In Celebration of the God Fearing Woman
What do you fear?
Are you afraid of snakes or spiders? Maybe you have a fear of failure. What about a fear that you will never measure up, or never be enough? The “Washington Post” finds that public speaking is one of America’s top fears (1). All of these fears are very real, and all too prevalent among our culture. However, I wonder, if we were to think about it, how often would we consider ourselves to be people who fear the Lord?
We know that when we are scared, it is usually a result of perceived danger, but what does it look like to fear the Lord, who is called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace?” (Isaish 9:6). How do we fear the one who calls us “friend,” and who works in all things for the good of those who love him? (John 15:15; Romans 8:28). This question is important, for a fear of the Lord is the central characterization of a Woman of God.
Indeed, scripture imparts this wisdom to us through the verses of Proverbs 31, especially Proverbs 31:10-31, as they highlight the qualities of a Woman of God. Rather than experiencing an anxious fear, this fear is one of reverence, a deep love and respect for God.
This reverence is the foundation of a Woman of God’s faith. A deep love for God drives her actions and thoughts, day in and day out. The woman who fears the Lord is praised as “more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10). More than that, a Woman of God is known for her courage, strength, dignity, and zeal for life, serving both her family and community. She is diligent, and “works with willing hands” to do good (Proverbs 31:13). She rises early and works into the night, providing for her family, as she “does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). A Woman of God is clothed in “strength and dignity,” and “she laughs at the time to come” (Proverbs 31:25-26).
Sisters in Christ, do not be afraid if you read this passage and find yourself not measuring up the expectations of a Proverbs 31 woman. The scriptures do not praise this woman so highly as to create shame among us. For who can lead such a perfect life? Rather, this passage celebrates the qualities of a Woman of God, and how she loves God, so that we may grow into her likeness. It is not what she does that determines her faith, but how she does it. In all things, she does good, cultivating a greater fear of the Lord. This is why we celebrate the Proverbs 31 woman, for a “woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” and she should encourage us to do the same (Proverbs 31:30).
Just as she cares for those in need, let us also provide for others; like the way she demonstrates dignity through strength and compassion, let us also find our strength in the Lord. When we do this, not only will we find confidence in God’s plan, overcoming the wordly fears we face, and laughing at the time to come, but we will also grow in wisdom and kindness.
Finally, sisters, when we recognize that “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,” that is when we will truly have a fear of the Lord, putting our faith in him alone (Proverbs 31:30).
In honor of Women’s History Month, let us celebrate the women who pursue God not only through their actions, but also in the way they love others, and the way they respect God. This is the way that the Woman of God gains God’s pleasure—not by performing perfectly, having a 4.0 GPA, living a white-picket-fence-life, being the head of a company, or having the most followers on social media. Instead, what defines her life is how she follows the Lord. For it is through her faith that the power of God works through her.
1. Ingraham, Christopher. “America’s Top Fears: Public Speaking, Heights and Bugs.” The
Washington Post. October 30, 2014.