Attitudes Expressed By Godly Women
By Joyce Nolt
Good-morning! Our topic this morning is "Attitudes Expressed By Godly Women". As I studied I have been challenged many times with areas in my life that do not express godliness. My prayer is that each of us would allow God and His Word to speak to us today. May we continue to grow more into the image of Christ each day. We could almost become discouraged when we see ourselves compared to the high standards that we will be looking at today. But remember the only time we really fail is the last time we try!
The verses given to me were Titus 2:3-5. Let's turn to these verses now. (read them). In most churches there are people of all ages. This makes the church strong, but it also brings potential problems. So Paul gives Titus counsel on how to help various types of people. The older people should teach the younger, by words and by example. Younger women were to learn how to have harmony in the home by watching older women who had been Christians for some time. Younger wives and mothers should learn to live in a Christian manner through observing women of God. If you are of an age where people look up to you, can you be confident that your example is motivating younger believers to live in a way that honors God? A challenge is - no matter how young or old you are someone is following and learning from you!
I have chosen six attitudes from these verses that will challenge us to grow and be women that God can use to serve others and bring honor and glory to Him. The first attitude we want to look at is:
1. Self-Control - Stability I Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Prayer is a key to us growing more conformed to His image. Do we take time to ask God to help us each day? We cannot live the Christian life by ourselves - we need God's help! You can probably remember with me days when we were too busy to pray. Oh, how sad and frustrating our day becomes! The days that we think we have little time for prayer, are the days we need to spend time with God the most! Let us take time!!
V3 says "The aged women likewise..", Referring us back to verse 2. I will be using some examples from this verse as well. We want to look at a few words in verse 2 that show self-control.
V2 Sober- earnestly thoughtful character, calm " Grave-serious, dignified " Temperance-restrained, moderation - "Patience-bearing trials calmly or without complaint, steadfast despite difficulty, cheerful endurance These words challenge us! Calm cheerful endurance! Do you bear trials calmly and without complaint? I don't always! Let's look at a word in verse 5 that also shows self-control
V5 Discreet- modest, good judgment in conduct Pro. 2:11,12 "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. To deliver thee from the way of evil men.." Discreet means “Pure in thought and act.” This is an encouragement to always handle ourselves in a way that is reserved; especially around men. Our world is so bold and unreserved. Our lives should definitely be far different from those who do not love God!
Looking at verse 3 we find our next area of self-control
V3 Not false accusers-slander- the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which damage another's reputation Ps1.101:5 "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that bath an high look and a proud heart will I not suffer." Who is your neighbor? It could be anyone that you know! Life is too short to spend time in gossiping. Let us chose to encourage others by the words that we say.
Let's look at one relationship that has been a challenge to some woman - your mother-in-law. I love the example of the relationship of Ruth and Naomi. It was a very good one, so perhaps by studying it we can find some principles that apply to our relationships with our mother-in-law. The development of Ruth's relationship required sacrifice. She had to leave her native country, her friends, and her remaining family. For us the eircurnstanoes will be different, but a worthwhile relationship will cost us something.
Another thine that impresses me about Ruth and Naomi is that they were able to take help and advice from each other. Keep the lines of communication open!
Ruth had a deeply rooted faith in God. This relationship with God affected her relationship with her mother-in-law. Our relationship with God will affect how we treat everyone we know and love!
Another attitude of self-control we find in verse 3 is
V3 Not given to much wine-temperance-It is a challenge to balance even the right things in life. Let's look at Martha and Mary - Martha became annoyed with Mary. Instead of helping with the chores of feeding and housing Jesus and his disciples, Mary had been spending time sitting happily at his feet. Jesus chided Martha, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Martha's story points to what is really important in life. She seemed confused and distracted, believing her ceaseless activity would produce something of lasting importance.
As I look into Martha's story, the more familiar it seems as familiar as the face &wing at me in the bathroom mirror! I am a Martha! A woman who has placed too much importance on her own activity and
not enough on sitting quietly before Jesus. Temperance is knowing that devotion is more important than service.
The second attitude we want to discuss is
2. Godliness Let's look at verse 2 again
V2 sound in faith-trust
Doubt sees the obstacles, Faith sees the way;
Doubt sees the blackest night, Faith sees the day;
Doubt dreads to take a step, Faith soars on high;
Doubt questions, "Who believes?" Faith answers, "I"
As we are challenged by each of these attitudes may we have faith and trust in our Heavenly Father to know He can help us live in victory!
