Welcome to our new study, Imperishable Beauty: A Study of Biblical Womanhood! The title of our study is taken from 1 Peter 3:4 (one of the passages we’ll be studying):
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
What does it look like to live “a godly life in Christ Jesus” as a woman in the 21st century? Over the next several weeks we’ll take a look at the topic of biblical womanhood, examining the Scriptures that teach us how to live as godly women. Young or old, married or single, if you’d like to grow in Christlikeness in your God-given role as a woman, this study is for you.
Many thanks to those who worked so hard on their entries for our title pic contest. You ladies really made it hard on me to choose just one design! I’ve selected the lovely image above, by Kasandra Shanholtz – who took this beautiful photo herself – as the official title picture for this study.
Thanks also go to these “honorable mention” entries. They are so creative and colorful!
You may wish to review my philosophy of Bible study at the “Bible studies” tab at the top of this page. My studies are designed to teach you how to study the Bible for yourself, which is why I don’t provide answers to the questions in the lessons.
My studies are also designed to be very flexible. You may answer all, any, or none of the questions in each lesson. All of my studies are self paced, so take as long or as short of a time in the passage and with the questions as you like. If, as you’re studying the text, the Holy Spirit leads you to focus on an aspect of the passage I haven’t addressed in the questions, awesome! Park yourself there and learn what He wants you to learn. These lessons are meant to be a tool for you to use as you see fit during your personal study time, not a school project where points are taken off if you don’t complete it the way the teacher wants.
As with all of my studies and articles, I use hyperlinks liberally. The Scriptures for each lesson will be linked either at the beginning of the lesson or in the lesson questions. Whenever you see a word in red, click on it, and it will take you to a Scripture, article, or other resource that will help as you study.
Introduction to Imperishable Beauty
My philosophy of Bible study is that our main “diet” should be systematic, expositional study of the text. In other words: pick a book of the Bible, start at the beginning, and study it through to the end. Then, pick another book and start again. This method of studying helps us understand passages in their context and correctly apply them to our lives, and helps us avoid eisegesis, taking passages out of context, and incorrectly applying them.
However, there is a place for the study of a biblical topic such as peace, sin, the family, God’s wrath, or biblical womanhood. For example: if you’re struggling to trust God because of a sudden circumstance in your life, you don’t have time to study through every book of the Bible to learn what the Bible says about trusting God. You may need to spend some time in focused study on passages from various books that deal specifically with the topic of trusting God, and that’s OK. My goal with this study is not only that you learn what the Bible has to say about the topic of biblical womanhood, but also to demonstrate how to do a topical study properly so you can do topical studies on your own when the need arises.
Normally, in the introductory lesson to my studies, we take a look at the author of the book of the Bible we’re studying, the audience he wrote it to, the historical setting of the book, and other “backstory” issues. But because this is a topical study, and we’ll be examining passages from various books of the Bible, we’ll have to briefly address those issues as needed in each lesson.
So in the introduction to this study, I’d like to address two items in your “backstory.”
If you’re not saved, this study isn’t going to be very helpful to you. You’ll probably find it confusing, frustrating, even angering. First Corinthians 2:14 says:
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Only saved people are able to accept, embrace, and carry out biblical living because they have become new creatures in Christ and have the indwelling Holy Spirit to enable them to understand and obey Scripture.
This week, before we tackle biblical womanhood, I’d like everyone – even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re saved – to work through the Scriptures in my article Basic Training: The Gospel. Do you understand the biblical gospel? Have you truly repented of your sin and trusted Christ as Savior? Spend some time alone with God examining your heart and life against these Scriptures. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re genuinely saved, I would encourage you to put this study aside and work through my study Am I Really Saved?: A First John Check Up first. You can’t be a godly woman if you don’t belong to God.
Expectations and Presuppositions
What do you expect out of this study? What kinds of ideas or preconceived notions are you carrying into this study? Take some time to answer the following questions.
1. When you hear the phrase “biblical womanhood”, what do you think of?
2. Without looking in your Bible, write a brief character sketch of the ideal “biblical woman.” What are some of her character traits, habits, things she focuses on, etc.?
3. What does your church teach about biblical womanhood- how a godly woman acts, talks, lives her life, etc.?
4. What Scriptures come to mind when you think about biblical womanhood?
5. Look up some of the Scriptures you listed in #4 and compare them to your character sketch from #2 and your answer to #3. How do they compare?
6. Why are you interested in a study of biblical womanhood, and what do you hope to get out of this study?
7. Why do you want to be a godly, biblical woman?
8. Some studies of “biblical” womanhood are the type that tell you how awesome you are, that “you’re enough” (whatever that means), that you can take charge of your life, girlfriend, and make all your dreams come true, and that you deserve to have the world at your feet.
This isn’t that kind of study.
Certainly, God is gracious, merciful, kind, comforting, and forgiving, and those wonderful attributes will be addressed as they come up in the texts we study. But becoming a godly woman also involves repenting from sin, obedience to Christ and His Word (even when we don’t feel like it), dying to self, and sometimes even suffering.
Are you prepared to have the Bible step on your toes? Are you committed to obeying Scripture out of love for Christ? Do you have the mindset that the Bible is your authority, not your own opinions, experiences, and feelings?
Take some time in prayer this week to begin preparing your heart for this study. If there’s a specific issue you struggle with regarding being a godly woman, ask God to open your eyes to the truth of His Word and strengthen you to obey Him in that area. I’m excited to have you join me in this journey of discovering what God’s Word has to say about living life as a godly, biblical woman!