Lessons from 30 amazing Women of the Bible

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This week (October 3rd to be exact) was my birthday and- it wasn't just any birthday- it was my 30th! Also, although I didn't actually make it public until late November, this month will mark a year since I started this blog with a view to:

  • Raise the profile of the contributions of the women of the Bible and how the lessons contained in these can be practically applied in our modern spiritual walks
  • Empower Christian women to fully embrace their unique identities and purpose in Christ, free of the stereotypes and traditions that can "so easily best" us

To celebrate, I am going to share my top 30 women of the Bible along with what they taught me either about Christian womanhood/femininity or life in general. So, in alphabetical order, here goes!

#1 Achsah

Achsah's story can be found in in both Joshua 15:16-19 and Judges 1:12-15. You can also read the devotional that I wrote on her here. What I love about her is that she challenges the stereotypes and traditions that say that women should be submissive to the point that they have no voice or opinion. Her audacity and ability to make her requests known empower us as modern women of God to do the same, both in our spiritual lives (through prayer) and in our daily lives. 


Related: An Interview With Esther Chen on the Beloved

#2 Athaliah

To excerpt from the devotional that I wrote on her:

Athaliah was the daughter of Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. They were the monarchs that rejected God and introduced the worship of a god called Baal in Israel- even going so far as to kill the majority of God's prophets. 

After lots of shuffling of monarchs, when they died, Athaliah's son (Ahaziah) became king. However, the Bible says that:

"He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. Therefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction " (2nd Chronicles 22:3-4)

"Why does she inspire you, Nina?!" you may be wondering. Well, some of the women on my list are simply inspirations to me regarding what not to do! Athaliah is one such woman. When I researched and wrote about her, she reinforced for me the importance of seeking godly council.

#3 The Adulterous Woman

To me, the whole tale of the woman caught in the act of adultery is one of grace and forgiveness. She did not end up before Jesus of her own volition; yet it was the best thing that could have happened to her. She came before Him with and in her sin but He acquitted her and did not condemn her.

The dialogue between Jesus and this woman is the most poignant aspect of this tale for me because we, like her, are by no means perfect. We each have our struggles and vices; individual challenges and issues. Yet this woman teaches us that no matter the scale of these, we can come before Jesus and be as bold yet vulnerable as she was in the confession of our weaknesses. It is in this way that we obtain “mercy and find grace to help in time of need” as she did. Through this woman we learn that Jesus is always ready and willing to forgive, and extend His grace. She also teaches us that, that same grace empowers us to no longer be victims or “slaves of sin” but to “go and sin no more”.


Related: Lessons from The Adulterous Woman on Grace

#4 Bathsheba

Bathsheba makes her debut in the Bible in 2nd Samuel 11. Like many women of the Bible, she is typically labelled a scarlet woman due to her (sexual) encounter with one of the patriarchs of the faith (David). However, on closer inspection of her and her life events, I was truly struck by what she demonstrated about God's ability to give as well as take away. As I said in my devotional on her: 

"We are so used to hearing about the God that bestows blessing that we forget that He also has the power and authority to take away at will. [However] this is where faith comes in... Faith is not the refusal to acknowledge the pain of closed doors, but the belief that if God is allowing you to experience it, it is for a purpose- just as it turned out to be for Bathsheba".


Related: Female Sexuality & The Church

#5 The Church

Did you know that the church is a woman? Well, she is! To excerpt from my guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Eve, in discussing a woman's role as helper:

"Jesus is referred to as “the bridegroom” many times in scripture (John 3:29Mark 2:19-20). Marriage symbolism is also used in relation to Him on several occasions (John 14:1-3Ephesians 5:25-27), including the analogy of the church as Christ’s “bride” (2nd Corinthians 11:2Revelations 19:7-9)". 

However, as I discovered during my in-depth study on Ephesians 5:22-33, Jesus' example of being a husband shows that:

  • This scripture is a call for mutual submission
  • Submission does not mean (male) dominance
  • God is not calling for women to submit to their husbands or see them as "their head" (1st Corinthians 11:3) simply because they are male

This is because He calls us to submit to their Christlike display of love, grace, patience, sacrifice and (yes!) submission- which would be the actions of a man who truly sees Christ as their "head" and models himself on Him.


