I think to begin this post we must first define what we mean by “godly” woman. The best place for that is the Word. According to 1 Timothy 3:11 which is about how to choose Deacons; a deacon’s wife must be “… grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” Another place where we can discern what it means to be a godly woman is in Titus 2.
“The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers (honest, not gossips), not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,[To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5)(Things added in parenthesis are mine, as are the emphasized words.)
How does the internet aid godliness in women? One great way is that the internet provides a way for the older (physically or spiritually) to teach the younger. I know that my blog reaches women. There are many blogs that reach me and teach me in the ways of godliness. But one must be careful in this… testing the things we read on the internet against the scriptures to discern if they are true. A very real problem with the internet is the availability of false teaching. Many women use the internet to talk disparagingly against their husbands, to encourage one another in their rebelliousness, or to promote divorce. These things are not godly, and can inspire the younger women to make poor decisions, and to follow the way of sin.
Does the internet teach women to be sober? To be chaste? To be discreet? To be honest and not gossips? Well, again, it depends on where you go. It depends on if you are reading things that are Biblical, or worldly. There are certainly many good sites out there that are an encouragement to godly women. The internet provides resources for physical discretion in the form of modest clothing, which is often hard to find elsewhere. But with regards to discretion of words, it opens the door to publicizing people’s faults, thereby being indiscreet. Advertisements do not encourage women to be chaste, or keepers at home, but encourage them to fulfill their desires with men whenever they choose, and to pursue careers in the world. There are exceptions, and I would hope that the godly women are not only avoiding those places which encourage such things, but speaking out against them.
People can easily become false accusers online, or fall into a habit of gossip. Becoming a false accuser is so easy online because there is a vast availability of both positive and negative information about people, especially public people. One example of this is Gary Ezzo. I have seen many forums that accuse him of very awful things. Who knows if what they are accused of is true, just because we read it somewhere on the web doesn’t make it true, but often women feel that if others think it is true it must be, and as a warning they jump in on the accusing. Because of the anonymity afforded by the internet women may feel that it is ok to speak against people they know (or don’t know), but it is still gossip, even if those we share with do not know those we share about.
Are we being effected to goodness? to loving our husbands and obeying them? Things like this are few and far between, but on the internet you can feel as though you are in a community of like minded people. It can be very encouraging to know that you are not alone in thinking that divorce is a sin, that women are to be submitted to their husbands, that they are to be keepers at home. Blogging allows women to reach those who are not saved, by visiting their sites and taking the gospel to them. We can be an encouragement to those who are struggling in their walk. But we must be ever vigilant in guarding our hearts and minds against the perversions and false belief’s of the world, and of confused Christians.
All in all the internet is a neutral tool. It can be used for good or evil. It can encourage us to pursue Christ, or it can encourage us to rebellion. Each woman must make godly choices while viewing the internet. We are to turn away from evil, putting it away from us, and taking every thought that exalts itself above Christ captive unto Him. Husband’s have a responsibility to know what their wives are learning on the internet, so that they might correct any false teaching, and lead their wife in righteousness. To this end, women should include their husband’s in their internet adventure as much as possible, making it easy for him to help her. We must exercise caution, and moderation when using the internet. We must pray for discernment. We are responsible before God for what we say and read on the internet, just as we are in our “real lives”.
So women, submit to your husband’s in everything. Submit to them your learnings and adventures on the World Wide Web. Guard your hearts and your minds, and walk in the way everlasting.