The idea of being a Godly Woman might sound intimidating. Actually, every woman can be a Godly woman. But what does that mean and what are the 11 virtues of Godly women in the Bible? We will break down what it means to be Godly and look at examples of Godly women in the Bible, seeing what they have in common with each other and with us. In addition, we will see the example of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 and see how to be inspired, encouraged, imaginative, and enthusiastic about our lives as women of God.
Definition of Virtue
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, virtue means, “morally good behavior or character; a good and moral quality//Patience is a virtue.” To have virtue means to have qualities in your life like the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in Galatians 5.
In fact, the Holy Spirit plays a huge role in our ability to live a virtuous life.
Let me emphasize this: As you yield to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life. When your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit you hinder him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your self-life from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.
But when you yield to the life of the Spirit, you will no longer be living under the law, but soaring above it!
Here we see why the Holy Spirit is so important. As we yield to Him, He helps us soar above the law of sin and death. In addition, He also gives us His fruit! He filled the Godly women in the Bible.
The Fruit of the
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
The fruit of the Spirit will abound in us quite naturally when our character is defined by the example of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We will be women of virtue, and be like the Godly women in the Bible.
What Defines a Godly Woman?
First, we need to look at what “Godly” means. The Cambridge Bible defines “Godly” as “Obeying and respecting God.” Dictionary.com says this, “the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness: To be wise is to live in godliness, reflecting the nature of the kingdom of God in the course of everyday life.“
Definitions.net defines “Godly” this way, “pious; reverencing God, and his character and laws; obedient to the commands of God from love for, and reverence of, his character; conformed to God’s law; devout; righteous; as, a godly life.”
The word comes from God + ly and actually means Godlike. Christians are instructed in the Epistles to be ‘like’ Jesus and Paul asked his followers to imitate him as he imitated Jesus. Jesus told us to follow His examples in many things like foot-washing, loving one another, and obedience to the Father.
Hopefully, that gives you reassurance to know that, since your desire is to be conformed to Jesus’ image and to obey God’s commandments with reverence, you are a Godly woman. Yes, there are other characteristics that may or may not be part of your life and we will look at those.
This one statement truly sums up being a godly woman or person –
reflecting the nature of the kingdom of God in the course of everyday life.
Virtue 1 – Faith and Love that Inspires Every Part of Your Life.
How to Be Inspired By the Life of Esther
Let’s start with Esther. Esther was a Hebrew woman living in Shushan, a region of what was then Persia. The Jews had been allowed to start rebuilding the temple by one ruler and then the next, Darius, put a stop to it. Next came King Ahasuerus. King Ahasuerus had held a banquet, probably honoring himself and his wealth. Toward the end of the banquet, he ordered his wife, Queen Vashti, to come and show off her beauty. She declined the offer which was a major insult to the King and she was banished for dishonoring the King in front of all of His ‘people.’ A search for a new Queen began.
A Jewish man named Mordecai had raised a beautiful, young Jewish woman who was the daughter of his Uncle. Her name was Esther. As part of the search for a new queen, Esther was taken willingly along with many other women into the king’s house under the watchful eye of Haman.
Long story short, Esther works on her beauty for a year, appears before the king with other women and is chosen to be the next Queen. She has found great favor in the king’s eyes and he has fallen in love with her. In fact, she has found great favor with everyone. On Mordecai’s advice, she has not yet revealed to anyone that she is a Jew.
Mordecai stayed outside the King’s gate so that he could communicate with Esther, and one day he overheard two of the King’s eunuchs plotting to harm the King. Mordecai told Esther, Esther told the King, and the plot was quenched. However, the King soon forgot what Mordecai had done.
Haman, a servant of the king, is then promoted and it is expected that everyone will bow to him. Mordecai refuses and lights up Haman’s anger. When Haman learns that Mordecai is a Jew, he decides it would be best to kill all the Jews along with Mordecai to eliminate the whole problem. Mordecai learns of the plan and goes into mourning. Queen Esther’s servants tell her what has taken place and she devises a plan to expose Haman’s pride and evil plans. She has been “born for such a time as this.”
Esther decides to hold a two-day banquet with only two invited guests – the king and Haman. Haman’s ego is puffed up even more. He immediately builds a gallows to hang Mordecai on. But, a restless night spent reading, reminds the King that Mordecai saved his life, and the king decides he wants to honor Mordecai. The next morning, the king tells Haman he wants to honor someone who “brought the King much pleasure.” Haman assumes that the king is referring to him – of course! So, he helps the king plan an amazing honoring ceremony.
On the second night of banquets, Haman and the king are present. The king has already asked Esther 2 times what it is she wants and tonight is the night she will tell him. The king again says, “Whatever your request, Queen Esther, you will be granted it; whatever you want, up to half the kingdom, it will be done.”
