The value and dignity of godly women

marriage mother's day submission women of the bible

If you took a quick stroll through our home, you would discover an interesting series of artifacts.  They aren’t necessarily historical in nature, but they certainly have value to our family, particularly to my wife.  The artifacts I’m referring to are some of the crafts and gifts our children made for her during their childhood.  At the time, they were small tokens of appreciation from the kids to their mother on various holidays or on her birthday.  Now that our children are grown, those artifacts hold extra special significance to us.

Instinctively, children value their mothers, but I have to admit that the older I get, the more I have come to appreciate the role women in general have in this world.  In just about every way imaginable, they make life on this planet better.  They have a positive impact on the culture, the home, and the church.

With that in mind, I’d like to look at four specific ways the Bible illustrates the immeasurable value and dignity of godly women.  


Women have been created in the image of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  (Gen. 1:27)

One of the most interesting concepts God’s word reveals about the creation of humanity is that we have been created in the image of God.  God created some humans to be males and some to be females, yet we all have equal value in God’s eyes.

 When Scripture speaks of people being created in God’s image, it’s telling us that we are like Him and we have the privilege to represent Him in this world.  There are certain things we can learn about God’s attributes by observing the people He created.

 Having been created in God’s image also conveys that every human life is intrinsically valuable.  I’m convinced that the violence, abuse, and harm that is commonly done in this world comes back to our failure to understand just how valuable each of us is in the eyes of God.  We often fail to see each other from God’s perspective.

 As a student of history and current events, when I read about or observe some of the ways certain cultures have minimized or devalued women, whether that was by withholding certain privileges from them or attempting to control or demean them in unhealthy ways, I believe those cultures have missed out on many blessings and unknowingly done great harm to themselves.

 As followers of Christ, we’re called to treat women with love and honor, just as He did.  The reminder given to us in Scripture that they were intentionally created in God’s image should directly influence our response to them and our treatment of them.


Women give us a picture of the respect the church should have for Jesus.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  (Eph. 5:22-24, 32)

 Paul’s words to men and women in the book of Ephesians are often repeated in books on Christian marriage.  They’re also frequently quoted during marriage counseling sessions and wedding ceremonies.  The Holy Spirit inspired him to write these words so we would learn to carry ourselves in godly ways toward our spouses, but there’s a deeper significance to Paul’s words that often gets overlooked in our attempts to apply this Scripture to our relationships.

 In Ephesians, Paul speaks of concepts like submission and headship.  Before speaking to husbands and wives, he first tells the church as a whole to make it their practice to submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).  Then, after establishing that as a baseline for how all believers should treat each other, he tells wives to make a point to show godly submission toward their husbands, and husbands to sacrificially love their wives in the deepest possible ways and to meet the needs of their wives no matter the personal cost.

 Paul explains that as men and women do this for each other, they aren’t just bringing benefit to their marriage, they’re demonstrating something of divine significance to this world.  They are actually allowing the world to see a visible example of the love of Christ for His church and the respect of the church for Christ.

 In that analogy, Paul directly states that in this arrangement, women have been chosen by God to represent the church as a whole.  As they carry out their role within their marriage, they aren’t just honoring or submitting to their husbands for the husband’s sake.  They’re giving every believer and the culture in general a profound picture of what it looks like for the church to show honor and respect to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Women are given a place of honor and influence in Christ’s kingdom.

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”  (John 4:25-26)

One of the most loved portions of Scripture is the account in John 4 where Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman that He meets at a well.  When we look at that account, it’s explained to us that this woman wasn’t well-regarded in her community.  Men regularly took advantage of her and she was probably drawing water from the well alone at that time of day because the women of the community didn’t want to have anything to do with her.  She was used to being treated poorly, but Jesus showed her a form of respect that surprised her.

