Role models

We often hear news interviews where people reference their heroes (sports, arts, actors, rescuers, etc.) as role models. Some of their role models have reached iconic status and are even referred to as idols.

Who’s your role model?

Why?

What does this person’s example teach you?

I’m not sure I ever had one role model, though I have a whole list of heroes and people I look up to. Some have impressed me with their kindness, graciousness, generosity, and understanding. I have a few women friends who are examples to me in the way they act. The people I respect are faithful workers in their churches. Many of my personal heroes lived in days gone by, and most are missionaries—pioneers who never gave up. David Livingstone, George Müller, Mary Slessor, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, William Carey, and Adiniram Judson are role models for anyone. Of course, there are many more.

Closer to our time are people like Darlene Deibler Rose, Elisabeth Elliot, Cori Ten Boom, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss, who’ve inspired us with their testimonies, speaking, and writings.

If you were to choose an ideal woman for a role model, what would she be like?

Proverbs 31 is a good place to start, with the Virtuous Woman. She’s a wife, mother, provider, industrious, thoughtful, and she dresses with grace and beauty. She also cares for the poor, looks after her household, and makes sure her husband and children have what they need. She’s strong, yet her speech is with wisdom and kindness. This lady commands respect.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 say we should dress like and have the same attitude as godly women who fear the Lord. Godly women should be both our role models and clothing models. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

A similar passage is: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands (1 Peter 3:3-5).

How should mature Christian women act? They will be good examples and teachers. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:3-5).

Role models in the world tend to be in favor of just about everything that flies in the face of biblical standards.

We have a choice: embrace the models God has given us, or reject them and follow the women the world sets up as examples.

Let’s choose the best role models: women who love the Lord.

Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:11b-12a).

How to be wise–and a few applications

Everyone old enough to read should study the biblical book of Proverbs. This is the second installment in our series. (You can read the first one, here.) As you know, the book of Proverbs is mostly written as if Wisdom is a person. She talks to Solomon and tells him how to be wise. This book of the Bible is just as valid today as it was in Solomon’s times.

Let’s open Chapter 2 and see what kind of advice we find.

I love the first part. It says that in order to have wisdom the son needs to listen, incline his ear, apply his heart, and even cry after wisdom, knowledge and understanding (verses 1-3).

It goes further. The son is to search for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding as if it were silver (money) or hidden treasure (verse 4).

The benefits of looking for wisdom: understanding and respecting the Lord, finding the knowledge of God (knowing Him), and wisdom (verse 5).

The source of wisdom is the Lord and His Word. Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (6).

Again, we see the benefits of wisdom:

  • God is a shield (Protector).
  • He preserves our way.
  • When you have wisdom and knowledge in your heart, you’ll have discretion, understanding, and be delivered from evil (7-11).

There are two parentheses in Proverbs 2. One describes an evil man. Wisdom will deliver us from this kind of a person. The evil man speaks perverse things, leaves the good path and walks in the ways of darkness (13). He rejoices in evil and enjoys the perversity of wicked people. His ways are crooked and perverse. It’s not a pretty picture.

The next parenthesis is a portrait of an evil woman, obviously immoral and possibly a harlot. She flatters. She has forsaken her parents’ guidelines and forgotten the covenant of her God (17). Her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life (18-19). This speaks of the moral consequences that await someone who has a relationship with a prostitute or adulteress.

Proverbs 6 describes the same scenario this way: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent (6:24-29).

Proverbs 2 now admonishes the son to walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous (20). There’s a reward for good men.

The end of this chapter is a warning. The wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it (22).

How practical! We’ve learned the difference between evil men and women and the righteous. We’ve found out where to find wisdom—in the Bible—and its value and benefits.

May the Lord bless you, today!