If we are going to be known as godly women we will make cultivating a lifestyle that pleases our heavenly Father our top priority; to cultivate such a lifestyle means that we must think like Him, and to think like Him we must have His mind. Proverbs 1:7 explains how to know our heavenly Father’s mind. . . we reverence Him. “This reverential awe and admiring, submissive fear is foundational for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds and goals are exchanged for God’s.”[i] Failure to exchange our attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals for God’s will makes us vulnerable to assimilating the fraudulent standards of man’s wisdom. The voices of twenty-first century society shout loudly to us to free or liberate ourselves from the bondage of our ancestors, “do our own thing,” demand equality, gain personal fulfillment in life regardless of the impact on others, take control of our bodies, and many other contradictions to God’s instructions to women bombard us.
Scripture is clear that God’s general purpose for all believers is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), bear fruit (John 15:1-11), walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16-26), exhibit conduct that reflects their salvation (Ephesians 4:1-3), be good stewards of all of their resources (1 Timothy 6:17-19), and eagerly anticipate His return(2 Timothy 4:8). As godly women we will not only want to cultivate a lifestyle that reflects God’s general purpose, we will eagerly search the Scriptures to discover His special instructions to us.
THE WOMAN SEEKING TO BE GODLY SEARCHES FOR HER HEAVENLY FATHER’S SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO WOMEN
If you read my blog post, “The Quest for Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God” (May 2015) you will recall that it focused on the reality that the immutability of God is in question if Proverbs 31:10-31 is not relevant to our twenty-first century lifestyle. This reality is true for all of the Scriptures that provide instruction for cultivating a lifestyle that allows us to be “doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). When we search the Scriptures we uncover special instructions provided for us by our heavenly Father. I included several for you and listed some additional verses so you may add to the list. Scripture reveals that a godly woman is . . .
- Aware that she was made by God in His own image (Genesis 1:27).
- Gracious (Proverbs 11:16).
- Discreet (Proverbs 11:22).
- Careful to build her house following the way of wisdom described in Proverbs 9:1-6.
- Worthy of praise (Ruth 3:11, Proverbs 31:10-31).
- Faithful to follow the examples of the women who walk through the pages of the Old and New Testament (1 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 11:11; 1 Peter 3:1-6).
WORD search for God’s special instructions to women: Genesis 2:18, 21-24, Proverbs 12:4, 18:22, 19:13-14, 21:9, 19; 25:24; 27:15-16; Isaiah 3:16-24; Ephesians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 2:9-11, 3:11; 5:1-16; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:6-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6.
Though I grew up in a Christian home and thought I accepted Christ at the age of ten at Vacation Bible School I did not mature as a believer. As I entered my teen years and my elderly parents’ health declined, I acquired a negative, cynical outlook on life. My father passed away during the first week of my freshman year of college; and my mother, my second day as a new teacher. I recall my pastor putting his arm around me at my mother’s funeral and saying, “we’ll see you in church on Sunday.” Outwardly I simply nodded my head; inwardly I thought, “I have attended church since I was an infant; it has done nothing for me, and I have better things to do with my Sundays.” As I settled into my role as a new professional, from outward appearances my life appeared ideal—I had a good job, a boy friend, discretionary financial resources for the first time in my life, a compatible roommate, and was in an upward career track in my profession. Despite all of the “good things” that were happening externally, I experienced an internal, gnawing hunger. I vividly recall returning home from a date one Friday night and saying to my roommate, “I don’t know what you are doing Sunday, but I am going to church.” Since she didn’t have other plans she agreed to attend with me; I did not want to return to my childhood church so we attended one about a mile from home. Tim LaHaye was the pastor, and before we left the church that Sunday, individually, we both made certain that we were a part of God’s family (see Rom. 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 5:12, 6:23, 10:9-11, 10:13, 1 Cor. 5:17).
As an educated woman I was excited to both learn from a gifted pastor and study the Word of God on my own (Pastor LaHaye consistently repeated, “no Bible, no breakfast!”); I experienced an insatiable hunger for spiritual truth—and as the weeks passed, I experienced a decline in my internal, gnawing hunger. The glamour subsided, however, when I was confronted with biblical standards about the role of women. As with Eve of old, Satan tried his lie on me—“surely your loving heavenly Father did not mean that you, an educated woman, would be subjected to those archaic standards!” (Genesis 3:1-7). By God’s grace I did not linger to discuss the matter with him but rather continued “to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As a result of my growth I have learned that . . .
My heavenly Father does not offer a “cafeteria plan” for obedience (James 2:8-13). We live in a world that promotes, “have things your own way.” I learned that to please my heavenly Father I needed to respond to all of His instructions with an obedient spirit (2 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 51:16-17) not just pick those that appealed to me. I also learned that asking forgiveness rather than permission was an unacceptable behavior (James 4:17).
God’s Word is true whether or not I choose to embrace its teaching (Hebrews 4:12-13). I began to mature spiritually at a time when mini-skirts were the rage—and though my skirts were not as short as some others, they were definitely shorter than what belonged on a woman desiring to reflect godly character. It seemed that every time my roommate and I attended a worship service Pastor LaHaye somehow integrated skirt lengths into the sermon (his recurring statement went something like, “children used to hide behind their mother’s skirts—now they can’t reach them!”); “roast pastor” was often one of the entrees for our Sunday lunch, and we frequently questioned one another with, “what is his problem?” Again, however, as we studied the Scriptures and desired to respond in obedience to them, we found that we chose to lengthen our skirts(1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:1-6). It was not long until we realized that the problem was not Pastor LaHaye’s, but ours.
My Creator has no obligation to explain His reasoning to me (Isaiah 45:9, Romans 11:33-36). I learned a valuable lesson from my parents that helped immensely in my spiritual growth—as a child I often lacked the maturity to understand the reasons that motivated their decisions. However, as I matured, I frequently understood why they insisted that I follow their instructions or why their answer was sometimes “no” to my heartfelt pleas. My father often said that as I increased in age he gained more wisdom—and he seldom changed his reasoning. What had changed is that my relationship to my father had matured, and he had proved credible over a long period of time. The same thing is true in our relationship with our heavenly Father—at times we make a judgment about the validity of His instructions before we have cultivated a trustworthy relationship with Him. 2 Peter 3:18 is a great motivating verse for all women who desire to be wise; the more we grow in the knowledge of Christ, the more His character will be reflected in our lives—and the less concerned we will be about understanding all of the “whys.”
I must exercise faith to embrace teaching that is contrary to cultural trends (Hebrews 11:6). I am to trust my heavenly Father that there was “no good thing that He would withhold from me if I was walking uprightly” (Psalm 84:11) when His instructions deviated from what society says will make me happy. My only responsibility is to make sure that I am choosing to walk uprightly—and that is an act of the will, not the emotions.
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God’s Word says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “Though I may be busy, through Christ I can complete the assignment God has given to me!”
A GIFT FOR YOU!
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Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home
[i] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville: Word, 1997), note at Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD.