The role of women in society has changed with the times. Women long ago took on the role of staying at home and taking care of their families. Today, the role of women has broadened. Women have a lot of options as to what type of role they want to take in their career and raising their families. We women have more choices in how we want to be portrayed compared to the women from decades ago. Women even have the choice of choosing career and not getting married or getting married at a later age. On top of all of these, the media tries to fashion the way an attractive woman should look like. There is a lot of talk on what is considered attractive from the way we dress to the way we talk.
But as a child of God, the most important role you can take as a woman is how you are depicted in front of God. In God’s eyes, the most attractive type of woman is a God-fearing woman. This is the type of model we should be aspiring towards. This should be our “#womangoals”.
As I looked through the Bible for a great example on what a God-fearing woman looks like, I was led to Proverbs 31. This passage in the Bible portrays the characteristics of a God-fearing woman. I definitely see that we can learn how to be this woman from this passage. In verse 31, it says “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” So let us take a closer look at what this looks like. I do want to point out, however, that even though Proverbs 31 talks about a married woman, this passage is not just meant for wives. Even if you are enjoying your singlehood right now, you can still learn about being a God-fearing woman from this passage.
First of all, a God-fearing woman does not live for herself alone but also for others in her life. In verse 11 and 12, we read “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain”. This means that if you are married, you make sure to take care of your husband and your children. And this also means that you support your husband both financially and morally. It means you don’t think of yourself first and you live unselfishly. If you are not married, it means taking care of those God may have placed in your life right now. It means not thinking of yourself and what you need all the time, but thinking of those around you. It means that we look out for the interests of others because we trust that God will take care of our own interests.
Secondly, a God-fearing woman is strong. In verse 25, it says “Strength and dignity are her clothing.” This woman is not envious of other woman around her. Many times, women love to compare themselves to other women and in doing so, open the doors to envy and jealousy. But a God-fearing woman is grounded in who she is and she does not envy or desire anything that other women have. She is also intellectually strong. The fear of the Lord drives her to search for the hidden treasures of the kingdom of God. She is a woman who is close to God and has secrets from Him revealed to her. She is so strong in the Lord that circumstances do not cause her to waver. Other women look to her for comfort and strength during times of trouble.
Another characteristic we see in verse 25 is that a strong woman of God is not worried about the future. We read, “…she laughs at the time to come”. She is not fearful of what is to come. She has strong faith in God. A woman knows in her heart that God holds her future and will never let her or her loved ones down. She is able to hold on to this trust in God and laugh at the future to come. She has no worry. So many women let worry enter and this does not help in any way. Worry causes us to be negative and this is visible to the people around us. This causes us to sometimes act in ungodly ways towards those we love. Instead, we need be women who carry on that faith that shines through us and make us peaceful people.
A God-fearing woman also has wisdom that helps her with everyday tasks. In verse 26, we read “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue”. The Bible says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we fear the Lord, there is wisdom that comes with it. This wisdom causes us to speak to others with kindness. So, a God-fearing woman is kind with her words. She doesn’t hurt others with what comes out of her mouth. She is able to encourage and uplift those around her with her kind words.
A last characteristic of a God-fearing woman is found in verse 20, where we read “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” This woman cares for the less fortunate and is not hesitant to help them. She sees the needs of those around her and is always willing to lend a helping hand. It doesn’t have to be money, which is definitely one way to help. It is great to give to the poor, and there are so many other ways that we can help as well. God has given each of us different gifts. It is up to us to figure out how God wants us to use our gifts to help the needy around us.
So, these are the characteristics of a God-fearing woman based on Proverbs 31. A good example of a God-fearing woman from the Bible is Ruth. Her whole life advertises the fear of God upon her. Ruth did not think of herself but those around her. Upon realizing that her mother in law was now left without any family, she decided to follow her and take care of her instead of going back to her own family. This shows how unselfish she was. She lived her life with such bravery, wisdom and strength. Boaz, the man who eventually becomes her husband, even says of her, “All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” People saw in her the fear of God just by the way she lived.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to be known as a God-fearing woman. I would like to have all the characteristics of the woman from Proverbs 31. She is definitely a model to follow and as I mentioned before, she is definitely what I would call #womangoals.