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Women

A Portrait of a Gracious Woman

Recently, I sat through the celebration of life of a dear departed friend, as her five adult children honored their mother as a godly Christian woman. They described Amy as holy, noble, caring, giving, generous, positive, patient, selfless, beautiful, sweet, artistic, fun, cheerful, genuine, wise, humorous, virtuous, valiant, vibrant, strong, active, and favored. Amy loved God, the Word, and preaching; she was a prayer warrior. She loved her children; she loved others. Obviously, Amy Frank greatly impacted her precious children, and was well loved by her entire family, her church family, and people that knew her. Amy Frank was a gracious woman.

Like Amy, women who love God should be concerned how they live their lives. Why? At the end of Paul’s instruction to Christian women, he gives this most powerful reason: “That the Word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). To “blaspheme” means to speak irreverently about God and sacred things. Devaluing the qualities listed in Titus 2, many professed Christian women stunt their own walk with God and their wider influence by choosing worldly ways. Living our lives by the roles we fulfill will leave us empty when those roles no longer define us. So, what does the Bible say about how we should live? “A gracious woman retaineth honor” (Proverbs 11:16). A gracious woman knows the unmerited favor of God bestowed upon her when her sins are forgiven and she is born of God. She values inner ornaments of noble character more than outward appearance. With honor and dignity, she attains a godly testimony before others and glorifies God as this inner principle becomes a deterrent against sin.

Each gracious woman’s journey through life is a God-given pathway, one He promises to direct as she walks by faith through all of life’s seasons and under all of life’s conditions. Comparing life to a path is common in the Scriptures. The Lord shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11), leads us in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:2), and ever-brightens the path of the just (Proverbs 4:18). For our trust in Him and our acknowledgement of Him, He promises to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). God brings a unique beauty to each season of a woman’s life, making everything beautiful in its time. Continually, the Lord is the gracious woman’s constant Savior, Friend, and Guide.

In her walk with the Lord, the gracious woman seeks Him in daily Bible reading, asks for abundant grace through prayer, and lives by faith through the nitty-gritties of each day. Each year of faithful keeping to His path produces the qualities of godly, gracious womanhood commended in the Scriptures. She grows sound in doctrine, becomes sober (wise), discreet, chaste (pure), good, obedient, self-controlled, holy, loving her family and keeping her home. A gracious woman honors the Word of God with her life. Her prayer echoes Benjamin M. Ramsey’s hymn, “Teach Me Thy Way.”

Long as my life shall last, Teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, Teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, Teach me Thy way!

Whether life’s seasons bring joy and the singing of birds or whether they are tinged with grief and sorrow, our lives will witness to God’s faithful care. My friend Amy emulated the qualities of a gracious woman of God by the evident tribute paid by her children at her funeral. Can one gracious, godly woman make an impact on those around her? Amy did! Then, take courage, dear sister-in-Christ, as you “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

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Barbara Mooney

By Barbara Mooney

Mrs. Barbara Mooney is the wife of Rev. Myron Mooney, Trinity FPC, Trinity AL.