A Woman of God – Part 5

November 30, 2007

This week’s discussion about godly women has mostly been about married godly women – godly wives. This is because most of the Bible’s examples of godly women are portrayed in the role of wifehood. This is not to say however that unmarried women cannot also live godly lives and emulate such character traits as their married counterparts. All Christian women should strive to these ends.

With that said, I leave you with one more such passage:

1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

(1 Peter 3:1-7)


A Woman of God – Part 4

November 29, 2007

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4).

Noble: 2.a. Having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor: a noble spirit. b. Proceeding from or indicative of such a character; showing magnanimity: “What poor an instrument/May do a noble deed!” (Shakespeare). (American Heritage Dictionary).

A godly woman is a blessing to her husband in every way by virtue of her character. She is not a burden or a curse, not lived with regrettably by her husband, but a welcome “rib,” someone who is a helper as well as a companion for life. May all married women of God strive to be this godly wife of noble character.


A Woman of God – Part 3

November 28, 2007

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
  She is worth far more than rubies.
 11 Her husband has full confidence in her
  and lacks nothing of value.
 12 She brings him good, not harm,
  all the days of her life.
 13 She selects wool and flax
  and works with eager hands.
 14 She is like the merchant ships,
  bringing her food from afar.
 15 She gets up while it is still dark;
  she provides food for her family
  and portions for her servant girls.
 16 She considers a field and buys it;
  out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
 17 She sets about her work vigorously;
  her arms are strong for her tasks.
 18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
  and her lamp does not go out at night.
 19 In her hand she holds the distaff
  and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
 20 She opens her arms to the poor
  and extends her hands to the needy.
 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
  for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
 22 She makes coverings for her bed;
  she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
  where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
  and supplies the merchants with sashes.
 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
  she can laugh at the days to come.
 26 She speaks with wisdom,
  and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 27 She watches over the affairs of her household
  and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
  her husband also, and he praises her:
 29 “Many women do noble things,
  but you surpass them all.”
 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
  but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
 31 Give her the reward she has earned,
  and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

(Proverbs 31:10-31).

I know that this chapter can be intimidating. This is the biblical standard of a godly wife, and the bar is high. But just as living a pure and holy Christian life is not unattainable, I don’t think this is as unattainable as people make it out to be. The reason for both of these truths is found in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

So what does this godly wife look like:

1. She is submissive and obedient. She does not harm her husband (in word or in deed) but is good in all she does. She does not shame him, and as a result others see that he is a godly man.
2. She takes care of her family and those under her care. She feeds them and clothes them well.
3. She knows how to make things that her household needs. She also knows how to sell these things for a profit and invest her earnings wisely in things that will bring a return useful to her household.
4. She is a hard and eager worker, and does not waste time.
5. She is kind in helping the needy
6. She is noble and strong in character, and wise in words
7. She loves and fears God
8. Although she is not self-seeking, she is still praised by her husband and children and even the leaders of the city know that she is a godly woman.


A Woman of God – Part 2

November 27, 2007

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
(Ephesians 5:22-33).

A married woman of God is a submissive wife. Most people think that this is old fashioned, but this is clearly spoken of in Scripture as mandatory. But it is not as harsh of a command as it is often made out to be. The purpose of the marriage relationship is to show what the relationship is like between Christ and the church. It is meant to be completely pure and blameless, and so is marriage. Just as the church is supposed to submit to the will of Christ, a wife is to submit herself humbly to her husband. Unfortunately it doesn’t always look this way due to rebellion.

Submission does not make someone a doormat. Reading beyond the first three verses of this passage is important to get the context. Just as the wife is to submit to her husband, the husband is to love his wife and keep her pure. This is in line with Christ’s role with the church. The Christian is considered “in Christ” when they are born again. Christ makes that person new, cleansing the old self and giving the new nature. He loves the church so much that he died for her so that she can be made new and receive salvation. In the same way, the husband is to show his wife that unconditional love and self-sacrifice. So you see, self-denial is not only for the wives, but also for the husband. In that sense, both have a role of submission.

A husband and wife are one. As such there should be no division in that relationship. “A house divided against itself will fall.” A husband is to love his wife completely. This leads to freedom, not bondage. The wife’s part is to submit. That plays out in many practical ways in everyday life. Again, this does not mean the husband may misuse her, because he is supposed to love her, and not be harsh with her (Colossians 3:19). But it means that she should tend the home. It may mean ironing his shirts or rubbing his back or any number of things that are asked or expected. The husband has a right to be served in these ways. This also means that it is improper for a woman of submission to talk back to her husband when he asks her to serve him in these God-honoring ways.

Many women have trouble with the idea of submitting. But let me tell you, I have a true joy when I serve my husband. At first it seems difficult to have a list of expectations, and it is easy to rebel. But we serve the Lord in serving our husbands, and when you are serving God with a willing and thankful heart, even washing dishes is worship, and even folding clothes can bring joy. When these things are submitted to GOD, even the most mundane tasks bring joy and worship and praise to God. Then they are no longer burdens.

Remember, we serve a Savior who says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


A Woman of God – Part 1

November 26, 2007

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs [h] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [i] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman, ‘
for she was taken out of man.”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

(Genesis 2:19-24).

This week I would like to take a look at a very practical matter: What a godly woman looks like. As a wife and mother I will be teaching myself in the process as well. I hope this look will help women everywhere to get a glimpse of their responsibilities as a woman of God and as a wife.


Thanksgiving

November 23, 2007

The thing I am most thankful for is my salvation.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire'” (Hebrews 12:28-29).


Materialism and Idealism, Science and Religion

November 22, 2007

To assert that science and religion are incompatible is partially true, but is also in a big way false. It is like saying science and history, or history and psychology are incompatible and incapable of being studied in communion with each other. In one sense they are incompatible, in that each are separate fields that have certain requirements of study that are unique to each. However you cannot say that they never cross.

To illustrate the different methods of inquiry, let’s take science and history. The scientific method is based on repeatable experiments. History, on the other hand, cannot be studied in this way because history is already in the past, and past events cannot be repeated as they first occurred. They can only be studied as past events. The evidence that supports a historical event is therefore different from the evidence that supports a scientific theory. This does not keep you from studying, say, the history of science (as an example of the two colliding), but my point is that the two fields have different methods of inquiry within their different contexts.

For the question of science and religion, these too have different methods of inquiry. The scientific method is different from the philosophic method just as materialism (the belief that matter is the highest state of being) is the opposite of idealism (the belief that the mind and its thoughts are the highest state). But the God of the universe created the laws of physics as well as minds suited for scientific inquiry. The Bible says that creation points to God the Creator. At the same time God transcends creation, and in that sense science is outside the realm of the study of God. We can look at the philosophical evidences for God’s existence, and the scientific and materialistic things that exist and point toward God. But God transcends both materialism and idealism because God transcends both matter and mind, being the Creator of both.


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