Virtue #2 – Courage to Obey and Encourage Others
Esther replies this time with her request, “If I have won your favor, king, and if it pleases the king, then what I ask be given me is my own life and the lives of my people. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, killed, exterminated. If we had only been sold as men-and women-slaves, I would have remained quiet; since then [our] trouble would not have been worth the damage it would have caused the king [to alter the situation].” Esther 7:2-4 CJB
The king asks who this person is who wants to kill her people and she tells him it is Haman. Things get worse and worse for Haman throughout the day and he is finally hung on the gallows he built for Mordecai. Mordecai is given the position Haman had held and the evil is cleansed from Persia, saving the Jewish nation from annihilation. Esther has saved her people. She is truly an example of all the Godly women in the Bible.
Esther has 10 characteristics of a godly woman and each one should show us how to be inspired by her virtue:
- Faith in action.
- Wisdom and Imagination in how she approached the problem
- Proper use of authority.
- Submission to Mordecai and the King through inspiration from Mordecai’s instructions.
- Courage because she knew what had happened to Vashti but took action anyway.
- Patience to know the right time.
- Teamwork and enthusiasm about her task.
- Promoting unity through Encouragement to others including the King!
That might appear to be a lofty and impossible list but it’s not. Esther was just a young Jewish woman living in Persia with thousands of other women. She was a nobody put into a place of renown by God. However, she exhibited great wisdom as well in how she handled every part of this delicate situation. As a Jew, she worshipped God and loved Him with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. As a result, God gave her all that she needed to fulfill her task.
Here is how you obtain wisdom:
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in trust, doubting nothing; for the doubter is like a wave in the sea being tossed and driven by the wind. Indeed that person should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord, because he is double-minded, unstable in all his ways.
Virtue 3 – Eshet Chayil
The Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31
The first time I read Proverbs 31, I felt like a total failure as a woman, wife, and mother. After all, she did everything and did it perfectly. Later, I realized that the Proverb was covering a lifetime, not just one season of her life. However, she is still a seemingly large example to live up to.
I want to use the Complete Jewish Bible to perhaps give you a different understanding of the Proverbs 31 woman.
First, according to Jewish tradition, these verses, Proverbs 31:10-31, are called the “Eshet Chayil.” It is said that they were written by Abraham about Sarah. Later, ‘the virtuous woman’ was a symbol of the feminine presence in the Torah and in wisdom. In Jewish homes, these verses are read every Friday evening after Sabbath has begun, usually by a man honoring his wife. The virtuous woman is extolled as are all women who shine the light of God through their lives and actions. The ‘Eshet Chayil’ spoken of here is a compilation of many women who are virtuous – the godly women in the Bible.
10 Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far beyond that of pearls.
ב 11 Her husband trusts her from his heart, and she will prove a great asset to him.
ג 12 She works to bring him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.
ה 14 She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.
ו 15 It’s still dark when she rises to give food to her household and orders to the young women serving her.
ז 16 She considers a field, then buys it, and from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
ח 17 She gathers her strength around her and throws herself into her work.
ט 18 She sees that her business affairs go well; her lamp stays lit at night.
י 19 She puts her hands to the staff with the flax; her fingers hold the spinning rod.
כ 20 She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
ל 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.
מ 22 She makes her own quilts; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
נ 23 Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.
ס 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.
ע 25 Clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.
פ 26 When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her tongue is loving instruction.
צ 27 She watches how things go in her house, not eating the bread of idleness.
ק 28 Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:
ר 29 “Many women have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all!”
ש 30 Charm can lie, beauty can vanish, but a woman who fears Adonai should be praised.
ת 31 Give her a share in what she produces; let her works speak her praises at the city gates.
Here are some characteristics of virtuous women in the Bible taken from Proverbs 31 in the Complete Jewish Bible:
1. Her heart is bound up in the well-being of others.
2. She is creative and resourceful, radiating her own beauty in her own unique way.
3. She cares for herself but knows she is more than just a physical body: she emanates this beauty from her soul as well in servitude and in love.
4. She is fully aware of her place in the plan of God, seizing each moment with intention.
5. This practical and spiritual woman aligns her thoughts, body, and actions for the sake of heaven.
6. She approaches life with fortitude and presses forth despite obstacles.
7. She might be single, she might be married; she might work in the home, she might be a corporate executive; she might be a teenager or a grandmother.
8. Whoever she is, she is the “eschet chayil: the woman who strives to live a full life of service to God.
I think the last statement sums it up – “she is a woman who strives to live a full life of service to God.” Women do this as wives, mothers, friends, in business, in every vocation, in giving, and in loving others as Christ does every day. This is not abnormal – it is normal for those who trust God.
- Verses 10-12 – she is a trustworthy wife who works for the good of her husband.