 As Jesus spoke to this woman, He made it clear to her that He alone could satisfy the deepest longings and thirsts of her soul.  She was drawing water to satisfy her physical thirst and she was going from man to man in her home life because she longed for relational fulfillment that she believed could only be satisfied romantically.  Jesus made it clear to her that her primary need was a relationship with her Creator.  Her mistaken attempts to satisfy the longings of her soul through anything or anyone else would always leave her feeling disappointed.

 It was also in this conversation that Jesus entrusted this woman with information He hadn’t publicly revealed to anyone else.  Jesus revealed to her that He was the long-promised Messiah.  He was God in the flesh on a mission to rescue lost humanity, and He would be happy to welcome her into His kingdom and family.

 It’s such a beautiful account to read.  The first person Jesus entrusted this information to was a woman, and she went and told her entire community.

 We see a similar pattern taking place after Christ’s resurrection as well.  Who were the first people to witness His resurrection?  Who were the first people to testify to His victory over death?  Scripture tells us this revelation was entrusted to several women.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”  (Matt. 28:1-10)

 The ironic commonality regarding the account of the woman at the well in John 4, and the account of the women at the tomb in Matthew 28 is that in the time period when these events took place, women were not considered credible witnesses in a court of law.  Yet it was to women that Jesus first entrusted the message of His messianic identity and His resurrection.  What a beautiful picture of the love of Christ for the women He created in His image!  What a beautiful example of His desire to honor these women whom He called to be part of His eternal family!


For Christ’s glory, the church is called to honor and value women.

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”  (Gal. 3:27-29)

 One of the hardest things for new Christians to do is to give up the former way they used to think.  When our minds were darkened and we didn’t understand God’s way of seeing things, we lived in the futility of our thinking.  We compartmentalized people in ungodly ways.  We valued some categories of people over others, and we typically made that determination by honoring those who were most similar to us while denigrating those who were different in some way.

 This was a problem in the days of the early church as well.  People of Greek background seemed to prefer people who grew up similarly.  People of Jewish background gave preference to those who were most like them.  But the church isn’t called to operate that way.  We are one in Christ and we possess equal value in the eyes of God, regardless of the categories, boxes, or labels other people might want to place upon us.

 We share one baptism in Christ.  We are part of one family in Christ.  We are citizens of one kingdom in Christ, and any attempt to sew seeds of division into this new body Christ has created should be resisted and called out.

In Christ’s church, Greeks are no more valuable than Jews.  Those who grew up free are no more valuable than those born in slavery.  Men are no more valuable than women.  The old labels don’t carry into the new kingdom because we are one in Christ Jesus and all descendants of the same spiritual lineage.


Some of my greatest examples of faith in Christ are godly women.

 When I look back over the course of my life, I don’t have to look far to see that some of the most profound spiritual influences on my life were godly women.  For much of my childhood, I was the only male in my home.  It was me, my mother, and my sisters.  My growing-up experience revealed a lot about women to me, and I think those years contributed in some way to me feeling somewhat predisposed to hear and value the counsel of women.

 I was blessed with wonderful grandmothers and aunts.  Most of my school teachers were women, and the majority of people who volunteered to teach Sunday School classes at my home church were women.  They taught me much about the Bible and theology during my childhood, and many of them provided great encouragement for me when I considered attending a Bible college and serving in ministry.

 Throughout my years of serving as a pastor, some of the most dedicated volunteers I have had the privilege to work with have been the women of the church.  I can think of many, many examples to illustrate that point.

 In addition to that, several decades ago the Lord saw fit to bless me with a godly wife who not only encourages me and gives me wise counsel, she also thoroughly invests herself in everything the Lord calls me to do.  As a result, the work of my hands comes out ten times better than it would have if I tried to do it without her.

 Where would this world be without godly women?  Everything seems to work better, look better, and even smell better because God placed them in this world.  Their compassionate hearts prompt them to lift us up in prayer, and their humble spirits show us what it means to honor Jesus as Lord of our lives.

© John Stange, 2024


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