December 18, 2017

The ABCs of Christian Womanhood

Steven Owen

Today America faces moral decadence unprecedented in its history. The American home is under severe Satanic attack, and much of this attack has been directed against the role of women. Even Christian homes are under tremendous social and cultural pressure that threatens their very existence. We need to return to the first principles of Christian womanhood so that our wives can fulfill their God-given roles. We must endeavor to teach our daughters to aspire to such virtue and guide our sons to seek to marry women of virtue.

Proverbs 31:10–31 is a poem written to teach a man what qualities to look for in a wife. It is an acrostic (i.e., each verse starts with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet). This poem therefore spells out “the ABCs of Christian womanhood.”

Foremost, we all need to assess correctly the value of a true Christian woman. No treasure can compare to her because she will bring more comfort and satisfaction to her family than riches. But, alas, she is so rare because she is so seldom sought. Our culture places such great emphasis on beauty and charm instead of upon character that she is very nearly impossible to find (v. 10). Beauty will pass away (v. 30); a woman can employ charm to use men (v. 30); but a godly woman earns the praise of her husband, her children, her peers, and her Lord (vv. 28–30).

So what are the identifying qualities of the Christian woman? She is a woman of strength. The word translated “virtuous” literally means “strength.” The godly woman is very strong in these six areas.

The Characteristics of Christian Womanhood
  1. She is absolutely loyal to her husband (vv. 11–12). She is not a rebel against his will. Her goal is to work with and for her husband, without exception (v. 12). Her submission to her husband will result in a peaceful and prosperous home (v. 11). Her fidelity keeps her husband satisfied, and she becomes a “completer” to him so that he lacks nothing (v. 11). Some women are mixed blessings: Eve tempted Adam (Gen. 3:6); Job’s wife urged him to curse God and die (Job 2:9); and the contentious wife’s endless complaining makes life in the barren desert preferable to her company (Prov. 21:19). But the godly wife’s fidelity to her husband’s will results in prosperity in every facet of home life.
  2. She is strong in her work habits. She has initiative; she’s a self-starter who needs no prompting to attend to her duties (v. 13). She works willingly and diligently. She gets out of bed early (v. 15), and she works late (v. 18). You will not catch her wasting time (v. 27).
  3. She is strong in her financial management (v. 14). She saves money by shopping for bargains (v. 14). She sews (vv. 13, 19) and gardens (v. 16) to save the family budget. She adds to the family income by selling some of her wares (v. 24). She also does this through wise investments (v. 16) and running a business (v. 24). She does not, however, let her entrepreneurial activities interfere with her other duties at home. Perhaps she uses her business to teach her children good work habits and the value of money.
  4. She is strong in the area of motherhood. She ensures that her family eats a nutritious diet, beginning with a good breakfast (v. 15). Her children are also well-clothed against the weather (v. 21). And she works at keeping a clean, well-ordered house (v. 27). She is a thorough, efficient manager of all household affairs.
  5. She pays attention to her appearance (v. 22). Her apparel is both modest and attractive (v. 22). Her emphasis is upon her character. As a result, her character accentuates her beauty.
  6. She is strong in Christian character. Some women may be willing workers without being Christians; others may be Christians without being good workers; but the woman of solid Christian character will be a willing worker. This godly woman has love and concern for others. She is not greedy or stingy with her income. She is a giver (v. 20). And she is also concerned for the spiritual development of others (v. 26).
The Blessings of Christian Womanhood

The feminists of our time insist that Christian womanhood is nothing more than empty, dull slavery. Far from it—the Christian woman is the most fulfilled woman of all.

  1. The woman of strength fulfills her God-given duty to bring credit to her husband (vv. 11, 23). “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Prov. 12:4). God has created marriage to demonstrate the relationship between Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22–23). As it is the church’s duty to glorify Christ, so it is the wife’s duty to glorify her husband. It is in obedience to God’s plan that the wife blesses herself, for she is one flesh with him.
  2. She will have a most fulfilling and satisfying marriage. Her husband praises her for the blessings she has brought to him (vv. 28–29). He constantly reaffirms his delight in her, and tells her that no woman can compare to her.
  3. Her children love her (v. 28). Unlike many homes in which the children are bitter against their parents, her children bless her and offer thanks to God that they were born into such a home.
  4. She will find praise and admiration from her peers (vv. 30–31). Her testimony in the community will be well known (vv. 25, 31).
  5. Lastly, this godly woman finds deep satisfaction in life (v. 25). The seeds she has sown in her husband, family, church, and community bear an abundant crop of love and esteem. Her life grows richer and fuller with each passing day.

Dear Christian ladies, how can you be so blessed? Only by putting Jesus Christ first in your life and surrendering yourself to follow His plan . . . for “a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (v. 30).

At the time of original publication, Steven Owen was pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Monroe, Wisconsin.

(Originally published in FrontLine • March/April 2000. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)

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