In Ephesians 1:17, 18, Paul had prayed that the Christians at Ephesus might receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. At the end of this first half of Ephesians, in chapter 3:16, Paul prays that they might receive power from the Holy Spirit. These are our two greatest needs – revelation and power. The Holy Spirit alone can give us both. The entire Christian life is dependent on the Holy Spirit. First of all, the Spirit gives us revelation on what God has done for us in Christ. Then, He gives us power to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, obeying all that the Lord has taught us.
In Ephesians 3: 18 & 19, we see that we can experience the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (there are four dimensions there and that itself goes beyond human knowledge!!) – only along with ALL the saints. We can never grasp the love of Christ all by ourselves. We need the other members of Christ’s Body. And further, we need ALL the members of Christ’s Body, not just those in our own little group. That is why our hearts should always be open to ALL believers, even to those who don’t agree with us, and even to those whom we would consider a bit extreme. We may not be able to work with all of them, and we certainly will not be able to meet all of them on this earth. But our hearts should be open to all of God’s children. Our hearts must have room for as many brothers and sisters as God has children – both barbarian and cultured.
That is why we need to be open to read the writings of ALL godly people – and not just to the writings of our favourite authors. Let me warn you, in advance, that in my lifetime, I have found very, very few believers who have such an open heart. But those are the few who are truly spiritually wealthy. The remainder carry on with their poverty-stricken, sectarian attitudes and live and die as Pharisees, missing out on the wealth that could have been theirs if they had been humble enough to accept all whom God had accepted.
Let us meditate carefully on the first three chapters of Ephesians and ask the Holy Spirit to give us revelation on these glorious truths. Once you have got revelation, you will be ready to seek the Spirit for His power to live an overcoming life, full of purity, humility and love. Then we will be able to put away ALL unwholesome words from our speech, and ALL anger and ALL bitterness from our hearts (Eph.4:29, 31).
Then wives will be able to submit to their husbands as the church is to Christ, and husbands will be able to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph.5:22, 25). Then we will be able to overcome Satan at all times (Eph.6:11-13). And then we will have the power to “become imitators of God” (Eph.5:1).
God is able to do far more in us and through us than we can ask or think.
To Him alone be all the glory (Eph.3:20, 21).
** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at CFC India.com / Photo by Avery Nielsen-Webb at Pexels
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:27).
Countless millions of women around the world faithfully strive to honor God in all their vocations in life. Here are twelve wonderful responsibilities God has given to women:
1. To Love, Believe, and Respect the Lord
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Prov. 31:30-31)
And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. (1 Cor. 7:34)
2. To Support the Gospel Work of the Church
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. (Rom. 16:1-2)
Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Phil. 4:3)
3. To Be Diligent in Her Vocations
And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. (Exod. 35:25)
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. (Prov. 31:16)
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (Prov. 31:20)
Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. (Acts 9:36)
One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. (Acts 16:14)
4. To Be a Wife
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen. 2:22-24)
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matt. 19:4-6)
5. To Be a Mother
And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Gen. 21:6-7)
Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. (Prov. 23:25)
Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Tim. 5:9-10)
6. To Care for Her Household
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. (Prov. 14:1)
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. (Prov. 31:15)
So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. (1 Tim. 5:14)
7. To Be a Helper to Her Husband
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen. 2:18)
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:28-29)
For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Cor. 11:8-9)
8. To Love and Respect Her Husband
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33)
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. (1 Pet. 3:1-2)
So train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:4-5)
9. To Submit to Her Husband
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph. 5:22-24)
10. To Be Respectable
“And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.” (Ruth 3:11)
Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. (1 Tim. 3:11)
Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. (1 Pet. 3:4-6)
11. To Learn Quietly in Church
The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. (1 Cor. 14:34)
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Tim. 2:11-13)
12. To Teach What Is Good
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Prov. 31:26)
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)
These five categories are how we all give and receive love, which can greatly affect relationships. When we understand the love language of another person, we can more effectively communicate our respect and affection.
A year into joining a church, my husband and I were sitting in a small couple’s group when the leader asked what our love languages were. Perplexed, we had no idea. The leader went on to explain the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman.
The 5 Love Languages became a New York Times #1 bestseller in the early 1990s and has remained popular for its timeless wisdom and practical help.
This book explores the ways people give and receive love. In the book, Chapman suggests that everyone receives love in at least one of five ways: Quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts.
