The Portrait of a Godly Woman
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: Joshua 24:14-15; Proverbs 31
Sunday 22nd May 2016
This message is the fourth of the family convention messages for this month, and I would like to primarily address the ladies today. If you are trusting God for a wife, young men, this message would give you some of the attributes to look out for in choosing a life partner. As ladies, this message would enable you to discern what you should be aspiring to become, and believe God to mould you into.
Let’s read from Proverbs 31. Here are the first 15 verses: ‘The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him. O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed. Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress. Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls’ (NLT).
Our foundation scripture in Proverbs 31 is King Lemuel’s recital of his mother’s words. These words informed the teachings she gave him as he grew up to become a king. She saw into the future of her son and began to prepare him for the assignment ahead of him, right from his boyhood. Likewise, every mother must be able to foresee the destiny of her children as led by God, and prepare them for it. As our children are not ordinary or average, it is vital that we raise them up for the great future ahead of them. Examples of women in scriptures who took cognisance of this principle include Sarah, Esther, Deborah, Hannah and Anna.
This scripture in Proverbs 31 can be categorised into two: verses 1-7 reveals a warning against vices, and verses 8 onwards encourages him to embrace godly virtues, and most importantly, looking out for these in his future wife.
Let’s take a look at the vice King Lemuel was warned against. (i) The vice of sensual influence: He was warned to refrain from immorality. Immorality leads a person away from God’s purpose. Proverbs 31:1-3 emphasized this: ‘The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him. O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings’. Proverbs 6:24-27 also reaffirms this: ‘...It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman. Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coy glances seduce you. For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life. Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?’ (NLT). Our children must be warned against immorality and Satan’s trap that it represents. (ii) The vice of intoxication: Proverbs 31:4-7 reveals the adverse consequence of alcohol intoxication. Here are verses 4-5: ‘It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol. For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed. Intoxicating drink often leads to perversion of justice.
On a positive note, King Lemuel’s mother encouraged him to pursue godly virtues. (i) The virtue of kindness: Here is Proverbs 31:8-9, which reads: ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice’. King Lemuel was encouraged to stand up for the poor and needy. In the same way, our children must be taught to be kind to those in need. They must learn how to be selfless, noble and kind. (ii) The virtue of an excellent/virtuous wife: Virtuous is another word for nobility, dignity and excellence. Verse 10 reads: Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Rubies denote that she is a rare find, uncommon, precious and treasurable. Such a lady is decent, royal and carries herself with dignity.
Here are five characteristics of a virtuous woman:
(a) A virtuous woman loves and supports her husband: Proverbs 31:10-13 reads: ‘Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it’. As a result of her godly character, her husband trusts her. She keeps her husband’s business confidential. Besides, she guards her speech, and refrains from nagging her husband. Here are some scriptures that warn against nagging. Proverbs 21:9, 19: ‘It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife’ (NLT). See also Proverbs 27:15. She helps and works together with her husband. She drives the vision laid out by her husband, since they share a common goal.
(b) A virtuous woman has a good relationship with her children and cares for them: She is a home builder. Proverbs 14: 1 affirms this: ‘A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands’ (NLT). From our foundation scripture, here are some verses that explain this further: ‘She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls’. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her’ (Proverbs 31:14-15, 27-28). She works hard in caring for her family. A woman, who has been married for 25 years, said of her roles in her home. ‘I’ve been a doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, accountant, bus driver, chef, interior decorator, designer, teacher, personal shopper, fruit inspector, event coordinator, mechanic, gardener, personal assistant, home carer and everything else my husband doesn’t do.
(c) A virtuous woman is an entrepreneur and philanthropist: Here is Proverbs 31:16-26: ‘She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fibre. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness’ (NLT). She is hardworking, kind and prepares for the future.
(d) A virtuous woman is a counsellor: Here is Proverbs 31:26-28: ‘When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her’ (NLT). She is a person who speaks wisely and uses her words to shape the future of her household. She is not idle, watching television all day, but spends her time giving moral and spiritual instructions. Also see 2 Timothy 1:5-7.
(e) A virtuous woman fears the Lord: Here is Proverbs 31:30: ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised’. Nowadays, beauty has been reduced to the physical and external appearance. Although, this is important, the true measure of beauty is internal. 1 Peter 3:3-6 underscores this truth: ‘Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewellery, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands’. Such a woman who fears the Lord will be praised, celebrated and distinguished.
Now Apply the Word HERE
Download the PDF of this message HERE
Weekly Uplift Archives HERE