“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30, KJV
We hear of so many kinds of women these days! The American culture definitely has a portrait of a women that most of us are familiar with, along with its expectations and measurement of worth. Today however, I mainly want to think of how we define, and express, womanhood in the Christian community. In Christian circles, words like godly, kind, loving, gentle, wise, or faithful are all words that we use to describe what we admire in others as well as what we hope to develop in ourselves. These are attributes we are thrilled to see in a Christian woman, and certainly for good reason! God definitely desires a woman to cultivate those virtues listed above. But I have to say, this verse describing a woman who fears the Lord, has always captivated my attention! Historically, Christian women were referred to as a “God-fearing woman” quite frequently, which leads me to ask a question. Why is a God-fearing woman so ambiguous today?
Our culture, as a whole, has lost its fear of God
Learning to Fear God all over again
Before we really even can go into what this godly fear looks like in a young woman, I think it is helpful to go ahead and define our terms. Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary defines fear in one of the following ways: “In Scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear. Slavish fear is the effect or consequence of guilt; it is the painful apprehension of merited punishment.”
Well, with that definition, I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed to look up filial and slavish. 😊 Filial refers to a son or daughter, whereas slavish refers to a slave. So those who stand justified before God through the redemptive blood of His Son Jesus Christ will be in the filial category. Slavish fear was defeated at the cross for the Christian, through which we are now called the sons and daughters of God.
So according to Webster, fear is “a holy awe or reverence of God and His laws.” R.C. Sproul had some really helpful things to say about this fear in an article on Ligoniers site. “If we really have a healthy adoration for God, we still should have an element of the knowledge that God can be frightening. “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God.” R.C. Sproul, Ligonier
What does fearing God look like in a woman?
Scripture is filled with verses that shed incredible light on what it means to fear God in this way. So what I want to do, is personalize this for us younger women. Lets consider some scriptural attributes of a God-fearing women! Today, I will just give a bullet point list with corresponding Scriptures. Next week, I would like to take a few of those and expound on then a bit. These Scriptures are rich in challenges and there is no way we can do them even an attempt at justice in just one article.
- A God-fearing woman knows the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever! Psalm 111:10
- A God fearing woman hates all that is evil
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Proverbs 8:13
- A God-fearing woman understands hell and the the destruction of the unregenerate soul.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
- A God-fearing woman is in friendship with the Lord!
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. Psalm 25:14
- A God-fearing woman listens to and is instructed by God Himself
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11
- A God-fearing woman has the mercy of the Lord on her
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50
- A God-fearing woman has no lack, for God supplies for her
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! Psalm 34:9
- A God-fearing woman dwells in life and rests satisfied in the Lord
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23
- A God-fearing woman is protected and delivered by God’s own angels
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:7
- A God-fearing woman has all her desires fulfilled and her cry to God is heard
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19
- A God-fearing woman is satisfied with little
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. Proverbs 15:16
- A God-fearing woman serves the Lord faithfully with her whole heart
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24
- A God-fearing woman continues in this fear all day
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Proverbs 23:17
- A God-fearing woman is hated by Satan (sometimes its good to have enemies😊)
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Job 1:8
- A God-fearing woman has the eye of the Lord on her
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, Psalm 33:18
- A God-fearing woman is blessed
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! Psalm 112:1
- A God-fearing woman serves the Lord in sincerity and faithfulness
Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness…” Joshua 24:14
- A God-fearing woman seeks purity of body and spirit in holiness
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
- A God-fearing woman is rewarded with riches and honor and life
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
- A God-fearing woman turns away from evil
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. Proverbs 16:6
- A God-fearing woman is acceptable to God
But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:35
- A God-fearing woman drinks of the fountain of life
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27
- A God-fearing woman know her whole duty is to fear God and keep his commandments
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Lets end by just praising God!
Truly, isn’t our God amazing? It is a delight to fear Him. I love that last verse from Ecclesiastes and how it tells us that fearing God summarizes the whole duty of mankind. This list is by no means exhaustive, it really just scratches the surface. So we will make a series out of this! Please share in the comments section which of these verses/points is of most comfort to you!
Soli Deo Gloria,🌷