A Godly Woman: Sober and Self-controlled

I want to be more “sober-minded.” I really, really do.

“Wow, Kelly, that’s great.  Who cares.”

I knew you’d want to hear more.

I usually don’t pay much attention to those verses about being sober.  And if I’m not mistaking, the word sober in the Bible never refers to “not drunk”; it is always a reference to one’s character.

Have you ever met a woman who just had control over her spirit, in every way?  She was not fearful, not boisterous, not crude, not overly-emotional—she wore an air of serenity about her, making even those around her feel calm.

That’s what I imagine it means to be sober, according to Scripture.  In fact, the Greek meanings involved these two definitions:

“to exercise self control, to curb one’s passions”

Compiling all the different definitions of a virtuous woman from Scripture, we continuously get a picture of a calm, controlled woman.  The Proverbs 31 woman is “clothed with dignity” and “opens her mouth with wisdom.

The New Testament picture is a woman with a “meek and quiet spirit.”   SPIRIT.  This isn’t a  picture of a mealy-mouthed woman who is insecure and bound by intimidation, like some would define her.  This is a woman whose strength is her anchor, no matter what storms life brings her.

Isn’t it easy to just forget that Scripture actually defines what character qualities we should be cultivating?  And not just for ourselves, but what we should be teaching the younger women and our daughters?  I think it’s so interesting to compare the culture’s definition of a strong woman to the biblical one.  How often are we bent on indulging our flaws under the culturally accepted guise of “this is who I am, like it or leave it“?

Or are we looking to what is the norm for measuring ourselves?

Do we glory in our unique, created personalities?  Absolutely!  But where our personalities give way to sin, I believe we are called to “take every thought captive.”

Furthermore, what do my fears and excessive worries say about my faith in Him who knows and provides for all my needs, the sovereign One “in whose book all the days were written when as yet there were none of them”?

What do my complaints and frustrations reveal about my heart?  Am I basking in gratitude for the abundant blessings around me?  Or am I a wandering child through wilderness, overlooking His miraculous protection and goodness?

Boy, I need to go and repent now.

I can only think of one way to be transformed, and that is by “the renewing of the mind.”  Unfortunately, we are not magically transformed as believers.  We are endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed, but the work on our part is very real and active.

REnewing involves the act of over and over.  This is important to remember!

It begins with a need to understand what the Bible says about how we should live, what traits we should be pursing.  Then a daily meditation on, maybe a particular passage at a time, and a prayerful position that causes our minds to be constantly turned toward Heaven, even while our bodies are busy on earth.

It’s funny every time I think about it.  Modern woman says that we have been weak throughout history. But I personally think it is rare to see a modern woman exhibit the kind of strength and nobility painted from God’s Word.  I want to be that woman.

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14 Responses to “A Godly Woman: Sober and Self-controlled”

  1. Erica says:

    Amen sister! Great post

  2. June Fuentes says:

    ‘Modern woman says that we have been weak throughout history. But I personally think it is rare to see a modern woman exhibit the kind of strength and nobility painted from God’s Word.’

    Excellent thoughts, so much so I am tempted to blog about it!

    Many blessings…

  3. Heather says:

    Well said, Kelly. The imagined “perfectly obedient” believer (male or female) is something I’ve contemplated a lot lately. Even resulted in a rather long, rambling post which centered on the finished work of Christ and what it means for me.

    This:

    “we are not “magically” transformed as believers. We are endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed, but the work on our part is very real and active.”

    is a sobering truth that I think is often missed in Christian circles. We not only can look at ourselves and think we aren’t really saved because of our penchant for sin….but we often look at others and judge them based on what we do or do not see. 🙁

    As we draw near to God, He comes closer to us–and in His brilliant light all of our ugliness becomes exposed. What we were blinded to yesterday suddenly takes center stage. It is humbling. And can be terrifying if we are not trusting that it is because of God’s work in us that we can even see sin for what it is.

    Anyway, back on topic….”Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

    When I finally am broken before Him (and probably look like a total loser according to the world’s standards) only then am I truly “strong”, because I am able to stand by the power of God.

    Women of God are to fall on our faces before Him so that He may be glorified through us (in spite of us)

    Heather

  4. Kelly L says:

    I want to be that woman too! You are so right, God doesn’t want defeated women who are broken by man. He wants victorious women who are broken by Him!

  5. Luci says:

    Kelly, thank you for such an awesome post. I’ll echo what Kelly L wrote – I want to be that woman! I never thought about “meek and quiet spirit” that way ~ what wisdom there is in your words!

    You cited the Greek meaning of “sober” – I was wondering if you know Greek, or if you used an online Scripture reference for that? If you did, would you post the link? Thanks, and may God bless you and your family!

  6. Word Warrior says:

    Luci,

    Thank you–so glad you were encouraged by this post. The link I use is:

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=sober&t=KJV

    I would love to know Greek, but alas, I know not a bit 😉 I often think that would be a great subject for our children to study though.

  7. KB says:

    Great post, Kelly.
    Yup. This is a WIP (Work In Progress) over on my end, too.
    The Lord knows how to keep us on our knees, doesn’t He?

  8. Mrs. Price says:

    Thank you so much for this post. It has been in my mind all week so far. It has saved me from loosing my temper quite a few times!!! God Bless you!!!!

  9. Katie says:

    A great example, fictional though she is, is Melanie Hamilton Wilkes in Gone With the Wind.

    • Diana says:

      Yes! Whenever I see that movie, I think “I want to be more like Melanie!” She’s the perfect example of what this post talks about.

      Thank you for this wonderful post, Kelly! Loved it!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Renewing your mind… one of my favorite verses! Praise God for your words of truth 🙂

  11. Summer says:

    Thank you, Kelly,for this today! I was so struggling with my emotions today, and it seemed that so many things were just pushing my buttons. I wanted to give into them, and at times, I did.:-(. But, I kept in mind what I’d read here, and the Lord gave me grace to NOT give in everytime I wanted to. So, that is a victory! Thank you for encouraging us with your words of wisdom and honesty. And, thank you, Lord Jesus, for being so gracious to us daily!

  12. Chris N says:

    A link to this came up on my FB memories. It was just as good the second time around!! I LOVE that in my 40s I can see where God has been shaping me and making me this woman more and more. I hope that my girls start out more fierce and virtuous that I did. What God can do with that is exciting!!

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