The way we love our spouse is how we naturally express it but if our loved one does not receive love in the same way we do, he or she can feel unloved.
These five categories are how we all give and receive love, which can greatly affect relationships. When we understand the love language of another person, we can more effectively communicate our respect and affection to our spouse.
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of affirmation. Some people are more attuned than others to hear both positive and negative words from those whose opinions they cherish.
While negative, critical words can tear them down, positive, encouraging words make them flourish. According to Chapman, people with this love language need to hear their partner say, “I love you.”
Even better is including the reasons behind the love through leaving them a voice message or a written note or talking to them directly with sincere words of kindness and affirmation.
2. Quality time. This language, says Chapman, is all about giving your partner your undivided attention. That means dropping everything to give them your full attention, in other words, no chores, no TV, no cell phone, etc.
Other ways to spend time together could include, going for a walk, preparing dinner together and talking while preparing and eating it, sharing plans for the future, making love, and/or creating something together.
Take time every day to do this to fill up their love tank.
3. Acts of service. When acts of service is a person’s primary language, he or she interprets help as a sign of someone’s love.
This language includes anything you do to ease the burden of responsibility, like picking kids up from school, vacuuming, running errands, going grocery shopping, or filling up the car with gas.
4. Receiving gifts. The person who loves this language thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. In short, actions speak louder than words.
These people thrive on gift-giving, and when they are given a gift, it fills their love tank. A single rosebud, a candle, or a note can go a long way toward filling the love tank of someone who understands love as giving gifts.
The act of giving a gift tells your spouse you cared enough to think about him or her in advance and go out of your way to get something to make your partner smile
5. Physical touch. People who speak this love language thrive on any type of physical touch: Handholding, hugs, and snuggling. It is not about sex.
Those actions spell love to those with this primary language. Physical touch is the most direct way to communicate love. It is crucial for the health and well-being of every human being.
Are Love Languages Biblical?
What makes the love languages unique is that they are one of the few methods of extending love that is not self-serving because the giver isn’t looking for anything in return.
It simply means they’ve studied their partner and they want them to feel loved, but if you’re looking for the term love languages in the Bible, you’re not going to find it.
But the concepts are there, and Jesus did an incredible job demonstrating how we are to use them.
1. Acts of service: Jesus’ first love language. “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, because I am. So if I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I’ve given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you. . . If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:12-15,17).
2. Quality time. Jesus lived with his disciples for three years when he began his ministry. They traveled together, ate together, worshiped together. Do you get the picture?
They were together for daily life. Not only did he spend time with the 12 disciples, but he also often spent even more quality time with Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-9).
The quality time was even broken down to one on one quality time with Peter. A look at Mark 9:30-31 shows that Jesus carefully guarded his time.
3. Words of affirmation. Jesus often spoke words of affirmation over individuals. We first see this when he spoke about his cousin, John the Baptist when he said that John was “more than a prophet,” and “among those born of women there has arisen no one greater.” These words are powerful because they are indirect words of affirmation.
Other examples of this love language happen in Matthew 12:49 when Jesus outstretches his hand toward his disciples and tells the crowd they are his family or in the book of Mark when Jesus tells a dinner party that the questionable woman “has done a beautiful thing” when she anointed his feet with her tears and expensive perfume.
He also said, “Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her” (Mark 14:6-9).
4. Giving gifts. Perhaps this one was one of Jesus’ favorites. We see throughout the New Testament Jesus loved to give good things to his people.
Jesus gave the 4,000 the gift of food to eat in Matthew 15.
Jesus gave the 5,000 the gift of bread and fish in Luke 9.
5. Physical touch. Jesus touched often and he made it a point, even though he never needed to touch anyone, to heal them or offer comfort as we see in Luke 7 when the centurion asked for healing for one of his servants.
We see in Mark 1:31, Jesus took Simon’s mother-in-law by the hand “and lifted her up and the fever left her.”
Jesus used all five love languages and undoubtedly, he was a master at matching them with people appropriately.
He is the creator of all things and he teaches us how to love well by example throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Most of us pick up Chapman’s book and think, “If I get this right for my spouse, maybe he will love me how I want to be loved.” But a word of caution, learning someone’s love language is sacrificial like Christ.
He never asked for anything in return, even as he poured out his life. He gave freely with no strings attached. We are to follow his example and love well.
