The women of faith in the Bible lived regular lives like you and I. They were not very different from us.
And there is so much they can teach us about living faith-filled lives. What are the characteristics of a woman of faith and what can we learn from them?
In this post, we will explore the lives of female characters of the Bible and what makes them stand out as biblical heroines of faith.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Who is a woman of faith?
Faith has two basic meanings in the Bible. One has to do with believing that God exists and the other is trusting him with your life.
A woman of faith knows that God did not create this world and has left it unsupervised. Rather, he is still sitting in heaven and is very much involved in the affairs of earth.
She not only believes that He is God of the universe. But she also believes that He is a personal God who knows her every thought and feeling. Her every want, need, and desire.
She is a woman who believes that her salvation is as a result of what Jesus did on the cross and that her life is committed to him. She is a woman with a deep abiding, unwavering trust in God during the good and bad times.
She knows God is the author and finisher of her life. And in accordance with all this, she lives a life built on the purpose God has called her to fulfill. The way she chooses to live doesn’t make sense to everyone. That’s because she lives by faith and not by what can be seen by others.
Names of women in the Bible
Depending on which source you check, the number of female Bible characters will vary.
There are over 100 women in the Bible. Some of them are named and some are not.
While not all these women were great examples, the better portion of them lived faithful lives that we can emulate.
10 Characteristics of a woman of faith
A woman of great faith has many qualities.
Every godly woman is unique and her faith is manifested and demonstrated in unique ways.
We cannot exhaust a list of what such a woman would look like so consider this a short list. The characteristics of a faithful woman includes:
- Anointed – being called for a special, specific task by God
- Prayerful – women of great faith are usually prayer warriors
- Discerning – some women of faith have a gift for seeing with unusually sharp spiritual eyes. This discernment allows her to be able to prophecy at times.
- Spirit-filled – her relationship with God allows the Holy Spirit to be with her always. She glows with the presence of God.
- Persevering – a woman with strong faith pushes through hard times and keeps going because she believes God will come through for her.
- Obedient – women of faith follows God’s will and instructions and through that, lives are saved.
- Generous – she is a given, always seeking to help others from her little, even if it means she will have to trust God to provide for her own needs
- Hospitable – some women of faith possess the gift of hospitality. Receiving others into her home and catering to the needs of visitors is an expression of how much she believes that her possessions are for the blessing of anyone God sends to her home.
- Imperfect – like any of us who have moments that are not our finest, some women of faith experience have their moments of doubt. But they don’t say there.
- Faith-filled – And most definitely, this woman trusts God. No matter what, she looks to Him and leans on foe everything.
Anointed women of the Bible
The word anointing has a number of different uses.
But for the purpose of our conversation here, I’m focusing on only two meanings.
To be anointed is to be set apart for a specific purpose or to be empowered for a specific task.
There are many anointed people in Scripture.
Jesus is the most anointed one of the Bible
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free (Luke 4:18 NRSV)
But who were some women who received a special anointing to carry out a certain kind of purpose.
Mary the mother of Jesus
Mary the mother of Jesus was anointed to carry out the most important task ever given to a woman.
She carried the Savior in her womb after being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
She then raised Jesus from a baby into adulthood and helped to guide and prepare him for ministry.
Elizabeth also had a task like Mary. She carried the forerunner of Jesus in her womb.
She became pregnant with John the Baptist after being declared completely barren and too old to have children.
Elizabeth’s anointing fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3
Anna the prophetess
After Jesus’s birth, Mary brought him to the temple to be presented.
Anna was an old women now. But she had been anointed with the discernment to know when the Messiah had arrived.
Manoah’s wife / the mother of Samson
This woman remains nameless.
Her task was to give birth to Samson who had the task of delivering Israel from those who harassed them continually.
She received special instructions for her pregnancy and for how to raise Samson because of the special calling on his life.
Hulda is one of the few females of the Old Testament who was a spiritual leader.
She was a prophetess in Israel at a unique time.
You can find her in 2 Kings 22:14–20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22–28.
Hulda was also a wife.
Priscilla was a dedicated missionary in the early church.
She was particularly anointed with the gift of hospitality.
Her work was primarily to support the ministry of the men who preached and taught and managed the affairs of the church.
Like Hulda, Deborah was another anointed woman in the Old Testament.
She was both a spiritual leader and a warrior.
In the book of Judges, she is the only female judge of Israel.
The Widow at Zarephath
In the middle of an intense drought, God called this nameless woman to provide for the prophet Elijah.
