Some Faithful Women to Follow
The Bible records many real-life examples meant to instruct us (1 Corinthians 10:6-11). Some of them are good examples to encourage us toward faithfulness (e.g. the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11). Some of them are bad examples to warn us of sin (e.g. Esau in Hebrews 12:16). It is a mark of wisdom to learn from the example of others (Proverbs 21:11). The principle example of righteousness for all Christians to follow is Jesus Christ, the righteous man (Hebrews 12:1-3; Psalm 1). Because God made man male and female (Genesis 1:27), it’s not surprising that He gives us male and female examples. Here are five faithful women whose example we should follow.
No one can forget that Eve was deceived by the serpent, ate the forbidden fruit, and gave some to her husband (Genesis 3). Yet, we should also remember that Eve is the “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20) and that every child she bore, she bore under the curse of increased pain and sorrow. By her suffering she gave life to others, because she believed God’s promise that her Seed would crush the serpent.
We look to Abraham’s faith, and we should (Romans 4:1ff; Hebrews 11:8,17). Let’s not overlook the faith of his wife, Sarah, who followed Abraham as he traipsed around a strange land trusting the promise. It couldn’t have been easy for Sarah to follow Abraham. Twice he passed her off as his sister (Genesis 12:19, 20:2), and once he nearly killed her son (Genesis 22). Nevertheless, Sarah submitted, because she was a “holy woman who trusted in God” (1 Peter 3:5).
One of my favorite women in the Bible is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. By faith, she killed Sisera the Canaanite general, pinning him to the earth with a tent peg through his temple (Judges 4:17-24). God used Jael to subdue His enemies. There’s even a song about it (Judges 5:24-31). She was just a housewife, armed with milk and a hammer, but when it came to defending God’s people, Jael really nailed it.
Elizabeth, who had been barren, miraculously conceived in her old age. She not only became pregnant, but pregnant with a prophet! (Luke 1:5-25). Soon after, she was completely outdone by her younger cousin, a virgin, who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and carried the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38). But notice Elizabeth’s humility. When greeted by Mary, she declared, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42-43) Who can doubt that John the Baptizer’s characteristic humility (John 3:30) was taught to him by his mother?
At the time of Christ’s birth there was a widow named Anna who lived at the temple. Though she was of, “great age”, she spent her time waiting for the Savior, serving God by fasting and praying (Luke 2:37-38). When she finally saw the birth of the Redeemer, she told everyone who would listen. Anna’s faithfulness to God put her in a position to give the greatest birth announcement in history.
Space does not permit us to consider Rahab, Mary, Joanna, Lydia, Eunice, and many other faithful women. If a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30), it would seem that such women also ought to be imitated.