Related: 5 Misconceptions About Feminism in the Church

#6 Delilah

Most people, whether Bible scholars or not, know about Delilah. Say what you will about her but, in order to get her assignment against Samson done, she had to be persistent! As mentioned in my devotional on Delilah, Judges 16:16 literally says that "she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death!" It was this persistence that caused Samson to finally open up to her and reveal the source of his strength, causing his demise. When I read that, not only was I amused by the turn of phrase, I was struck by:

  • The power and strength that we as women hold. We typically think of being strong in terms of "brute force" or extreme masculinity but Delilah turns this on it's head in the way that she was able to disarm Samson
  • The power of persistence in achieving our goals and objectives.

#7 Eve

Discussing Eve has literally been a passion project for me this year. This is because, if your upbringing was anything like mine, then the only relevance that you may feel Eve has on your life as a modern Christian woman is:

  • A painful experience during periods and labour, as a result of her hand in the fall of man as recorded in Genesis 3 
  • As an example and explanation of a woman’s role and purpose as a helper, helpmate or wife (whether you already are one or aspire to be), as per Genesis 2:18.
  • Traditional justifications for less equal treatment of women compared to men, given the fact that Genesis 2:18 and verses 21-24 state that women came from men and were essentially made for them
  • As an example to some of why women are "inherently evil" or "seductresses" sent to "tempt godly men and bring about their downfall," given Eve’s role in the fall of man. 

Yet, Eve is and represents so much more! As the first woman, she was God’s blueprint for womanhood illustrating that (like her) in addition to being called to help:

  • Women are also made in God’s image
  • Women are called to rule and have dominion, just like men


Related: Lessons from Eve on Stewardship


Exploring Eve’s life also reveals spiritual concepts, such as:

  • The mechanism of temptationAs the story of the fall of man shows us some of the tricks of Satan’s trade.
  • God’s grace; how to access and extend it to othersBecause, as much as Eve helped introduce sin into the world, she was also a catalyst for grace!
Related:  Understand God's Blueprint for Womanhood in 5 Days

#8 God

We typically think of God either as being a man or in masculine terms, but a closer study of scripture reveals that God is referred to:

For me, this really gave me more of an insight into our God, who is beyond gender or any other box or category. It also opened my mind to the fact that we as women are both significant and relevant. We too, are God’s children, made in His image. Femininity is not weak; neither is it one dimensional. As Lesego Barona said in her interview, there is no “cookie cutter” version of womanhood. We all have a place and work to do for God and His Kingdom. Let’s support each other as we do so. 

#9 Hoglah, Mahlah, Noah, Milcah, and Tirzah

To summarise, Hoglah and her sisters were the daughters of Zelophehad. (Numbers 27:1-11). When he died they: 

"stood before Moses, before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and all the congregation, by the doorway of the tabernacle of meeting, saying: 'Our father died in the wilderness...and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers'" 

When, Moses brought their case before the Lord, He spoke to Moses, saying:   

“The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right; you shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father’s brothers, and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them." 

When I came across this story I was really touched by how much it shows that God himself is an advocate of women's rights, equality and leadership. 


Related:  Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

#10 Jael

If I asked most people to think of a warrior woman mentioned in Judges 4 and 5, I am pretty sure that most minds would go straight to Deborah. However, she is not the only woman of valour detailed in this particular part of the Bible. There is another and her name is Jael.

I love Jael because, like Delilah and God (when Hosea 13:8 compares Him to a "mother bear"), Jael shows that women are not just the “weaker vessels” that 1st Peter 3:7 suggests. We are also strong, fierce, fighters and forces to be reckoned with!


Related: Lessons from Jael on God's Chosen Vessels

#11 Joanna and Susanna

If I was to ask people to name a female disciple of Jesus, I’m sure that most would say Mary Magdalene. However, Mary Magdalene was not the only one. In fact, Luke 8:2-3 mentions two others in the same breath as her- Joanna and Susanna. These ladies “provided for Jesus from their substance” in order to maintain the momentum and success of His cause. In other words, they supported His ministry financially because of what He had done for them and as a result of their subsequent relationship with Him- demonstrating to us, as modern women, that God also both accepts and expects us to occupy positions within the Kingdom of God.

#12 Jochebed

Scriptures such as Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59 let us know that Moses' mother was called Jochebed. According to Exodus 2:1-11

"...when she saw that [Moses] was a beautiful child. she hid him three months [because the Pharaoh had decreed that all Hebrew boys be killed]. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river bank. And his sister (Miriam) stood afar off, to know what would be done to him" (Exodus 2:2-4).