Another trait of godliness is found in verse
V3 as becometh holiness- reverence, divine qualities
Is. 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not" Take time for God!
Being silent before God isn't easy in this noisy, earthly existence but it is essential. Quietness forces us to lay down the busyness of our lives, even doing God's work. It pries us away from our accomplishments
and makes us aware of our utter helplessness. It is when we are made painfully aware that apart from Him we can do nothing - that we are nothing. But also through Him we can do all things. May we find our strength in quiet time with God!
Let's look at verse 5 for the next trait that shows godliness-
V.5 Good - deserving of respect, honorable, virtuous, just, praiseworthy character
Pro. 31:28-31 "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
In reading for this topic I found an interesting thought on this 'wonderful" woman in Proverbs. How can anyone be what she was? This woman did not do all these things in one day; she did them in her lifetime!
Let's go on to the third attitude we want to look at
3. Teachable and teaching
Deut. 4:9 "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them to thy daughters, and thy daughters' daughters;"
V.3 teachers of good things
Deut 31:12 "Gather the people together, men, women, and children... that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:"
V. 4 teach the young women
Many times we teach more by our example than by the words that we say. More is caught than taught! Listen to the following story taken from the book Stories for a Faithful Heart.
As Kathy stained past the new shop that sold body lotions and soaps, the lavender-wrapped bars displayed in the window caught her attention. Her daughter Monica would have some. Once inside, Kathy picked up the closest bar and held it to her nose. The fragrance carried her back to her childhood.
She remembered Susan, the little girl in her fifth grade class who was poorly dressed and whose bathing habits were, well, not one of her regular habits. Kathy knew how important the opinions of her friends were, so although she felt sorry for Susan, she couldn't risk being friends with her.
Then one afternoon as the young Kathy colored the states on her homework worksheet, she casually mentioned Susan to her mother, who stopped in the middle of stirring the stew to ask, "What is her family like?"
Kathy didn't look up. "Oh, really poor, I guess," she answered.
"Well it sounds as though she needs a friend," her mother said. "Why don't you invite her to spend Friday night with you?"
Kathy looked up quickly then. "You mean here? Spend the night with me? But Mom, she smells." "Kathy Jean" Her mother's use of both names meant the situation was settled. There was nothing to do but invite Susan to her home. The next morning Kathy hesitantly whispered the invitation at the end of recess while her friends were hanging up their jackets. Susan looked suspicious, so Kathy added, "My mother said its okay. Here's a note from my mother to give to yours.
So two days later they rode the school bus home while Kathy tried to ignore the surprised looks on her friends faces as they saw the two of them together. Have two fifth grade girls ever been quieter? Kathy thought of other times when she'd been invited to spend the night with a friend. They would talk and giggle all the way to their stop.
Finally Kathy said to Susan, "I've got a cat. She's going to have kittens."
Susan's eyes lit up. "Oh, I like cats." Then she frowned as though recalling a painful memory and added, "But my dad doesn't"
Then both girls were silent until the bus rolled to a stop in front of the white house with green shutters.
Mother was in the kitchen. She greeted Kathy and Susan warmly and gestured toward the table set with two glasses of milk and banana bread. "Why don't you have a little snack?"
When the snack was finished mother handed each child a paper doll book and scissors. Dressing the paper dolls in dresses gave the girls something to talk about. By the time dinner was ready they were chatting enthusiastically about school
After the dishes were done, Mother said, "Time to take a bath before bed girls." Then she held out scented soaps wrapped in lavender paper. "Since this is special night, I thought you might like to use fancy soaps. Kathy, you go first. I will wash your back when you are ready."
Then it was Susan's turn. As the tub filled, mother poured in a double capful of bubble bath. "Don't you just love bubbles, Susan? She asked as though the child bathed in such luxury every day.
Once Susan was settled into the warm water, mother knelt down and soaped the wet washcloth heavily before rubbing it over the child's back
"Oh that feels so good," was all that Susan said.
Through the whole thing Kathy was thinking, oh how can she do that? Susan is so dirty.