A woman that yearns to please God strives to be like this ideal example, but with the understanding that every Christian is a work in progress, brought “to completion in the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Proverbs 31 paints the picture of an ideal woman, the best example of a virtuous wife and mother. This final Proverb echoes Proverbs 1:7 — “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
What sort of woman is the wisdom literature talking about, what are her qualities, and do they exclusively apply to wives and mothers?
Commentary from the ESV Study Bible regarding Proverbs 31 tells us that the ideal woman is virtuous, strong, and selfless. She does not wait to be served but rises early, even before sunrise, to delegate tasks and engage in business.
She possesses “a range of manual, commercial, administrative, and interpersonal skills.” This woman “opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (v.20). She is loving, dignified, and her virtues increase her husband’s reputation: “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land” (v.23).
She is sharp but honest, engaged in business for the benefit of her household. Above all, she fears the Lord for “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
What woman can live up to the example given in this Proverb? Every wife and mother looks back at certain events in her life and cringes with painful regret. “But what if I told you that the heart behind Proverbs 31:10-31 is one of celebration, not condemnation?” asks Lysa Terkeurst.
She argues that these words of wisdom, which were read aloud at the Sabbath, are not “meant to tell a woman she is supposed to be more. They are a celebration of who she is.” The Proverb does not describe “a woman with a spotless house” or “with perfectly behaved children wearing matching, designer outfits. Honestly, it’s not even the woman who’s married and has children.”
These words describe “a woman who honors God by seeking Him in everything she does and trusting Him wholeheartedly with her life. She has a heart of reverence that overflows into a life of spiritual maturity and wisdom.”
She is not born this way; she gets there by a process of refinement, which is a work of the Holy Spirit. A woman that yearns to please God strives to be like this ideal example, but with the understanding that every Christian is a work in progress, brought “to completion in the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Just a Wife, or All Women?
One reason a woman might skip past Proverbs 31 is that not all women marry, and not all who marry become parents. Should an unmarried woman, or a wife with no children, still aspire to the qualities of a Proverbs 31 woman?
Marriage is an especially intimate relationship, yet aspects of an intimate relationship are not mentioned by the writer in this piece of wisdom literature. His greatest concern has to do with the woman’s character and how she interacts with people.
The writer is hopeful that the young men of his community will seek out this sort of wife, and that the young girls will aspire to her ideal. But even if they never marry, every female who sincerely loves the Lord is developing the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman.
At many times and in many locations around the world (even now), professing faith in Christ has been risky for women. They have had to truly love the Lord in order to endure the ridicule and isolation they sometimes face(d).
One historian wrote that, in his opinion, the church was attended by the “silly and mean and stupid,” and “disproportionately populated by women.” Certainly, the church attracted individuals who needed to be cared for — sheltering vulnerable people has always been a function of the church.
But it took great courage to be a Christian woman. For one thing, many of them attended Christian fellowship without their husbands; they “often converted to Christianity while their male relatives remained pagans, lest they lose their senatorial status.”
One might argue that any woman with a sincere Christian faith is well on her way to becoming the ideal example of Proverbs 31.
Proverbs 31 describes an ideal woman, but also the ideal bride: The church. “God created marriage to be a metaphor of Christ’s relationship to the church,” wrote John Piper.
As such, the selfless, hard-working, considerate, pleasing woman of this Old Testament passage represents everyone who makes up the body of the Christian church. “The union of man and woman in marriage” contains “a truth about Christ and the church,” which is that “God ordained a permanent union between His Son and the church.”
Marriage between a man and a woman should reflect this: The man is the head, giving his life for the woman; the woman submits to the man who lays his life down for her. “Human marriage is the copy, not the original” (Piper).
Taken as a metaphor, Proverbs 31 is not simply describing wives and mothers, but also husbands and fathers; unmarried men and women; couples without children; and those who have survived their spouses.
Anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian is a bride of Christ through the Spirit, which unites the global church. Each person and each fellowship have responsibilities such as spreading the good reputation of the bridegroom (v.23) and caring for the poor (v.20).
Chad Ashby comments: “The church ought to be characterized by […] single-hearted devotion to her Bridegroom,” which is embodied by the Proverbs 31woman. “After all, John Gill reiterates, she is ‘a woman actually married to Christ.’”
Final Words from the New Testament
“Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves” (1 Peter 3:4-5).
