The Godly Single Woman
THE GODLY SINGLE WOMAN
LESSON ONE: SALVATION AND THE SINGLE WOMAN
(Memory Verse: Philippians 4:13)
As we begin our study of the godly woman, we must go back to where it all began. This is described in Genesis chapter 2. On the sixth day of creation, God created the first man, whom He named “Adam.”
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
After He put Adam in the Garden of Eden, God told the man to take care of the garden, and commanded the man not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam had a close fellowship with God, and lived in a beautiful garden, but must have been very lonely because he was the only human being on the earth. So God took care of Adam’s need for a companion:
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [a suitable helper] for him… And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave [be joined] unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed… And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 2:18, 21-25 and Genesis 3:20)
It is very clear that God created the first woman, Eve, to be Adam’s wife. In Genesis 2:22, the Bible says that God brought her unto the man. By this action, God has performed the first wedding, and Eve is called Adam’s wife from then on.
From this Bible story of the creation, we can see that God created woman to be a suitable helper and companion for man. This is why women are attracted to men, and dream of marrying that “Mr. Right” when he comes along. Women were created for this purpose.
You should now take your Bible and read the whole third chapter of Genesis. Here the Bible tells the sad story of how Satan used the serpent to deceive Eve, and how she gave in to the temptation and ate the fruit which God had commanded the man not to eat. Then she offered the fruit to Adam, and he ate it also. God’s commandment was broken, and sin had come into the world. Adam and Eve died spiritually, and Adam’s sin nature is passed on to all mankind, including you and me. That is why the Lord Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7b) When we turn away from our sin, calling upon the Lord to forgive us and to save us, we are born into the family of God through the power of His Spirit.
“And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Ephesians 2:1)
If you have never been born again, you are still spiritually dead. When your body dies, you will go to hell and suffer terrible torment forever. Please put your trust in the blood that the Lord Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross to take away the sin of the world. Turn from your sin, and tell the Lord that you need His salvation.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Our modern world has drifted away from God so much that many women are not able or are not willing to be what God created them to be. Because of the wickedness of our sin-cursed world, a man whom we can love and trust and depend on to take care of his family is hard to find. Many women have no fear of God, and have no real love or respect for their men, so they don’t treat them right. For people who are not born-again Christians, there is very little chance that their marriages will survive the stresses and troubles brought on by today’s ungodly life-styles. Two out of every three marriages in America end in divorce. Even among Christians there is a high rate of divorce because many people are rebelling against God, and are not living in the way that the Bible says a Christian home should be. Because of all this ungodliness, many women are single. Either they have never been married, or they are divorced. This Bible study course was written for single women who are saved, and who want to live a godly life. A godly woman loves and fears God. She is willing to live a holy life, obeying the commandments and following the good counsel of God’s Word.
A woman who has never repented of her sin and received Christ as her Saviour will have a very hard time living a godly life because she is spiritually dead, and does not have the Holy Spirit to teach her and to strengthen her. Some people do a lot of good things because of strong religious beliefs, but God is not impressed by our religion. When He looks at us, He is not looking to see how many good works we do. He is looking for the blood of Jesus Christ, which has washed away our sins when we received Him into our hearts by faith. In Matthew 7:21-23, God gives a clear warning to those who have plenty of religion, but have never been saved:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess [declare] unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity [sin].”
Please, please be saved today, and then begin to live a godly life:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts [desires], we should live soberly [with a clear mind], righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
If you have already been saved, and are having a hard time trying to live right, please don’t give up. These lessons were written by a single woman who lived a very wicked, ungodly life for 36 years before she was saved. God has delivered me from many sinful things, and changed me in many ways. I know what I am talking about when I say that there is victory in Jesus! The devil wants you and me to believe that we cannot possibly be godly women, but the Word of God says:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
God’s salvation sets us free from being slaves to the sinful ways and habits of trying to live without Christ. If we are willing to let Him change us, God will teach us to be godly women.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold [look!], all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
RAHAB THE HARLOT
Let’s look into the Word of God now to see an example of a woman who allowed God to change her from a wicked person into a godly woman. Her name was Rahab, and her story begins in Joshua chapter 2. Please stop now, take your Bible, and read all of Joshua chapter 2.
Jericho was a great, walled city of the Canaanites. The Canaanites worshipped idols (false gods), and behaved very badly because they did not know God. Because of this, God had told Joshua to destroy Jericho and all of the people who lived there. Joshua was the leader of the Israelites, who were the people of God. Rahab was a Canaanite woman who lived in a house that was built on the great wall of Jericho. The Bible tells us in several places that Rahab was a “harlot.” The word “harlot” means a whore or a prostitute. Poor Rahab had a life that was really bad news. She was involved in the sin of idol worship, and the sin of prostitution. Many people in today’s society would condemn her as “no-good.” There are many women in the world today who are in just as much sin as Rahab was, and they don’t think that they can ever change. But something happened to Rahab!
Rahab heard about the God of the Israelites. She heard about all the terrible things that this God had done to bring His people out of slavery in Egypt. She must have heard about how the Red Sea parted to let the Israelites walk across on dry land, and how the waters came back to drown all of the Egyptian soldiers. She must have heard about how God fed His people as they wandered in the wilderness, and how He caused water to flow out of rocks for them. She heard about how He had destroyed the enemies of God’s people before them, when they entered into the land of Canaan. Now the Bible tells us that “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) What Rahab heard about the God of the Israelites caused her to have faith in Him, and to turn away from worshipping idols. We know this because the Bible tells us that she risked her life, and betrayed her nation by helping and protecting the Israelite spies who came to her house. We also know that she had faith in God because of what she said in Joshua 2:9-11:
“And she [Rahab] said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror [fear of you] is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly [totally] destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”
When the Word of God shows us the wonderful things that God has done, it causes us to have faith in Him, and to turn away from the lies that Satan wants us to believe. In Hebrews 11:31, the Bible tells us about Rahab’s faith:
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
In Joshua chapter 2, you have read that Rahab made the spies promise to rescue her, her parents, and her brothers and sisters when the Israelites destroyed Jericho. Because she does not mention a husband, and since she was a whore, she must have been a single woman at the time of the battle of Jericho. In Joshua chapter 6, you can read the thrilling story of this strange battle, and you will find out what happened to Rahab:
“And they [the Israelites] utterly [totally] destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass [donkey], with the edge of the sword. But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence [from there] the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware [promised] unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred [relatives], and left them without [outside] the camp of Israel… And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth [lives] in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” (Joshua 6:21-23, 25)
God protected this Canaanite woman, who had been an idol-worshipping whore, and gave her a new life among His chosen people, because of her faith in Him. But the story does not end there! In Matthew chapter 1 and in Luke chapter 3, the Word of God gives us the genealogy (family tree) of the Lord Jesus. In both chapters, a man called “Boaz” is mentioned as one of the ancestors of Jesus:
“And Salmon begat [was the father of] Boaz of Rachab [Rahab]; and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Uriah;”
This means that Rahab and Salmon were the parents of Boaz, who was the grandfather of the great king David, and the great-grandfather of the wise king Solomon, all of these men being ancestors of the Lord Jesus, the King of Kings!!
