Sunday, November 7, 2010

Godly Marriage - Part 2 : Wifes Duty

Part 2 - The Wife’s Duty
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |



I Corinthians 7:2-5, 8b
...since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control... for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


Today we will be speaking about virtuous, godly women, whether you are single, married or widowed, these characteristics belong to you.

For scriptures that refer to a woman’s submission to her husband, we will begin by laying the foundation to this command by God.

I.                   THE GREAT ASSUMPTION

a.      You are married to a godly man
                                                             i.      This does not mean he is “perfect”, or never makes mistakes, but that he is a man who seeks after the Lord, and follows hard after Him, trying always to put God first in his life, someone who truly is a follower of Jesus Christ!

b.     God does not ask a godly woman to be a slave to sin
                                                             i.      If your husband is not a follower of Christ, then his master is sin!  He is not a godly man, but a sinful man who is a slave to the desires of his flesh.

                                                          ii.      As a godly woman, you are given commands in scripture;
1.      Do not go beyond what is written.” (I Corinthians 4:6), but the Word does give us examples and instruction for our lives. Scripture says to stay with an unbelieving husband in hopes he will become saved.

a.      Scripture tells us that grounds for divorce are “immorality” (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), and “abandonment” (I Corinthians 7:15).

2.      Many think the scriptures teach that the only grounds are adultery, but this is not true.

a.      In fact, the scriptures do say, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” - I Timothy 5:8

b.     Immorality (the Greek word pornia, this is where we get the word “porno” or “pornography” where the suffix “graphy” added means “the art of immorality”.)

                                                                                                                                     i.      Immorality in the scripture defines many different themes, but we will discuss these in detail when we talk about divorce.

c.      We are all taught in scripture that as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to;

                                                                                                                                     i.      NOT follow sin
                                                                                                                                  ii.      Live as strangers in this land
                                                                                                                               iii.      Separate ourselves from worldliness
                                                                                                                                 iv.      Do not follow after flesh

c.      Examples in Scripture the Lord SAVES us from sin and slavery

                                                             i.      Israelites saved from bondage in Egypt
1.      Exodus

                                                          ii.      Daniel continued to worship God
1.      Daniel
                                                       iii.      Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego would not bow to idol
1.      Daniel

                                                         iv.      Apostles refused to stop preaching Gospel
1.      All through the New Testament

                                                            v.      Anytime leadership calls for you to sin against God, the Lord does not require us to obey!

d.     Obedience is a must, as long as the husband meets God’s qualifications as the Spiritual Head of the Home.

a.      A godly woman is not someone who faces less temptations, struggles, problems in her life.

b.     A godly woman is not someone that always responds correctly. (perfection).

                                                             i.      The more she responds to the day-to-day events in life, the more she should realize her weaknesses and faults in the light of scripture.

                                                          ii.      She realizes that she is weak and sinful in nature, but as she grows towards godliness and gets closer to God, she realizes that God is her resource and continues to rely on Him.

                                                       iii.      A true godly woman would not label herself as such because of her humility.

1.      Because of life experiences, and being humble in spirit.
2.      She never rests from repenting (Job 42:5 & 6)

3.      The more she sees God in the beauty of His perfection, the more she realizes that she is a sinner and draws nearer to God only through her own repentance.

III.            WHAT A GODLY WOMAN IS - The Virtuous  Wife (Proverbs 31:9 - 31)

a.      (v10) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

                                                             i.      Thanks to the Lord, He gave me my “Proverbs 31 woman”. 
We did not date, but were married within a few weeks of our introduction to each other by God.

                                                          ii.      Her worth is far above rubies.  I would say “priceless!”

                                                       iii.      She is a woman after God’s own heart, and would say that she illustrates the following verses in her life.

b.     (v11) Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

                                                             i.      A virtuous woman inspires absolute confidence in her husband.  He can safely trust her.  She is not impulsive, rash, reckless or unpredictable.  She will never deliberately let him down.

c.      (v12) She brings him good, not harm, all of her days.

                                                             i.      She is a God fearing, husband and family oriented woman of God.

                                                          ii.      “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Proverbs 12:4

                                                       iii.       There does seem to be biblical wisdom in the modern-day axiom that “behind every good man stands a good woman”. She is an asset to her husband. She will never intentionally bring harm his way.

d.     (v13) She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

                                                             i.      She is skilled in the ways of her family’s needs!  We see here, working with fabric, perhaps quilting and sewing.  She is capable of meeting the family’s needs.

                                                          ii.      works” is a key word here, showing there is no laziness in this woman who is praised by God.

                                                       iii.       “worketh willingly with her hands” (KJV)She is willing to work.  As a woman of God, she is not above laboring for the family’s needs.

e.      (v14) She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

                                                             i.      She understands that as a wife and mother, she ensures that her family is well fed.