- Verses 13-15 – she isn’t lazy. She’s inspired and willing to work hard to provide for her household.
- Verses 16-18 – she is a savvy businesswoman who, with great enthusiasm, also “throws herself into her work.”
- Verses 19-20 – she enthusiastically embraces, gives encouragment, and helps the poor and needy while never forgetting her family
- Verses 21-22 – she plans, imagines, and prepares for the future
- Verses 23-24 – she and her husband work for the good of their community
- Verses 25-27 – she is wise and watchful
- Verses 28-31 – she fears God and her works speak her praises
The Proverbs 31 woman is a collection of many women. Not everyone is a wife, mother, or businesswoman. Rather than focusing on the specific actions, look at the basis of the life of the virtuous woman – service to her God. “Eschet Chayil” is better translated as heroic woman or woman of valor. Esther and the Eshet Chayil are certainly both of those things.
Virtue #4 – Submission to God and His will
Deborah and Jael
Another example of a godly woman who was “Eshet Chayil” is Deborah. Deborah was a woman, prophet, wife, and judge in Israel and every day, she took her place under Deborah’s Palm where people came to her for her judgments. We don’t know where she came from or how she ended up in these roles but she is remembered for her wisdom and courage. She was a heroic woman, a woman of valor.
Deborah heard and obeyed God’s voice and, along with Jael, was responsible for winning a crucial battle fought against Jabin, the Canaanite king. There is no other woman like Deborah in the Bible. She was a woman, prophet, judge, warrior, wife, and possibly even a mother! In a short section of the Book of Judges, you see a snippet of her life as a woman of authority, serving God in ways that only men traditionally performed. Yet, men respected and obeyed her as we see in the example of Barak, the general she had command over.
Deborah Hears God
Upon God’s command, Deborah summoned Barak to take his army and defeat Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, and Sisera’s entire army as per God’s command. Deborah went with Barak because he said he wouldn’t do it without her! She warned him that, because of this, he would win, but receive no honor for killing Sisera because a woman would kill him. Barak fought the battle as God threw Sisera and his entire army into panic.
Sisera ran away from the battlefield as Barak’s army killed every other man there. Sisera ran to the tent of an ally, and Jael, the wife of his ally saw him. Jael called to him, inviting him in. She provided Sisera with shelter, milk to drink, a blanket, and when he fell asleep she drove a stake through his head. Jael then saw Barak out looking for Sisera and invited him into her tent. There, Barak saw the fulfillment of Deborah’s words to him.
Two very brave women in the Bible defeated the enemy through their obedience and courage. You can read about both of them in the Book of Judges, Chapters 4-5.
Virtue #5 – Truthfulness and Always Trustworthy
Priscilla – Leading and Teaching
Priscilla and her husband Aquila are spoken of by Paul. It is out of character for a woman’s name to be first when naming a married couple. In the seven verses about the couple, Priscilla’s name is first in 5. This would indicate that Priscilla had a leading role. This couple helped Paul to lay part of the foundation of the newly formed church. Here are the verses about Priscilla and Aquila.
After these things, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jewish man named Aquila—a native of Pontus having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see them; and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and began working, for by trade they were tent-makers. Acts 18:1-4 TLV
Paul, having stayed many more days, said farewell to the brothers and set sail to Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchrea Paul had his hair cut off, for he was keeping a vow. When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. But he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jewish people. Acts 18:18-19 TLV
Now a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, well versed in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. With a fervent spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the facts about Yeshua—while only being acquainted with the immersion of John. This man began speaking out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately. Acts 18:24-26 TLV
Now I recommend to you our sister Phoebe—who is a servant-leader of Messiah’s community at Cenchrea— so you may receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of kedoshim (the Holy Ones), and help her in whatever matter she may need from you. For she herself has become a patroness of many, including me as well.
Greet Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquila, my fellow workers in Messiah Yeshua, who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I give them thanks, but also all of Messiah’s communities among the Gentiles. Greet also the community that meets in their house. Greet Epaenetus whom I dearly love, who is the first fruit in Asia for Messiah.
Greet Miriam, who has worked hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kin and fellow prisoners who are well known among the emissaries. They were in Messiah before me.
Greet Ampliatus, whom I dearly love in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Messiah, and Stachys whom I dearly love.
Greet Apelles, who is approved in Messiah. Greet those from the household of Aristobulus.
Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those from the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.
Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis whom I dearly love, who has worked hard in the Lord.
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother—who was also a mother to me.
Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters with them.
Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, also Olympas and all the kedoshim with them.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Do all you can to come before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. 2 Timothy 4:19-22 TLV
Here, we see a list of women who were all part of Paul’s ministry and who he remembers and honors. We are looking particularly at Priscilla and her husband, Aquila. The two of them traveled with Paul, helped support him, lived with him, and were trusted by him to teach and lead. They had a church in their home. They worked together for the cause of the kingdom. Priscilla was one of the godly women in the Bible.
