Today I am beginning a series on being a Woman of Wisdom. The need to discuss this became evident after I mentioned in a post last week that you should seek counsel from a godly, wise woman after you had consulted the Lord when you were not sure what you should do in difficult situations. The question “Where are all the female mentors?” was raised on another site, expressing similar questions. I received quite a bit of feedback.
So I decided to ask my readers:
what qualities endeared them to a godly older woman and made them seek them out for counsel
what qualities scared them off from going to an older woman for help.
I received many comments on how a godly older woman should act and unfortunately I received horror stories of interfering, opinionated, less than gracious older women who ruined their own opportunities to minister by their own bad behavior.
Here is an overview of what you said:
You would look to someone for counsel if they were:
- able to hold their tongues, not a gossip, busybody or meddler in other’s affairs.(#1 quality mentioned by the way)
- someone who is trustworthy,
- someone who is content with their circumstances in life,
- someone that had a listening ear and was approachable,
- steadfast in the faith, unmoved by life’s problems,
- someone who handled life according to scripture and could share how she did it with me,
- someone who used their tongue wisely, consistently,
- someone who genuinely cared about them,
- someone who had taken an interest in them,
- someone who had children who were doing the right thing,
- someone who was emotionally consistent- (meaning, not moody one day, elated the next)
- someone who was a peacemaker , not a troublemaker,
The kind of woman you said you would not seek out for counsel:
- a gossip,
- someone who interferes or always thinks she has all the right answers,
- someone who is superficial, who doesn’t genuinely care for you,
- someone whose advice seems more like a “drive by shooting,”
- someone who was judgmental or critical and vocal,
- someone who was always in the middle of some “bee’s nest” or “tempest in a teapot”
- someone who will speak their mind before they listen,
- someone who does not apply scripture correctly or harps on personal preference.
- someone who is moody, angry or holds grudges and has interpersonal problems with others
I don’t know about you, but I can learn a lot from watching people. By observing, you learn how to deal with others and how not to treat others. If you are wise, you’ll look to see how other people’s actions and reactions either repel people from them or endear people to them. It is also a good idea to take note of how not to act, and work on taking positive steps to weed any of these vices from your own life.
As you all have said, someone who claims to know scripture, but who does not live as though it applies to them is not someone you want to follow or seek advice from. On the other hand, a woman who applies scripture to her own life first, managing her home well, taming/bridling her own tongue, exhibiting pure love for her sisters, and who models humility is a woman who others WANT to emulate.
So, as we embark on what it means to be a woman of wisdom, remember these things:
Our effectiveness with others is directly proportionate to our own obedience to scripture. You cannot minister well to others when you are knee deep in unrepented sin yourself.
A woman of wisdom has her priorities straight. She cares for her family well and does not neglect them.
This study is not meant to discourage you, or make you feel as though you need to be perfect in order to be effective with others. We all sin and make mistakes. BUT, the difference is in how it is handled. (aka-whether we handle it Biblically or not)
When we sin against someone else, the Bible has a remedy. It is called asking forgiveness from God AND from the person you offended. And if it is done with humility, God will use you. You will be showing the greatness of the gospel and the hope found in the gospel. On the other hand, if you only gloss over your own sin and shortcomings and never truly ask for forgiveness from others, you cannot be effective. They know, and you know that you are too proud to humble yourself and just do what is right. Your relationship with God is hindered when you offend someone else and will not humble yourself to admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness. On the contrary, 1 John 4:20 tells us that we are self deceived when we think that we love God, but hate our brother. Our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ shows the depth of our love for God.
So, now that we’ve gotten all of those negatives out of the way, let’s focus on the positive aspects of being a wise woman.
We’ll search the scriptures to find all that is good, pure and lovely and seek to emulate those things, so that we can be the examples that our daughters (and others) need. Only then can we fulfill the Titus 2 model.
We don’t want the next generation to wonder where all the women of wisdom went!!