God wants his bride to love him, to submit to him, and then he will give his bride discernment. He will increase her courage and soften her heart, so she is disposed to give generously; to act charitably.
He will ensure that when “she opens her mouth with wisdom, […] the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (v.26). His bride is his treasure. We, the church, are his bride.
** By Candice Lacey at Christianity.com / Picture created by Mike Waters at Joyful Toons
And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
5. To Be a Husband
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
6. To Be the Head of His Wife
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:23-24)
7. To Serve Sacrificially
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
8. To Be a Father
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. (Proverbs 23:24)
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:7)
9. To Be Compassionate
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalms 103:13)
10. To Provide
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
11. To Be Accountable
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
12. To Be Honorable
The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! (Proverbs 20:7)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
**By Beautiful Christian Life / Picture created by Mike Waters at Joyful Toons
Being a woman of bold faith is what we have been called to. Boldness is not a personality trait. Boldness is acting by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s take risks for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God. ~ Heather Riggleman
“You will be a woman of bold faith who empowers and encourages those around you.”
This was declared over me after I handed my life over to Jesus. I was barely toddling in my walk with God, yet others could see the calling and purpose He already had for me.
What Does it Mean to Be a Godly Woman?
But what does it mean to be a godly woman? Becoming a woman of faith is not about perfectly checked church attendance, being the most modestly dress, how much you volunteer, having the best snacks for life groups, or having all the answers in Bible study.
A bold woman of faith has real, bold, Jesus-glorifying, heart-wrenching, deep-in-the-trenches, and fight for God’s truths in the midst of the lies, kind of belief.
John Piper says it best, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God,” and “this hope in God yields fearlessness.”
However, becoming her means embodying a warrior willing to bleed for her cause. Becoming a godly woman is digging-your-heels in the dirt when your marriage falls apart, when your child rebels, when your career gets decimated, or when everyone follows tradition without question or when your health fails.
Why? Because we have a very real enemy whose goal is to destroy us. Why was Satan so anxious to have access to us?
Because clearly, Satan was listening when Jesus declared: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).
We are the keys to God’s kingdom! We are the keys to help others unlock their faith. We are the keys to our home and our community.
Our enemy wants to knock us down — blow by blow until we are so bloodied and wounded in our hearts and minds that we lose sight of Jesus.
He wants us so focused on the mess, the hurt, and pain that we forget God’s promises of who we really are: Heiresses to His Kingdom. And the “brutiful” (beautiful and brutal) truth behind this: you will then help others through the sifting.
A godly woman isn’t something that just happens without the “becoming.” Look at our savior:
It’s what Jesus did
He helped others through the sifting
He demonstrated the process of becoming
He was the light of God in a world that didn’t even want Him
Like Jesus — bold women of faith lead others to God
The word “godly” in the Bible means pious or holy. This means we are set apart from all others. Holiness is achieved when we are made new creations in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Born again Christian women are indwelled with the Holy Spirit.
In Him, we produce godliness that molds and shapes us into the image of Christ. A godly woman controls her thoughts and takes them captive, making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). She also controls her tongue and uses her words to encourage and build up others.
Godly women inspire change. They question tradition for tradition’s sake. They lift up other women gunned down in the trenches.
They impact their community. Their table always has room for one more. They friend the unwanted. They love the rejected.
They speak for those who do not have a voice. They change the world right where they are at all the while keeping their hearts and minds focused on Christ.
Becoming a godly woman means stepping into your God-given leadership. Let God’s voice speak louder than all the others. Here are a few ways to be a godly woman within God’s parameters for us.
Five Ways to be a Godly Woman
1. Always stay in God’s Word. Know what the Bible says. Study it. Read it every day. Understand what scriptures say within context. God’s Word is our go-to source for wisdom, encouragement, and nourishment.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
2. Pray. Ask God to use your gifts, your personality, and your community to further his kingdom. Ask God to reveal to you the things that matter to Him.
Take all of your hurts, worries, dreams, and petitions to God! Ephesians 6:18 is our battle call, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known”(Jeremiah 33:3).
3. Know the things that matter. Hold firm to the beliefs that God has placed heavily on your heart. When you make a stand for these issues, make sure you know why God stands for them too.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).
4. Speak with gentleness. Always remember who you represent every time you open your mouth to voice an opinion or idea. And always, always speak with love. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
5. Respect authority. All authority comes from God and He calls us to respect those He places in authority over us. This includes husbands, fathers, pastors, elders, and other leaders.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything(Ephesians 5:22-24).