As we know, because of his mother's actions, Moses' life was preserved and he actually ended up being adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter. Through Jochebedwe see that, more often than not, our desires come with both risks and rewards. However, our breakthroughs typically lie on the other side of risk.


Related: How to Balance the Risks and Rewards Involved in Making Your Dreams a Reality

#13 Keturah

According to scripture not only was Keturah Abraham’s second wife, she was the mother of six of his children besides Isaac and Ishmael, the sons that he had with Sarah and Hagar (Sarah’s maid), respectively. On reflecting upon this fact, what is incredible to me is that there was a point in Abraham’s life when one child would have been considered a miracle in and of itself- let alone eight! This is reflected in:

  • The many occasions that Abraham became depressed at the fact that he had no heir previously (Genesis 15:2-3)
  • The desperation and impatience that led to his liaison with Hagar (Genesis 16)
  • The fact that both he and Sarah laughed when God promised that they would be parents in their old age initially (Genesis 17:17Genesis 18:12)

The very existence of Keturah and her role in Abraham’s life is therefore confirmation of the following scriptures:

  1. God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20)
  2. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1st Corinthians 2:9)

Keturah therefore demonstrates that if we keep the faith (like Abraham did) then we can and will experience our own abundance and overflow.

#14 Lois and Eunice

Lois and Eunice were the grandmother and mother of Timothy. Timothy, for those who don’t know, was Paul’s protégé. Paul’s second epistle (letter) to Timothy is really a call to action. He was basically writing to his young mentee to encourage him not to shrink back from his faith and gifts but to rise up and fully own them. Another thing that Paul does to reassure Timothy is remind him of the stock that he has come from. This can be found in 2nd Timothy 1:5 when he states that “the genuine faith” in Timothy that allowed him to both hear and accept Paul’s words was originally found in his grandmother (Lois) and mother (Eunice). In other words, these ladies and their example was what set the foundation for Timothy to grow up to become the man that he did. He was, in fact, a testament to them and their legacy.

Towards the end of James 4:14, James asks “For what is your life?” He then goes on to answer: “It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Such Biblical verses remind us of the transience of life; that our existence on this earth is short. Yet God has endowed us, like Timothy, with gifts; talents and the faith needed to use these in accordance with His will. This could involve parenting a physical child, like Lois and Eunice, but can also extend to bringing forth “brainchildren” such as our visions, goals and dreams. The best part? We will never know how far reaching our influence will be. Our ability to “walk worthy of the calling to which we were called” could impact generations, just like Louis and Eunice did.

#15 Lydia

According to Acts 16:14-15

 "Lydia...was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptised, she begged [Paul, Timothy and Silas] saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded [them].

This passage shows that, Lydia not only owned her own business but embodied the importance of using our platforms for good. Like Joanna and Susanna did in supporting Jesus' ministry, she demonstrates that we are all blessed to be a blessing to others. 


Related: Lessons from the Virtuous Woman, Lydia and Priscilla on How to Be a Strong Business Woman

#16 Mary of Bethany

In contrast to her sister, Martha, Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him rather than doing chores (flouting social norms). When incited by Martha to scold Mary for this, Jesus instead praised her for choosing "the good part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42). This is a stark contrast to many cultures, including my own, which continue to be quite prescriptive about gender roles- thereby praising women for being more domesticated than educated. It also shows that God has no qualms with women being educated despite many beliefs to the contrary, which are still affecting many women today


Related: Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

#17 Mary (mother of jesus)

One of my favourite sayings is from Eleanor Powell (who was an American dancer and actress in the 1930s and 40s), which goes:

"What we are is God's gift to us; what we become is our gift to God".

When I wrote my Lessons from Mary on Sharing Our Gifts with the World devotional, that was one of the things that I felt she really embodied.

As much as we celebrate Mary's part in bringing Jesus into the world and the precious gift that His birth (and death) represents every Christmas, it all means nothing if we don't carry the message forward and implement it in our lives. With that, she is truly an encouragement that we too are a gift that God wants to unwrap every single day.

#18 Miriam

Miriam makes her first appearance in the Bible in Exodus 2:4 as a little girl who watched over her brother (Moses) to ensure he remained safe. A little known fact about her is that she also grew up to be gifted in her own right and functioned as a prophetess (Exodus 15:20).  One of my favourite lessons from her, though, is that of celebrating our milestones. In other words- even if we aren't totally where we want to be in life, we should celebrate the fact that we have made steps forward and are not where we used to be.