The story of Rahab is a wonderful example of how God can take the life of the lowest, most ungodly single woman who puts her faith in Him, and make that life very beautiful for His glory! If it had not been for her faith, Rahab would have died when the Israelites destroyed Jericho. Instead, she became a godly woman, and married Salmon, a godly man. Her son Boaz also married a woman who was not an Israelite. You can read about her in the sweet little book of Ruth. It may be that Boaz fell in love with Ruth and married her because she was like his mother… a person from a wicked, idol-worshipping nation who had put her faith and trust in the living God!
If you are reading this, and you are not saved, it’s not too late, and you are not so bad that God cannot make something very beautiful out of the rest of your life. Please turn away from sin, and put your trust in the dear Saviour who died for you on the cross of Calvary, and rose again from the grave!
“But God commendeth [shows] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified [made not guilty] by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath [God’s punishment for sin] through him… For whosoever [whoever] shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 5:8-9 & Romans 10:13)
THE GODLY SINGLE WOMAN
LESSON TWO: SOCIETY AND THE SINGLE WOMAN
(Memory Verse: Galatians 5:16)
In Proverbs 30:12, the Word of God says: “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.”
This is a good description of our modern world. Many of the things which God says are sins are considered all right in today’s society. Women cheat on their husbands, abuse their bodies with drugs, alcohol and tobacco, use foul language, kill their unborn babies, have sexual relationships with other women, worship the devil, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ. Each one of these sinful things is common in our society, and legal in the U.S.A., with certain limits. Even worse, it is now illegal to study the Bible or pray out loud in a public school, two things which would help America’s troubled children more than anything else that they do on the average school day. Our world has become so ungodly that a truly born-again Christian must be very different from the rest of society. If you have been saved, and you are doing wicked things because everyone else is doing them, it is time to change. A godly single woman must make up her mind that she will live in the way that the Bible says that a Christian should live. She must quit trying to please the world, and try to please God:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
(I John 2:15-17)
God forgives our sin when we confess it to Him, but we also suffer punishment for our sin because our loving Heavenly Father sometimes works in our lives to get our attention, and make us do right:
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth [punishes], and scourgeth [punishes severely] every son [child] whom he receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:6)
God wants His children to be different from the world, and He does reward us for living right by answering our prayers:
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” (I John 3:22)
Not only does He answer our prayers, but God does other good things in our lives when we do our best to live right:
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from [refuse to give] them that walk uprightly [live right].” (Psalm 84:11)
Sometimes when we are doing our best, God allows troubles and trials to come into our lives anyway. These things happen in order to test us and strengthen us, and will always work out for our good or for the good of others, and for the glory of God.
A. THE WOMAN WHO WAS BOUND BY SATAN
In Luke 13:10-16, the Bible tells the wonderful story of a woman who had a terrible problem… until she met the Lord Jesus!
“And he [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues [places of worship] on the sabbath. And, behold [look!], there as a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise [way] lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God… And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo [see!], these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? (Luke 13:10-13, 16)
The Word of God says that this woman had a “spirit of infirmity.” There was something wrong with her which crippled her very badly, and she was completely unable to straighten herself up. In verse 16, Jesus explains why the woman was so powerless… Satan had bound her! Before we are saved, we allow ourselves to become slaves to sin. Satan uses the pleasures of sinful things to set traps for us. When we enter these traps in search of pleasure, we are caught and held very tightly as sinful habits make us their slaves. There is a powerful description of this condition in the book of Proverbs:
“His own iniquities [sins] shall take [trap] the wicked himself, and he shall be holden [bound] with the cords [ropes] of his sins.” (Proverbs 5:22)
In order to be a godly woman, you must first come to Jesus for salvation. The woman in Luke chapter 13 came to Jesus when He called her to Himself. After we are saved, we must continue to go to God for the spiritual help and strength that we need. We are not going to get this kind of help from any other source. It has to be the touch of God upon our lives that releases us from bondage to our old sinful ways and habits, so that we can straighten up and live right. Just like this woman who could “in no wise lift up herself,” we cannot clean up our lives by ourselves. We must have the touch of God. How do we get God to touch our lives? When we are newborn Christians, we must do two very important things:
1. Feed ourselves good spiritual food, and…
2. Pray as often as we need to for deliverance from our old sinful ways.
If God gives you instant, total freedom from sinful habits, praise Him and tell others what He has done for you; but if He doesn’t do such a miracle in your life, please don’t be discouraged and give up. Discouragement is a tool of the devil against you. If you have received Christ as your personal Saviour, and you want to be a godly woman, you certainly can… through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and the grace of God. Did you notice what the Lord said to the woman who was bound? He said, “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” When we get saved, we no longer have to be slaves to sin. Now is the time to get busy learning how to be a godly woman.
1. FEED YOUR SPIRIT AND PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE
We learn how to live right by reading and studying the Word of God on our own, and by attending worship services and Bible study classes at a Bible-believing church or chapel where God uses His servants to teach and preach His Word. To grow to be a strong, godly woman, you must feed your spirit a lot on the Word of God. This is the only way that anyone ever becomes sanctified, which means to become clean and holy in our living. In John 17:17, the Lord Jesus prayed for us: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” God will do this in the life of any woman who really wants to be godly.
When I first got saved, my life was full of sin. I had a lot of bad habits that had a strong grip on me, but I no longer wanted to do these things because I knew that they were wicked. But I had trouble with my flesh, which wanted to keep on smoking, drinking, doing dope, and other evil things. Every Christian has this struggle going on between their spirit, which is saved and wants to do right, and their flesh, which wants to do wrong. This is why it’s so important to feed ourselves on the Word of God, and to go to church often. This is what I did… and it worked! I decided to make myself spiritually fat. I began every day reading the Bible and praying, and I went to every single service at my church that I possibly could. You must do the same, and don’t let anything stop you! If you completely yield yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who lives within every born-again Christian, you will enjoy doing these things, and you will grow as a Christian and learn how to be a godly woman. This is part of what it means to “walk in the Spirit”…
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust [do the desires] of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
Before I was saved, I smoked 1-2 packs of strong cigarettes and a whole lot of dope every single day for many years. I also drank a lot of beer, whiskey and gin. According to A.A. and N.A. guidelines, I was definitely an alcoholic and an addict. After I was saved, of course my flesh still lusted after these things, but I kept on feeding my spirit on God’s Word, at home and at church, and God quickly took all of these things out of my life.