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1).
Yet, John Piper once said, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God,” and “this hope in God yields fearlessness.”
Becoming a fearless, bold woman of God didn’t happen overnight. Those two years of lost time were spent on my knees in prayer for our hearts and health.
What seemed like wasted time was actually the refining fires that created a boldness for believing God’s truth and promises for my family.
And the more I spent time with him, the more he began to send others in need of a good dose of Jesus’ strong courage my way.
Each of us has causes that make us come alive, things that move us and make us eager to share our vision.
Each woman has a chance to embody what it means to be bold, brave, and fierce for the life she has given. Even though you are not Maya Angelou, Malala, Mother Teresa, or Mary — mother of Jesus, you are still changing the world one breath at a time.
Why? Because being a woman of bold faith is what we have been called to.
Boldness is not a personality trait. Boldness is acting by the power of the Holy Spirit, on an urgent conviction in the face of some threat.
A shy, soft-spoken, introverted, calm person can be bold at a time when a typically driven, outspoken, brash person shrinks back. A Bold Woman for God contains these ingredients.
Spirit-Empowered Courage, Conviction, and Urgency
Meaning — every woman must get uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel. A bold woman:
Defining a woman’s role for the marriage relationship can be a very confusing thing. Why is this true? The first and most obvious reason is that many women are simply listening to the multitude of opinions in the media without going to the Scripture to see exactly what God has declared. Popular opinion is not where a wife should look to find direction for her life and marriage. The second reason the role of a wife is so confusing is that some women simply do not want to hear or do what God has commanded. These women think that their way is better than God’s plan. However, if you will seek God’s view on this subject and ask Him to help you become the woman that He has called you to be, the joy He has promised will be yours. Therefore, consider what God has to say about your role as a wife.
How does God want you to fulfill your responsibility?
1. Recognize your calling. If you are to become the support to your husband that God has designed then you must first understand His divine calling upon your life. Do you realize that you were created specifically to be your husband’s helper? Moses declared: “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him’ ” (Gen. 2:18). The word helper means one who aids another. Thus the woman was created because the man needed help from someone that could aid him in his responsibilities.
Now if you are thinking, This sounds so demeaning to me, that I’m just someone’s helper, then think about this for a moment. The idea of a wife being her husband’s helper does not demean her in any way. This same word helper is used in reference to the Lord Himself. David said concerning God: “The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless” (Ps. 10:14). Jesus also called the Holy Spirit our Helper who would be sent to aid us in our service to the Father (John 14:16). Therefore, since the Lord desired to aid us in every way possible, He created woman to be a helper and aid to man.
In addition, note that the helper God created was to be comparable to Adam. The word comparable means one who is a counterpart or the matching mate of the other. The idea is much like a pair of gloves or shoes which has a mate that is different but comparable to and a counterpart of the other. Just as a right hand glove can not be worn on the left hand or visa-versa, so men and women are different but still a compliment for and equal to each other. The right hand glove was not created for the left hand. Likewise, a woman is not the same as a man but is the counterpart to him which enables the two to function together. Both Adam and Eve were created with a specific divine purpose in mind.
Knowing God has a stated plan for you as a wife, are you willing to agree and yield to His desire? Are you willing to be your husband’s helper and counterpart? The reason I ask this is because some wives I have spoken to do not want to be the helper; they want to be the head. If you are trying to be the head then you will not be a helper to your husband. Why? Your striving to be the head will only create conflict and tension between you and your husband. This is the first decision that you must make. Do you truly want to be a wife that will support and help her husband?
2. Becoming an excellent wife. The next step in becoming a helper to your husband will be that you become a woman of virtue and of excellent moral character. Solomon taught: “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4). What does it mean to be an excellent wife? The word excellent is the same Hebrew word translated virtuous found in Solomon’s instruction to wives in Proverbs 31:10-31. The meaning of this word excellent essentially refers to the moral character and strength of an individual and is used of both men and women (Ex. 18:21; Ruth 3:11).
If you desire to be the greatest aid and help to your husband then you need godly character and moral strength that can only come from your personal relationship with the Lord. The prophet Habakkuk taught that God was the one who gave him this moral strength in the midst of his trials: “The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills” (Habakkuk 3:19). The word strength in this passage is the same Hebrew word translated virtuous.