#19 The Parable of the Lost Coin

The Parable of the Lost Coin shows:

1) God's Love for You: A full breakdown of the parable can be viewed in this devotional but, to summarise- Jesus told this story as an analogy for the Kingdom of God. In it, He likened the Kingdom to a lady who had 10 coins and lost one in the house. As a result, she lit a lamp and swept the house in search of it. When she did find it, she was so glad that she called her neighbours together to rejoice with her. Jesus then went on to say that the angels rejoice in a very similar way when "sinners repent".

As someone who has experienced the pang, heartache and anxiety of losing a ring that was precious to me, that I went to similar measures to the lady in the story to find it- this story really demonstrates to me how much God truly loves us. He has so much more than 9 other children to keep Him happy/satisfied (billions!), yet He values us all as individuals so much so that He would pursue us. He loves ALL of His children and wants us all to come into relationship with Him.


2) Your Value in God's Eyes: I love the fact that Jesus likened His people to coins when explaining the Kingdom of God. I think He did that to show us that, like coins:

  • We are not just valuable because God loves us but that, we have intrinsic value and worth- "far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10)- whether or not we know it and agree
  • We should add value/be an asset wherever we go because of the wealth that God has endowed us with (e.g. our personality, gifts, talents, abilities), which is why He says that we shouldn't place ourselves in front of/give ourselves to people who don't see and treat us as such. Hence we are told not to cast our "pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6)


3) Your Significance: The fact that:

  • God loves us so much that He would pursue us
  • Has given us intrinsic value and worth so that we can be an asset both to His children and the Kingdom of God

shows that we are significant. He wants to be able to use us for all that we are worth, as you would money. One way that we can allow God to do this is by being available to help Him in His quest to lead people into fellowship with Him. The guidebook in the resource library ("How to Lead People into the Love of God") will coach you through how to do this, if you are not sure.

#20 Pharaoh's Daughter

One of the things that really interested me about Pharaoh's daughter was the revelation that she acted as a fore-shadow of Christ through her show of mercy towards Moses. "Mercy" can be defined in the following ways:

  1. Compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, enemy or other person in one's power
  2. The discretionary power of a judge (or authority) to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment
  3. An act of kindness, compassion or favour

This is exactly what the Pharaoh's daughter did by knowingly adopting a Hebrew child, despite her father's command and the power that she herself had to execute it. Such benevolence puts me in mind of God and the mercy that He showed to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can find out more about how here.

#21 Potiphar's Wife

Potiphar’s wife makes her cameo in the Bible in Genesis 39. To summarise the chapter, for those who don’t recognise this name, she was the one responsible for having Joseph (of technicolour dream coat fame) put in jail under false rape allegations. 

Potiphar's wife, like Athaliah, is another example of what not to do! However she is also an example of the scripture that says that God will make our enemies our footstools. For, as explained in this devotional, one function of footstools is to help us to step up and elevate ourselves. They help us to access previously unreachable places. Therefore, our “enemies” (whether they be people or negative circumstances) can actually be blessings in disguise serving as “footstools” because without them we would never ascend towards our purpose.

This was certainly true of Joseph. If Potiphar’s wife had not falsely accused him, he would never have met the Pharaoh’s butler and baker in prison (Genesis 40). If he had not met them and interpreted their dreams, then he would never have been called upon to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and definitely would then never have become second only to Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 41:38-45) and so on. 

Potiphar's wife is therefore a reminder that God’s thoughts are not of evil towards you. Even when it doesn’t look like it, He wishes you nothing but peace; wants to establish your hopes and give you a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

#22 The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba, otherwise known as Makeda, makes her debut in the Bible in 1st Kings 10:1-13. The story of her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem, from her ancient Ethiopian Kingdom, is then documented again in 2nd Chronicles 9:1-12. A highly successful monarch in her own right, there is much insight and wisdom to be gained from this great woman of the Bible regarding how to go about building positive relationships. For example:

  • The importance of “testing the spirit
  • The art of not taking people at face value, whether that be on the basis of their self-reports or the reputation that they have garnered from other people
  • And more!

You can find out what they are here.

#23 Rebekah

To summarise a previous devotional:

Robin Sharma once said:

"Our performance broadcasts our beliefs"

Which is basically another way of saying "faith without works is dead". This also goes for the way in which we approach life based on our belief system or "locus of control" (a concept developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954).

