This topic could be a whole book. Actually, there are some books about it! You can find some of them in my post about my favorite marriage books.
Recently, we examined femininity in general and then ungodly femininity. Today, we are going to talk about godly femininity or biblical womanhood. This is the real core of God’s beautiful design for femininity. It is much more than any fluffy externals. I know we are just barely going to be able to scratch the surface in two posts – but I’m going to share some things that the Bible describes that godly femininity is. (Many of the scriptures I cite would apply to men in becoming godly men, as well. Some are only for women. I will be addressing all of these references toward women specifically because women are my audience. But men are welcome to read along.)
GOD’S PURPOSE IN TWO GENDERS
God designed people to all be image bearers of God and to have fellowship with Him and each other (Genesis 2). The main thing to keep in mind as we study godly femininity is that ultimately:
- God designed masculinity to be the picture of Jesus Christ – and His love, power, mercy, grace and strength.
- God designed femininity to be the picture of the devoted, joyful, peaceful, trusting, faith-filled, beautiful, spotless bride of Christ, the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).
This is what marriage looked like in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world and tainted everything good that God had created.
Each gender can stand alone to display God to the world – but when these two genders are combined in marriage, with their unique strengths, abilities and God-given roles, God intends a beautiful, powerful, tangible, living display of the intimate relationship Jesus desires to have and will have with His people. This is why the way he designed men and women – and the way He designed marriage – are so sacred and critical for us to understand and display in our lives – whether we are married, single, separated, divorced or widowed. We will be most fulfilled and most blessed when we operate in the roles, design and wisdom of God as women and God will be most glorified then, as well.
Ultimately, the purpose of our femininity is to bring great glory to God and to draw many to Christ!
WE CAN ALL BECOME GODLY WOMEN
Praise God, we are all able to become the women Christ calls us to be as we turn away from our sin in godly sorrow and turn to Christ in faith, depending on what He has done for us on the cross. This is all about His grace, mercy, forgiveness and His character and power working in us to change us. We cannot make ourselves holy. In fact, God describes our greatest attempts at righteousness as being like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). On our own, no sinful human has any spiritual strength to do anything remotely godly. We are totally dependent on God’s spirit empowering us and working in us to produce the life of Christ, the mind of Christ and the heart of Christ in us as He renews our spirits.
When we come to Christ with the saving faith that He generously gives to us – we cannot stay the same. It is impossible! God’s power and His Spirit working in our lives WILL radically change us. Our lives will exude more and more of His love, more and more self-control over our words/thoughts/actions, more and more good deeds and more and more concern and compassion for those in need. We will have more and more of the mind and heart of Christ as we submit to Him as Lord of all in our lives and hold nothing back from Him. Living in obedience to Christ becomes a joy as our thankfulness, genuine worship, praise and the regenerating power of God’s Spirit motivate us. We long for Him more than anything. He is our greatest delight and treasure!
(Here is a list of verses from the Bible about being a godly woman. That would be a fantastic study!)
The list below may be a handy reference to keep and pray over. Maybe you can focus on a few qualities per week and pray for God to develop these things in your own life? My prayer is that we will each prayerfully, humbly approach this list and allow God to reveal any areas that He wants us to focus on and yield to Him. 🙂 None of us will be perfect until heaven. This is the life long process of sanctification. I have thousands of miles to go on this journey myself and I can’t wait to continue learning all that God has for me. I am praying for each of you today, that God might speak to your heart through this post in a powerful way!
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY WOMAN THAT GOD WILL CULTIVATE IN HER MORE AND MORE AS SHE ABIDES IN CHRIST AND HIS WORD ABIDES IN HER:
SHE “LIVES A LIFE OF LOVE” (Ephesians 5:2)
- She loves God with all her heart, mind, soul and strength. Nothing is more important to her than Jesus and she sets her heart only on Him for her greatest fulfillment, purpose, identity, love, acceptance and strength. She is willing to give up everything to have Him. (Matthew 22:28) (Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your “Isaac”? “Submission Means Holding the Things of This World Loosely“)
- She loves all other people with the love of God. (Matthew 22:29)
- She loves with the agape love of Christ described in I Corinthians 13:4-8. She is patient and kind. She is not rude. She is not self-seeking.
