Society today has a lot to say about a woman’s place in this world. Some believe that significance is marked by breaking barriers and shattering the glass ceiling, while others believe that a woman is most valuable at home raising babies. There are different opinions being thrown at women from every direction. But what does the Bible say about a woman’s role? Did God design women with a single mission in mind?
Let’s start at the very beginning. We see in Genesis 1 and 2 that God created the heavens, skies, light, vegetation, creatures, and man, but something was missing.
In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him”(NLT).
He did so by taking one of Adam’s ribs while he was sleeping and making it into a woman (Genesis 2:21-22). The woman was named Eve, and she was the first female to walk the earth.
I want to discuss the word “helper” because some believe that being labeled as a helper makes women inferior to men. However, that is far from the truth. Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created male and female in his own image.
This tells us that both male and female are equally important and capable in the Lord’s eyes. Being portrayed as a helper does not devalue a woman, and this word is not used to describe someone who is less than. There are numerous verses in the Bible that describe God in the very same way:
“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”Psalm 46:1 CSB
“God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my life.”Psalm 54:4 CSB
God in his own words also tells us that he will be our helper:
“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”Isaiah 41:13
Rather than look at this portrayal as an afterthought that puts women second in line, we should view it as a strength that can point women to their God-given purpose. The Lord felt that humankind was not complete with man alone. Though Adam might have been created first, Eve was created because God saw a need for meaningful relationship.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up.”
Adam didn’t need just anyone though. God did not create another male to provide relationship for Adam; he created a female. Someone who was like Adam, yet different in many ways. Although male and female were created equally, they were not created to be the same. He designed women to bring different strengths and qualities to the table. Eve was made to complement Adam. She was created to help Adam do life. And that is the role of a godly woman today!
Women are to serve their purpose by providing meaningful relationship to those around them. Let’s remember that this does not have to apply solely to a woman’s relationship with a man. This includes everyone in our life: parents, siblings, children, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
The role of a godly woman is to use her strengths to point others to Jesus. So, what are these characteristics that God gifted women? Let’s look at just a few ways that the Bible describes a godly woman:
- A godly woman is gracious (Proverbs 11:16).
- A godly woman is wise with her works and how she lives (Proverbs 14:1).
- A godly woman has a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
- A godly woman focuses on her heart for Jesus rather than her outward appearance (Proverbs 31:30).
- A godly woman works hard and is wise with her money (Proverbs 31:16).
- A godly woman is respectful (Ephesians 5:33).
- A godly woman is sensible (Proverbs 11:22-23).
- A godly woman serves willingly (Proverbs 31:13).
- A godly woman speaks truth and teaches with compassion (Proverbs 31:26).
These are just a few of the characteristics used to describe a godly woman. We can also look to the women of the Bible to see their strengths and how God used them.
Abigail was described as being intelligent, and we see her put that to use when she interceded for her husband to make things right with David (1 Samuel 25).
Deborah was a prophet and a judge of Israel. She was a leader, a counselor, and a courageous soldier who was not afraid to fight for what was right. She was also a songwriter (Judges 4 and 5)!
Lydia was a successful businesswoman who worked selling purple cloth (Acts 16).
Phoebe was a servant and a minister in the church (Romans 16).
Miriam was a prophetess who led other women in worship. She also stepped in to protect her little brother, Moses, which in turn saved his life (Exodus 2).
And let’s not forget about Mary. Mary was chosen by God to bring Jesus into the world and raise him (Luke 1:26-38).
When reading about these women in the Bible, I kept coming to the same conclusions. Women play a significant role, and God uses their gifts in mighty ways. Women do important work, and they are powerful influences in the lives of those around them. Women use their intelligence, bravery, creativity, and compassion to make a difference in this world.
Whether you’re married or single, pursuing a career or raising babies (or both), studying for your education or retired, your role is the same. Women are to encourage, fight for, counsel, protect, serve, and love all of those around them. No matter what life looks like, remember your role in Christ. Remember your unique characteristics that God gifted you as a woman.
We don’t all have to shatter the glass ceiling. We don’t all have to keep a picture-perfect home and raise the perfect children. God uses women and their gifts in the church, in the workplace, at school, and at home. God uses women in the mundane and in the extraordinary. We can use our strengths to fulfill our God given purpose wherever we might be.
Being a woman is a gift that should be cherished, and we should celebrate the special way in which God designed us. Let’s use our God given strengths to make a difference in this world!
Maybe a family member needs you to step in and fight for them. Maybe a friend needs Godly counsel. Maybe a coworker could benefit from your creativity. Maybe a neighbor could gain from your compassion.
Take some time this week to reflect on where God has you and the people he has placed around you. What role are you currently playing in their life? Are there ways that you can use your strengths as a woman to provide more meaningful, godly relationship to them?
For more Scripture describing God as our helper, read Psalm 28:7 and Hebrew 13:6.
For more Scripture describing the characteristics of a godly woman, read Proverbs 31.
Beth lives in north Alabama with her husband and two little ones. She loves to be with family and is always up for an adventure with her boys! Beth works as a recruiting coordinator by day, but she has a passion for writing and loves to use that passion to share the Word of God with others.