Women of the Word | Godly Women, Day 1
Proverbs 31:10-31; Ephesians 5:22-33
We are called to submit to and respect God first in every aspect of our lives, as in the marriage relationship between Christ and His bride.
Verse of the Day
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25 ESV
Is it possible to find, or be, a woman of noble character?
Who has been an example of a Godly woman in your life?
In our culture, how are women typically treated? How are women treated differently when they become wives?
In our culture, how are men typically treated? How are men treated differently when they become husbands?
God specifically lays out for us the characteristics of those who seek to honor Him in all they do.
Being a man or woman of Godly character is only possible through a personal relationship with God.
It is important for not only women to learn the qualities of a Godly woman but for all people to learn, consider and encourage these qualities, and do likewise for the qualities of a Godly man.
Read Proverbs 31:10-12
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12 ESV
Is this passage speaking only to women?
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. Isaiah 54:5 ESV
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-9 ESV
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, Revelation 21:9-10 ESV
The relationship between God and His people, His Church, is regarded as a marriage relationship where God is the husband and we, His people, are His wife.
When God explains a Godly wife, He is speaking to all of us as His bride.
God describes His people throughout scripture as His wife, or bride, and Proverbs 31 is identifying the noble character God wants all of us to have as His wife.
This is contrasted in scripture such as Isaiah 54 where God is relating His people to an unfaithful wife. He wants us to understand the difference between being a bride that honors Him and a bride that dishonors Him.
When considering that we are all the Bride of Christ, why would it be difficult to find an “excellent wife”?
Through service to her Husband, an excellent wife is trustworthy and faithful, brings peace and goodness into the marriage relationship, and honor to her Husband. This requires the wife to set priorities according to the will of God, not personal passions.
We are sinful and selfish from the day sin entered the world and must all learn to cast off our selfishness to put Christ in His rightful place, and thereafter place people in their rightful order according to the will of God in our lives.
Because we are naturally selfish, it is far too easy to serve ourselves first and incorrectly prioritize God and other people in our lives.
Read Proverbs 31:13-16
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:13-22 ESV
A Godly wife:
is hard-working, organized, productive, and should be resourceful and contributing to her family, her community, and the work of God.
uses talents and skills granted from God to serve God and family.
should not idly wait for people to serve her but intentionally seek to serve others.
can be trusted with life decisions, finances, and business ventures, and does it all for the benefit of her family and the glory of God - not for her own benefit and independence.
presents herself with dignity, focuses on taking care of home and family, serving God, and caring for her community.
contributes to her family while her husband tends to the greater needs of the family and community.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 ESV
Read Proverbs 31:23
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23 ESV
The wife contributes to, supports and adds to the reputation and success of her husband.
As the bride of Christ we are called to contribute, also, to the reputation of God.
Read Proverbs 31:24-31
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 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.” 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.' Proverbs 31:24-31
The Godly wife:
Husbands should compliment their wives behind closed doors as well as in public.
The fruits of her labors should be complimented publicly as well as privately.
Presents herself and speaks with wisdom, dignity, and kindness.
Is God-fearing, God-focused, and God-serving in all she does, and displays the fruits of right priorities and virtues in her relationships.
How should the Godly wife prioritize her life?
'But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 'Matthew 6:33 ESV
A Godly wife is characterized by prioritizing God first and aligning all aspects of life and relationships according to His design.
Read Ephesians 5:22-33
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. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.' Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV
What does it mean for a wife to “submit to your own husband, as to the Lord”?
What does it mean that “the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church”?
'giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:20-21 ESV
Strong’s G5293: Submit - hypotássō, hoop-ot-as'-so; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:—be under obedience, put under, subdue unto, subject, be in subjection, submit self unto.
This use of “submit” is found over 30 times in the New Testament, and is referring to the submissive relationship we are called to have with God out of respect, love and reverence for Him.
As a marriage is a representation of the relationship between Christ and His Church, so is this submission between husband and wife - to be subject to Him, obedient to His will, out of love and reverence.
This submission is a mutual balance where husband and wife submit one to another, as we are also called within our marriage relationship and individually to submit to Christ.
Wives are called to submit all things to their husband’s leadership as the head of the family, as the Church is called to submit all things to the will and leadership of God.
Husbands are called to submit themselves to their wife, offering themselves up fully in love for their wife as Christ offered Himself up for the Church, His bride.
This is not:
providing an excuse for abuse, dominance, intolerance, dictatorship, tyrannical treatment, or participation in sin from either husband or wife.
to be mistaken for women not being allowed to participate in decision making, or a discouragement for women to express themselves.
Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ so loves His Church.
Wives are called to respect their husband, in awe and reverence for him, just as we as the bride of Christ are called to respect Christ out of love and subjugation to Him.
Husband and wife become one flesh and should regard one another in such a manner.
Strong’s G5399: Respect - phobéō, fob-eh'-o; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere:—be afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a ESV
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
Read Proverbs 19:13-17
A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord. Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:13-17 ESV
How does this reinforce what Proverbs 31 teaches about a Godly wife?
How is it an encouragement to know that you are the bride of Christ?
How as the bride of Christ do we present ourselves publicly and privately?
Do we seek God’s guidance and priorities or do we tend to lean on our own desires?
In what areas of your life do you need to better submit to Christ as His bride?