Do you have such a close fellowship with the Lord so that you can go to Him and receive His strength and virtue in the midst of your struggles? Only by yielding to your calling as a helper and experiencing God’s power in your life will you truly be able to find joy in being the counterpart to your husband. I encourage you today with the words of Solomon: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Prov. 31:30). As you reverence the Lord in your life you will experience the strength to be the helpmate God has called you to be.
3. Submission is vital. The word submission for many women is completely abhorrent to them when used in reference to a wife’s role in marriage. Many women have told me they believe this teaching of submission is a tool used by many men to manipulate and control their wives. I tell these women that in some cases I would have to agree with them. However, if submission is understood biblically it can never be used in this manner. Why do I say this? Consider this fact. We all must submit in a multitude of ways throughout our lives where we don’t think submission is evil or manipulative. We all must submit to traffic laws or we get a ticket. We must submit to the laws of our nation or we go to jail. We must submit to our employers or we risk getting fired from our jobs. We all must be submissive and respectful with our friends so as not to offend them or we will not have them as friends for long. Finally, we are all called to submit to the Lord in all things. In other words, everyone submits to someone in some way. We do so to be obedient, to keep harmony, to show love, and to keep order in life.
The Bible also declares concerning marriage: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:22-24). Why is submission of a wife to her husband so important to the marriage relationship? Understanding this truth is just as important as learning submission in the other areas we have already considered.
Submission creates a chain of command, harmony, and order to any organization, including the family. God has even ordained submission between the three persons of the Godhead. Paul made this clear when he taught: “I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). There is one head in our government. There is one head in most businesses. Therefore, it stands to reason that there should be one head in the family. Becoming submissive to your own husband eliminates the power struggle between the two of you and brings great harmony to the relationship.
I know that some of you are thinking, But, my husband is a terrible leader and I don’t want to submit to him. If you think this, then it does make it difficult to submit, but you are still called to do it.
4. Take a servant’s position. Becoming a helper to anyone requires that you serve them in some capacity. Even Jesus became a servant to all mankind in order to free us from our servitude to sin. He laid down His life so we could be free. Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Likewise Jesus told His disciples: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matt. 10:24). “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:26). In the same manner, a wife must become a servant to her husband if she ever desires to help him to fulfill his responsibilities as the head of the household. Yes, the husband is also called to be a servant in his home, but he must take the servant leader position. If both husband and wife will commit themselves to serving in their specific arenas this will create the best marriage possible. Two people will be serving each other and as a team serving the Lord and their family. This is what Scripture clearly intends for a couple.
Therefore, how and where can you be a better helper to your husband? What has he asked you to do for him? Where does he need help? Do you put these things at the top of your priority list or at the bottom? Answering these questions will determine how well you are a support and help to your spouse.
5. Become his companion. To truly help anyone you must become their friend and companion. Without true friendship and companionship a person will not trust you to help them especially with their deepest needs. Do you see your marriage as a covenant that you have made to be his companion? The Prophet Malachi warned men to treat their spouse in a righteous and loving manner, “Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Mal. 2:14). Do you realize that God is witness to the way husbands and wives treat one another? God has called you to come together as a team to love and build up each other and to encourage and train your children. You cannot fulfill either of these duties if you are your husband’s adversary. Only as you become his loving companion and friend can your relationship function as God intended.
How can you become his companion? The word companion means one with whom you are knit together. Therefore, you must find ways that you can be knit together with your husband spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, verbally, recreationally, parentally, and sexually. As this knitting together occurs your marriage becomes stronger and stronger.
6. Be a responsible homemaker. One of the greatest conflicts that is constantly brought up in marriage counseling is the resentment that men have toward their wives over their failure to take care of the home. This is one of the primary responsibilities of a wife according to Scripture. Paul encouraged the older women to: “Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). The word homemakers in this passage means to work at caring and managing the home. Just as a husband is to work to provide for his family so a wife is to work at caring for her home. This can be especially challenging when a wife works outside the home. She must still take care of her responsibilities within the home realizing that her family is her first priority and her job second. In such circumstances it will be necessary for a husband to help his wife with household chores to lessen her burden. This balancing act of dividing responsibilities and helping one another as servants will be vital to a happy home.
