Women, Exhort One Another Daily

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)

Imagine if Eve had Christian exhortations spoken to her while to serpentine enemy was assaulting her. If her husband, at the sight of the uninvited snake, had stepped forward, turned towards his wife, held her beautiful face in his strong hands, and spoke gently to her: “Eve, remember our Creator’s good promises: we are loved and free here. Free to live, eat, work, make love, laugh, talk, enjoy the magnificent sunsets and sunrises. Free to feel the wind. Free to walk with our mighty God in the cool of the day. Let’s listen and not eat from that tree: we will surely die. Trust God, Eve. Let’s listen together to our God. I love you: you are my woman, my very own beautiful ishah! Let’s go and leave him to hiss here alone, Eve. Come!” And he softly yet decidedly grabs her hands and begins to walk away with her…

But instead, Adam chose stillness and silence. The lack of his gospel exhortation for his wife, while assaulted by the serpent, created almost a safe passage for sin’s prongs to wrap safely around her heart. His lack of fighting words for her gave way to the deceitful, grumbling words to hiss inside Eve’s theology, relationships, and worship. Instead of her courageous protector, Adam chose to be a passive spectator. And it cost them both their lives!

Making Christian exhortation a daily routine is hard work. Is the writer of Hebrews aware of how difficult it is to do so daily? He, no doubt, knows something about this process of exhortation that keeps sin from hardening believers’ hearts. The author understands the spiritual reality behind our words towards one another. Our words don’t simply make sounds—they make either heavenly sounds, or hellish sounds. The warfare of the words is evident because of the spiritual powers they carry—life-giving or life-taking (Proverbs 18:21).

1. Wise Women Speak Exhortations

Today, Christian women must learn to speak gospel exhortations. What we speak (or don’t speak) to one another consistently matters greatly in the great scheme of spiritual warfare. Women exhorting women impacts how we live for Jesus in our homes and abroad (Titus 2). It either draws other women towards living in gospel truth, or it eases the devil’s assaults upon our sisters.

Marshal Segall explains the word exhort used in Hebrews 3 as to “urge, or encourage, or compel someone to do something (or not do something).” Then he adds, “if an exhortation doesn’t immediately require anything from us, it might be inspirational, or a good conversation, but it is not an exhortation — not yet, anyway.” In other words, exhortation is not a mere platitude: it’s an intentional call towards living out the gospel. Counsel and corrections, wisdom and theological truths, Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). We exhort one another when we speak God’s steadfast, good, and wise promises in our dailiness. We exhort one another when we bring the gospel in every aspect of our living. We exhort one another in Jesus when we praise and encourage our God-given gifts and abilities to be used for his glory daily.

Women who make exhortation their routine are women who give thought to the Word and discover good within it (Proverbs 16:20). They spend time in the Bible, tasting and experiencing God’s goodness daily. Their exhortations are the sound of heavenly brooks, bubbling up from their gospel saturated hearts (Proverbs 18:4). Women who exhort others find their identity in Jesus who frees them to celebrate the gifts of another, speak gospel truth, and listen to sound theology. Are you a consistent, faithful encourager? Who in your life exhorts you daily?

2. Wise Women Make A Habit Out of Speaking Exhortations

It matters what we say and when we say it. “Every day means not occasionally or in restricted circumstances. God calls us to a relentless and continuous rhythm of counsel and correction, a rhythm as regular as lunch or dinner” (Marshal Segall). Speaking exhortations into our lives is not tied to our personalities (some find it easier to speak up than others), our circumstances (some seasons are easier to speak into than others), our relationships (we are more comfortable with a few people than the others), our giftings (some people are more gifted with words than others), our expectations of others (some people respond better to our words than others). Instead, speaking exhortations is tied to the gospel we all share in Jesus Christ and his grace for us all.

The author of Hebrews calls Christians to speak daily God’s words of exhortations in each other’s lives. Daily! It’s not so much because we need to be prompted to speak, but that we need to speak up more of God into our mundane narratives. But we also need to listen more of God’s truths. Our ears are constantly listening to two voices—both “calling out” to those passing by—wisdom and folly (Proverbs 9). Even when our mouths are silent, our ears are being constantly engaged in mental, emotional, spiritual dialogues. When we listen to godly wisdom spoken to us through words of exhortation, we are strengthened (Proverbs 24:5), grow victorious (Proverbs 24:6), find life and “turn away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 13:14). What hinders you from encouraging and celebrating the gospel in others? How can you make exhortations a habit in your dailiness?

3. Wise Women Know the Danger of Not Exhorting Others

There is a great danger in an exhortation-less life. The state of our souls is at stake when we choose to withdraw daily gospel exhortation from our ears. Imagine a city ravaged by the enemy and no army present to protect it—that’s how a believer is when no voices remind her of the sound gospel regularly. Eve attests to that too well. But so do many women today who are isolated, alone, un-circled, and un-encouraged.

The devil is a crafty “word teacher” who distorts everything that God made good. If he can’t get Christians to openly put each other down, he will find ways to keep us quiet and withhold gospel encouragement from each other regularly. Since the garden, the devil hasn’t stopped preaching to Christians words of discontent and complaint. His sermons on grumbling against one another and against God are just as consistent and around the clock today as in the garden. The devil’s worldview is separation of people from God, and from one another. We find his cunning “theology” in our own culture today. But we can also see it in our own homes. And sadly, we taste it on our own tongues when we choose to grumble or refuse to encourage one another in the Lord.

But while Satan celebrated his cold victory on the first sinless beings, he certainly failed with the perfect and better Adam, Jesus. Jesus’ victorious words and triumphant death on the cross did more than bring us eternal life: it made provisions for our daily living while on earth as children of God. There is power in the Word of God for every believer, and the devil knows it (Proverbs 30:5).

We have no better encouragement than in Jesus. In Jesus Christ, God sent us his most glorious and thundering exhortation in the history of the universe. When the writer of Hebrews is urging believers to exhort one another, he is constantly pointing us to the magnificent, eternal, life-giving Word of God—Jesus Christ.  It’s because of our Jesus that wise Christian women speak boldly the Bible to one another, echoing loudly the victorious promise that in Jesus, no Eve can ever be assaulted, torn, abused, and separated from her God ever again!