After tucking the girls under the quilts, mother quietly said "Good-night girls," and turned out the lamp. Susan beamed as she pulled the clean sheets to her nose and breathed deeply. Then she fell asleep almost immediately.
To the sound of Susan's gentle breathing Kathy stared at the shadows on the wall, thinking about all that her mother had done. Somehow Kathy knew that her mother had washed more than Susan's dirty skin.
All these years later, Kathy stood in the fragrant store, the lavender soap still in her hand, wondering where Susan was now. Susan had started coming to school clean and pleasant on the outside, and she had an inside sparkle that came, perhaps, from knowing someone cared.
Kathy smiled, and then picked up a second bar of the lavender soap. She'd send that to her mother, with a letter saying that she remembered what her mother had done all those years ago not only for Susan, but for Kathy as well.
May we not only be teachers but also be willing to be taught. We miss so much when we do not take to heart what someone older shares with us.
Also let's be very careful and kind when we give advice to the younger women. The younger woman should be able to feel the love and concern that you have for them.
The fourth attitude expressed by godly women is
4. Loving Service- generous, helpful
I wept in the night for the shortness of sight
That to somebody's need made me blind
But I never have yet a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.
A touch of tenderness. Let me tell you a story - I couldn't see her face clearly - because my eyes were filled with tears, because my heart was sick with pain. Her outstretched arms encircled me; my friend simply held me and let me cry. Lots of times it is not what we say that makes a difference, but the love that listens and says nothing
Love is a choice! No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. Let's choose love! Let's look at verse 4
V.4 Love their husbands
God might have given Adam another man to be his friend, but he needed more than the companionship of the animals or the friendship of a man. He needed a helper, specially designed to fill that role. It was woman God gave him, a woman, a helpmeet, suitable, entirely appropriate for him! When love becomes an everyday fact that we live with, we begin to discover imperfections to which we respond either lovingly or unloving. The measure of self-giving is the measure of fulfillment we have in marriage. If you are a generous wife, you may perhaps allow that your husband lives up to 80 percent of your expectations. The other 20 percent you may want to change. You may, if you chose, pick away at that 20 percent for the rest of your married life and probably will not reduce it by very much. Or you may choose to skip that and simply enjoy the 80 percent that is what you hoped for. What is your attitude?
The following quote is taken from the book; Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Eliot - “How often I have sat in a roomful of people and heard a wife contradict, criticize, or belittle her husband before the rest of the company and I have with difficulty restrained myself from leaping from my chair, going over and shaking that woman by the shoulders and saying, "Do you realize what you have got?" She doesn't She hasn't my perspective, of course. If only there were some way for every wife to have the experience of losing her husband for a little time - even of thinking that he's dead - in order to regain the perspective she needs for
Your husband is a gift. The One who gives it may withdraw it at any time, and, knowing this, we should give thanks in receiving this wonderful gift!
Let's look at love-the kind of love that makes a marriage work is far more than feelings. To build a marriage it takes action! The underlying principle of love is self-giving. In the wife, this takes the form of submission. When in the course of daily life the love which we so naturally feel for our husbands is not sufficient for the wear and tear, the action then required is submission.
Let's settle it - if the Christian life requires sacrifice, a Christian marriage also requires sacrifice, the laying down of your life for your husband every day.
Things may change. Your provider may one day lose his job. Your strength may show unexpected weakness. Your knight in shining armor may experience defeat Your teacher may make a serious mistake that you tried to warn him about Your love may become a helpless patient, sick, sore, and sad, needing your
presence and care every minute of the night and day. "This isn't the man I married "you say, and it will be true. But you married him for better or for worse, in sickness, and in health, and thine promises took into account the possibility of radical change. That is why promises were necessary. The grace that enabled you to take those vows will be there to draw on when things seem impossible.
Verse 4 also reminds us of the attitude that we should have for our children
v.4 Love their children Ex. 2:3 Here we see how Moses' mother showed her love, "And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and laid it in the flags by the river's brink."
I Sam. 2:19 Hannah showing love for Samuel, "Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice."
I Sam. 21:8-10 "But the king took the two sons of Rizpah. ...and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord... And Rizpah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the water dropped upon then out of heaven, and suffered neither birds of the air to zest on them by day, nor beasts of the field by night". Rizpah guarded her sons bodies during the entire harvest season, which lasted from April to October! Oh, a mother's love!
