“a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” – Proverbs 31:30 ESV.
Proverbs 31 Wife. The ideal wife. I’m sure there are a good bit of Christian women out there that desire to be married one day, have thought to want to be this woman. Some might be up in age and scoff at the idea of this unfulfilled longing to ever be met. I remember when I was a single, young women I would talk about this woman. I think I would even say, “of course I want to be like her,” but never understanding what it meant. Admiring the idea of her but not possibly understanding what that truly looked like.
Here I am, a wife and a good start would be to pursue the way God designed me to be in being a woman that Fears the Lord.
Today in Christian circles it’s not uncommon for women to think of Jesus’ love as romantic. Honestly, he is the true hero. We should be in love with him. He has saved us from eternal separation from Him. We should hold fast to our first love even in marriage. Which is whole another topic for another time. For being so in love with Jesus, some might not understand what “Fear the Lord” means. And like a husband needs respect, so does God.
- Definition of Awe – (noun) a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
After coming full circle from my disobedience (Note: Since I’ve been back, I’ve made mistakes, still struggle in areas, and miss the mark sometimes.) But I truly understand the AWE of God. That healthy fear of never wanting to walk away. To stay on the narrow path. Not to be perfect but truly seeking His face in everything and when I miss the mark, repent and turn away.
I use to be that “Single Godly Woman” that had an ideal of marriage and by watching marriages fall apart around me and even with scripture, I had the answers without understanding the heartache that brought the two of them there. Which in fact I had no clue. I knew what marriage shouldn’t be, by my broken family home and the abuse from my first one.
During my single years, I never invested in being around a healthy marriage to learn from. Being we are human that battle our flesh nature, even in the healthiest of marriage there will be bumps and bruises. I’ve seen great people give up on their commitment to one another based on the storms they were weathering instead of what Jesus said for them to do.
The culture we live in, doesn’t value the marriage commitment that was given by God. (Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24 ESV.)
I believe this is why singles need to be around married couples as much as married couples need to be around singles. Each season is a gift and we can learn something from one another. Like the grass is not always greener. Each gift, has its struggles. Each season, it is truly a gift and should be treated as such.
I don’t think any woman can truly understand the role of a wife until she is one. Christian women can idolize the idea of what kind of Man of God they want to marry, but it’s almost like you picture him to be like Jesus when in fact he is but a Man and a human. You will find out really quick how to forgive in marriage because unforgiveness can and will kill everything. The devil is a liar and the one thing he wants most, is to destroy the family unit. And if you look around you, he has been busy at it. (“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:31- 33 ESV.)
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t have principles when dating someone. First, he should be a follower of Jesus. If you are a believing woman, there should be no give on this one. No “BUT he is a great guy.” Missionary dating is dangerous and painful.
If you are not careful, you might not realize it. I’ve had someone dating me in hopes I would change into what God had called me to be and I’ve done the same. Really yield to the Holy Spirit leading. I usually tell my single friends, by the end of the coffee date you should know if they have the Holy Spirit. Two, you are not to search for him.
Women of God, always keep your heart on guard. (Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23.) Even if he has the Holy Spirit. Your heart belongs to Christ. It wasn’t until my vows that I told Matt, he can have my heart. Even though he loved me so well during our dating season, I kept my guard up. Because Christ worked too hard with me to heal me of my broken heart and I wasn’t just going to allow any man to come along to affect our relationship. We both admit we could have handled our dating season with more maturity. This is where accountability comes in. Having people walk with you, pray with you because we are not to walk our faith alone. No matter the season, we are in.
Marriage is hard work. Dating is foreplay that if you are not careful the enemy can tempt you in ways, that you think you are heading the right path when in fact you are leading by your fleshy desires. I know it is hard, that the amount of men going to church and pursuing a genuine relationship with Christ is a low bar. Welcome to the results of The Fall. But as women, we are responsible for our relationship with Christ. Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth from Revive Our Hearts has a beautiful testimony of managing her Gift of Singleness well. Now, I am not saying your story will be like hers but you can still trust God with your story. No matter what season you are in.
Even with what I know and experience I’m not truly equipped to give all the answers. I can share with you my life experiences of mistakes and victories. I do my best to encourage single women to truly seek Jesus. This world fights for our attention but Christ should be at the center of it all. Sometimes, that means saying no to what you want. Christ is more concerned with having all of your heart. Even with marriage, the only way I can respect and love my husband well is by respecting and loving Jesus first. By doing that, it is spending time with Him. For me, as a wife and mother its first thing in the morning sometimes super early depending if God wakes me up before my alarm. For you, it might be different. But to know God, is to know His Word. Reading scripture is truly a requirement to build a firm foundation. Because it will either be God’s word that shapes your mind or the culture that is around you. (“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 ESV.)
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” – Proverbs 31:10 ESV.
1. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 says, “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” Both in singleness and in marriage, God has to be our first love. If you are single, what habits can you create to make God your first priority? If you are married, how can you (and your spouse) stay accountable in keeping God at the center of your relationship? Paul writes this not as an attack on those who are married, but rather as a reminder of the most important relationship in your life.
2. For the Single Women of God: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14. Scripture warns us against being yoked with unbelievers. Can you identify why this is important? How can you heed this message in your own life?
3. For the Married Women of God: Can you identify a time that putting God first has helped in your own marriage? If not in the past, is there a current situation that you might need to seek Jesus in? What scripture can you find that might bring resolution to any broken areas?
4. Read Ephesians 5:22-24. How is the relationship between a wife and her husband compared to the relationship between the Church and Christ? Why is this important? How does it differ from the message of the world?
5. The definition of Respect as a verb is to consider worthy of high regard. I know with the word “fear” in christian and worldly circles is not popular. Especially if fear was force on you in the way of mental or physical abuse. Or fire and brimstone teaching through scripture. By looking through the lens of the definition of “Awe”. How does that speak to you?