godly woman? First, let’s consider what must be in her foundation that will support and fuel godly virtues. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” What foundational influence do we find? The fear of the Lord. Women, do you fear the Lord? John Murray says that the essence of the fear of God is the “soul of godliness.” It is a constant regard and reverence of the Lord your God. If you fear God, you want most to please Him, and don’t want to displease Him. Remember the words of the New Covenant blessing in Jeremiah 32:40, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.” Notice, that God puts the fear of Him in the hearts of His people. This fear of God isn’t a fear that causes us to run, it causes us to embrace Him! It doesn’t cause us to flee, but run to the God who we fear. So, a godly woman fears the Lord, and she shall be praised for that!
Built upon and springing from this foundation, what else does the Bible teach us about what a godly woman looks like? Here are six characteristics to consider:
• Bears the Fruit of the Spirit – Contrary to the women of this world, a godly woman seeks to put self aside, by the grace of God, and display good, Spirit wrought, fruit. (Galatians 5:22-23) In desire and actions, she seeks to love others well. She prays that the joy of the Lord would be present and evident in her life. As much as it is possible for her, she seeks to be at peace with all. She works to be patient with others who irritate and rub her the wrong way, etc.
• Embraces being a biblical woman – A godly woman takes joy in and embraces being a biblical woman. She sees the value of who God created her to be and desires the fruit of His design to be true in her. As the Lord grows her to be more and more beautiful in godly character on the inside, it shows on the outside. A godly woman values modesty, and isn’t preoccupied with her outward appearance. (1 Timothy 2:9-10) Though outward beauty fades, by God’s grace, the inner beauty of a godly woman continues to blossom and is precious in the sight of the Lord. (Proverbs 31:30, 1 Peter 3:3-4) It’s true that a woman of honor, integrity, and virtue is priceless and rare. (Proverbs 31:10) That rarity shows all the more, in part, as she flourishes in being a biblical woman, resisting temptation or pressure to act or dress like a man (Deuteronomy 22:5) or otherwise deny her gender, though the world encourage her to do so.
• Uses Diligence – A godly woman shows herself to be different from the world as her focus is on her household being well taken care of. She doesn’t take benefits of the household and eat bread, nor does she eat it as one who is idle in the household. But rather she works hard! (Proverbs 31:13-19, 24, 27)
• Employs prudence – A godly woman also demonstrates thoughtful care for the future. She seeks to be wise in handling practical matters. She seeks to exercise good judgment and common sense. (Proverbs 31:16, 21, 25) This is becoming more and more uncommon today, but all the more needed, good, and right!
• Exhibits compassion – The Proverbs 31 woman had an eye for the poor and needy. She had an open heart and open hands! As a godly woman take great care in providing for herself and her family, she is also concerned and compassionate towards others and their needs. (Proverbs 31:19-20)
• Acts Discreetly – A godly woman is wise with her time and tongue. She understands the dangers and poison of the tongue (James 3) and seeks to ensure that she controls her own. She knows the danger of idleness. She is discreet with wise and kind words coming out of her mouth, instead of those that would damage and not edify those who hear her. A godly woman stays away from and guards herself from being a gossip, slanderer, or busybody. (Proverbs 31:26, 1 Timothy 5:13)
Again, this isn’t exhaustive, but I pray this will fuel your study and meditation on biblical womanhood and what God says about what should be true of godly woman and how they should live. Ladies, young ladies – consider these virtues and others in Scripture. See the God-given, wonderful value of being a virtuous, godly woman. Pray that God will grow these things more and more and bear beautiful fruit in your heart and life. Men, young men, single men – Don’t seek after virtue less women. Don’t praise virtue less women. Rather, show that you value godliness in Christian women in what you say, what you encourage, and how you live.