Is. 49:15 "Can a women forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget him" Do you see God's great love for us?
John 19:25 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother..."
Every child deserves to be wanted. I Sam. 127 "For this child I prayed; and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord: as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord."
We show love for our children by praising God for each child that He blesses us with-they are a gift! Some of you have perhaps struggled with accepting the blessing of another child before you were ready. Let me tell you my story
We had a lovely little family! Darlene was 5 years old and Dawn was almost 3 when our son Daryl was welcomed into our home. Fifteen months later Daryl was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many were the times I prayed, "Lord isn't there another way I can learn the lessons that you are teaching me?" Treasure your children. Tell them that you love them! Daryl left us for his heavenly home four and half years later. Carl and I longed for another child. We prayed and cried. It didn't seem fair that some families had so many children and we longed for more.
One day I was listening to another Mom who was sharing her longing for more children. Her life was so focused on wanting more! She was very unhappy with her lot in life. God spoke to me through that example. Either I could enjoy our two daughters or miss all the blessings of today by being discontent God has truly blessed us! Are you truly thankful for the children that have been given to you, whether they are many or few?
Another way that we show love for our children is by training them to do what is right. Teach your children that the word you speak is what you mean. The child has to know that the word spoken will be the word carried out. Obedience is not optional! Choose to be gentle with your children. If we raise our voices;
may it only be in praise!
Let's go the next attitude that I have, which also shows that we love our husband and children.
5. Diligent Care, Cheerful Contentment- Pro. 31:27 "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
v. 5 Keepers at Home
Isn't There A Noble Task?
"There seems to be so little that I can do for Thee,
Isn't there a noble task that You would have for me?
Something that the world may know I'm busy for my King;
Beside the dull and daily tasks that every new day brings?
For how can stacks of dishes and piles of dirty clothes,
Tackled and completed, ever tell that Christ arose?
Or stories, mud and band-aids; read, cleaned up, applied,
Tell the world of Jesus, my Savior, crucified??
"Oh, busy, busy mother, your task is very great.
I've given you eternal souls to teach and educate.
Not in worldly wisdom, in fame, or honor grand,
But how to love and serve My cause, and seek the better land.
For as you tackle homey tasks with children by your side,
You have the greatest privilege, within their hearts to hide
Bits of goodly treasures from my holy Word,
Which many mighty men of faith first from their mothers heard.
Oh, busy, busy mother, I need you where you are.
Your task is very great, you need not travel far.
Oh love, and teach these little souls, and help them grow to be
Steadfast within the simple faith, to be of use to Me."
–from Heart Throbs of Motherhood by Miriam Druist
Have you ever felt tied down? Stuck at home with only a couple of small children for company? I know I have felt that way. Do you need a prescription that works on those kinds of days? It comes from Paul and Silas.
Paul and Silas were tied down. Literally. In a place not nearly as pleasant as your home or mine. Their feet were locked in stocks, and they were confined in a prison that was probably dark and damp. Paul and Silas had been severely beaten. But what were they doing at midnight? Singing hymns!
The prescription-sing a hymn of praise. Out loud. It front of your children - they won't mind if you flat a little. If necessary, repeat the dose.
Try this, it does work! My focus shifts from myself and my problems to God. God doesn't always respond to our praise by changing our circumstances, but our praise usually changes our attitude, and improves our ability to cope with whatever circumstances we face. Cheerfulness contentment is the key to overcoming self-pity.
I have found that when I have a very busy week ahead, it is helpful to make a list of all the things that absolutely have to be done, and the extra things I'd like to do if possible. Then divide the list into the six days, usually with a plan for morning and afternoon. Taking only a day (or sometimes a half day) at a time cuts the pressure of the demanding week down considerably. God doesn't expect me to tackle more than one day at a time. He will give me enough time! A caution-Let's be very careful not to plan more than we can do. We will need to say "No" to some good things! Do not compare with others!!
Planning a week's meals in advance, then making a list and shopping for those items needed, preparing food ahead of time, and freezing it, getting supper preparations started earlier in the day knowing that the baby may be fussy just before supper- these are few examples of doing things decently and in order.
My Jobs In Rank Importancy
Today there was so much to do;
Which way to go I hardly knew,
The trash cans full enough to burn,
The garden bounties wait their turn
. A pile of mending meets my eye
A list of staple things to buy.
