As a young girl, my sisters and I loved to play dress-up. We had a wooden trunk filled to overflowing with dresses, outfits, hats, high-heeled shoes and knee-high boots from our mother’s wardrobe in the sixties and seventies. We put on necklaces and wore large purses to create stories in our make-believe world. Sometimes we even put on make-up and teased up our hair, cementing it in place with bottles of hairspray as we played “Hair Salon”. Our mother and father were always surprisingly astonished when we presented ourselves all dolled up, “Ta-da!” We were quite the site! With bows and barrettes, toy jewelry, and shiny bracelets, we were adorned!
The Bible teaches women to adorn themselves with good deeds, empowered by His Spirit, doing our Kingdom work as His daughters.
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
-1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV
Sometimes I think about the Christian women I know, and I sit back amazed at the ministries God has given each one. The gifts, talents, and passion for their different callings. They are adorned with good deeds. The following is a short list of a few daughters of God whom I know and the good deeds that adorn them. Aren’t they beautiful?
She is now in the winter of her life, a seasoned veteran in the life of a pastor’s wife. She has visited the sick in hospitals, anointed their feet much like Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with her perfume and tears. She has comforted the young widow in the sudden death of her young husband. She has walked the laborsome path of befriending the difficult person and showing her that she is worthy of being loved and befriended. She has made meals for hundreds of families, worked inside and outside the home to help provide for her family and support her husband’s ministry. She has counseled her own children and pointed them to Christ as she purposefully discipled them. She has led Sunday school classes for young girls, comforted those who have been bullied, showing them the better path. She has accepted the trials God has given her to carry and continues to lean in complete dependence on her Savior as she reaches out to those who do not yet know Jesus. She tells strangers the gospel in pharmacy line-ups. She ministers to those around her and prays for them. Day and night, she prays for them.
She is a wife and mother of little ones. She comes from a small, unassuming town in the desert. She is a midwife and skilled in her knowledge of assisting women in birth. She is learning a new language and preparing to move with her family to a remote location overseas to tell unreached people groups about Jesus and the gospel. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news. She will be living a life of great sacrifice so that others can know the Great Sacrifice that was given for them.
She has studied the Bible for years and now is attending seminary in Canada. She is single and waiting for the husband that God is preparing for her. She has worked with teenagers for over a decade, teaching them God’s Word, mentoring and discipling them, giving her waking hours to invest in the next generation as a teacher, counselor, and friend.
She is a homemaker, a birthday planner, a cook, a counselor, an advocate, a wife, a mother, a pastor’s wife, and the one who has researched for years to find the right diagnosis for her son’s unique challenges. She has had victory this past year in finally finding the reason for these challenges and is on a path of continued victory for discovering for him the resources he needs. She is a marathon runner and an example to me of endurance. She will run the race marked out for her and complete that race.
She is a woman who puts her hand to the plow in whatever she does. She has served in various churches in children’s ministry, helping to develop the ministry, curriculum, Sunday school rooms, etc. She has hosted Bible study groups, foster care workers and friends. As well as being a wife and mother, she is now a foster mom and welcomes orphans into her home to care for them in transition. She welcomes the stranger and provides for the sick and homeless. She reaches out to the single mom and puts on a baby shower for her new little one.
She lives in the ghetto of a desert city. She lives in the “hole” as they call it, the most destitute place in the city where the gangs literally shoot at each other as they pass by. She serves the little ones, the next generation. Her family lives in the midst of this needy community to shine brightly the love and freedom found in Christ. She holds a Bible study for the young, teenage girls, to disciple them and show them that there is a Father who loves them, will provide for them, and will heal their hearts. Christ will return to make all things new and with the presence of their family in that community, Christ is making things new in that community and the seeds of the gospel are being planted there.
She is a wife, mother, grandmother. She taught Kindergarten for 30 years. She loves children and books and finding resources to teach the truths of God to the next generation. She makes quilts for homeless women, prepares meals for others, is continually applying herself to the study of Scripture. Whenever I am in her kitchen, she has new thank you notes sitting on her window sill. Thank you notes come in the mail weekly. She quietly goes about her work the Lord has given her to do and she ministers the love of Christ to others. She is a faithful woman in the household of God.
She creates music and knits. She uses her gifts and talents in art and drawing, words and writing to teach her children and the younger generation. She writes book reviews on a delightful blog to share with other women resources for training and nurturing children. She practices hospitality and creates delicious meals to share with others. Her walls are filled with pictures and verses, maps and exclamatory praises to God! She reads and reads and reads. Then she passes on her knowledge to bless others and inspire others to dive into living stories that reveal the one Great Story!
She is a wife and mother to girls. She works part-time while they’re at school. She is a photographer and editor. She captures beautiful images, stunning pictures of real life moments. She’s been a world traveler to Japan and Madagascar, France, England, and accidentally, Austria (wrong plane). She hosts families for dinner at their home and mentors her daughters. She is also a Defender of the young and gently teaches others the art of kindness. She is strong and noble.
She is seven years old and already an adventure seeker, traveler, artist, friend, musician, and story-teller. She is beautiful, kind, and sweet. She is learning and growing as are all of us daughters of God. She spends her free time drawing, exploring outside, playing with her younger brothers and her friends. She is a nurturer and loves to take care of babies and toddlers, to prepare the cups and saucers for tea time, and to prepare gifts for others. She is my daughter.
There are so many other women I could write about here! All amazing, set apart women! Women who love to decorate and women who do not. Women who are older and women who are younger. Women who like to garden, and women who just need to rest and teach others to rest. Women of all life stages and seasons, living out their days in worship to God. I will mention one more…
This is you, dear daughter, beloved of God. You have gifts and talents, a personality uniquely designed by God. God has given you a unique family, a unique health or financial situation, and a unique set of neighbors. We are God’s workmanship. He is the one working through us and empowering us. If God is the one who has prepared these works, then there is no need for comparison with other women. We can joyfully and with gratitude go out into the world, doing the work that God has prepared for each of us to do, bringing glory to our Father.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10 ESV