Owning our actions as women of God

Sally - Adversity for Action Blog

If you’ve heard me teach or read my blog regularly, you may be familiar with my love of disclaimers. They are so handy, aren’t they? I always hope they’ll avoid someone taking one thing I’m teaching and failing to understand the greater context. I have that overwhelming desire to be understood and an absolute abhorrence of being misunderstood! I know that women tend to be overwhelmed by different topics and I don’t want my thoughts to leave anyone overwhelmed or unequipped or feeling inadequate. I want us to be empowered to be women of ACTION and even more!

What do unbelievers think of us – how are we representing the God we profess to serve? What do our actions say about us in the 21st century? There was a time when godly women made quite an impact on those around them! Consider what Libanius, a pagan writer in the fourth century, had to say about the women of God in his time, “What women those Christians have!”

Before we consider ACTION, keep in mind that I am not advocating ACTION without REST!! No matter your situation, rest can improve physical health, emotional well-being and most certainly – your attitude! Rest is absolutely critical. If you are interested in my thoughts on rest, go read my blog post entitled: Seeking Rejuvenation, Energy, Serenity and Tranquility.

  • You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world. ~ Author unknown

With that caveat, let’s look at ACTION.

We are surrounded by women of action! Obviously, all action isn’t created equal. There is a vast amount of negative action that we could cover that would add pages to this current blog post. One of my daughters recently did an entire study on Proverbs 7 vs. Proverbs 31. Proverbs 7 has some action that we certainly don’t want to emulate! The right kind of action is absolutely critical…and absolutely essential to godly living! Everyone has something to do and something to give!

  • If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart. ~Arabian Proverb
  • I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale
  • Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.~ Steve Maraboli

What is the greatest action of all? That’s easy! It’s love! Love, however, is anything but easy!

  • John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

For more years than I care to remember, I have been a woman of RE-action…some of you know what I mean – reactive parenting, reactive planning, reactive communicating in general! Our reactions to adversity are far too often over-reactions. We over-react and then follow with excuses for our over-reactions. Instead of seeking more self-control, we seek to explain away our lack of control.

  • For every action there is a corresponding OVER-reaction!~ anonymous

Do not for one second think that I am writing about something foreign to me. In spite of some sanguine and phlegmatic character traits, I am absolutely choleric at heart. It has taken me a great deal of work to make tiny steps in learning self-control. So, I am absolutely NOT the perfect example of avoiding over-reactions! Still, for the past several years, I’ve tried to be a woman of PRO-action…

Look around you for godly women of action. This is a great beginning! Are you unsure about what a good example looks like? The scriptures give us a wonderful example in the Proverbs 31 woman.

  • Proverbs 31:10–31 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

What exactly does SHE do??? At a glance: she does her husband good, she seeks, works, brings, rises, provides, considers, buys, plants, strengthens, perceives, reaches out, clothes, makes, sells, delivers, laughs at the time to come, speaks wisely, teaches kindly, looks well to the ways of her household, fears the Lord. Even tasks considered mundane are regarded as worthy here. They are love in action!

I’ve heard far too many young women frustrated by studying Proverbs 31. Don’t let this overwhelm you!   Let it motivate you to action! I cannot escape that God has given us this example of right actions!! Whether she had more help than we do, to what degree we need to emulate her example…here is a list of good things, good works, and good actions! Emulate the good you find!

What do we do with this? When we know something is pleasing to God, do we do it to the best of our ability?? Do we learn from the scriptures?

  • Romans 15:4 – For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

It is true that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, different circumstances and challenges and different comfort zones. We are all blessed with different talents. Still, there are actions that God expects of us –and plenty of good examples to follow.

Are your actions shining His light? The light that emanates from us is not meant to make US shine. It is meant to give GLORY to God! Godly actions bring Him glory!

  • Matthew 5:13–16 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

What are your actions toward God? God’s word is full of examples of godly behavior!

  • Learn and teach
  • Let God strengthen us
  • Work willingly without growing weary
  • Fear the Lord

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Philippians 4: 11-13 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!

What are your actions toward your husband? There are many examples of godly behavior in marriage that make a wife’s worth far above rubies!

Don’t have a husband? Support wives and encourage them. You don’t have to have a husband to believe in God’s plan for marriage and to support wives in their efforts to be godly wives! Have you ever met a single professional woman who supported and encouraged women to guide their homes happily, love their husbands and children? I absolutely have! Women like this are a blessing to all who know them!

  • Submit to him
  • Love him
  • Freely give ourselves to him
  • Do him good and not harm (wow! That covers a lot of action!!)

1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands…

Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1 Corinthians 7:3–4 The husband should render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Proverbs 31:11–12 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

What are your actions toward the children in your life?  There are solid examples of godly behavior for parenting— nurturing the fruit of our hands!

Don’t have children? Support parents! You don’t have to have children to understand how much God desires godly offspring and nurturing relationships in families! Do you interact with children (teaching, babysitting)? Have you met single professional women who support families by encouraging godly parent-child interaction? I absolutely have! The actions of godly women who encourage parents are a blessing!

  • Train them
  • Tell them God’s story
  • Sing with them
  • Communicate with them

Proverbs 22:6 -Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 4:9–10 -Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Deuteronomy 11:18–21 You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

What are your actions toward your family’s physical needs? There are clear examples of godly behavior in homemaking!

Don’t have a family to guide and care for? You don’t have to be a wife and homemaker to understand all that is needed to provide for families! Have you met single professional woman who lend a hand to young mothers, older women, or the elderly? There is so much work for women in God’s kingdom! I have seen servants at work and it’s a beautiful effort indeed when many hands work together to care for our extended family of God!

  • Guide household
  • Provide food
  • Clothes family suitably – even extravagantly

Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:14–15 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

What are your actions toward others in general? There are plenty of examples of godly behavior in living!

  • Speaks wisely
  • Teaches with kindness
  • Encourages brethren
  • Reaches out to needy
  • Loves brethren
  • Opens home

Proverbs 10:31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

Proverbs 31:26 -She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Proverbs 31:20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.

1 Peter 4:8–11 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The actions of a women can be summed up in one proverb:

  • Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

If we were expected to build alone, it might be overwhelming—but we have a tool that equips us: God’s grace— with this we have all we need to do good works and bring Him glory!

  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

We also have brethren – godly men and women to lift up our hands and help us on our journey!

Remember this: your good actions, your godly behavior, your service will not always be received with enthusiasm, kindness and love. Act right ANYWAY!

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.
~ Teresa of Calcutta

 

 

 

 

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