The other day I was reading in 1 Timothy 5. I was actually reading chapter 4, and praying verse 12 for a friend (that's the "let no one look down on your youthfulness" verse, if you didn't know). I decided to keep on reading a little farther, and came across 1 Timothy 5:9-10. This is the list of qualifications for a widow to be "put on the list" to be cared for by the church.
I've read this before, of course, but this time it came across to me a little differently. Obviously, I am not a widow, nor do I ever want to be a widow! But it seems that in Paul and Timothy's time, older widows who were godly women were eligible for the church to provide for and care for them. This little description, then.... describes a godly woman. I don't want to be a widow, but I want to be this kind of woman:
"A widow is to be put on the list [if she has been] the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works, and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work." (1 Tim 5:9-10)
Being a woman of God begins deep inside, in the heart of hearts, believing in Jesus. It shows up in the "quiet and gentle spirit" and the inner beauty. And it displays itself to the world in the genuine, sacrificial acts of service described here. That's the kind of woman I want to be, with God's help!