                                                          ii.      A virtuous, biblical woman will excel in this area.  She will be able to make the most from little, and supply the family’s needs.

f.       (v15) She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

                                                             i.      A virtuous woman who is praised by God is not one who routinely “sleeps the day away” instead of seeing to the family’s needs.

g.      (v16) She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

                                                             i.      Amazing! The Proverbs 31 woman is no wimp! She has the intelligence and business sense to evaluate a piece of property and to buy it. She has her own “earnings”, with which she buys the field and plants a vineyard.

                                                          ii.      God does not command that a godly woman stay at home, “barefoot & pregnant” as many of the ungodly, women’s lib, and other bra burning liberals would want you to believe.

1.      We see from scripture a godly virtuous woman can work outside the home without neglecting her duties to the family.

2.      She can earn her own wages (these were not “given” to her by her husband!) 

3.      She can choose what to do with those wages, and uses them for the family’s gain not selfish reasons!

h.     (v17) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

                                                             i.      She vigorously accomplishes the physical labor without fear.

                                                          ii.      She is capable.

i.       (v18) She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

                                                             i.      When she sells her goods, they make a profit because of her good business sense, even if it means working long hours.

                                                          ii.      Many godly women today have their own businesses, work out of a home based business, like in verse 19 & 24; we see her making garments and such for selling.

                                                       iii.      The virtuous, godly woman is not afraid to work, and make money.

j.       (v20) he opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

                                                             i.      Her business sense has afforded her money, which she uses as she sees fit, for purchasing land, taking care of the family, and helping the needy.

                                                          ii.      Remember Tabitha (Dorcas) in the book of Acts 9:36, “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, who was always doing good and helping the poor.”

k.     (v21) When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

                                                             i.      Godly women are fully aware of the needs of her family, long before they actually arrive.  And though she may work, the family and their needs are never second.  She has prepared them for things to come.

l.       (v22) She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

                                                             i.      We see again, although she works, she has coverings for the beds and does not neglect the family.  They remain her first priority after God.

                                                          ii.      We also see she is clothed in fine linen and purple, not neglecting herself or appearance.

                                                       iii.      She does not go without so her family can have, there is enough for her family, herself and the poor she helps.

m.   (v23) Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

                                                             i.      A godly and virtuous woman is her husband’s crown.  Her faithfulness, and virtuous characteristics being the husband respect among other men.

n.     (v25) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

                                                             i.      The virtuous woman has a sense of dignity. She is not frivolous or embarrassing in her conduct.

                                                          ii.      She looks to the future and makes sure that her household is well supplied, so that she can “laugh at the days to come”.

                                                       iii.      She thinks ahead, and prepares.  Her family never goes without, and is always ready for the future because of her hands.

o.      (v26) She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

p.     (v27) She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

                                                             i.      I Timothy 5:14 the Apostle Paul gives instruction to young widows to marry, have children and manage their homes.

                                                          ii.      Men are to be the Spiritual head and guidance of the home, but it is the wives who manage it in a way that brings honor to the husband, and in accordance to the direction the husband feels God is directing them.

q.     (v28) Her children arise and call her blessed;  her husband also, and he praises her:

                                                             i.      Children of a virtuous woman will not grow up feeling estranged, but blessed to have been raised by such a woman.

                                                          ii.      Likewise, the husband of such a virtuous woman will overflow with praise for her from his heart.

1.      Praise not just in the company of others, but when she is not around you praise her to others, and when no one else is around, you praise her when it’s just the two of you.

r.       (v29) "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

                                                             i.      Does this sound like God is trying to make the woman “less”, or hold them down, or cut them down?

                                                          ii.      God and the Word’s TRUE intention is to lift up the virtuous woman, and give praise to the woman of God!

                                                       iii.      God has created her to be a help to her husband, and though the man is the Spiritual head, they are both equal.

s.      (v30) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

                                                             i.      God is reminding us that beauty and charm are fleeting, temporal things. But that which earns genuine praise for a woman is that she is a God-fearing woman.  The true beauty of a virtuous woman, is her virtue and dedication to God and her Husband and family...and that never fades away!

t.       The chapter closes in verse 31 with a statement to bring all of these things together.

 31 Give her the reward she has earned,  and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

A virtuous woman has a great reward coming from the Lord in eternity, along with the great fulfillment she will experience in this life for a “job well done”, but the greatest of her rewards will be when she stands before Jesus on judgment day, and hears Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And her virtues will not only be known and blessed by her husband and children (vs. 28), but also her reputation will precede her to the “city gates”. The godly woman, whose life is patterned after Proverbs 31:10-31, will be well known and highly respected in her community.

Is Proverbs 31 the only place in the bible that describes the desirable traits of a woman of God? Of course not. There are other Scriptures that speak of women of prayer, women manifesting spiritual gifts, women sharing their testimonies, and much more.
However, there is no other Scripture portion that even remotely gives such a detailed description of the “virtuous woman” as does Proverbs 31:10-31