If you have a problem with addiction, you are going to have to pray a lot, and you should ask other Christians to pray for you. It would also be good to fast and pray. When I quit smoking, I asked the whole church to pray for me, got rid of my cigarettes, and never smoked another one!! This was not easy because the craving for nicotine was intense at first. But every time that I felt that craving, I prayed and asked God to help me, and I ran a Bible verse through my mind. The verse I used was Philippians 4:8, which I kept reading until I knew it by heart:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever [whatever] things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
By the time I had prayed a short prayer and said that verse to myself, the “nicotine fit” was gone. Every single time that the craving returned, I did the same thing again. Be very, very careful when you are fighting this kind of battle against addiction. Be sure that you pray and say a Bible verse every single time that you want to use. It would be even better to read or say several verses, such as all of Psalm 23. Psalm 40:11-13 are excellent verses for drug addicts who are fighting the habit:
“Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable [too many to count] evils have compassed [surrounded] me about: mine iniquities [sins] have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste [hurry] to help me.
Have faith in God and in the power of His Holy Spirit, who lives within you, and you will be the winner of the battle because the Lord is fighting for you. The main reason why saved people have a lot of trouble and fail to get rid of their bad habits and addictions is that they never admit to God that their problem is not somebody else’s fault, but it is their fault; and they are not an addict because they are sick, but because they are a sinner! Now, here is the beauty of telling the Lord that your addiction is your responsibility, and that it is your sin. God’s Word says in I John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 1:7b says, “…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The cleansing power of the blood of Jesus is far greater than any dope addiction. I have been clean, sober and smoke-free for 11 years, and have not had the slightest craving for any of these things for 10 years. I am not claiming that God did an amazing miracle, and took away all of my bad habits immediately. I am saying that I followed the Bible’s advice to “walk in the Spirit,” and then God gave me victory over the wicked desires of my flesh, as He promises to do in Galatians 5:16. Let’s read this verse again, and be sure to learn it by heart:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Whatever sinful ways and habits you have when you first get saved must be confessed and given up, so that you can be a godly woman. A woman who wants to be godly will not try to hide these weaknesses, but she will openly confess them to God, and turn away from them. God’s mercy and grace will help her to stay away from them.
“He that covereth [hides] his sins shall not prosper: but whoso [whoever] confesseth and forsaketh [leaves alone] them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
B. BE CAREFUL WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE
When you decide to be a godly woman, you will not be popular. Not everyone is going to like you. In fact, most people don’t want to be around a truly godly person. When I got saved, my friends were glad that I was so happy; but when I started changing my ways, and refusing to do the wicked things that they liked to do, then they all began to dislike me. They gave me a hard time about a lot of things, and talked about me behind my back. The dope dealer started trying to tempt me to return to my addiction. I soon learned who my true friends were. Out of the whole crowd there was one couple who simply respected me for standing up for what I believed. They quit coming to visit me because they liked to party, but they didn’t give me any trouble about it, or try to force me to return to my old ways. When you begin to walk with God, you will find out who really cares about you, and who is just trying to use you. It is hard on us when friends and family turn away, but those who really care will still be there for you.
1. YOUR BEST FRIEND
When you give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus, you gain the best of all friendships:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever [whatever] I command you.” (John 15:13-14)
Never forget that Jesus laid down his life for you. In John chapter 15, He is talking to His disciples. If you are saved, then you are His disciple, and He is your friend… such a good friend that He died for you. In verse 15, the Word of God makes it clear that, if we live godly, we are also the friends of Jesus. What an honor and a blessing— to be a friend of the Almighty Son of God. In our modern society, a godly woman may not have a lot of friends, but she will have the very best friend that anyone could have… the dear Lord Jesus. Many times family members who are dear to us become cold and hateful when we receive Christ, and really live for Him. But the Word of God tells us in Proverbs 18:24b, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” The Lord Jesus is that kind of a friend, and you can count on Him when others turn away!
2. A CHRISTIAN’S FRIENDS SHOULD BE OTHER CHRISTIANS
The single woman in our modern society is surrounded by all kinds of people who want to influence her. Everywhere we turn there is someone who is trying to use us by taking our money, or making us waste our time doing ungodly things. Even Christian single women are easily caught in the devil’s traps because they are often very lonely, and usually have heavy burdens which are hard to bear alone. So we turn to the wrong kind of person for company, or for help. When we do this, we are inviting big trouble and regret into our lives. If a Christian woman has a boy-friend or any other close friend who is not saved, that person is going to cause serious problems in her life. This is because such relationships are against God’s Word:
“Be ye not unequally yoked [joined in a relationship] together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion [fellowship] hath light with darkness? And what concord [agreement] hath Christ with Belial [Satan]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [unbeliever]? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell [live] in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore [Because of that] come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [sinful] thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (II Corinthians 6:14-18)
If you insist on hanging out with unsaved friends, you are in open rebellion against God, and you will suffer for it. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:20:
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
The “wise” in this verse means those who know and fear God. The “fools” means those who have nothing to do with God. I have talked to many, many women who were doing hard prison time because of the crowd that they were running with. God says, “A companion of fools shall be destroyed.” That’s very plain, and very clear, and very true, because it is the Word of God.
The smart thing to do is to leave your old ungodly friends alone. Invite them to church, tell them what the Lord has done for you, and pray for them, but do not continue to hang out with them,. You are not going to change them— only God can do that. The devil will use them to tempt you and trouble you until you quickly back-slide. Then you will be very unhappy, God will probably punish you, and your “friends” will laugh at you, and at your God. How sad! If you just do your best to be a godly woman, and don’t hang around those old friends, it will be much easier to let God change your ways and take away your addictions. You will also have the pleasure of seeing some of your old friends turn to God and get saved, because they will realize that your God is real, and that you’ve got what they need! I have seen some of my old friends, who were even meaner than I was, give their hearts to Jesus… and what a wonderful blessing that is! To God be the glory!!
