Encouraging Our Women
When is the last time you prayed for your wife or thanked her for her devotion to the Lord? How about your daughter? Do you praise her often for her respect and commitment to you? Or what about the women at church; do we take special note of those who teach the classes, prepare the meals, get their family to services, or support their men who serve within the church? Honestly, where would we be without the influence of godly women? It is as Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:14-15, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless, she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” For all that Eve’s sin did to the female gender (Genesis 3:16), a godly woman redeems herself by committing to holiness and righteous service. She showers blessings upon those who feel the extent of her influence, especially within the home. Unlike the pain “the mother of all living” introduced to the world, a woman of God brings hope, virtue, and encouragement to those who know her.
Think about it. It is evident that the local church is incomplete and lacking without elders (Titus 1:5). That is indisputable. We benefit tremendously from these godly men who “watch out” for our souls in making sure we are protected, provided for, and guided spiritually. The same is true with faithful deacons who work tirelessly to make sure things are operating in a decent and orderly manner within the local church. And yet, none of these men could carry out these important tasks without godly wives who help them qualify for (and remain committed to) this work and service. Indeed, the spouses of elders and deacons “must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11) if these men are to be eligible to serve. Accordingly, if a church is fortunate enough to have good elders and deacons, they should offer regular petitions and prayers on behalf of the women who support them. These men could not do their work without the aid and presence of their godly women.
I can attest to the same being true for the preacher’s wife. Though he is not required to be married to do his work, as with an elder or deacon, a married evangelist must have a godly wife if he is to meet the challenges of proclaiming the truth. Frankly, one of the main reasons a man endures that type of work is because of the support and encouragement of a godly wife. I know mine has helped me tremendously. Furthermore, it appears to me that Paul is referencing the character and faith of a preacher’s wife in determining his eligibility to receive financial support from churches. Notice what he said in 1 Corinthians 9:5 when he was discussing a preacher’s pay. He asked, “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles…?” Why make that distinction if it were not relevant in determining an evangelist’s support? Even if that is not what Paul is saying, is it not true that a man is hindered in his preaching when his wife is not a believer? I mean really, will churches be quick to work with or provide for a man if his wife is not a Christian? Not likely. But besides all of that, a gospel preacher is only made better when his wife loves the Lord and His word as much as he does. The importance of godly women cannot be overstated. The church at Philippi began with a woman being open to the gospel (Acts 16:14-15) – a church which later met in her house (v. 40). Timothy became a great servant of Christ because of the genuine faith of his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Countless men have been led to the Lord because of the “the conduct of their wives” who exhibited “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:2, 4). All of these blessings still flow today when wives exhort their husbands to overcome their failures and when mothers work tirelessly to provide for their children. I know I have benefited greatly from my mother’s faith, my wife’s encouragement, my daughter’s example, and many other integral women of God. I am confident you can say the same of your own life.
Thus, let us be mindful of the women whose influence is used for the glory of God. They need our encouragement. Let us pray for and encourage the mothers who are physically and mentally exhausted in getting their children to class and worship. Let us be mindful of the leaders’ wives who must sacrifice personal time with their husband as he meets the needs of the congregation. Let us think of the one who has been by our side through all the ups and downs and still prods us on. Let us pray for and encourage these precious women. Good men do not just happen. They are formed as a result of the patient support and guidance of God and His people, especially within the home.