I believe that a reading of Proverbs 31:10-31 will give you a clearer understanding of how this balancing act is accomplished. This section of Scripture is so valuable because it addresses the many aspects of a wife’s responsibility. It is important to note that this virtuous wife had interests and activities outside the home, but kept them in the proper order. She was very industrious in her ability to work with her hands, but she first provided food for her household (Prov. 31:15). Solomon declared that she then, “considers a field and buys it,” “plants a vineyard,” “extends her hand to the poor,” “she makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants” (Prov. 31:16; 20; 24). These references reveal that both keeping your home and working outside the home can be done if your priorities are correct.
It is also important to understand why Solomon trusted his virtuous wife as stated in Proverbs 31:11. He concluded his description of his wife by praising her spiritual relationship and her reverence for God. Clearly Solomon believed that his wife’s spiritual virtue affected her lifestyle and every aspect of her home. She was not only a woman who feared God but was able to correctly balance her responsibilities of the home with all her activities outside the home. Does your husband trust you in this way? Are your priorities in order? Your home can only become orderly, peaceful, and pleasing to both you and your husband when your priorities are according to God’s will.
7. Respect your husband. When Paul the apostle summarized his commands to husbands and wives he declared: “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33). Respect for your husband is vital if you truly desire to be your husband’s helper.
How do you show this respect? Respecting your husband is first something that must be rendered simply because of his position in the family. He is your head and therefore should be acknowledged as such. You should show respect for your husband’s position just as you show respect for the position of anyone in authority. For instance, you have no personal knowledge of a policeman that stops you on the highway, but you show respect to this individual. Why? You show respect for the position of authority the policeman holds. Likewise you should do the same for your husband because he is the head of your family. Your respect will also cause you to defer to him in decision making, cause you to speak respectfully to him in public, and enable you to be encouraging to him in private as you verbally support his leadership. To fail in these areas is to be disrespectful.
Now you may be thinking, But, I have a non-Christian or a spiritually carnal man as my husband. I can’t respect and defer to him. Notice what Peter teaches in such cases: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2). The word fear in this context means to show respect and reverence to your husband. This reverence is shown by your speech and conduct as you submit to his leadership. Are you attempting to win your husband by your respectful conduct? If you want to be a helpmate that will encourage your husband’s spiritual development then show respect for him. Berating, scolding, and shouting at him will do nothing to encourage his leadership in the home. Rather, listen to his ideas first and then explain yours. If you truly want to give good counsel to your husband use reason and encouragement as you share your ideas. Speak gently and respectfully without demanding or commanding him. Remember, it is not unsubmissive to disagree or voice your opinion, just do it in a respectful way.
8. Meet his sexual needs. Many times in marriage counseling I have found that wives attempt to control and manipulate their husbands by withholding sexual relations. I have seen some wives use sex in such a way as to control their husbands in order that they can become the head of their homes. This reasoning and behavior is unchristian and unbiblical. Why? If you use sex in this manner you have taken what God intended to be an expression of love and affection and made it a weapon of control. Behavior like this will only cause your husband to lose respect for you and will drive him away.
Notice what Paul taught concerning your responsibility in the bedroom: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor. 7:3-5). God’s Word is clear. Sex is to be a means of expressing the affection that is in your heart and the love that is due your husband. Do you realize that you do not have the right to refuse your husband access to your body? You gave him the right to your body the day you got married. Husbands and wives can only refuse one another when the other spouse consents or agrees to the refusal. This is the meaning of the word consent in this passage, which means agreement. Therefore, you must find an agreement over this very intimate issue. In addition, Paul warns that if you deny your husband sexually you are actually exposing him to greater temptation by Satan.
Now some of you are thinking I can’t meet his sexual needs because his drive is so much higher than mine. How can you address this issue? Love will always find an agreement on frequency of sexual relations. Note that Paul taught in the above passage that husbands and wives could not dictate to each other but must find a loving compromise. If you truly love each other you will always find a way to give – which is always the solution. Love will help one partner to restrain their desires, and love motivates the other to initiate when there is no desire. Therefore, meet one another’s needs.
You may also struggle in your mind with meeting his needs because you do not think that he meets your needs emotionally or sexually. How can you resolve this issue? If you refuse to meet his sexual needs what will happen? Your relationship will only worsen because of the tension and his sense of rejection. Instead, you should meet his sexual needs and then lovingly discuss how he can meet your needs as well. The biblical principle here is simply the Golden Rule: “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matt. 7:12). When Jesus said whatever that means no matter what the issue might be. You must do for your husband the very thing you want him to do for you. Therefore, how do you want your spouse to treat you emotionally or sexually? Are you treating him this way? If not, do not expect much to change in your relationship. In fact, why not use the Golden Rule in all the areas I have discussed with you in this publication? If you do then you will become the best support and helpmate you could possibly be to him.
