What are the Characteristics of a Wise Woman?

Kristi Walker

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Think of a wise woman you know personally. What makes her wise in your mind? Perhaps she is knowledgeable, hospitable, charitable, loving, nurturing, self-controlled, kind, content, financially savvy, generous, a teacher, mentor, an example to the next generation, faithful friend, lover of God, etc.

Personally, I have always been inspired and captivated by strong, wise women, both in real life and also in literature and movies. As a child and even into my teen and young adult years, I wanted to be like Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, and many others. Women who were intelligent, independent, imaginative, engaging, admired, strong-willed, gifted, secure – these were my heroes growing up. But what does the Bible say makes a woman wise?

Photo Credit: Unsplash/BenWhite

The Bible exalts wise women

The Bible exalts strong, capable and wise women! Does that statement surprise you? Think of the female heroines of the Bible:

Jochebed courageously saved her infant son, Moses, and allowed Pharaoh’s daughter to raise him which resulted in the deliverance of the nation of Israel. Esther put her own life on the line to save her people, the Jews (“If I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:16). Ruth, in a time of great personal grief, remained faithful to her mother-in-law and married a kinsmen redeemer to save the family line. Rahab risked her life by hiding two spies of Israel in her home. Deborah was a godly woman and one of the great judges of Israel.

Abigail saved the lives of many after her scoundrel husband, Nabal, angered David endangering them all. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was obedient to God, enduring slander and scandal to be the mother of Jesus. Mary Magdalene ministered with Jesus and his disciples were the last person to leave the cross and the first person to the empty tomb.

And there are many, many more. Wise women are praised in Scripture and have much still to teach those of us living thousands of years later.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao

The wise woman of Proverbs 31

Proverbs is one of the books of the Bible that scholars categorize as wisdom literature. The first verse of Proverbs lets the reader know that the book contains “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction…”  Solomon was a man who prayed for wisdom and God granted him his request. 1 Kings 4:29-34 describes the wisdom of the author of Proverbs:

God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations, people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

We could certainly look elsewhere in the Bible for characteristics of a wise woman and find plenty, but the final chapter in Proverbs grants us a thorough description in verses 10-31. This wisdom is compiled into a poem entitled “The Wife of Noble Character” or “The Virtuous Wife.” It is, therefore, referencing a married woman, but there is enough wisdom in this poem to apply to any woman in any state of life.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Marjan Apostolovic

A wise woman is…

A woman of godly character

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

(Proverbs 31:10-12)

“The Proverbs 31 Woman” as she is referred to by many is, first and foremost, a woman who fears the Lord (v. 30). She loves and worships God, prioritizing her relationship with Him above all others. She possesses rare virtue and noble character “worth far more than rubies” (v. 10). She is trustworthy and faithful (v. 11). People who know her well have full confidence in her. She is full of goodness and does not harm others(v. 12). Her inner beauty far surpasses her outward beauty as she reflects the beauty of her Lord.

 

A woman who does not waste her time, her resources, her abilities, or her life

She selects wool and flaxand works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still night;she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poorand extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

(Proverbs 31:13-27)

She is capable (v. 13, 19, 22), an eager and willing worker (v. 13), resourceful (v. 14, 16, 21), diligent (v. 15, 17, 18, 27), a provider for everyone in her care (v. 15), financially conscientious (v. 16, 18), strong (v. 17, 25), compassionate and generous (v. 20), prepared for the future (v. 21, 25), and well-spoken choosing wise and helpful words (v. 26).

A woman worthy of praise

Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

(Proverbs 31:28-31)

A wise woman does not need a husband or children to be praised. She will be praised and honored for her noble character and deeds. Those privileged to know her, will seek to emulate or imitate her way of life and her fear of God. Nothing given to her by God will be wasted. Her goals and standards for herself will be set high and she will live accordingly.

These above depictions of a wise woman must be understood as character traits, and not interpreted as specific actions to be implemented. For instance, you do not need to plant a vineyard or know how to make coverings for your bed in order to be a wise woman. Your relationship with God and character though, matter above all!

