Women are different from men in so many ways. Yet women are so much like men sometimes it is scary. What gives? The Bible makes it clear that men and women were created for different functions, whether it be in the home or in the church. In many areas of life one could say that men were meant to lead and women were meant to follow. Most men would probably agree. Does the Bible agree though? In most cases, profoundly yes! Yet there are certain women that are mentioned in scripture that have a different makeup than most. The Bible is not bashful about speaking of their love for God, their fear of the Creator, but even more so their obedience. Let us take a look at a few of the women that God put on a pedestal so that faithful women could learn from them.
Mary the mother of Jesus came to know many things, from the time she said to the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man” to the day she saw her Son on a cross hanging between two thieves. It took great courage when she said, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) What a scary situation for a young woman in so many ways, yet we see nothing but humility and a submissive servant of God. Throughout the gospel accounts Mary was at the side of her son through thick and thin, as were many other women that we have come to love for their servitude toward Christ. There were Mary, Martha, and many others who took of their means to serve and follow Christ. Mary Magdalene is one most often mentioned above the others. She had the privilege of seeing the Christ at the tomb and spreading the wonderful news to the other disciples that they served a risen Christ.
Ruth in the Old Testament is another example of a humble, contrite woman of God. After the loss of her husband and several more that she loved, Ruth was willing to follow Naomi wherever she might lead. “For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17) What a wonderful display of courage and fortitude coming from a “heathen girl.” This also speaks volumes about Naomi and the impact she and her family had on this moabite woman. Because of Ruth’s humble and submissive nature, she was noticed and appreciated by Boaz who fell head over heals in love with her.
Rahab was another pagan woman that heard of God and feared His great name. She risked her life to hide the men that scouted Jericho. She was up front about the things she had heard concerning God, telling the spies, “I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:9-11) Therefore she, because of her faith and obedience, is one of just a few women who are mentioned in Hebrews 11.
Priscilla the wife of Aquila, along with her husband, was noted by Paul saying, “Who have for my life laid down their own necks…” (Romans 16:3) She and Aquila were faithful and stedfast servants of God.
Queen Esther is an example of tremendous courage under pressure. In a dire circumstance Mordecai warned Esther, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14) It seemed as though Esther didn’t even blink when she replied, “and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
This is just a small sampling of the courageous and God-fearing women of the Bible. Christian women have played an important part in living and spreading the Gospel of Christ. They, in fulfilling their God-given role, are blessings to many day in and day out. “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:25-27) We brothers in Christ thank you.