Although she had the very last meal left, the Widow of Zarephath was moved by God to share.
And because of this, her life was saved.
Lydia was a wealthy business woman in the New Testament.
She was a gentile who accepted the message of Jesus and encouraged her entire household to do the same.
After her conversion, she used her home, wealth and business to support the ministry of the apostles.
Jochebed was the mother of Moses.
Like Elizabeth, her calling was to give birth to the one who would be used by God to rescue Israel from slavery and lead them to the promised land.
Moses was born at a time when Hebrew babies were being killed. Jochebed was blessed with the wisdom to save his life.
Praying women of the Bible
There is power in prayer. There are so many examples of female prayer warriors in the Bible.
Here is a short list.
Esther was a Jewish girl who rose to queenship in Persia.
When the lives of her people was threatened, Esther’s first plan of action was to fast and pray.
Through prayer, God gave her wisdom and God’s people were rescued from what would have been a sure Holocaust.
Infertility is the not an easy situation to deal with.
And when others know about it and use it as ammunition against you, matters go from bad to worst.
This was Hannah’s situation. But she prayed a prayer that opened God’s hands to the blessing of motherhood.
The Canaanite Woman
Her daughter was sick and she was desperate.
The Canaanite woman came to Jesus for help. Despite him calling her a dog and ignoring her, she kept asking.
She walked away with an answered prayer and a brand new faith.
Like Hannah, Rachel suffered from not being able to get pregnant and she became jealous of her sister Leah.
But when she prayed, God blessed her womb.
Leah was the sister of Rachel. She suffered much because of her father’s mistake.
Leah prayed and prayed for her husband to love her but he never did.
God answered her prayers for children so that she could feel loved.
Hagar was the slave of Sarah and Abraham.
When she became pregnant by Abram, she became rude to Sarah.
Sarah chased her away into the desert. While her son was on the brink of death, she cried out to God.
God heard her prayers. She is know as the woman who named God.
Women of faith in the Bible
Prayers are worth little without faith. In this section we will look at some women who trusted God through the storms of life.
Sarah was the wife of the father of faith, Abraham. Maybe Sarah is the most mentioned woman in the Bible.
Although she was skeptical after a long time, she trusted God to fulfill his promise.
At a fine age of nearly 90 years old, she became pregnant with a promised child.
Rahab is one of the most unlikely heroins of faith.
She was a prostitute. But when she heard of the miracles of the God of Israel, she believed.
Her faith allowed her to help the spies and save her family.
In a way, Rahab reminds of the Woman at the Well.
They both lived lives that made them dishonorable in society.
But when the opportunity was presented for them have faith, they grabbed it and ran with it.
This unnamed woman endured an embarrassing sickness for 12 years.
She broke the law and pushed through a crowd to touch Jesus.
Her faith made her refuse to let the last opportunity pass to get her healing.
When we meet Ruth in the Bible, she was widowed.
Although she was a Moabite, her faith in God was kindled when she decided to follow her mother, Naomi, home.
She followed the advice of Naomi and God blessed her with a whole new family.
As a result of her faith, everything she lost was restored with added bonuses.
Abigail is known as one of the wisest women in the Bible.
She was enduring a terribly unhappy marriage but through her faith, she was able to maintain a sweet loving personality.
She believed God would rescue her from her marriage. And God did!
Mary of Bethany
She was also known as the Woman with the Alabaster jar.
Mary had such a deep relationship with Jesus.
She sat his feet when Jesus visited her house. Mary gave her absolute best to Jesus when she poured the oil on him.
Mary believed Jesus with her whole heart.
I can just imagine the conversation between Noah and his wife
Noah: Honey, God says we’re to build a boat.
Wife: In the middle of the desert?
What do you do when you are married to a man whom everybody thinks is crazy?
Noah’s wife is an unnamed heroine of faith in the Bible. She stands out because unlike Job’s wife who told him to curse God and die, this woman stood with her husband in tough times.
She must have believed right alongside Noah.
For over 120 years she supported his ministry and encouraged his heart when people made fun of his project.
Shiprah and Puah
These women are among the lesser known women of faith in the Bible. There story is in Exodus 1:15–21.
When the Pharoah decreed that Hebrew babies should be killed, Shiphrah and Puah were midwives.
Because of their faith, Shiphrah and Puah they knew they were accountable to God. They did not kill the babies but chose to deliver them safely.
