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A Woman’s Life

December 3, 2023— No woman is a part-time woman, wife, or mother. We are women all day, every day. No matter the season, the hour, or when we sleep or struggle to find energy, we are still women. Across cultures and religions, a woman's role is generally consistent, especially when the woman is married with children. Discrepancies can be found in tongue and cultural practices.

Throughout the world, we are to be loving, sympathetic, and beautiful. Yet, there are no expectations for boldness or bravery. At the same time, women can either calm down a situation or set fire to it. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

But what does the bible say about a woman’s role? Does it condemn certain behaviors and exalt a modest approach? Or is the Holy Bible utterly silent on how women should act? To find the answer, we must compare the ancient past of the Holy Bible to modern approaches and societal roles.

The Role of a Woman

Several passages speak to the role of a woman. The best place to start is in the book of Titus, a “brother” of Paul. For those new to Christianity, Paul is the disciple Jesus Christ chose to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). Paul was not one of the original twelve disciples that we know today. In the Book of Acts, Paul was known as Saul and persecuted the early Christian church. Jesus’s work in Paul caused his letters to contribute to much of the New Testament that we read today. The Epistle of Titus is one of them. Paul writes to Titus to strengthen Titus’s role in taking care of the church in Crete (Titus 1:5). In his Epistle, Paul instructs Titus to preach sound doctrine, and he explains the role of both older women and younger women in Titus 2:3-5:

The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

While Titus 2:3-5 is a great starting point, there are other descriptions of a woman’s character throughout the Holy Bible. Yes, you can take the example of biblical females and see how they acted, but what if you pick the wrong woman? Rather than reading the various personalities and people, I implore you to determine what the Holy Bible says and apply the passage or passages to yourself. With this in mind, let us read Proverbs, which provides detailed information on a virtuous wife.

The Role of a Virtuous Wife

In the Old Testament, Proverbs 31 outlines the role of a virtuous wife, comparing her worth to be above rubies (verse ten). This chapter is all-encompassing for a wife, stating the following:

The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Wives are helpers to their husbands (see Genesis 2:18-22). We help our husbands by doing the things written in Proverbs 31. In addition, the items in Proverbs 31 are how we define “homemakers” in Titus 2:5. While certain things have changed since ancient Israel, modern approaches can be applied to these passages as the concept remains the same. Taking verse 18 as an example, the lamp would burn through the night. This passage suggests that it was the responsibility of a woman to ensure that the lamp burned through the night to let out its light. It would not burn out entirely during the night. If we do not pay our electric bill, our electricity gets shut off. For some, this means the loss of lights, hot water, and food, especially in households with electric appliances. Who ensures the bill gets paid? Proverbs 31 seems to place this on the wife.

Woman, Blonde, Middle-aged
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Additional Roles of a Wife

The Holy Bible calls for women to submit to their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1 and Colossians 3:18. This is also mentioned in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Let’s define submit. When you are married, you and your husband are one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Jesus reiterates this in Matthew 19:5-6 after the Pharisees tested Him about divorce. Jesus referenced Genesis 1:27 and 5:2 and told them, “ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’? So then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

In Ephesians 5:23, Paul explains that a wife is subject to her husband and compares this to the Church being subject to Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus submitted and submits to God, God sends a message to Jesus. Jesus sends that message to the Holy Spirit. They glorify one another and work together. We have issues submitting to God or one another because of the sinful nature of pride. Being proud of a job well done is one thing, but if pride is rooted in self-righteousness or conceit, it is detestable by God. The latter form takes up that person's thoughts, leaving no room to consider or reflect on God (Psalm 10:4).

Submission to God is challenging and necessary as part of your Christian walk. Submission is difficult but not impossible because you must let the Holy Spirit lead you to overcome sinful pride. You must do so in the spirit, as you will lose the battle in the flesh. Additionally, once pride is overcome, you cannot replace it with another sin. Submission is necessary because it meets God’s law. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will keep His commandments (John 14:15). As a result, you obtain the Holy Spirit and Jesus’s peace. As a Christian, you submit to God. Submitting to your husband is no different.

A Mother’s Role

As mothers, we must teach and guide our children in their lives. Deuteronomy 4:10 and 6:6 tells mothers and fathers to teach their children about God. This means sitting down with them, reading the Holy Bible, explaining things when they have questions. Bible studies in families should happen regularly. Biblical education is critical in areas where the Holy Bible has been banned. The school will not teach God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. This must be done in the home.

Similarly, training is also involved. Proverbs 22:6 says:

Train up a child in the
way he should go,
And when he is old he will
not depart from it

Training starts with Bible structure in the home from their youth until they move out. When you teach your child about God, are you living in Jesus’s commandments or someone else's? If it is not from God, it is from Satan. Training in the Word is what gives them discernment for the future. Once they enter the world, secular views will be pushed onto them. They will need to know the truth of Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible because “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). By doing this, Godly men and women will be fully equipped to perform good work. Without these crucial teachings and training, a child will fall victim to false doctrine.

Training can also include discipline, which teaches a child right from wrong. Proverbs 29:15 displays what happens when children are disciplined or not:

“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

Discipline from God should also be trained as a positive correction instead of a negative approach. Children must be trained and taught in the Lord’s direction, for it is out of love and mercy that He seeks correction. Habakkuk 2:1 says:

I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when
I am corrected.

Paul said that those who endure correction from God are true sons of God, but those who do not are illegitimate (Hebrews 12:7-8). God is the father of all creation. He will correct you at the appropriate time. He does this out of love. You read earlier that Paul calls for mothers to love their children (Titus 2:4). Paul also said that love is being patient, kind, rejoicing in truth, bearing, hoping, believing, and enduring all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). How much more can you love them than to teach them about their Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth? We train, teach, and discipline children to make Godly children ready for the days ahead.

Accepting Jesus

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I strongly advise and encourage you to say this prayer aloud:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name, I pray, amen!

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