Let’s explore the testimonies of a few of the real-life women of the Bible to grow in our faith and follow in their footsteps of humility, generosity, deep faith, and courage as daughters of the Most High God.
The women of the Bible give us a wealth of information about what God expects of a woman. The main virtuous characteristics: Feminine Distinction, Selective Submission, Spiritual Equality and Strength of Character.
The following are some of my favorite stories about women from scripture…
The Widow (a.k.a. the widow’s mite)
If you are feeling insignificant, take note – Jesus sees you! Her example warms my heart deeply. The main themes of her story: “it’s not the size of the gift that matters, but what remains after it’s given.”
Just before this story in Mark’s gospel, Jesus has been teaching and debating in the Temple courts. He has been surrounded by the opulence and luxury of King Herod the Great’s newly constructed Temple. Money, money, money, everywhere. This story encapsulates His reaction to the values (or lack of them) behind the lavish buildings on the Temple Mount.
The widow is unnamed but she showed the virtue of true generosity. Jesus sees her as she places her offering in the Temple Treasury. He points her out to his disciples as a model of true generosity. We have much to learn from this woman who was virtually nameless and of very humble means – just a face in the crowd. Yet, by her humble act of giving all she had, is what we find truly acceptable in Jesus’ eyes; she had His favor. Read more here!
She was a woman who showed strength of character when she appealed to David to spare the life of her foolish husband and his household. She acted with courage and initiative, independently of her drunken husband. Abigail showed honesty and a desire to protect her family. She was “expressive of her sunny, gladness-bringing presence.” Her religious witness and knowledge of Jewish history testify to an early training in a godly home, and acquaintance with the teachings of the prophets in Israel, Her plea before David also reveals her understanding of the events of her own world. Abigail is as “a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance.” In her, winsomeness and wisdom were wed. She had brains as well as beauty.
Today, many women try to cultivate beauty and neglect their brains. A lovely face hides an empty mind. But with Abigail, loveliness and intelligence went hand in hand, with her intelligence emphasizing her physical attractiveness. A beautiful woman with a beautiful mind as she had is surely one of God’s masterpieces. Read her story in (1 Sam. 25 and 2 Sam.) (Biblegateway.com)
Esther’s feminine distinction was used by God to put her in a place of powerful influence with the king. It was because of her God-given beauty that she was chosen to be the queen and she showed the most strength of character by urging all of the Jews to fast and pray for deliverance. Then risking her own life, brave young Esther approached the king with a plan of her own.
Esther’s story shows the danger of giving absolute power to someone who might turn out to be a fool. Ahasuerus governed by whim rather than by wisdom, becoming the tool of anyone shrewd enough to exploit him.
The lesson is clear: Let God be Your Ruler – do not give too much power to any one person; in the long run God alone should rule us. Right Living: the Book of Esther was written for Diaspora Jews, (Jews who lived outside Israel), to show them how to live in exile. If they encountered bigotry and prejudice, they must act with courage, wisdom and integrity. The origin of Purim: the story explained the origin of this feast, a major Jewish feast day. God’s sovereignty and deliverance are main themes. Esther’s influence, patience and courage is such a faithful witness to us. Read more (Est. 2:1-18; 4:10-7:10)
Naomi & Ruth
Strength of character, patience and good judgment are wonderful attributes of these women. Main themes: Friendship, Family and God’s Plan.
The book was written from Naomi’s point of view. Every event related back to her: her husband’s and sons’ deaths, her daughters-in-law, her return to Bethlehem, her God, her relative, Boaz, her land to sell, and her progeny.
Almost without peer in Scripture, this story views “God through the eyes of a woman.” Naomi has been compared to a female Job. She lost everything: home, husband, and sons—and even more than Job did—her livelihood. She joined the ranks of Israel’s lowest members: the poor and the widowed. She cried out in her grief and neglected to see the gift that God placed in her path—Ruth. Ruth herself embodied loyal love. Her moving vow of loyalty (Ruth 1:16–17), though obviously not marital in nature, is often included in modern wedding ceremonies to communicate the depths of devotion to which the new couples aspire.
The book of Ruth showed the Israelites the blessings that obedience could bring. It showed them the loving, faithful nature of their God. This book demonstrates that God responds to His people’s cry. He practices what He preaches, so to speak. Watching Him provide for Naomi and Ruth, two widows with little prospects for a future, we learn that He cares for the outcasts of society just as He asks us to do (Jeremiah 22:16; James 1:27).
The book also reveals the extent of God’s grace—He accepted Ruth into His chosen people and honored her with a role in continuing the family line into which His appointed king, David, and later His Son, Jesus, would be born (Matthew 1:1, 5). – See more at: http://www.insight.org/resources/bible/ruth.html#sthash.dKdNVJLD.dpuf
The Bible shares many other wonderful examples about women so that we grow in understanding of His perfect design and purpose God has for each of us! Please continue to explore more about the amazing examples of virtuous women of the Bible found here with audio too on this amazing resource! They are our mentors of the past whose influence extends far into our very lives here and now.