The Christian Lady

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


"You may be a princess or the richest woman in the world, but you cannot be more than a lady." This quotation is by Jennie Jerome Churchill (1854-1921), the mother of Winston Churchill.

What is a lady? Websterís Dictionary defines "lady" as: "A woman having the refined habits, gentle manners, and a sense of responsibility often associated with breeding, culture, and high station; the feminine equivalent of a gentleman."

The Virtuous Wife

There is a poem in the book of Proverbs that is referred to as "The Virtuous Wife". Proverbs 31:10-31 (NLT) "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. {11} Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. {12} She will not hinder him but help him all her life. {13} She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. {14} She is like a merchant's ship; she brings her food from afar. {15} She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls. {16} She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. {17} She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. {18} She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. {19} Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. {20} She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. {21} She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. {22} She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth. {23} Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders. {24} She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. {25} She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. {26} When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. {27} She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness. {28} Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: {29} "There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" {30} Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. {31} Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."

In summary, the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 is a willing worker and her work is fruitful. She cooks, sews, manages real estate, and even plants a garden. She provides for her family and is generous to the poor. She speaks wisdom, and gives wise counsel to her family and friends. She is alert to business opportunities and to the needs of her home. Her heart is faithful to the Lord and to her husband. Ultimately then, she is praised by her husband and her children.

Wow, what a lady! She is more precious than rubies. This example in the Bible sets very high goals for the Christian lady, whether she is married or single.

This lady definitely fits Websterís Dictionary definition of a "lady". She is a person having refined habits, gentle manners, and a sense of responsibility.

Refined Habits

Refined is being free from coarseness or vulgarity; being purified.

A habit is an unconscious inclination to perform some act, acquired through its frequent repetition.

Letís define "refined habits" as setting a right example. The Christian lady must set an example that is pure from coarseness and vulgarity. The Bible calls this kind of an example: righteousness. The Bible defines righteousness as: "For all Your commandments are righteous-ness." Psalms 119:172 (NKJV).

A lady always carries a mirror in her purse. Why? So she can check her makeup. If she sees that she has an imperfection, she then gets her makeup and corrects the problem. A lady can utilize Godís commandments the same way, like a mirror. She can refine her habits, her example, by keeping Godís ten commandments. By looking at the commandments like a mirror, the lady can build righteous character.

Gentle Manners

One of the fruits of Godís holy spirit is gentleness. Gal 5:22-23 (NKJV) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

Gentleness is being considerate, kind and patient.

Letís repeat Proverbs 31:26 which says: "When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions"

The Christian lady must set a right example in being gentle and kind in all of her dealings with her husband, children, friends, relatives and neighbors.

A Sense of Responsibility

Proverbs 31 shows that the Christian lady must take on much responsibility.

Letís look at a Christian lady by the name of Dorcas. "At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. {37} But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. {38} And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. {39} Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. {40} But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. {41} Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive." Acts 9:36-39 (NKJV)

This Christian lady was full of good works and charitable deeds. This probably influenced God to hear and answer Peterís prayer by healing Dorcas.

Letís look at what the apostle Paul said about Phoebe in Rom 16:1-2 (NKJV) "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, {2} that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also."

The Believers Study Bible says: Phoebe is called a "servant" (diakonon, Gk.) of the church in Cenchrea. The word "servant" is the same word sometimes translated "deacon." Did the early church have deaconesses? The answer lies in the generic and the technical uses of the term. The word diakonon basically means "minister" or "spiritual servant." In that sense, the early church had numerous deaconesses who were most effective in their work for Christ. The technical meaning of diakonon (cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13) was restricted to a functional ecclesiastical office which was held only by men set aside for that endeavor."

Phoebe was a deaconess and had many responsibilities in the Church serving other people including the apostle Paul.

Letís look at another example.

Acts 18:26 (NKJV) "So he (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately."

In this example, Priscilla and Aquila, through their personal ministry, helped edify Apollos in "the way of God more accurately".

The new testament does not show any examples of women preaching to a congregation, but this example shows that women can do a person to person ministry in helping other people in "the way of God more accurately".

Even the older ladies in the Church have responsibilities. Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV) says: "the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; {4} that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, {5} to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

In Conclusion:

A Christian lady is a woman having the refined habits, gentle manners, and a sense of responsibility of living by the word of God.

For more information on this topic, request our free booklet: "the Christian Woman" by Ronald L. Dart.

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Independent Church of God

P.O. Box 22, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662