- She does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. She does not dishonor others. She is not easily angered. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
- She does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
- She always protects, always trusts (she seeks to trust others whenever possible, but ultimately, her trust is fully in Christ), always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
- She has discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)
- She has control over her emotions, feelings, words and even her mannerisms, body language and facial expressions even when she has PMS, or is not feeling her best when God’s power is in control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- She trusts the Holy Spirit to do His job of convicting others and sanctifying them. She encourages people, exhorts and prays for them, but she knows where her responsibilities end and she does not attempt to play “Holy Spirit” in others’ lives. (John 16:8)
- She is totally confident in Christ, trusting His Word and resting in His promises. (Romans 8)
- There is a refreshing and powerful innocence about her. (Matthew 10:16)
- She may choose to wear her hair long if possible, delighting in her “glory” according to God’s Word. (I Corinthians 11:3-16)
- She smiles a lot in a way that even shines brightly from her eyes, radiating the joy and love of Christ. (Galatians 5, Matthew 6:22-23)
- She is careful not to align herself with Satan as his assistant to join in tearing people down with accusations, criticism, judgment and condemnation. She knows he is “the accuser of the brethren” and wants no part in helping him. By submitting fully to God and resisting Satan, she does not allow demonic temptation to direct her thoughts about her husband, about God, about herself or anyone else. (Revelation 12:10, James 4:7)
- She is honest and speaks the truth in love. She does not pretend or fake anything. She speaks up when she knows that is what is necessary, but she does this carefully, gently and humbly. (Ephesians 4:25)
- She chooses her girl friends wisely and she doesn’t put them above her husband or family. (I Corinthians 15:33, Titus 2:3-5, Genesis 2:24)
- She cherishes the gift of being a woman and living out God’s design for her. (Proverbs 31)
- She is nurturing to others – spiritually, emotionally and physically. She “gives life” literally but also figuratively. She is fruitful in her interactions with others. (Genesis 2, Galatians 5)
- She anticipates how God will bring beauty from trials, difficulties and suffering and wants to absorb all she can from God in those times. She does not face an uncertain future with fear, but rather, with great faith in God. (James 1, I Peter, Romans 8:28-29)
- She may get angry at times, but she is slow to anger, quick to listen, slow to speak and in her anger, she does not sin. (Ephesians 4:26, James 1:19)
- She has meekness – which is “bridled strength” or “strength under control.” (Matthew 5:5)
- She does “not let any unwholesome talk come out of (her mouth), but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
- She gets “rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31
- She is “kind and compassionate to (others, including her husband), forgiving (others), just as in Christ God forgave (her).” (Ephesians 4:30)
- She purposely cultivates a spirit of thanksgiving in all circumstances for she knows this is God’s will for her. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- She is a diligent and hard worker. (Proverbs 31)
- She takes responsibility for running her household well. (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3)
- She is prudent and has godly wisdom. (Proverbs 19:14)
- She is modest and humble in her dress, words and behavior. (I Timothy 2:9-10, Ephesians 4:29-30)
- She does not depend on charm or external beauty. (Proverbs 31:30)
- She fears the Lord in a healthy way and she fears Him much more than any circumstances or any person. (Proverbs 31:30)
- She dresses in a way that shows honor and respect for God, her husband, herself and others. She does not seek to draw attention to her body but to Christ. She does not wear extravagant clothing, hairstyles or jewelry but allows her good deeds to be her ornaments. She longs to not put any stumbling block in her brother’s way. (1 Timothy 2:9, Romans 14:13)
- She is generous to those in need within the parameters of her husband’s leadership. (Proverbs 31:20)
- She has great emotional/spiritual inner strength and honor. (Proverbs 31:25)
- She has God’s wisdom in her heart and mind, she cherishes His Words and she speaks with godly wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
- She is trustworthy in her thoughts, speech and actions. (Proverbs 31:11)