If you just ask Him, God will give you some new friends who will love you and accept you and be a blessing in your life. Just stay in church, keep going to Bible study class, and let God choose your friends for you. If you want a mate, tell God about it. You can trust Him to bring a man into your life that is a real Christian, and is just right for you. Do not date or marry a man who is not saved! This is one of the devil’s best traps that he uses to destroy the lives of Christian single women.
If you are living in the close quarters of a prison, you will soon learn who the real Christians are. Let them be your friends, and leave everyone else alone. Don’t be rude or stuck-up, but just keep to yourself. There are plenty of people around you who are bitter, angry trouble-makers. If you hang out with such people, you will not help them; but they will sure hurt you. Here’s what God says about it:
“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare [trap] to thy soul.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)
If you hang out with trouble-makers, you will get into trouble yourself because their ungodly ways will rub off on you. If you want to help them, be a godly woman and set a good example for them, but do not run with them. We have another clear command from the Bible about who our friends should be:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
A godly woman must not get involved in the sinful activities of the unsaved. To “reprove” means to expose evil by pointing out that it is wrong. Now, how do you obey this verse and expose their evil actions to God’s light without being a snitch, or getting into an argument? It’s really easy… just quietly refuse to do what they are doing, and do only what you know is right. This makes you a light shining brightly in a place of darkness, and God will be pleased with you:
“Do all things without murmurings [grumbling] and disputings [arguments]: That ye may be blameless [innocent] and harmless, the sons [children] of God, without rebuke [fault], in the midst of a crooked and perverse [evil] nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-15)
As you learn to walk with Him, God will give you Christian friends with whom you will really enjoy visiting, talking, working, playing, worshipping, singing, praying, studying, exercising, sewing, cooking, shopping, caring for and teaching children, reaching out to help others, etc., etc., etc… Since I have been saved, my days are so busy that I fall into bed very tired every night, and never have trouble sleeping. Being a godly woman does not mean never having any fun, and the Christian life is not boring. That is a lie from Satan.
How do godly women feel about their Christian friends? They truly love them, and are loved by them; and what a wonderful God-given relationship that is! The unsaved cannot understand Christian love, because they don’t have Jesus in their hearts, and it is He that is doing the loving:
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
THE GODLY SINGLE WOMAN
LESSON THREE: SEX AND THE SINGLE WOMAN
(Memory Verse: Romans 13:14)
I. VIRGINITY IS GODLY
If you are a single woman who is not a virgin, please do not stop reading this lesson. Every Christian woman needs to know what the Bible says about this subject. Being saved does not change what we have done in the past, but through the blood of Jesus Christ our past sins are forgiven, and we should not feel condemned because of them. It is never too late to make sure that you know the truth from God’s Word so that you can teach it to your daughters and sisters who are still children.
The Bible has a very clear and simple message for the woman who is not married… She is to keep herself pure. She is not to give her body to anyone for sex, but is to remain a virgin until she is married. This is not a popular belief in our modern society, where premarital sex is very common in much of the world. But just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t mean that it’s right according to God. The Bible word for sex between unmarried people is fornication. This word is sometimes also used in the Bible to mean the worship of false gods; but in most verses it means having sex without being married, and in every case God says that fornication is wicked, and has no place in the life of a godly Christian:
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification [holiness], that ye should abstain from [keep away from] fornication:” (I Thessalonians 4:3)
The best example of a godly single woman in the Word of God is Mary, the mother of Jesus. We can read the story of how she was chosen to become the mother of our Saviour beginning in Luke 1:26-27:
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused [engaged] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”
We know that Mary was a godly woman because of what the angel said to her:
“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail [rejoice!], thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women… And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28,30)
The Bible tells us in 4 different places that this godly woman, who had “found favor with God”, was a virgin. When the angel Gabriel told her that she was going to have a baby, Mary was amazed, because she knew that she was a virgin:
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34)
Mary knew that it was impossible for her to have a baby, because she had never been with a man, but the angel explained to her what God was going to do:
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest [God] shall overshadow [cover] thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
Mary showed a wonderful desire to obey the will of God in her response to all this:
“And Mary said, Behold [see] the handmaid [servant girl] of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
A godly woman should be like Mary, and keep herself a pure virgin until she is married. This is what the Bible teaches, but in our modern society most women do not manage to do this. If you are regretting the loss of your virginity, remember that the Lord Jesus bled and died on Calvary’s cross for all sin. If you have been saved, then God has forgiven you for the fornication in your past, and He has forgotten about it: Look what God says in Isaiah 43:25:
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out [erases] thy transgressions [sins] for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
II. HOW TO AVOID FORNICATION
No matter what has happened in her past, a Christian single woman who wants to be godly must be sexually pure. This may not be easy for some women, but it is not impossible. Remember Philippians 4:13:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The first thing to do to avoid fornication is to pray every day for God to help you not to do it. Ask God to deliver and protect you from sexual sins every single day, just as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Pray for God’s help against the desires of the flesh every time that you feel any temptation. Prayer is a very strong weapon against any sinful desires. The Lord Jesus told His disciples:
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
B. GET TO KNOW GOD’S WORD
To be a godly woman, you must read, study and memorize the Word of God. As you spend time with the Bible every day, you will be feeding your spirit the good food that it needs to grow strong in the Lord. The Holy Spirit of God who lives within you will take the Word of God which you have learned and help you to fight and to win those battles against the flesh and the devil which will come. Learning Bible verses by heart is very important. We read in Psalm 119:11
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Along with prayer, the very best defense that you have against fornication is to hide the Word of God in your heart. Some very good verses to study and repeat until you know them are these:
“Flee [run away from] fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without [outside of] the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Corinthians 6:18-20)
It may take you a long time to memorize all of that, but as you study it, you will really be blessed as the Holy Spirit teaches you why we should not be fornicators. Start by learning the first two words: Flee fornication. When you find yourself having to deal with sexual temptation, remind yourself that the Bible says that we should run away from fornication. Just saying those two words: Flee fornication!!! With the power and authority of God’s holy Word behind them will be a really big help. But don’t stop there. Learn all three verses a little bit at a time. They are not hard ones to learn, and they will be a blessing to you all of your life.
