There are certain characteristics that every Christian lady should have. This is especially true if your husband is in full-time Christian service. Since you are “on staff” or in a place of leadership, others will be looking to you for a Godly example. Here are just a few things that I thought of that are essential in your life:
* Love for all people: Jesus told His disciples, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) Loving others should certainly be a mark of a Godly woman. She needs to show genuine love for all church members, even those who rub her the wrong way, remembering that God puts people like that in our lives to refine us and to teach us.
She also needs to have genuine love for the lost, looking beyond their outward appearance and remembering that they have a never dying soul that will spend eternity somewhere. We are to love others as Jesus Christ loved us. He did not think of Himself but put others first, even to the point of being willing to die on the cross for our sins. That is an impossible assignment—one which we cannot accomplish without His help!
* Neatness: First Timothy 2:9 instructs us as Godly women to adorn ourselves in modest apparel. Modest means unassuming, not calling attention to oneself. The Godly woman should avoid all extremes—in cosmetics, in hair styles, and in clothing.
I have seen many pastors’ wives who took this teaching to the extreme the wrong way. Thinking that cosmetics were wrong and stylish dressing was sinful, they looked like plain Jane. They were so sloppy and unkempt in their clothing and their hair style that the people in the church were actually ashamed of them. My grandpa used to say, “Some barns need a little paint!” And the same is true with women. On the other hand, I have seen those who are too stylish and so overdone in dress and make-up and jewelry that they stick out like a sore thumb.
Both extremes are not right. There needs to be a happy medium. My father always taught me that when we went to church, we should always look our best, because we were going to worship the Lord. That has always stuck with me through the years. To this day, I don’t feel comfortable wearing a jean skirt to church. To me it says casual and that is not looking my best for God.
* Gracefulness and poise: A Godly woman needs to be a lady at all times. This should show in the way she talks (the volume of her voice, the words she chooses to say, and the words she chooses not to say), the way she walks, and the manner with which she carries herself. If you are natural klutz, this is an area that you need to work on. Don’t use the excuse, “Well, this is just the way God made me.” Work on improving you sense of balance and learn to watch where you are going and not just blunder along.
* A pleasing voice, remembering that “you can hear a smile.” It is said that George Whitefield had such a wonderful voice that he could say the word, “Mesopotamia,” and make people weep. I am not sure if that is true, since I was not there to hear him. But a Godly woman needs a pleasing voice—not one that is loud and rough or one that is so quiet you can’t hear what she says. A pleasing voice brings comfort and a sense of wanting to be around that person.
* Courtesy, or just good old fashioned manners. Courtesy is seen in the ability to help visitors at church feel at ease and gives them a desire to want to come again. A Godly woman should make it a practice to get around and greet all the visitors at each service at church. After all, they took the time to come and visit at our church. We need to take the time to make them feel welcomed.
* Humility is needed in Godly women, and an ability to accept criticism in a right way. We will talk more about criticism later, but so many times our pride gets in the way when someone criticizes us and we forget to act like Godly women. Humility comes when we have an honest assessment of ourselves and remember what we truly are—just sinners saved by grace.
* Personal dedication to Christ. A Godly woman is a growing Christian, both through her own personal studies and through the sermons she hears at church. She is one who is striving to learn more and therefore is an active listener. She takes notes on the sermons and then studies those notes later to glean all the truths she can from the Word of God. She is also busy serving the Lord in her home, praying for her children and teaching them the Word of God. Many children have been won to Christ by the example of a Godly mother.
* Love for the church. This will especially help her children to see the reality of her faith. She should set a good example by regular church attendance, by speaking well of the church and its leaders, by showing concern for the problems facing families in the church, and by finding fellowship among church people.
Many women have destroyed their children and turned them away from ever wanting to serve the Lord by their bad-mouthing of church members around their children. If a mother is always griping about how badly the church is treating their family, the children will pick up her resentment for the church members, and ultimately, her resentment towards God.
These are just a few of the characteristics that I thought about. I am sure you can think of others. The important thing is—are you working them into your life? We all know more than we actually put into practice. I challenge you to find one of these areas that needs some improvement in your life and start working on it today!
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.