- She does “not repay evil for evil but overcomes evil with good.” She trusts God to take revenge if vengeance is needed, she doesn’t take vengeance into her own hands. (Romans 12:9-21)
- She answers softly and gently. (Proverbs 15:1)
- She is filled with God’s “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.” She is a pleasure to be around. She smiles and laughs easily. She savors and enjoys her family and her life (Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 4:4-8)
- She has great faith in God. (Matthew 15:21-28)
- She is genuinely humble. She understands how great, wise and holy God is and how small she is in comparison. (I Corinthians 13:4)
- She is polite and well-mannered. (I Corinthians 13:5)
- She is selfless. (I Corinthians 13:5)
- She is vulnerable and able to share all of her entire range of emotions, needs, desires and ideas and articulate herself well. She knows her emotions are a great blessing and gift from God. She listens to them and evaluates her thoughts and motives as her emotions tell her about problems. But ultimately, she submits her feelings and emotions to Christ. (James 4:7, Proverbs 3:5)
- She knows how to appropriately express her emotions and she knows how to discern when her emotions are lying to her and not to be trusted (i.e.: PMS, pregnancy, peri-menopause).
- She cares about her husband and what he wants, needs and desires. (I Corinthians 7:34) She is careful to care even more about what God desires. (Matthew 6:33)
- She thinks on things that are good, true, noble, excellent, praiseworthy, pure, right and admirable. (Philippians 4:8)
- She takes her thoughts captive and does not allow unruly emotions or worry to hijack her mind or rob her of God’s peace. She, through God’s power, is in control of her own thoughts. Her feelings do not reign as tyrants over her. (2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:4-8)
- She does not argue or complain but shines brightly for Christ in her attitude. (Philippians 2:14-16)
- She shares her heart and her ideas, needs and feelings without being contentious or disrespectful – but always speaks respectfully, gently, graciously and humbly. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
- She is full of grace, forgiveness and mercy because she abides in Christ and has experienced these things in abundance from Jesus. (John 15)
- She never gives up on God, her husband or the marriage covenant. She keeps her word and her promises. (Matthew 19, I Corinthians 13:7-8)
- She keeps no record of wrongs she has suffered. (I Corinthians 13:5 – for any wives who are truly being abused, please seek godly, biblical, experienced, wise help. “Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?”)
- She rejoices continually in God and in His truth. (Philippians 4:4, I Corinthians 13:6)
- She hates all sin and evil. (I Corinthians 13:6)
- She tears out any trace of the smallest root of bitterness as soon as possible and doesn’t let it fester. (Ephesians 4:31)
- She is sober – not addicted to drugs or alcohol. (Titus 3:2)
- She uses her words to give life and does not use her words to tear down or destroy. She does not gossip or slander anyone. (Proverbs 18:21, 2 Corinthians 12:20)
- She is chaste – she does not entertain immoral or lustful ideas about real or fictional men (or women), she does not flirt with other men, she guards her marriage and her heart, she does not touch other men in a sensual way, she does not get involved in any trace of adultery, fornication or immorality. If she sees that there is a temptation coming, she flees from it. She does not want to create even the appearance of evil. (I Corinthians 6:18, Proverbs 4:23, I Thessalonians 5:22)
- She is reverent and respectful in her behavior at home and in public. (Titus 2:2)
- She does not allow happiness, her dreams, her desires or romance to become more important to her than Christ, her obedience to Christ, her husband or her marriage. She has proper priorities. She enjoys happiness when it comes, and romance when her husband offers it to her – but she is not consumed by a desperate desire for these things. Her only desperate desire is Christ. (Titus 2:3-5)
- She teaches her children and other women good things. (Titus 2:3)
- She loves her husband and children affectionately. (Titus 2:3)
- She is sound and solid in her faith. She knows the Word and handles it well. (Titus 2:2, Ephesians 6, 2 Timothy 2:16)
- She guards her heart, because it is the wellspring of her life. (Proverbs 4:23)
- She is willing to forsake all others (family, friends, past boyfriends, etc) and leave them in order to cleave to her husband (Genesis 2:24) and she realizes in the same way that she must forsake all others in order to cleave to Christ as her Savior and only Lord.
- When she sins or makes a mistake – she is quick to repent and apologize and take responsibility without justifying her sin. She keeps very short accounts with God and gets rid of sin as soon as possible. Her spirit is sensitive to the pricks of conscience that God’s Spirit gives her. (I John 1:9, Matthew 5:24)
- She is content in Christ no matter what her circumstances may be. (I Timothy 6:6, Philippians 4:12-13)
- She does not set herself up as an authority or teacher over her husband or men in the church. (I Timothy 2:12)
- She develops the godly beauty of Christlike character, the hidden beauty of the heart which is a gentle and peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear, which is very precious in the sight of God. (I Peter 3:4)
- She overflows with the peace and joy of God’s Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) (When Do I Get to Feel Peaceful?)
- She is patient and can be content even when she doesn’t get her way, trusting that God’s will will ultimately be done. (Galatians 5:22)
- She is willing to wait on God and trust His timing, seeking His will far above her own. She is full of courage in the face of adversity. (Psalm 27:14)
- She has great spiritual strength from an unending fountain of God’s power in her. (John 4:14)
- She is able to look past suffering and difficult times to see the good God will bring from it. (James 1, I Peter, Job, Romans 8:28-29)
- She is faithful to God and to her husband. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- She cherishes a life-giving rebuke.
- She has a teachable, correctable spirit and measures any criticism given to her against the Word of God accurately.
- She finds her satisfaction, purpose and contentment in eternity not this temporary life and it’s ever changing circumstances.
- She is not judgmental, critical, controlling, bossy, demanding or condemning. She is accepting of others, understanding and gracious in the face of their weaknesses.
- She only accepts sound doctrine and tests the spirits before accepting something as being biblical or of God. (1 John 4:1)
- She is strong enough in Christ to handle things on her own if necessary. (1 Samuel 25 – Abigail, Mary the mother of Jesus after Joseph’s death)
- She is spiritually responsible for her own maturity and contentment, able to be spiritually and emotionally independent and secure no matter what her husband is or is not doing. Her dependency is completely in Christ. (Mary – Matthew 1, Luke 1, Philippians 2:12)
- She deeply desires God’s best for her husband, family and everyone. (Matthew 6:13)
- She weeps over sin – her sin and the sin of others and how it grieves God’s heart. (James 4:9)
- She weeps over the lost and those who are in need. (2 Corinthians 2:4)
- She doesn’t put ministry for Christ above her husband. (Matthew 19)
- She does not use cutting sarcasm toward anyone but seeks to bless with her speech. She is not crude or vulgar. (Ephesians 4:29-30)
God knows we are but dust and He knows our weaknesses. He loves us and made a way for us to be holy. Our God is so strong that He is able to empower us and to give us victory as we abide in Him. As our Sunday School teacher says, “God gives us the control valve so WE decide how much of His Spirit we allow in our lives.” Christ is a gentleman. He does not force Himself on us but waits to be invited into every part of our lives. He wants us to surrender and allow Him to have control as Lord in everything. But that is our choice to make.
This is all about us being in an intimate relationship with Christ and allowing His power to flow full blast through us and transform us according to His will for His greatest glory!
ABIDING IN CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN BE GODLY WOMEN:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:5-8
What is an example of godly femininity that you have witnessed?
What are your thoughts as we are studying godly femininity?
Are you encouraged or discouraged and why?