C. LEARN TO THINK RIGHT, CLEAN THOUGHTS
Always before we sin, we think about it first. The temptation comes, and we start thinking, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do that? Wouldn’t it feel good? Everybody else is doing it… why should they have all the fun? Maybe just once wouldn’t hurt anything? I’m so tired of trying to be good all the time… what a pain! I’ll probably give in soon anyway… why not now? I’m too weak to live right all the time… I just can’t resist the devil any longer! I know I’ll be sorry later, but I just don’t care! “ …And so on. If we are going to avoid fornication, we must learn to stop thinking negative, wicked thoughts. This is very important because what we think about, we eventually do. In the Bible, God tells us what kind of thoughts we are to have:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever [whatever] things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report [reputation]; if there be any virtue [moral goodness], and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
This is very plain and simple. God tells His children to think about things that are good and true and decent. How do we do this? By being very careful where we go, who we spend our time with, who and what we listen to, and what we look at. The devil uses these things to put wicked thoughts into our minds, and it will help us a whole lot if we learn to be careful what kind of influences we expose our minds to.
1. WHERE WE GO AND WHO WE SPEND OUR TIME WITH
If you are in prison, you will have to keep to yourself a lot, but the Lord will bless you for doing right. When you get to know the sincere Christians in the prison, let them be your friends. In the free world, a godly single woman should spend her time at home, at work and at church. Go only to places where wicked things are not going on, and take your Christian friends with you. We have already studied about who our friends should be in lesson two. Just do not hang-out with folks who are not saved because the things that they do and say will put ungodly thoughts in your mind. If you go out with a man who is not saved, you can be pretty sure he will try to seduce you, because this is the way of the world. Don’t put yourself in such a dangerous position. The Word of God says in Romans 13:13-14:
“Let us walk [act] honestly [properly], as in the day; not in rioting [partying] and drunkenness, not in chambering [sexual activity] and wantonness [having loose morals], not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fufill [satisfy] the lusts [desires] thereof.”
When we go to places we should not go, with people we should not be with, we make provision for the flesh and we are going to get into situations where we will want to satisfy our physical desires. The Lord Jesus would not go to a club or a bar or a party where people are flirting and seducing one another, and neither should a godly woman ever put herself in such a situation. Look at Romans 13:14 again, and learn it by heart. It will be a big source of strength as you learn to be more like Jesus:
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
2. WHAT YOU LISTEN TO
Almost all of today’s popular music, whether it is soul music, rock, rap, or country has a very sexy beat and words which will make you think of sex and romance, or something else ungodly. The power of Satan is behind it, and He is using music to ruin a lot of people’s lives by making them think about wicked things. I have loved all kinds of music since I was a young girl, and know what I’m talking about! I have been saved for many years, but I still cannot listen to popular music without thinking of the evil things I used to do before I became a Christian. If I listen for very long, I find myself missing those things, and wanting to do them again! Music is a very powerful thing, and affects all people of all ages. A sure way to be a back-slider or a very weak and worldly Christian is to listen to the world’s music. If you listen to nothing but gospel and classical music you will not have Satan putting wicked thoughts and desires in your mind through his music. If you notice the sexy beat that is in contemporary gospel and “Christian” rock music, you will know that you shouldn’t listen to it either. The Bible tells us what kind of music the godly woman should love:
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:19)
Psalms are the Word of God put to music. Hymns are the good old-fashioned songs we sing out of the church hymn book. They were written by men and women who really knew God and just wanted to praise Him. A lot of the modern songs are just written to make money. Spiritual songs are the sweet and joyful old songs that Christians down through the ages have written in times of blessings and of trials, pouring out their hearts to God with music. Gospel music should always be sung to or about the Lord. This kind of music will never make you think about fornication.
3. WHAT YOU LOOK AT
Everything that we see has a very big effect on our thinking. So, there are several things that a godly single woman should be careful not to look at. One thing which is very popular in our society is romance novels. You cannot possibly read such stories without thinking about sex and romance. What you read will enter your mind, and stay there. You will feel empty and lonely, and find yourself longing for the passionate experiences which are described in these books. There are plenty of books around which do not make you long for emotional and physical relationships. Anyone who is single should never read these kinds of books. I have noticed that most prisoners spend a lot of time reading romance novels and watching television. T.V. is another thing used by Satan to make godly people think bad thoughts. Most of the popular programs, especially the soap operas, show men and women in sexy, romantic situations. You cannot sit and stare at these things without thinking about what they are doing; and you are going to find yourself thinking about fornication even when you are not reading or watching T.V. because of what you have seen. Be a godly woman, and be careful what movies and television programs you watch. There are some clean ones around still. When the filth comes on, turn it off! If others are watching and you cannot turn it off, just walk away from it. Here is some good advice from God’s Word about this:
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…” (Psalm 101:3a)
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that a godly woman does not look at pornography (dirty pictures). This is very bad, and will lead to much trouble in your flesh and your spirit.
IV. THE RESULTS OF FORNICATION
In lesson one of this study, we looked at how the sexual relationship between a man and his wife was established by God. It is right and good for them to lie together. The result of this is happiness and children born into the world. But there is nothing right or good about fornication, and it leads to all kinds of bad things. The Word of God puts it like this:
“Marriage is honorable [right] in all, and the bed undefiled [clean]: but whoremongers [fornicators] and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
There are several things that happen to women who are fornicators. You can be sure that God’s judgment of this sin will come to you in some form. Just a few of the bad things that come to fornicators are: sickness, shame, unwanted babies, and sexual addictions and perversions.
Most people know that fornication is a good way to catch a bad disease such as AIDS. There are plenty of other sexually-transmitted diseases which are quite serious. There is a Lovely Ladies Bible Study Lesson being written on what the Bible teaches about health and hygiene which will talk about these things in more detail. The point is that if you live like a godly woman should, you will not get any sexually-transmitted sickness. It is a blessing not to have to worry about such things. Be sure to teach your children about the dangerous diseases caused by fornication. Also teach them that there is no such thing as safe sex, except for a faithful marriage relationship. No matter what our ungodly society thinks, says or does, there is no safe sex because there is no safe sin!! Remember… whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
A godly woman who gives in to temptation and commits fornication is going to feel ashamed. This is because the Holy Spirit which lives inside of us points out to her that she has sinned. A person who is saved will always feel bad when they sin. This bad feeling is called conviction, and it is God saying, “You have done wrong. You had better repent!” Until you do repent and admit to God that you have committed fornication, and ask Him to forgive you, you are not going to be happy. Making excuses for your sin will not help. Only God can lift that burden of shame. When we are ashamed, we don’t like ourselves. Our self-esteem is so low that it is hard to look other people in the eye; we don’t even care to look at ourselves in a mirror! There is no sense in a Christian going around feeling this way. The Bible says:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
If you are not saved, please don’t let fornication prevent you from receiving Christ as your Saviour. He loves you, and He died for all sin and for all sinners. There is a very beautiful story in the Bible in John chapter 4 about a woman who was a fornicator. She had had five husbands, and was living with a man now. We know that she was ashamed of herself because she went to get her water from the well at the sixth hour, which in the custom of those people meant 12:00 noon. This was not the time when women usually went to get their water. But this woman was an outcast and ashamed, and went at noon so that she wouldn’t have to meet the other women. The other women probably gave her a hard time for being so loose, but Jesus did not give her a hard time. He just offered to her what she needed: the living water, which was Him! Jesus went through Samaria just to bring the message of His salvation to this sinful woman. Usually the Jews would go out of their way to avoid going through Samaria because they hated the people who lived there. But not our Lord! No one is left out of the mercy and forgiveness that Jesus offers to all who will turn from sin to Him! Please be sure to read the first 42 verses of John chapter 4, especially if you are not saved.