Rebekah's example shows us that there must be a balance [between having an internal and external locus of control]. In as much as there is an interplay between the corporeal (natural) and incorporeal (spiritual) realm, there is an interplay between both internal and external factors on the outcome of our lives. This means that, like Rebekah, we must learn to take advantage of the opportunities that God brings our way and seem to come by chance (as she did when she bumped into Abraham's servant as he was looking for a wife for Isaac). But, we must also know when to create our [own] opportunities- thereby putting action behind our faith in the word or revelation of God. In short, we must do what we can and let God do what we can't.

#24 Samson's Mother

Judges 13 is all about the announcement of the birth of Samson- best known for his rendezvous with Delilah, which ultimately led to his downfall. The first person to receive the announcement of his birth from the angel of the Lord was Samson's mother (although the angel did visit a second time to make the announcement to both her and her husband after that). Within both announcements Samson's mother was also given a set of instructions.

This meant that by default of carrying Samson in her womb and receiving the angel's instructions, Samson's mother became a Nazirite. It wasn't enough that she was the vessel through which he entered the world to fulfill his purpose of "[delivering] Israel out of the hand of the Philistines". It also wouldn't have been enough for her to tell him what being a Nazirite involved. She had to show him by becoming one herself and leading by example.


Related: Lessons from Samson's Mother on Leading By Example


We, as modern women, need to make sure that (like Samson's mother), we are an example of what we would want the people around us and under our care to be. We need to make sure that we cannot be named amongst the variables that caused someone else's faith to decline or them to walk out of the will of God. Like Samson's mother, we need to realise that lip service is not enough. We cannot have a "do as I say; not as I do mentality" because people are paying much closer attention to what we do than what we say.


Related: 6 Qualities of a Great Leader According to a Leadership Expert

#25 Sarah

I think that possibly the worst thing about Sarah's actions in Genesis 16 is that, despite her best efforts; scheming and plotting, the vision (regarding Abraham becoming a father of nations) was not accomplished through Abraham and Hagar. Yes, they did have a son, but he was not the chosen vessel through which God wanted to establish His promises to Abraham. God had not chosen Hagar. He had in fact chosen Sarah, which was confirmed later through Isaac’s birth.

All the heartache of watching her husband form a relationship with another woman; all that subsequent rivalry and conflict between the two women (Genesis 16:4-6Genesis 21:8-10) and for what? God to have His way and establish His authority as sovereign anyway! Probably the most hurtful to Sarah was that the child which Hagar bore was a constant reminder of her lack of faith, perceived inadequacies and wasted time and energy in trying to play God.

Through Sarah we gain a reminder that our own visions will be established in God’s appointed time. We may have plans in your heart, like Sarah did, but “it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. All we can do is surrender to Him; stay faithful to the vision that He has given us and He will be faithful to complete it


Related: Lessons from Sarah on Patience

#26 Shiphrah and Puah

In Exodus 1:15-17 we are informed about the fact that the Pharaoh reigning at the time of Moses' birth gave a command that all Hebrew sons be killed at birth. This is because he was afraid that the Hebrews' great number and might would mean that they would one day "join [Egypt's] enemies and fight against them" in the event of war (Exodus 1:9-10). However, Shiphrah and Puah (two Hebrew midwives) did not do as Pharaoh said and "saved the male children alive" because they "feared God" (Exodus 1:15-17).

We often think of fear as being a negative emotion because it is usually used as synonym for afraid or frightened. However fear, in this context, means "reverence" (which is "a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe [or] veneration"). So, what this means is that Shiphrah and Puah had greater "reverence," "respect" and "awe" for God and His statutes than they did for Pharaoh and his command. This was the passion that drove them to civil disobedience although it was (presumably) punishable by death.

Colossians 3:22 says that we are not to be "men-pleasers". Romans 12:2 says we are not to be conformed to this world so that, like Shiphrah and Puah, we may act as living testimonies proving "what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". Whenever you have to choose between pleasing man or God remember that fearing the Lord and doing His will, will be validated via the appearance of the blessings or benefits explored in this devotional.

