After writing recently about how to be a godly man, it seems only fair to cover the ladies’ side as well.
I know there are lots of godly women at The Porch each week. In fact, the reason I started with the guys is because I figured they might need more help. But nobody’s perfect; we’re all works in progress. Luckily we don’t have to be perfect, but we’re still called to holiness, and following your old way of life will not lead to the kind of life you really want (see Romans 6:21-22, or really the whole chapter).
This, Not That
So how do you become a godly woman? The Bible talks about several characteristics that women should strive to have—and other things they should avoid.
Be: A hard worker. Proverbs 31:10-31 is the best-known section of scripture describing what it means to be a godly woman. Read it, and you’ll see that the biggest single theme is that she is a hard worker. Being a hard worker can look different ways in different situations or stages of life; I know some stay-at-home moms who work harder than I do at my full-time job. And having periods of rest is also important; it’s one of the 10 Commandments. Just don’t be lazy, and make good use of the time you have in this life.
Don’t be: A busybody. Be busy, not a busybody. If you’re working hard at the right things, you won’t have time for gossip. (1 Timothy 5:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
Be: Generous. Again from Proverbs 31 (verse 20): “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
Don’t be: Materialistic. This isn’t exclusive to women—it applies to men as well—but I have known women who struggle more with comparison and wanting to have what other women have. Pinterest isn’t always a good thing. (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10)
Be: Kind. Proverbs 31:26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” See also Titus 2:5, where older women are encouraged to teach younger women to be kind.
Don’t be: Mean. Why do we have the whole “mean girls” stereotype? Because, for a few women, it’s true. Speak kindness, not slander (Titus 2:3; 1 Peter 2:1).
Be: Wise. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is intelligent and wise. She can make her own business decisions (Proverbs 31:16), speak wisdom, and teach others (Proverbs 31:26, above). Because of this, she’s trustworthy: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain” (Proverbs 31:11).
Don’t be: Foolish. Proverbs 11:22: “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” Discretion means using wisdom in deciding what you say or do. Someone without discretion says or does foolish things that can end up hurting others. They are not trustworthy. See also Proverbs 14:1.
Be: Modest. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but 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” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Isn’t that what you really want: to be loved and appreciated for who you are, rather than just lusted over for what you could possibly do? Talking about modesty upsets some people; if that’s you, read this.
Don’t be: Vain. The word “vain” can mean two different things: being “excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance,” or “without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless; futile.” There’s a reason they’re related. Focusing on or finding your identity in your physical beauty is a losing proposition. There’s a reason why grandma’s not a supermodel, and there’s a reason why everyone loves her anyway. (Proverbs 31:30)
Be: Gentle. This is the imperishable beauty that 1 Peter 3:4 calls you to focus on instead of physical beauty. And it’s the flip side to...
Don’t be: Quarrelsome. There are a number of Proverbs that talk about quarrelsome or nagging wives, and they don’t paint a pretty picture. Proverbs 19:13 and Proverbs 27:15-16 compare her to “constant dripping” (like Chinese water torture), while Proverbs 21:9 says it is better to live on a corner of the roof than in a house with a quarrelsome wife. So, don’t be that woman.
Again, you don’t have to be perfect, and doing these things is not the way to get right with God. This is. So let this be an encouragement, not a discouragement.
Any biblical items you would add to the list?
(With help from Kevin McConaghy and Ally Wall)