As Christian women we live not as anti-cultural, but counter-cultural – presenting to the world a completely different way of living and hoping, as we continually become more and more like Christ.
As different seasons come and go and new roles and responsibilities make their presence known, I often find myself coming back to God’s Word to refresh and refine my mind with what my priorities ought to be. It’s far too easy for me to let the world, news, and other humdrum of life carry my mind to places that distract me from my God-given callings.
So, what should our priorities be as God’s women? Particularly for young women? And where in the bible can we find such instruction for our hearts?
The two main texts I always refer to are Titus 2:4-5:
“Then they (the older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled and pure, to be workers at home,
to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
and Proverbs 31:10-31:
“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.“
1. God and His Word
We see in Scripture that God gives honour and praise to the woman who fears Him. A woman whose dress is dignity and strength – not meaning literal clothing of course, but the way she presents herself and her character leaves an impression on others that she is strong and dignified. Her hope is in her Saviour, Jesus – so she has no fear for the future. She eagerly does good, so that she faithfully represents the Saviour she worships, and so the Word of God will not be maligned. The godly woman is obedient, gentle, kind, faithful, sensible, and a hard worker.
2. Husband and/or children, if they have them
Another priority of the godly woman, and her first ministry, is to her husband and children (if she has either). Our husbands are given to us by God as a gentle, loving servant leader who constantly directs us to Christ, as co-heirs and co-worshipers of God.Our submission to our husband is a model of the church’s submission to Christ and, ultimately, the kind of submission we bring to God in our own relationship with Him.
Just as our husbands are called to love us sacrificially, so we too must also consider the needs of our husband and children before our own. In this way we imitate Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve others – that we might have life. This service of love, hard work and faithful diligence to our husband and children will come also as a result of us seeing to the next priority.
3. The Home
The home can be many things – an unsafe, unkempt area of chaos or, as it should be, an ordered, safe, peaceful haven for the family, brought about by the willing and loving nurture of the wife/mother. Our care of the home should be taken seriously as it is a representation of ourselves, and also reflects the value we place on providing for our family. If the burden is on godly men to provide the finances the family needs, then it must also fall to us to complement our husbands work by ensuring he and our children are well fed, dressed, and kept comfortable and safe in the home.
The home is also an arena for hospitality to others in the church, family, friends, and the needy. Having a home that is safe, tidy and welcoming makes this all the more possible, and makes it a much more viable place for God to use to meet the needs of the underprivileged in our community.
4. The Church
Finally, another main priority for the godly woman is her home church. We ought to be regular attendees, not neglecting meeting with other believers to fellowship, worship and minister together. In being involved in church we also use the spiritual gifts God has given us to build up the church – this is done through teaching (other women, and children), counselling, cooking, discipling, hosting, cleaning, sharing testimonies, child-minding, administration, and other general helping. In doing so we bring glory to our God, and joy to our fellow believers.
It’s easy to guess what kind of life this would result in – a VERY busy one! To meet all of the instructions is impossible, for sure – but through prayer and a willing heart, we ought to strive all the more. If working in employment outside the home is still a plausible option that you’d like to take up, and you have not neglected the needs of your family, the needy, the home and the church, then I say go for it! Having some employment work can also be very fulfilling, as well as the God-given privilege of working as Christ’s hands and feet to our husbands, children, and communities.
I encourage you to pray this week for God to reveal His priorities for your life, where He’d like you to spend more time working, and maybe some things/places you needn’t worry about so much. Ask Him to reveal what your spiritual gifts are, and to bring up opportunities for you to serve the church and your family.