Photo credit: Unsplash/Diana Simumpande

Wise women mentor younger women

If you desire to be a wise woman or are praying for a young girl or woman in your life, this is a great list to pray through for yourself or someone else.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

“But wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matthew 11:19).

Additionally, wise women will mentor other women. Truly wise women are rare and valuable and their wisdom needs to be shared! Mentoring does not necessarily require extra time; it involves inviting others into your everyday life, allowing them to watch and learn and grow.

Perhaps you are someone in need of a wise mentor. If in reading this article, you sense you are lacking wisdom (as we all do at times), the Bible gives very simple advice.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

“Walk with the wise and become wise…” (Proverbs 13:20).

First, pray and ask God for wisdom. He promises to give it to those who ask! Second, identify a wise person and intentionally spend time with them until they rub off on you. Third, read through Proverbs 31 asking God to use it to transform you. Like Solomon, may wisdom be our prayer!

Photo credit: Unplash/Rosie Fraser


Kristi Walker has been a missionary in Berlin, Germany for over 15 years working with an international church as the Director of Student Ministries. She is the author of two books – Disappointment: A Subtle Path Away from Christ and Convinced. Applying Biblical Principles to Life’s Choices

A Prayer to Thank God for His Sovereign Control – Your Daily Prayer – August 31

A Prayer to Thank God for His Sovereign Control
By Meg Bucher

listen-to-this-devotional-icon

He set the earth on its foundations,
   never to be moved.
You covered it with the deep like a garment;
  the waters stood above the mountains.
At Your rebuke the waters fled;
  at the sound of Your thunder they hurried away—
the mountains rose and the valleys sank
  to the place You appointed for them—
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
  they will never again cover the earth. – Psalm 104:5-9

When my kids were still little, I longed for a magical solution to cure all aches and boo-boos. The constant clamoring for Band-Aids, boo-boo bunnies, and mommy hugs was everyday life for a long time. Long after the initial hurt had passed, that little Band-Aid on their finger or on their knee would remind them the rest of the day why they needed me, if only just to whine about what happened or add pity to the pain.

One day, I decided to use the clear, thick baby ointment that cures everything… maybe this would be the magical, cure-all solution? Clearing up a diaper rash is no joke, so I figured a paper cut should be a cakewalk for that stuff. I figured right, and they bought it. Problem solved …for a while.

In the search to heal what ails us, there are plenty of worldly solutions claiming to right wrongs and undo hurts. But, today’s verse reminds us of God’s sovereign healing. He secures the world. God set the borders of the ocean and perimeters of the sky, the depths of the ocean and heights of mountainous ranges. The sun rises and the sun sets, day after day, dependably.

Max Lucado wrote this about God’s power and control: “What controls you doesn’t control Him. What troubles you doesn’t trouble Him. What fatigues you doesn’t fatigue Him. Is an eagle disturbed by traffic? No, he rises above it. Is the whale perturbed by a hurricane? Of course not, he plunges beneath it. Is the lion flustered by the mouse standing directly in his way? No, he steps over it. How much more is God able to soar above, plunge beneath, and step over the troubles of the earth! As Matthew 19:26 tells us, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

We need each other for comfort, and we benefit from the medicine the earth provides, but neither is as powerful as His sovereign hand of love. It is a love Jesus died for on the cross so that we may come to Him and be healed …over and over again. When solutions seem senseless, look to Him.

TELLING THE TRUTH

telling the true man

Taken from Pete’s series Dance Lessons.

Social networking is like a nightclub. Twitter is the dance floor, Tumblr is the bar, and Facebook is the people crying in the toilets. — Unknown

Some of our dance floors are just way too small. Yeah, Scripture calls us into wild, unbridled grace where we move freely in His Spirit. Yet don’t we all have limited vision and limiting expectations of God? Haven’t we confined our dancing space by our circumstances?

How many of us say, “If I can pay my bills, eat my meals, have my health, and raise children who flourish—oh, and keep my looks—then, then, I will dance.”

Conditional, circumstantial dancing makes for a very small dance on a very small dance floor.

I’ve limited the space in which the Spirit can move in me.

