As Christian women, we seek to implement our faith in all areas of life. We strive to invite Christ into every aspect of our lives and allow Him to guide us.
We hear a lot about how to invite Christ into our marriages, our families, and relationships. Though all of these areas are extremely important, one area of life that we sometimes forget to invite Christ into is work. If we are true women of God, we need to let the gospel transform the way we approach our work.
But how can we practically implement our faith into our work? How can we be Christian women in the workplace? Especially when that workplace is not-so-Christian.
To find these answers, let’s first look at what it means to be a ‘Woman of God.’ From there we can piece together what it means to be a Christian woman in a not-so-Christian workplace.
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What it Means to Be a Woman of God
What does it mean to be a woman of God? To answer this question, let’s look at some Biblical references.
Proverbs 31 is the typical “go-to” scripture when it comes to Biblical womanhood. In verses, 10 through 31 (NIV), the Wife of Noble Character is described.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
This woman of noble character was an incredibly courageous woman living in a time and a culture where women weren’t typically reaching for such high goals.
In fact, even in more recent decades of the 21st century, women weren’t accomplishing much when it came to their careers or endeavors outside of the house.
In earlier decades, the Church typically spent time preaching on things like Ephesians 5:22-24 which teaches that women need to submit to their husbands.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
I am not trying to say that we shouldn’t submit to our husbands, but rather, that is not our only job in life. As Christian women, we have our own unique callings that go beyond the walls of our homes. God has a purpose for each one of us in our respective positions.
What a Woman of God Is?
In Proverbs 31, it is clear that the wife of noble character has a few key characteristics. Here are a few things that are evident about her from this passage.
- She honored and respected her husband just as Ephesians 5 tells us to (v. 11,12,28)
- She fed and clothed her family with the healthiest and finest (v. 15,21)
- She dressed herself attractively (v. 21,22,25)
- She respected and helped those of lower positions (v. 15,20,26)
- She invested the use of her skills in a personal business (v. 16,18,24)
- She worked very hard at everything she did (v. 13,14,17,18,24,27,31)
What a Woman of God Isn’t
From the passage in Proverbs 31, we can deduce a few things that this woman of noble character was not.
- She did not work strictly at home (v. 14,16)
- She didn’t remain silent (v. 18,26)
- She was not weak or passive in her endeavors (v. 13,15,17,18,27)
- She didn’t hold back from accomplishing great things (v. 13,16,17,18,24,31
- She did not let others’ view of her tarnish her view of herself (v. 20,25,26,30)
- She was not a worrier (v. 21,25)
This woman of noble character clearly had a job that took her outside of her home. She was not just a wife, a mother, or a homemaker. She earned a living alongside her husband and she did her job very well.
She also did not remain silent, week, nor passive. She spoke up for others and was strong for those around her. Nothing seemed to hold her back from accomplishing what God intended for her.
And through all of this, the woman did not worry about tomorrow. She did not worry about what others thought of her. It was clear that she knew where her hope came from, and that she only needed the acceptance of God.
God Sees Work as a Good Thing
God blessed us with the ability to work. In fact, God himself is a worker and a creator. And because we are made in his image, it is to our delight that we get to work.
In fact, our work is one of the primary ways in which we can love our neighbors as well as honor God. Work was a part of God’s original design for the world. He even gave Adam and Eve jobs while they were in the Garden of Eden.
Work is an inherently good thing designed by God to reveal His character. We can reveal God’s character through our own work as well.
How To Honor God in The Workplace
There are so many ways to honor God in the workplace! Even in a workplace that seems so far from Godliness – you can honor Him with your own actions and how you go about your day and engage with others!
Take Delight in Your Work
Because God sees work as good, we should also see our work as good. Society has focused on this idea that our work is something to be tolerated and even dreaded.
But God says otherwise. Remember, work existed prior to the Fall in the Garden of Eden. It was always a part of the plan.
Our work is a gift from God. He gave us these talents and abilities to share with others. We need to be thankful for them and use these gifts to honor him and love our neighbors.
Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 1 Chronicles 29:14
Don’t Do Half Work
In a world that glorifies “half work,” we can be the outliers that make heads turn. When everyone else is doing just enough to not get fired, we should be the ones going the extra mile. What if God was your boss? How would you handle your job? After all, He is the rightful owner of everything.
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
Our continuous hard work will leave a lasting impact on those around us. People will witness and remember our efforts. God will be glorified through our hard work because we are going that extra mile in order to love and serve those around us.
Work with Excellence at All Times
When we take a look at how the Proverbs 31 woman handled her work, it is clear that she took great care in how she handled her tasks. She worked very diligently in order to see that things were profitable and that no mistakes were made.
She did not get by with doing as little as possible in order to accomplish her tasks. No, she went above and beyond in order to prove that she was a help to all.
We should be pursuing excellence in our work as a means to glorify God and serving others. Excellence in our jobs is a way to serve others. Serving our bosses, our managers, our coworkers, and our customers, whomever they may be.
Look To Love Others Through Our Work
Our work is one of the primary ways in which we love our neighbors and serve the world. Try to go the extra mile in order to help out those around you. Whether it is your customers, coworkers, or managers.
Recognize the needs of others so you can find ways to show them love. Get to know the people you work with. Speak to clients as if they are human, and not just another number.
Look for ways to take the burden off of these people around you. Your generosity can go a long way to show the love of Christ to these people.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters Colossians 3:23
Being a Woman of God in the Workplace
Ultimately, the way we can be faithful Christian women in the workplace is the same way we should approach everything in our lives. We need to seek to honor God first and foremost, and then also prioritize loving others.
We spend so much of our lives working. God truly cares about how we do our jobs. He wants us to use our workplace as our own mission fields.
This next week, I challenge you to work as if you were working for the Lord. I challenge you to seek out new ways to love others through your hard work.