C. UNWANTED BABIES
Committing fornication leads to many bad things. The most terrible result of fornication is abortion. Millions of unwanted babies have been aborted in America in recent years. Abortion causes the death of a living baby, whose mother allowed it to be killed. So, she is guilty of murdering her own child. If you have ever had an abortion, you will carry a very heavy burden of guilt until you get right with God about it. The penalty for this terrible sin was paid on Calvary’s cross, and God’s mercy and forgiveness are offered to you. In II Samuel chapter 12, you can read the ugly story of David and Bath-sheba. King David was a godly man, but he sinned with Bath-sheba, and was responsible for the death of her husband, Uriah. In the next chapter, King David repents, confessing his sin to God. God forgave David, and, although he had lots of troubles, David went on to be a very great king. David’s prayer of confession is written in the Bible in Psalm 51. Here is part of it:
“For I acknowledge [admit] my transgressions [sins]: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:” (Psalm 51:3-4a)
After his honest confession, David asked God to forgive him and to take away his terrible weight of guilt:
“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation… a broken and a contrite [sorry] heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:14a, 17b)
To be healed of the emotional pain that comes to a woman who has an abortion, you must pour out your heart to God like David did, and ask Him to deliver you from the guilt. Read all of Psalm 51, and let the sweet Word of God comfort your broken heart. Only He can heal this kind of pain. If you are grieving over the death of your child, realize that your baby is safe in heaven with Jesus. Let God use your grief to give you the courage to warn other women who are thinking about having abortions.
Many unwanted, unhappy children come into this world because of fornication. But, even if mom and dad do not want the baby, it is God who allows each life to be born. That life is precious to God, and has a special purpose that only God knows. If there is an unwanted baby in your life, don’t think of that child as an “accident.” If you were a child that nobody wanted, don’t think of yourself as an “accident.” Children are never “mistakes” or “accidents,” but they are precious gifts from God.
D. SEXUAL ADDICTIONS AND PERVERSIONS
Women do not become addicted to sexual things as easily as men, but it is possible for anyone to get hooked on pornography, masturbation, or homosexuality if they indulge in these things at all. If you can do any of these things, and it does not bother you, you are certainly not saved. A saved person may struggle with these things, but the Holy Spirit that is living in them will make them feel very bad about it. Prisoners are often troubled and tempted by these things, but a Christian can be free of such sins wherever they are. The Rock of Ages Prison Ministry publishes a booklet which was written to be a help to all women who are struggling with lesbianism. If you would like a copy of this booklet, just write to us and ask for it. If you are hooked on any other kind of sexual activity, remember that the only kind of sex that God approves of is between a man and his wife. Anything else is sin. There will be trouble in your life if you give in to sexual sins, and if you give in too often, you will get hooked on these things and they will destroy you.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed [seduced]. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
Pray every day for God to help you live a life that is sexually pure, and memorize a lot of Bible verses to use when temptation comes. Always pray for deliverance from evil, and read your Bible before you go to bed at night. The Word of God has tremendous power against all the lustful desires of our flesh, and against the demon power that causes us to become addicted to these things. Let us single girls pray this prayer together:
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity [sin] have dominion [power] over me.” (Psalm 119:133)
Down through history, women have sold their bodies to men. Any time a woman has sex in return for money, drugs, political power, to get ahead in the business world, or for some special favors (such as nice clothing), she is a prostitute. Whether prostitution is professional or just done because of some need or situation, it is always wrong in God’s sight. It is fornication. In I Corinthians chapter 6, God speaks strongly against it:
“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot [prostitute] is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh… Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (I Corinthians 6:16, 18)
If you have ever been involved in prostitution, you were forgiven and cleansed from this sin when you got saved. Just put it behind you and get on with your life — don’t ever return to it. If your children are old enough to understand that you have made money or received other things in this way, be sure to teach them that it is wrong and not something that they should do. If you put God first before everything and everybody in your life, you will never have to sell your body to get what you need.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
The final thing that we must consider in our Bible lessons about Sex and the Single Woman is the very ugly sin of adultery. Every unmarried woman knows that having a sexual relationship with a married man is wrong, but this still is a very popular and common thing in our society. This proves that we live in a wicked world in which many people do not care what God thinks about what they are doing. If you are going to be a godly woman, you must respect God enough to hate the sin of adultery and stay away from any intimacy with married men. God hates this sin because it destroys families! God established the family, and He tells us how the family is supposed to be in Ephesians chapters 5 and 6.
If you have ever committed adultery, do not go around carrying a heavy load of guilt about this. You were forgiven when you called on God to forgive your sins and save you. John chapter 8 begins with the story of a woman who was caught committing adultery: verse 3 says that she was caught in the very act. The law required that she be beaten to death with stones and the people were ready to do this. But Jesus forgave her and rescued her from her accusers by getting them to realize that they were all sinners too. Then He said something that He only says in one other place in the whole Bible:
“…go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11b)
Jesus told this adulterer not to do it again! You had better pay attention to this warning!!!
The single woman who wants to be godly needs to consider something else that Jesus said about adultery:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever [whoever] looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
A godly woman will not wear clothing that is designed to show-off her body in a sexy way: such as mini-skirts, biker shorts, skin-tight pants and dresses, low-cut tops, bikinis, etc. A godly woman dresses in a modest manner so that she does not cause men to lust for her and commit adultery in their hearts. You may think this sin is entirely on them, but if you dress in a sexy way on purpose, you are sinning, too. The Bible says:
“In like manner also, that women adorn [dress] themselves in modest apparel [clothing], with shamefacedness [bashfulness] and sobriety [not flashy]; not with broided [braided] hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array [expensive garments]; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (I Timothy 2:9-10)
The Word of God says here that women who claim to be godly must dress modestly. God is not saying that he is against us wearing braids, jewelry or expensive clothes; but that we do not show our godliness by these things, we show it by our good behavior. If you love and fear God, do not dress like worldly people do. You are a child of God and God’s children, who have studied His Word, will look different from the world.