Believers across the world live on less than three meals a day. Therefore, God’s dance floor must be bigger than my food pyramid. And health? Since birth my body has been on a trajectory toward death. Wrinkles, malfunctions, and decreased productivity don’t catch God by surprise. Therefore, His dance floor extends beyond my limited tomorrows and into eternity.

Remember, I’m not dancing to perform. I’m not dancing to earn God’s approval. So if I can’t pay my bills, I can still be dancing. If I get a bad bill of health, I can still be dancing. If my wife leaves and my dog dies and my truck won’t go, I can still be dancing—or at least write a country and western song about it.

God doesn’t promise an easy life, what our society calls “The Blessed Life.” No, the true blessed life—the life that dances so freely that my feet never touch the same part of the dance floor twice—is found in Psalm 118:5:

When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.

God is saying, “Come. Follow Me. Dance this way. You’ve been living in a tight place, afraid to breathe—waiting for the next shoe to drop. You’ve been trying to dance in an elevator, and I have the most incredible outdoor dance floor waiting for you.”

Lord, Your Spirit gives the breath of life, and I admit I’ve been suffocating here. Lead me into this spacious place. A place where circumstances cannot bind me. A place where my arms spread wide to hug You before setting to spin, twirl, and dance before You. Amen.

The Wonderful Implications of God being Our “Abba Father”

Blair Parke

Thursday, May 24, 2018

It is likely that most Christians have heard God referred to as “Abba Father” throughout their lives: in prayers, at church, while reading the Bible in quiet time, etc.

However, God’s title of “Abba Father” is only found referenced in the Bible three separate times, in the passages of Romans 8:15, Mark 14:36, and Galatians 4:6, which are all in the New Testament. Only two speakers utter these words in these passages: Jesus and the apostle Paul.

So why would a title mentioned so sparingly in the Scriptures be so monumental in describing not only Jesus’ and Paul’s relationships with God but our relationship with God as well?

This name of God is rich with meaning and implications for our lives. Read on to learn more about the meaning of Abba Father and why this title of God is so important for our theology and relationship with Him.

What is the Meaning of “Abba Father”?

To begin our exploration into God as Abba Father, let’s begin by understanding what “Abba” means in definition. As stated from Dictionary.com, “Abba” is the defining term for father in the Aramaic language, spoken by Jesus and Paul as an intimate term to characterize their personal relationships with God. It is also a term of reverence for bishops and patriarchs within the Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopian churches.

We will view most here the definition of Abba as father in Aramaic, as this is how it is shared in the three scripture verses in the New Testament:

Mark 14:36: “And He [Jesus] said, ‘Abba Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’”

Romans 8:15: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.”

Galatians 4:6: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba Father!’”

The scripture from Mark is stated by Jesus, while the verses from Romans and Galatians are shared by Paul. Both had deep relationships with God that emerged in miraculous ways, and both met one another in a miraculous way. Hence, this would explain one reason why they would share the same intimate name for God that is not mentioned by any of Jesus’ disciples or those found in the Old Testament.

Abba Father in Jesus’ and Paul’s Eyes:

With countless names of God in the Bible, why is Abba Fatheronly referenced by Jesus and Paul? To answer this question is to look more at what Jesus and Paul represent in the Christian faith.

One is the Son of God and savior for all mankind; the other was one determined to destroy the belief about Jesus and who He is until Jesus changed his life on that dusty road to Damascus.

The two men couldn’t be more different in the eyes of those around them, but in the eyes of God they were created from the same cloth; closer than physical brothers as they had become spiritual brothers for eternity.

Their stories display deep connections with God, following guidance to live lives on earth that placed them in danger but facing that danger knowing God conquers all in the end.

 

“He was tethered to God in a way that no one ever could or ever would be able to undo.”

Jesus was God in the flesh, letting the Father speaking through Him as He went about His ministry of spreading the Word of God to all who would hear and obey. Because of His intimate connection with God in heaven, before He was placed on earth, shows why Jesus would refer to God as Abba Father. He was tethered to God in a way that no one ever could or ever would be able to undo.