My shadow is a son of three,
(Beneath my elbow, on my knee)
Who questions me incessantly,
Or "Here's a worm, Mom. Come and see."
Oh, would someone map out for me
My jobs in rank of importancy?
But wait; please don't forget the list
Ample time for "hug and kiss,"
A story 'bout the giant, tall
And how boy David made him fall.
Time for band-aid and some salve,
And time to watch a baby calf,
Time to watch a sunset, too,
And gather flowers, orange and blue.
Time to sing his favorite song,
Time to tell him why it's wrong
When he insists, or wears a frown,
Or renders a loquacious sound.
For if tomorrow God would choose
To take my son, oh, I would lose
The opportunity to teach
And clasp the little hands that reach
For love, and time, and all of me
He needs to help him grow, you see.
And I grow too.
In teaching him I've learned to kneel,
I must you see,
The tree house door's too low for me.
I've learned to wait;
I've learned to smile
Upon the growing mending pile.
Sometime when he has grown and left,
Of childish sounds I am bereft,
Then there will be the time I need
To sew, and pull each tiny weed.
Each week I'll wash the kitchen floor
And shine the window in the door.
But now I'll take some time to stop
With him and watch the bunny hop.
"Oh Father dear, help me to see
My jobs in rank importancy,
And how to lead his mind t'ward Thee,
And teach him of eternity.
The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in personal appearance, the things you spend money on all speak loudly about what you believe. Beauty and peace shine forth in an ordered life.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strivings cease.
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
T he beauty of thy peace.
A question that may be asked, "Does keepers at home mean that we should be at home all the time? Is it ok to be employed in a job outside our home?"
The first thing I want to say is we are to be keepers at home which means our homes are our first priority. We should have time to have meals prepared, the house cleaned, laundry done, etc.
Again, I will give you my experience because I know that best. Daryl died in August In September Darlene and Dawn went back to school. I went from being a nurse to a sick child requiring extra care to a mother with no one at home with me. For a month I struggled with what I should do. My answer came one evening when Carl shared that he felt it would be good if I would check into working 2 days a week at a local store. They allowed me to work from 9-2:30 while the girls were in school. God was faithful!
Yes, I do feel that there is a place for outside employment, but not if you have preschool age children or if you do not have time be a "good" keeper at home. Our home or family should not suffer from us working outside the home.
Let's take a look at the last attitude I have listed.
6. Submission Eph. 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.
v.5 Obedient to their own husbands
One thing that makes a marriage work is acceptance of divine order. A wife is to submit herself to her husband. The husband's "rank" is given to him by God. The mature woman acknowledges that submission is the will of God for her, and obedience to this will is no more a sign of weakness in her than it was in Jesus when He said "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God"
Submission to God-given authority is not captivity. God wants us to be whole and secure and strong and one of the ways is to submit ourselves to the authority He has put over us. There is a spiritual principle here. It is the will of God. We must choose to willingly submit And that word willingly does not mean merely resign ourselves to something we cannot avoid. It means that by an act of our own will we give ourselves. With gladness we submit because we understand that voluntary submission is our strength. It is the thing that assures our fulfillment It takes humility to submit We can count on the God who issued the order to provide strength to carry it out.
In closing let's look at the last phrase in verse 5, "that the word of God be not blasphemed." Living with the attitudes of self-control, godliness, teaching and being teachable, loving service, diligent care and cheerful contentment, and submission speaks to the world around us! Oh, the power of beautiful lives!! Let's look at Nehemiah 5:9 "Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?" and 2 Peter 2:2 "And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of them the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
May our lives help others to see the way of truth and the blessing it is to our homes, churches and communities!
There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave, There are souls that are pure and true;
Then give to the world the best you have, And the best will come back to you.
Give love, and love to your life will flow, A strength in your utmost need;
Have faith, and a score of hearts will show Their faith in your word and deed
Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind, And honor will honor meet,
And a smile that is sweet will surely find A smile that is just as sweet.
Give sorrow and pity to those who mourn; You will gather in flowers again
The scattered seeds of your thought outbound, Though the sowing seemed but vain.
For life is the mirror of king and slave 'Tis just what we are and do;
Then give to the world the best you have, And the best will come back to you.
Madeline S. Bridges