On Becoming a God-Fearing Woman
by Kathryn Dyksterhouse
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
In 2002, as young newlyweds, Gary and I joined a PCA church in Atlanta. Within a few weeks of joining, I was invited to join a women’s discipleship group. Having grown up in the church, I had been a part of Bible studies and youth groups in the past, so I assumed that I knew what to expect. But this group was unlike any other that I had ever been a part of. This small group of women, all older and in different stages of life than I was, taught me what it truly meant to study the Bible, to pray, to ask for and give accountability, and what it really looks like to live life alongside one another.
Since those early days in Atlanta, one of my favorite aspects of church membership is the fellowship with other believers, specifically in study and prayer with other women. But lately, no longer young or a newlywed, the demands of life have admittedly left me to see a committed time to a women’s study as another thing on my to-do list for the week. (And this causes me to think of the Parable of the Sower where the “worries of the world” choke the word and it becomes unfruitful! (Matthew 13).) What I’ve really needed was a good shaking and reorienting.
And that has come in droves! With Covid-19 and quarantine and the cancellation of all activity, the one thing that I found myself longing for was fellowship with believers. Oh, how I missed time of study and prayer and worship with other women. While I was very grateful for the technology that allowed us to continue studies through Zoom, it just wasn’t quite the same as the real thing! (Maybe an analogy to what our fellowship with God is like this side of eternity – just a hint of the goodness that is to come? But that’s another topic for another post…)
Since our women’s studies started back last week, I certainly have a different attitude. What a GIFT to be able to gather with women and look at the attributes that belong to God alone and the impact that they have on our lives. The book that we are studying this Fall is None Like Him by Jen Wilkin. And her introduction begins the way that I began this blog post: “On Becoming a God-Fearing Woman.” What does that really mean? Wilkin writes, “…the Bible paints for us a picture of a God who neither scowls nor coddles, a God who is both ‘Our Father’ and ‘in Heaven’ in perfect balance… Because of Christ, you and I do not come cowering to fearsome, thundering Mount Sinai; instead we come expectantly to glorious, approachable Mount Zion (Heb. 12:18-24)… Worshipful reverence and awe, not cowering dread, define a right fear of the Lord.”
And in the first chapter, Wilkin separates different attributes of God into two different categories: traits that are true only of God and traits that are true of God but can also become true of us. This book is a study of those attributes that are true only of God that we were never meant to also have. She says that “rather than being like God in his unlimited divinity, we are to be like God in our limited humanity. We are capable of bearing his image as we were intended only when we embrace our limits. Image-bearing means becoming fully human, not becoming divine. It means reflecting as a limited being the perfections of a limitless God.” And what are these attributes that are true only of God?
Only God Is
If you are able, please join us either on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:15 p.m. in the Fireside Room or on Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. A nursery is provided during both studies.
Jen Wilkin closes the books introduction by saying that her desire is for us “to become God-fearing women in the truest sense of the word, to take our stand in gladness at the foot of Mount Zion, offering true worship to our Father in heaven. And in so doing, we’ll make a beginning at becoming wise.”