Virtue #6 – Being A Servant to All
Priscilla obviously also instructed Apollos. In Romans 16:4b, we see that the entire community of churches owed both of them thanks! We don’t know what they did that made Paul say they “risked their own necks” but some act of bravery made way for Paul and many other believers. This couple gave their lives and were trusted leaders and builders of the new church. Priscilla, along with many other women, were integral parts of the formation of the church – the godly women in the Bible.
Virtue #7 – Being a Humble Encourager of All
We could look at many, many more women – Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Esther, Ruth, Miriam, Rahab, and many new Testament women who followed Jesus and helped establish the body of Christ, the church. The most important characteristic all of the women of the Bible share is this – faith. Their faith was not just in words only, their faith was shown in their lives, how they lived, what they said, and what they did.
Virtue #8 – Allowing God’s Creative Imagination to Thrive
Their faith was based on love. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13 Voice, “But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.” You can see these 3 virtues in the lives of the women we’ve looked at here. And you can see that each woman allowed her God-given Creative Imagination to flow!
Virtue #9 – Maintaining God’s wisdom in words and deeds.
Jesus said that the world would know who we were by the way we loved each other. He gave us His new commandment in John 13:34-35 Voice, “So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 3Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.“
Each of the characteristics of the Godly women in the Bible are based in love. Love is why God sent Jesus. It’s why Jesus died for us. And, love must be the reason why we live for Him as we maintain His wisdom in words and deeds.
Virtue 10 – Enthusiasm to Live By the Spirit
Every woman of God can have enthusiasm as they live by the Spirit. We certainly see it in the Proverbs 31 woman, the Eshet Chayil. As a on eof the Godly women in the Bible, she threw herself into everything she did. This requires enthusiasm.
Did you know that the word ‘enthusiasm’ came from “the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “inspiration or possession by a god.” For the first two hundred or so years that it was used in English, enthusiasm was primarily employed to refer to beliefs or passions that related to religion. ” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Perhaps this helps you see the deeper meaning of having passion related to your faith.
Virtue #11 – Selflessness
Every woman we have looked at here possessed this quality – selflessness. Esther was ready to die for what she believed. The Proverbs 31, Eschet Chayil woman was unselfish in all she did. Deborah and Jael were selfless. Priscilla could have been killed at any time and is said to have ‘risked her neck’ along with her husband. Priscilla, one of many Godly women in the Bible, was selfless.
11 Virtues of Godlly Women in the Bible
- Faith and love that Inspires every part of your life.
- Courage to obey and encourage others to do the same.
- Eshet Chayil
- Submission to God and His will.
- Truthfulness and always trustworthy.
- Being a servant to all
- A humble encourager of all.
- Allowing God’s Creative Imagination to thrive.
- Maintaining God’s wisdom in words and deeds.
- Enthusiasm to Live by the Spirit, not the flesh.
Women Serving Christ
Today, women who are serving Christ, do it in a multitude of ways. Our role, while sometimes minimized, is important in God’s eyes. We can look to the New Testament to see how Jesus treated women in a revolutionary way. Whether you are a wife, mother, single, have no children, are rich or poor, and no matter where you live or what your occupation may be, you matter to God.
Women can serve Christ everywhere. There are no limitations to loving others and loving God. There are no limitations to serving others. The 11 Characteristics listed above are things that every believer can attain. Look at the lives of the Godly women in the Bible and be inspired and encouraged.
If you are being persecuted or living a life of great pain, those 11 characteristics might be difficult or impossible to feel right at this moment. But, God knows what is in the depths of your heart no matter how you feel, so never, never let condemnation strike you down. Mankind might condemn but, if you are His, God never does. You are still serving Christ by simply continuing to love Him.
Women of God Living For Jesus
As you look at the 11 Characteristics of Godly Women in the Bible, let them build up your faith. Living for Jesus is a process that requires a lifetime. Whether it’s the Proverbs 31 woman or Martha or any of the Godly women in the Bible, faith is a process.
Women of God living for Jesus have an ally in their path toward being like Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. He is the seal of Jesus’ promise to always be with us and never forsake us. He is Jesus’ gift to us.
Because the Holy Spirit lives inside you, you can have all 11 characteristics. How? By never giving up. By always knowing and obeying the Word of God. By letting the Holy Spirit lead, guide, comfort, and speak to you.
You can! That’s what Jesus wants us to know. We can do and be and fulfill. We can have all the 11 characteristics of the Godly women in the Bible actively working for us and through us every single day of our lives.
I pray your light shines brighter as you come into the fulness of your life in Christ. If you have questions or needs, please email me:
Inspiration For Life Today uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.
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