Strong women of the Bible
When Moses ran away from Egypt, he ended up in Midian. He met the beautiful Zipporah and married her.
She is one of the little-known Bible characters but she stood with the most well-known leader of the Scriptures.
Zipporah battled family drama and ethnic prejudice while protecting her husband from himself as he led 2.5 million people across the desert.
In Bible times, women were vulnerable to the wishes and desires of men. Such was the fate of Vashti.
The book of Esther opens with Vashti being queen of Persia. That did not last long.
Vashti dared to tell the King no when he requested that she present herself in a less than modest manner to him and his drunken friends.
She suffered the loss of her throne but she kept her dignity.
Rizpah was the widowed wife of Saul. When David took the throne, he allowed her sons and grandsons to be executed.
This is partly due to the wickedness of Saul which caused a terrible drought.
Not only were they killed but their bodies were left out in the open for the elements of nature to do their worst.
Rizpah stood guard over the bodies preventing any birds or wild animals from eating them. She did that until only their bones were left.
Naomi suffered the kind of grief that many people wish they never have to live through.
In a matter of years, she lost her husband and two sons. Yet, Naomi pushed through life.
God restored her joy when her daughter-in-law, Naomi, obeys her, finds herself a husband in Boaz and a baby is born to them.
If you have ever studied the history of kings in Israel, you will know that Kings were killed quite often and by those close to them.
Jehosheba was one brave woman who protected a little boy, her nephew Joash, from being killed by a crazy queen who was killing her own children and grandchildren.
Jehosheba hid him for 6 years until he was old enough to be crowned king.
Tamar was the daughter in law of Judah, the son of Jacob. She married one of Judah’s son.
When the son died, Judah promised to give her another of his sons to marry but he never fulfilled the promise.
Tamar cooks up a plan to get what had been promised but not delivered.
She got herself pregnant by Judah!
Her bravery allows her to shame Judah and to have a pair of twin boys which was an absolute blessing.
- Other women of faith you might like:
- Mary the Mother of Jesus
- The Widow of Zarephath
- The Canaanite Woman
How to grow the characteristics of a woman of faith.
Mahatma Gandhi was not a Christian but he said something very profound about growing your faith.
Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into
Becoming a woman who trusts God completely is no sprint. It’s a marathon. It takes time to run the race of faith.
The most important virtue you will need is to be patient. You need patience and grace towards yourself. You need patience for the process.
You’ll fall and fail. You’ll make bad decisions. You will disobey the voice of the Holy Spirit and get into unnecessary trouble.
But God knows your weaknesses and His forgiveness runs ahead of your mistakes.
With that in mind, here are four simple steps to becoming a woman of faith:
Create a plan of action
Track your progress
Evaluate and revise your goals
Start small and work at it each year. While you’re at it, keep yourself encouraged with these Bible verses and quotes.
Women of faith Bible verses
The women of faith in the Bible depended on the priests to access the Scriptures. Thankfully, we do not have to do that today.
As a woman on a journey to growing your faith, you absolutely need some Scriptures in your arsenal, especially on the hard days.
Here are some women of faith Bible verses to add to start your list if don’t yet have one or to add to the one you already have.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:15)
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, Psalm 45:1-2
Do not let your adorning be external — the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear — 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. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:3-4
Woman of faith quotes
God is still writing your story. Don’t let go of your faith because of what you are yet to see. – Grit and Grace Life
A woman of faith does not care about the naysayers. She understands that God has the final say. – Gift Gugu Mona,
Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul. – Lysa TerKeurst
I am not a woman with great faith – I am a woman with a little faith in the great God! – Kathryn Kuhlman
A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows that it is in the journey where she will become strong. – Luke Easter
I want to be a woman who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear. – Renee Swope
Conclusion of women of faith in the Bible
Women of faith in the Bible leave some big shoes to fill. I wish I could tell you that living by faith as a woman is easy. I wish I could tell you that it can happen in a year.
I was 13 when I gave my life to Christ. It took me another 3 – 4 years before I even had an idea of what it meant to read the Bible.
Took me even longer to develop Bible study habits.
Have I been completely consistent with it over the years? Of course not. I’ve fallen off the wagon many times.
But thank God for grace. I can get back up and start all over again with God.
My point is this: although it’s not easy, it’s very possible to live a life of faith. God will be with you through every victory and every failure.
God expects progress, not perfection.
So go ahead. Start your journey of becoming a woman of faith. You can start right here and right now by setting your first faith goal.