You can listen to this devotional on the audio below, if you prefer that to reading. Feel free to download and share with your loved ones also:
I have been a fan of Mary J. Blige since my childhood in the early 90s and have taken great inspiration from watching the way that she has blazed trails, set trends and overcome adversity, both in her career and personal life, from then even up till now. This, in addition to the fact that her songs tend to surround themes such as female empowerment, make her a favourite.
With a title like “The Strength of a Woman,” her new album seems set to carry on this important discussion. So, to celebrate, I was inspired to share 8 markings of a strong business woman through some of my favourite Mary J. Blige lyrics. These were then featured on Sheleadsafrica,org, where I discussed characteristics such as:
- Having a niche (both in terms of specialism and market)
- Having goals and going for them
- Refusing to tolerate negative entities
- Rising above naysayers and enemies of progress
- Seeking positive relationships and collaborations
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- The importance of having a positive outlook and faith
- Using your platform for good
You can read the article in full here.
This then set off a chain of events in which I became inspired to research some of the business women of the Bible. Because, as much as some would have us believe that women should have no choice but to stay at home, the women we are about to discuss show differently. The first lady on our list is:
The Virtuous Woman (of Proverbs 31)
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".
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 8th marking of a strong business woman, mentioned before- 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.
By only selling "purple," rather than any other colour or material, Lydia also embodies the 1st marking of a strong business woman- having a niche.
Acts 18:3 states that Priscilla was a "tent-maker," who worked alongside her husband (Aquila). When Paul came to Corinth, they then let him work and stay with them "because he was of the same trade". As such, she is the embodiment of the 5th marking of a strong business woman- someone who seeks positive relationships and collaborations.
According to Sarah Jones of Introvertedalpha.com, this includes doing things like hiring people that you could actually see yourself being friends with- or, put more bluntly, not hiring people you don't like! To discover how you can do this too, you can read the rest of her article here.
For a more Biblical perspective, check out the devotional on the Queen of Sheba here, along with the accompanying guidebook ("The 9 Effective Biblical Habits of People who Form Positive Relationships" located in the resource library).
You can also discover the importance of building a synergistic team through Euodia and Syntyche.
To recap, today we discussed:
- The 8 markings of a strong business woman
- 3 strong business women of the Bible (The Proverbs 31 Woman, Lydia and Priscilla)
- The Proverbs 31 woman taught us the importance of having multiple income streams
- Lydia taught us the importance of using our platforms for good and having a niche market
- Priscilla taught us the importance of seeking positive relationships and collaborations, and also building strong teams
So what about you, lovely? Which of these 3 business-savvy Biblical women are you the most inspired by and why? Were any of these concepts new to you? If so, which will you be carrying forward to implement in your life?