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
We have looked at a lot of things that we should and should not do as godly single women. The thought of committing any kind of sexual sin should really shake us up. If you are willing to give in to the temptation to do any of these things and it does not bother you, you are surely not saved. If you realize that you are not saved, please don’t put it off. Go back to lesson one: Salvation and the Single Woman. Read it again and it will show you from the Bible how to be saved. Even a saved woman who is not careful to do the things which help us avoid fornication, can easily fall and do something wicked. But if you are saved, the Holy Spirit who lives within you will convict you of your sin and you will feel bad until you repent. You must ask God to forgive you, accept His forgiveness and get on with your life. But, if you continue in this sin, look out for God’s punishment… it will come:
“Marriage is honourable [right] in all, and the bed undefiled [clean]: but whoremongers [fornicators] and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
THE GODLY SINGLE WOMAN
LESSON FOUR: SERVICE AND THE SINGLE WOMAN
(Memory Verse: Matthew 5:16)
I. SERVING THE LORD IS A CHOICE
The woman who is godly must take a strong stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. She must be willing with all of her heart to do what she knows is right. The Bible says in Proverbs 10:29:
“The way of the LORD is strength to the upright [godly]: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity [sin].
We become strong by just living life God’s way. We learn to live God’s way by learning to love what God loves, and hate what God hates. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God will teach us these things. Remember that to have the help of the Holy Spirit and to be able to understand the Bible, you must be saved. The person who is just “religious” and playing a game with God will never have the strength to live a godly life. You must be a true born-again Christian. If you are not saved, please go back to Lesson One and study it.
The book of Joshua is a book about victory. Joshua led God’s people, the children of Israel, as they fought against their enemies in the Promised Land. Joshua won great victories because he did things God’s way. God had a plan for Joshua and God has a plan for you. In Joshua 24:14-15 we can see the choices that we must make:
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood [river], and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood [river], or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell [live]: but as for me and my house [family], we will serve the LORD.”
In the book of Joshua the Israelites had left the sinful land of Egypt, where they had been slaves. Their parents had served false gods in Egypt and in the wilderness. God had delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and brought them through the wilderness and across the Jordan River into a new land, which was also a sinful place. If you are in prison and want to be a godly woman, you are faced with the same kind of choices. Out on the streets you may have been a slave to sinful things like drugs, sex, alcohol, etc. (The gods which your fathers served). This does not mean that your parents were into these things, but these sins are a part of the world in which you lived. Now God has delivered you out of this situation and allowed you to go to prison, where there are plenty of chances to continue to sin with drugs, sex, alcohol, etc. (The gods of the Amorites). You are still living in a sinful world, but you can choose not to have anything to do with these things, or with the people who do them. The Bible shows us that we don’t have to choose to follow the sinful ways of the free world or of the prison. We can choose to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and then learn to live right. Whether you are in prison or not, you can say like Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
If you are a “house” of only one, you can serve the Lord. You must make up your mind to do it. A godly woman serves God by being a good example to others in the way she acts and talks. She will read and study God’s Word to learn how to obey Him… to do things God’s way. Be sure to learn our memory verse for this lesson:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
When we live a godly life in front of others, we are truly serving God because it is Him that gets the glory for our good works. Without Him in our lives, we could not be good. God will really use our godly example to make others see that He is real. Now let’s look at some godly women from the Bible and see how they served the Lord.
A. THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
Please stop now and read John chapter 4, verses 1-42 in your Bible. You should have read these verses already when you studied lesson three, but it is very important that you read this beautiful Bible story again now and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart about this woman’s service to the Lord. In our study about Sex and the Godly Woman, we saw this woman as a sinner who met the Lord and got saved. Now let’s take a look at what she did after she was saved. This woman was not anyone special in human society. She was the victim of religious and racial prejudice because she was a Samaritan. The Jews of this time in history hated the Samaritans because they did not worship God in the same way as the Jews, and because they were of mixed race (Jews who had inter-married with non-Jews). This woman was also an outcast among her own people because she had had five husbands and was now living with a man. But when she met the Lord Jesus Christ, she became a bold witness for Him right away:
“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.” (John 4:28-30)
The Bible tells us in Romans 10:11 that whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Even though she had a rough, sinful past, this woman began to serve God in a very important way just as soon as she got saved! She was so excited about meeting the Saviour that she left her waterpot at the well. In this extremely dry part of the world, a waterpot was very, very important property. But this woman had gone to get a pot of well water, and had got Jesus in her heart instead. Jesus had told her about her sins, and He had told her that He was the living water. So she left that waterpot because she had something more important to do. She had to go and tell her friends and neighbors about this man who was the living water, and tell them what He had done for her. When we get saved we should be like the Samaritan woman and get busy right away being a witness for the Lord Jesus. Don’t ever be ashamed to tell others about the Lord. Serve the Lord joyfully by telling your friends and neighbors what He has done for you. You don’t have to bother people by preaching at them or trying to make them get saved when they aren’t ready. Just tell them what Jesus has done for you, and invite them to come to church or to Bible Study with you so that they will get a chance to come to know Him like you do. Look at verse 29 again. The Samaritan woman told the men what Jesus did for her ([He] told me all things that ever I did). She told the men who Jesus was (is this not the Christ?) and she invited them to come and meet Him (Come, see a man). Verse 30 tells us that the men responded to what she said (Then they went out of the city, and came unto him). Now let’s read verse 39:
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.”
Here the Bible makes it very clear that a lot of people got saved because of this woman’s testimony. The sinner has become a servant of the Lord. Anyone who is a born-again Christian can and should serve God in this way. Now let’s see what happened next there in Samaria (verses 40-42):
“So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought [asked] him that he would tarry [stay a while] with them: and he abode [stayed] there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
There are plenty of people who will not get saved because of your testimony, but if you can get them to come and hear the Word of God, they will receive the Saviour. The many Samaritans who believed because of his own word, went to see Jesus and heard His word because of the woman’s testimony. I have had the joy of seeing several friends get saved in church services where I had invited them to come. I had to beg some of them to come and hear the Word of God, but it was worth it. If you want to be a godly woman, be like the Samaritan woman and remember to serve the Lord by telling others about what He has done in your life and encourage them to receive Him as their Saviour. Also, be faithful in inviting others to come to church services and Bible Studies where they will hear the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. You will be very glad if you serve God in this way because He will reward you in this life and in heaven.