#27 The Widow's Mite

The Bible is rife with nameless people. This is because during the time that it was written, it was mainly people of high social standing that were referred to by their actual titles in text. Such standing did not just come as a result of money, for example, but also gender biases because women were considered to be beneath men at the time. As a result, quite a few of the females featured in the Bible have no name. Examples of this are captured in the Bible’s narrative on people like Potiphar’s wife and Lot’s wife, and can also be seen within the story of “The Widow’s Mite” (in which we are only told about the lady’s lowly social status and nothing else, including her name). Despite this, this lady’s position in history has been elevated because Jesus chose to use her actions [in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4] as a teaching opportunity.

As such, The widow’s story is a reminder that God sees our sacrifice- whether it be of time, effort, energy or money-even when it seems that nobody else does. As frustrating and painful as it may be, we must remember that our validation ultimately comes from God and not from man.

#28 The Woman in Timnah

What I find interesting about The Woman in Timnah is that she came into Samson's life before Delilah; yet there are many parallels between the 2 of them:

  • They both were not Hebrew (like Samson and his family): She was from Timnah; Delilah was from the Valley of Sorek
  • They were both used to draw information out of Samson that could be used against him by the Philistines, thereby setting him up and bringing about his downfall: The woman from Timnah told the Philistines the answer to a riddle that Samson posed, causing him to be indebted to them (Judges 14:12-20). Delilah told them where the source of his strength came from, which ultimately caused him to end up blind and in jail (Judges 16:4-31)
  • They both managed to coax information out of him through sheer perseverance in playing on his emotions: As shown in Judges 14:16-17 and Judges 16:15-17

One of my favourite sayings when it comes to people is "fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me". It basically means if somebody does something negative to you for the first time then you have every right to say that you didn't see it coming. It is therefore a shame on them because they took advantage of your trust and good will. However, if after somebody treats you in that manner, you allow them to do it to you again- it's a shame on you because you had prior exposure to that trait/behaviour. Can you imagine what would have happened if Samson would have operated with that mindset? He would have been able to see Delilah and the Philistines coming from a mile away! The Woman in Timnah therefore teaches us the importance of learning from our mistakes which, as detailed in this devotional, involves a 3-step process.

#29 The Woman with the Issue of Blood

Traditionally women's menstrual cycles have been thought of as a "curse" (as per Genesis 3:16). As such the cultural norms of Jesus' day dictated that, during a woman's cycle, she and everything/one that she came into contact with was "unclean" (Leviticus 15:19-33). 

Even today, menstruation remains taboo as women's health is still little understood and many women still face shame and ostracism every month. If that is still happening now, you can imagine what it was like for The Woman with the Issue of Blood, who had a gynecological issue that caused her to bleed for 12 years before her encounter with Jesus (Luke 8:43-48)!  

Yet when she flouted the law for the sake of obtaining her healing, Jesus did not scold her, shame her or punish her. Instead He showed her grace by reassuring her and allowing her to "go in peace". Through this woman's story the body of Christ learns that, especially where women are concerned, we: 

  • Need to stop shaming and policing others, making them feel unloved (particularly by God, when this is clearly not the case) 
  • Should value people above religious dogma
  • Should demonstrate God's grace and love to others (rather than condemning or judging them)
  • Must not be afraid of being unorthodox and upsetting the status quo in order to bring about such change

#30 The Virtuous Woman

I remember, when I was younger, I used to associate the Proverbs 31 Woman with being the blueprint for Christian womanhood- particularly as it pertained to being a wife and mother. This is because these were the contexts in which I was used to her being brought up. Now, not only have I come to the realisation that Eve is God's blueprint for womanhood, I also see that The Virtuous Woman was a woman with several enterprises. For example:

  • Proverbs 31:16 says "She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard"
  • Proverbs 31:24 says "She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants"

Hers is therefore an example of a woman who owned businesses and multiple income streams. To quote Courtney Sanders, of Thinkandgrowchick.com, this is an important lesson for us, modern women, to learn because:

"Financially successful women often earn money not just from a traditional job but through other sources such as business, real estate, personal services, sales commissions, intellectual property, royalties, interest income, and financial investments.

[They also] take inventory of what they’re good at and seek different ways to monetise it so they always maintain their financial independence".

You can read the rest of that article here and this T.D Jakes clip will show you the value of this concept from a Biblical perspective.


Related: Lessons from The Virtuous Woman, Lydia and Priscilla on How to be a Strong Business Woman

Which of these women of the Bible most inspired you? Or which of them was new to you/surprised you the most? I'd love to know! We can chat here. In the meantime-