When He calls God “Abba Father” in the garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36, He says it as a way of acknowledging the power of God and the greatness that will come for Him through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It’s an expression of humble admiration for His Father, as well as an intimate request asked of God, for God’s will to be shown in this “cup” of sacrifice, that Jesus wouldn’t ask of anyone but God.

Related Video:

Paul’s Encounter Changed His Perspective Forever

For Paul, witnessing his transformation from Christian-hater to a lover of Christ was ground-breaking to him, him being a highly educated, well-to-do man from Tarsus. After encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul endured three days of blindness that changed his whole perspective about Christ-followers and faith in God in general.

He went on to embark on a ministry that witnessed to several churches around what is considered Europe today, including the church of Rome and churches of Galatia where the verses with Abba Father were written. Paul’s letters to these churches proclaimed to them that they were now all children of God, like he had become. They all now had the Spirit of Jesus within them, as he did, and were close to God as the Savior, justifying the reason for calling God “Abba Father.”

Why We Should See God as Our “Abba Father”

With Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul having their obvious reasons for seeing God in an intimate manner compared to others in the Bible, why should God be viewed as Abba Father to several of us who may not have had the transformational encounters that our Savior and His beloved follower had? Why should we also praise God as our Abba Father when we are not Jesus and we may not have witnessed God while temporarily blind as Paul did?

Well, each one of us was created in God’s image, similar to how Jesus was fashioned to represent God on earth (even though He was one and same with God in heaven). Making us as Himself was God’s plan from the beginning, as quoted from Genesis 1:27 (NKJV): “So God created man in His ownimage; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Knowing that we are made in the same image as God, this establishes an unbreakable bond we share with the Father and a solid form of intimacy that cannot be replicated with any other “god” or human. The potter made the clay, us, and with the making of us, He put time, attention, and love into us that He also placed within our Lord and Savior Jesus and in our beloved apostle, Paul.

Abba Father Knows Our Greatest Strengths and Weakenesses – And Loves Us

This is the reason for why we should view God as Abba Father, as He made and molded us as an earthly father does but does so in a way that is closer and more personal than an earthly father ever could. He knows us more than we know ourselves and handcrafted our personalities before we were twinkles of thoughts in our parents’ eyes.

So, the term “Abba Father” is not one that is just to exclaim in praise or recognition, such as with heavenly Father or Father God. Abba Father, as conveyed through Jesus and Paul, reflects the knowledge of knowing that God knows us better than we know ourselves and He established paths for us before we took our first steps as humans.

When you state “Abba Father” in prayer or hear it referenced in a sermon, you should envision a Father who knows your greatest strengths, your greatest weaknesses, and knows your beginning and end: but instead of forcing His will on you, He allows you to meet Him in your own way, with intimacy that can only be felt between the Creator and the created.

For these reasons, that is why God is our “Abba Father.”

————————

Blair Parke is a freelance writer for BibleStudyTools.com and editor for Xulon Press. A graduate of Stetson University with a Bachelor’s in Communications, Blair previously worked as a writer/editor for several local magazines in the Central Florida area, including Celebration Independent and Lake Magazine in Leesburg, Florida and currently freelances for the Southwest Orlando Bulletin.

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com


This article is part of our Names of God Series featuring the most used names and titles of God found in the Bible. We have compiled these articles to help you study all that God says He is and to help you understand His nature and character. Our hope is that you would focus on these truths and find hope as you rest in the promise of God’s presence, no matter the circumstances.

7 Meanings of Yahweh – God’s Name in the Bible
Son of Man – Jesus’s Favorite Name for Himself
Meaning of Elohim in the Bible
Abba Father – What it Means and Why it’s Important
What Does it Mean that Jesus is the Lamb of God?
God is the Alpha and Omega – Meaning & Understanding
The Meaning of Hosanna – Powerful Name of Jesus from the Bible
Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord Will Provide” Name of God
Jehovah Nissi: “The Lord is My Banner” Name of God
What is the Meaning of the Name El Shaddai?
What Does Yeshua Mean? Biblical Name for Jesus