Always remember that your testimony is not just what you say, but it is also how you live. Some people will not listen when you try to tell them about God, but they will notice how you act. A godly woman will serve the Lord by living right. Ask God every day to help you keep your light burning brightly for Him. Now let’s look at another sinner who became a faithful servant of the Lord.
B. MARY MAGDALENE
Mary Magdalene was a woman who had some terrible spiritual problems. We know this because the Bible says in Mark 16:9 that Jesus had delivered her from seven demons. Demon powers are surely behind those sinful habits that destroy our lives and our families. The Bible does not tell us what Mary Magdalene’s life was like before she met Jesus; but what wonderful things the Word of God says about her life after she met the Saviour! Please stop now and read Mark chapters 15 and 16. This same story can also be found in Matthew chapters 27 and 28, Luke chapters 23 and 24, and John chapters 19 and 20. It is the most powerful story in all of the Bible, and you should read it often. It tells of our Lord’s trial, execution, burial and resurrection, and is the foundation of the Christian faith. Reading these chapters at least once a month will help you not to back-slide, because your love for the Lord Jesus will stay fresh and strong. Now let’s look at what we can learn about Mary Magdalene from St. Mark.
“There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) (Mark15:40-41a)
In these verses, the women who followed Jesus are watching him as he died on the cross. Mary Magdalene had been a demon-possessed sinner, but Jesus had saved her. So she followed Him and ministered unto Him. This means that she was able to serve the Lord in a very special, personal way. She followed Him all the way to the cross of Calvary and was a witness as He gave His life for her sins and ours. If you have been saved, are you following Jesus and serving Him by doing what you know is right? If you say that you are saved, do you act like it? A single woman can serve the Lord in a personal way by giving her time and talents to His work. If you can sing, then sing for the Lord in chapel services. In some prisons, you may be allowed to play a musical instrument. Play for Him with all your heart! If you study the Bible carefully while you are in prison, you are going to know a lot about it when you get out. Be sure to start going to a Bible-believing church when you go home. After you have been in church for a while, you may be able to use what you have learned to teach a children’s Sunday School class. Be willing to spend time cleaning up the church building, too. We also serve the Lord in a personal way when we do things to help others. Do you know a shy, frightened girl who lives in your dorm or your cell-block who needs a friend she can trust? Show her the love of Christ and God will bless you for it. When you get out of prison, you may get the chance to return as a volunteer to teach and encourage women who are still on the inside. Another important way to serve God in the free world is to visit people who are old or sick. There are many very poor and even homeless people who we can help by sharing what we have. The godly woman should not be selfish, but should look for ways to serve God by helping others. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-40:
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily [truly] I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
In Mark 15: 46-47, Mary Magdalene is mentioned again:
“And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher [tomb] which was hewn [cut] out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulcher. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld [saw] where he was laid.”
Here we learn that Mary Magdalene didn’t just see Jesus die on the cross; she also saw His body laid in the tomb. She knew for sure that He was dead. But we know that Jesus didn’t stay in that grave! Hallelujah, He arose from the dead three days later!! And look who had the very special privilege and joy of being the very first person to see and talk to the risen Saviour:
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” (Mark 16:9)
This woman, who had been full of demons, had met the Lord and served Him well. What a great blessing and honor she was given on that first Easter morning. No matter what kind of person you were and no matter what you did before you came to Christ, God will bless you and reward you for what you do for Him. Mary had come to the tomb to put sweet-smelling spices on the body of Jesus. She was still willing to serve her Lord, even though she knew He had died. When she saw that He was risen, she really got busy. Mark 16:10 says:
“And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept [cried].”
Mary went right away to tell the followers of Jesus that He had risen from the dead. She had a message of good news for some folks who were really unhappy and full of grief. If you have been saved, you should do like Mary Magdalene did. Tell your friends and family and even strangers that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again from the grave. People all around you are sad and grieving because their lives are full of pain and trouble and they have no joy. They need to be told the good news that Jesus Christ can fill the emptiness that they feel inside, and that He is the answer to their troubles. A godly woman will serve the Lord by being like Mary Magdalene and telling others about Christ as she does her best to live a godly life. Remember that your walk must match your talk, or your talk will not mean anything to anyone. If you say that the Lord has saved you, but you are living a sinful life, people are not going to want to give their hearts and lives to God. They will think that you are just playing some kind of game. Anyone who is truly born-again is going to change. They will be different than they were before they got saved because the Holy Spirit is living in them. They will not just go on enjoying the same old sinful life. They will not become a super-saint over-night, but there will be a difference in them that anyone who knows them can see. If you have not changed since you became a Christian, you had better take a look at your heart. Did you really get saved by repenting of your sins and asking God to forgive you and save you, meaning it with all of your heart? Or did you just get religion, wanting God to help you out of a tough situation? The Word of God says that a saved person will change:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
You cannot serve God by having a godly walk that matches your godly talk unless you truly have been born into God’s family (if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature).
Let’s look at what happened when Mary went and told the others that Jesus had risen. Mark 16:11 says:
“And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.”
How sad it is that these unhappy people rejected the good news that Mary Magdalene brought to them. They would have been a lot better off if they had believed her. Their sorrow would have turned to joy! People in the world today are just the same. No matter what you say or do, many people will not respond to the good news that they can become a child of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only a few will listen to you and respond to this good news. Don’t be discouraged by those who won’t listen, or who reject what you say. This will make you feel bad, but that is just the weakness of your flesh. Remember that God will bless you and reward you for telling others about Him, whether they accept what you say or not. When someone rejects you, they are rejecting Jesus. You should pray for them, and continue to tell the good news to others. But always remember this: nobody who knows you is going to listen if your walk does not match your talk!
Let’s review what we have learned from the stories of Joshua, the Samaritan woman and Mary Magdalene:
1. A godly woman will choose to serve the Lord by being a good example to others. She will read and study the Bible to learn how to obey God and do things God’s way.
“The way of the Lord is strength to the upright [godly].”
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
2. A godly woman will serve the Lord by telling others what He has done for her, and by encouraging them to come
hear the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
“…Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
3. A godly woman will serve the Lord in a personal way by giving her time and talents to His work, and by reaching out
to others who are in need.
“…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
4. A godly woman will have a walk that matches her talk.
“…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:”