1. We were created male and female by divine design
According to the Genesis creation account, God created humanity male and female (Genesis 1:26-28). Maleness and femaleness are creational, not contractual. They are divinely instituted rather than socially defined. Thus our gender identity cannot simply be renegotiated the way in which we refinance a mortgage or reschedule an appointment. God created us, and we are his creatures, both men and women.
2. We were created male and female in God’s image
Humanity’s binary gender design as male and female reflects in some mysterious way the nature of God. While sharing a common humanity, the man and the woman are unique and complementary rather than identical. This complementarity, in turn, reflects a facet of God’s own nature. God, too, is a unity within diversity (three in one, equal in personhood, distinct in role). This unity in diversity is beautifully reflected in human marriage, where the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24-25).
3. The man was created first and given the responsibility to lead
Scripture teaches that first the man was created by a direct divine act of creation and given the responsibility to lead; subsequently, the woman was created by God from the man (Gen 2:5–9) and for the man (Gen 2:18–20). He is to subdue the earth and is given the name “Adam,” which also serves as the name of the entire human race. God calls the man to account and holds him responsible for the fall.
4. The man and the woman are partners in exercising dominion over God’s creation
The man and the woman jointly receive God’s mandate to multiply and fill the earth, and to subdue it, exercising dominion. God creates the two as genuine partners, and this partnership envelops the man’s leadership and the woman’s support and participation in such a way that the two work in tandem, with complementarity. This genuine partnership can be fully reflected today where men exercise godly leadership without domination and encourage women’s robust participation within biblical boundaries.
5. Who we are as men and women defines the core of our existence, not merely its periphery
Having been created male and female, we are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Thus the way in which we live our lives is in and through our divinely created gender identities. These gender identities, in turn, are not merely superficial but run deep, affecting who we are as persons, family members, church members, and citizens. While the gospel extends to all of us, we do not cease to exist as men and women.
6. The fall distorted, corrupted, and confused who we are as men and women
Men and women are meant to live out gender diversity in unity. The fall destroys this prospect. Male and/or female domination are some of the extremes resulting from fractured gender relationships. It is only those redeemed in Christ who can hope to recover and live out God’s intended design. We should remember that the ultimate problem is sin, not a faulty gender design or a corruption of a perfect original. That said, even in its fallen state humanity still displays glimpses of the divine design.
7. God’s design is best
God’s design of humanity as male and female cannot be improved upon! God’s ways are far superior to our own. God’s design for man and woman—expressed in male leadership with male-female partnership—is an expression of his beauty, wisdom, and goodness. Through faith, and faith alone, we can appropriate God’s power to live out this design individually and in relation to each other.
8. The Bible’s teaching on God’s design for man and woman is consistent and coherent
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible paints a unified picture of what it means to be a man or a woman. The dual pattern of male leadership and male-female partnership pervades all of Scripture: from creation to the fall to redemption in Christ and to the final consummation.
9. Every generation must model and explain God’s design for man and woman to the next
God’s way is for men to lead their families, fathers to mentor their sons in biblical, God-honoring masculinity, and for mothers to mentor their daughters in biblical, God-honoring femininity. Not only is this to happen in the natural family, it is also to take place in God’s family, the church (e.g., Titus 2), especially where family structures are broken. How are you and I preparing our sons and daughters for living out their God-given design as men and women? How are our churches equipping those without role models?
10. Current cultural trends reflect humanity’s brokenness and deep-seated rebellion against the Creator and his design for men and women
Current cultural trends such as same-sex marriage or transgenderism are only symptoms—the result of humanity’s rejection of its Creator (Romans 1). Autonomous, libertarian human reason insists on its right to define itself in opposition to and rebellion toward God. Sadly, this root rebellion will incur eternal judgment unless people trust in Christ. As believers, by grace and through faith, we have the privilege to point to God through living out his wise and beautiful design before a world that languishes in sin and desperately needs salvation.
**By Andreas J Köstenberger and Margaret E Köstenberger at Crossway.org / Photo the 12th-13th century Mosaic Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily