Tag Archives: women

A Good Wife — Tassie Smith

Imagine the world’s best wife.  Without a wrinkle or a hair out of place, she’d be a fashionista with a model perfect figure. Without ever compromising her principles, she’d be the equal of every man in the board room.  She coaches soccer, sells homemade scarves on Etsy, keeps an urban garden, volunteers at the homeless shelter, organizes the PTA, and feeds her family nothing but balanced, organic, whole food meals.  Her husband never feels neglected and she is deeply involved in each of her children’s lives.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Me too!

In fact, the world imposes a whole series of competing and impossible ideals on women. In contrast God’s vision of a faithful wife offers simplicity and freedom.  He calls us to portray basic godly principles— gentleness, courage, submission, love and hard work—in our marriage relationships.

Gentleness

A faithful wife is gentle; she has “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Pe. 3:4b).  This verse has left many a woman frustrated and confused. Are we supposed to be weak?  Silent?  Does God value introverts over extroverts?

Rather than being a personality trait, gentleness is how the whole church is called to act. Paul says, “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Ph. 4:5). Why would it matter that the Lord is near?   He is not a harsh and terrifying master peering over our shoulder to see if we are behaving. Rather he is our primary example of gentleness. Our Lord cradled and blessed the children. He saw to the safekeeping of His mama while He was dying.

Although every Christian should be gentle, a Christian wife is gentle in unique ways.  She can be trusted with the tenderest baby or the most broken heart.  When her husband faces disappointment and failure, she doesn’t rail at him.  When he has been thoughtless or careless, her rebuke wouldn’t take the form of silence or shouting but a quiet word about how she feels. This isn’t about our personality but about choosing not be harsh regardless of the circumstance.

Courage

An excellent wife is also fearless.  Peter puts it this way, “You are  [Sarah’s] daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear” (1 Pe. 3:6). When Abraham told her he heard the voice of God, she left everything she knew in Ur for a lifetime of uncertainty. She waved as he marched off to war and bore his child in joy at 90 years old. Fearless is the right word.

Fear is the opposite of faith.  When we trust God, not to make everything magically okay but to see us through the worst, we can live fearlessly in every aspect of our lives.

Fear has haunted many a marriage to its death.  In fear that her husband will leave her, many a woman has driven him away.  In fear of what others will think, many a woman has tried to make her husband into someone he isn’t.  In fear of poverty, many a woman has nagged a man until he hates his role as provider.  In fear of all this and more, many a Christian wife has prevented her husband from leading their family out on to some limb of faith—moving, mission work, making new disciples.

Submission

A faithful wife is submissive. The concept of a submissive Christian wife is grounded deeply in the submission demanded of every Christian and exemplified in Jesus Christ.

Remember the words Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Ph. 2:6-11).  Jesus, didn’t care about being “equal” to God.  He became a person, the kind of person who submits to God, to the point of death.  It is this kind of submission that Paul has in mind when he begins his section on relationships in Ephesians with these words, “and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ep. 5:21).

Every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ who went to the cross in submission to God. Thus they owe their submission first to God and then to each other. Again we face the question how would this submission look in a Christian household?

Ephesians 5:22-32 and Colossians 3:18-21 address this question.  Submission would look like a wife who follows her husband’s lead with love and trust. She doesn’t need to lead, to be in charge; she can give all that up.  Not because she’s not his equal before Christ, but because she is.

Christian wives submit to their husbands from the foundation of their submission to Christ.  He demonstrated what it means for an equal to lower Himself and submit in the best times and the worst, to someone who loves Him.

Love

An excellent wife loves. “So that [the older women] may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children” (Ti. 2:4).  In the world’s version of love our heart takes the reins and drives us any direction it wants. This is not God’s kind of love.

God’s love for us is constant.  The word that we translate “lovingkindness” in places like Exodus 20:6, Lamentations 3:22, and Jeremiah 31:3 means something like “faithful love.”  Has God ever decided He had suffered one slight too many and found more amenable people? His commitment to redeem us is eternal. His love is sacrificial.  “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Ro. 5:6). He doesn’t choose the people who are good, or righteous or beautiful or powerful…but to every person, helpless in their sins, He sent His Son.

A wife who loves sees the best in her husband. She believes all things.  She is transparent and forthright, not just in the sense that she doesn’t lie but that she reveals her heart.  She rejoices in truth. She doesn’t have to have her way, stand her ground, or be right.  She doesn’t seek her own.  She doesn’t give up or give in.  It’s not about her.  It’s about a faithful commitment. It’s about loving her husband the way her Father loves her.

Hard Work

 An excellent wife is hardworking.  No delicate wall flower, the excellent wife from Proverbs 31 is clearly a competent woman.  She is a skilled worker in fabrics, a business person, an organized manager and a  wise adviser.

Again the world has competing ideals.  On the one hand is a picture of a woman sheltered by her family; she is far too sweet and delicate to make her way in the world.  On the other had we have a woman who elbows and jostles her way through the world leaving all thoughts of family behind as she shatters the glass ceiling.

Yet God doesn’t box women in to these two extremes.  He sets us free to bless our families by the work of our hands.  We do this home or in the community.  We can teach our own children or a classroom full in the public school.  We can fret over the fever of our own infant or change diapers in the NICU.  We are free not to fight for what we want but to serve the way our Savior did!

Precious

 An excellent wife is precious. “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”  (Pr. 31:10).  The world doesn’t value wives.  Our culture whispers that it is an out-dated role, a position of weakness and a waste of a woman’s potential. But from the creation God has shouted Satan down.

When God finished the streams and mountains and fashioned every kind of animal, He brought all the creatures to the man to name. Adam found no equal among them, no suitable partner. So God made one more thing, a precious gift for Adam crafted from his own flesh, a wife.

God intended a wife to be a His own precious gift to her husband.  He can both cherish her and lean on her.  She is his equal, his mate.

Being a faithful wife starts with being a faithful Christian. We know our value because we were redeemed by the God who gave the life of His Son for us. We love with faith and integrity because that’s how God loved us.  We work with all our hearts because we do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus (Co. 3:17) We submit to our husbands because we look to our Savior who submitted wholeheartedly to His Father. We fearlessly follow our husbands because a woman who fears God need fear nothing else (Lk. 12:4-7).   We act with utmost gentleness because we serve the one who wouldn’t snap off a broken blade of grass (Is. 42:3).  The example of our Savior and the character of our Father enlighten every aspect of what it means to be a faithful wife.

There is no need for us to be overwhelmed.  Being a faithful wife isn’t about being busy, being good at everything or never making a mistake. It isn’t about how we look, if we win the “mommy wars” or how clean our house is.  Simply put a faithful wife walks in the Spirit.  “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

maidservantsofchrist@gmail.com

Tassie and her husband were missionaries in China for almost nine years under the eldership of the South Knoxville Church of Christ.  Since returning stateside, they have worked with the Rock Springs Church of Christ where her husband preaches.

The Wise Woman — Ursula Torbett

Christian sisters, is there ever a time that we shouldn’t be wise?  According to Proverbs 4:5-7, we need to get wisdom and understanding because wisdom is primary.  So how do we get wisdom?

Wisdom is sought diligently by those who understand its principles and neglected by those who don’t.  A wise woman builds her home with wisdom, weaving it in and out of the fabric of her life and the lives of her family (Pr. 14:1).  Contrast the foolish woman who destroys her home, tearing away the good, leaving the rubble of confusion and shattered lives.  As God said through Solomon, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established” (Pr. 24:3).

True wisdom is solidly built on a foundation comprised of learned experiences and godly knowledge.  The wise woman gains her wisdom by being a student of God’s Word and by learning from her mistakes.  She is quite different from the foolish, who are doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over again because they have neglected to learn the valuable lessons that accompany each folly and have failed to pay heed to God’s Word.

Wisdom Isn’t Greatness

Elihu stated that great and aged men are not always wise (Jb. 32:9).  Whenever this is the case, it is because they have not learned godly wisdom; rather, they rely on worldly wisdom.

The truly great things of life often come in the smallest or most humble of packages.  Take our Lord, for example.  Why did so many reject Him?  It was because they were looking for greatness, a king, someone of renowned stature and beauty.  The greatest man to ever walk the earth had no beauty or majesty (Is. 53:2).

Proverbs 30:24-28 gives some wonderful examples of very small and humble creatures that are exceedingly wise.  They don’t have the majesty of the bald eagle or the fierceness of the lion; yet God highlights their great abilities within their humble characteristics.

The ants, though not strong, are busy preparing food in the summer (Pr. 6:6-8).  They are hard workers wisely preparing for the next season.  The Lord honors the hard worker (Pr. 12:11, 24; 13:4; 14:23).

The badgers are feeble, but find shelter and protection in the rocks.  Those who seek wisdom seek the shelter of the Lord (Pr. 27:12; 29:25).

With no king, the locusts advance in ranks.  How many armies can accomplish this feat?  They are unified and of one mind, disciplined and ordered.  Do you wish to be counted among the wise?  Then accept discipline (Pr. 19:20).

Finally, the spider or the lizard (there is some discrepancy here among the commentators; however, we can draw from both.)  The spider spins its webs, using its legs to make a most beautiful and strong work of art.  Its beauty comes from within.  The lizard grasps with its legs to move quickly and with great ease.  They are everywhere, unnoticed, working in silence.

Wisdom comes from God, not man.  We should not be wise in our own eyes; rather, we should fear the Lord and depart from evil (Pr. 3:7).  Those engorged with worldly wisdom live without God.  They choose to live life full of perverted truths and false hopes.

With no king, sin was rampant in Israel.  Every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judg. 17:6; 21:25).  The wisdom of God addresses those who live their lives this way.  They are pure in their own eyes, yet not washed from their filthiness (Pr. 30:12).  They have deceived themselves.  Their greatness is from within, not from God.

Wise Women Teach Us

The first example that comes to mind is the very familiar parable of the ten virgins (Mt. 25:1-13).  A couple of great lessons really stand out in this account.

The most obvious quality of the five wise women was their preparedness.  Are there ever any guarantees that things will always run smoothly?  Those who prepare wisely face fewer crises than those who don’t.

Secondly, these wise women said, “No,” to the efforts of foolishness.  “No” is such an important and often neglected word.  Some of the problems with neglecting this very small word is that we become overcommitted, which leads to becoming stressed, which in turn results in our behaving in unbecoming ways.  Consequently, those who are closest to us suffer the most.  Even if we’re doing the Lord’s work, we must be careful to not over-extend ourselves.  This does nothing good for those around us and it can even hurt the work of the church.

If our “good” works turn into a laborious task of stresses, we do more harm than good.  We hurt relationships and can ruin our influence with family, friends and the lost.  When our family feels neglected because we have committed so much to everyone else, we lost much more than we were hoping to gain.  Sometimes it is best to let go, or just say, “No.”

The Queen of Sheba is the next example which comes to mind.  She sought out wisdom and even came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom (1 Ki. 10; 2 Ch. 9:3, 5; Lk. 11:31).

Today, the wise woman seeks the wisdom of One far greater than Solomon.  Her search for wisdom begins in prayer (Ja. 1:5).  We should pray daily for wisdom to help us guard our tongues, our thoughts, and our hearts.

Women of wisdom are blessed because they listen to and act on wise instruction (Pr. 8:33; 19:20).  They are drawn to wise teaching just as the Queen of Sheba was drawn to Solomon (Pr. 18:15).

The third example comes from the wise Israelite women who skillfully spun multi-colored yarns and fine twined linen during Moses’ day (Ex. 35:25-26).  Matthew Henry comments that these women were wise-hearted because they spun heartily to the Lord.  So much bountiful work for the Lord can be accomplished if hearts are right.  They had a spirit of cooperation.

Wise workers are sober-minded, redeeming the time (Ps. 90:12; Ep. 5:16; Co. 4:5).  A wise woman measures out the time in which she has to accomplish a task and sticks to it until it is done.

Wisdom encompasses the idea of humility and meekness.  Our works are to be done in the meekness of wisdom (Ja. 3:13).  The knowledge of the wise is coated in humility (Pr. 11:2), and those who open themselves up to God’s Word gain understanding (Pr. 14:6).

The last example of a wise woman which comes to mind from Scripture is found in the woman from the city of Abel (2 Sa. 20:11-22).  The wisdom and prudence of this respected woman saved her people.  The biggest breakdown in solving problems usually comes down to a lack of proper communication.  This woman understood the importance of listening to understand the desires and demands of others.  She communicated with both sides and after wise deliberation was able to bring peace to her people and justice to others.

The wise woman has a mouth of righteousness that speaks wisdom, and her tongue talks of justice (Ps. 37:30).  The lips of the wise woman disperse knowledge (Pr. 15:7).  She speaks what others need to hear to help benefit their lives.  They seek her advice and trust her.

Obtaining Wisdom

How do we obtain wisdom?  Unfortunately, we aren’t born with wisdom.  It’s a developed trait.  Some are more sober-minded or serious than others, but they still need to develop wisdom.

We should start at the beginning.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Pr. 9:10).  Should we not have a reverenced awe for the One who is the very definition of wisdom and Who is the possessor and giver of all wisdom?

God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy to those who are good in His sight (Ec. 2:26).  Goodness comes from keeping the Lord’s commands with the right attitude.  The wise woman heeds instruction, loves her own soul and finds good because she keeps understanding (Pr. 16:20; 19:8).  Striving to be good, she trusts in the Lord and thereby is greatly blessed.  God blesses those who are good in His sight with the precious gifts of wisdom, knowledge and joy.  Only a wise person can truly understand and appreciate the value of such wonderful blessings.

Scripture says that God “stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly” (Pr. 2:7).  The Lord has provided wisdom in His Word for those who are wise enough to “get” it.  This verse should make every Christian so happy.  Great joy should accompany the knowledge that the Lord is our protector and our shield.  He is a shield against Satan and His Word is a shield against the foolishness of this world…but only for the upright, only for the wise.

Wisdom Is Precious…And Wise Women Know It

Wisdom is better than rubies and all things we desire (Pr. 8:11).  Gold pales in the presence of it (Pr. 16:16).  Coral, pearls and rubies are of no value compared to wisdom (Jb. 28:18).

The greatest riches are found in the wisdom and knowledge of God (Ro. 11:33).  They are more precious than all the riches of the earth (Ja. 3:17).  May we all continue to strive to humbly obtain it through study of and obedience to the precious Word of God!

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice…Whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Proverbs 1:20, 33

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