10 Women of the Bible NOT to Be Like

10 Women of the Bible NOT to Be Like

When it comes to the women of the Bible, there are many we can learn from in terms of their faith, obedience, and heart for God.

Scripture praises the faith of Abraham's wife, Sarah—who believed God’s promise that she would bear a child in her old age—and of Rahab, the prostitute who hid the Israelite spies because she believed their God was one who saves (Hebrews 11:11, 31). We also learn of Hannah, who poured out her heart to God in spite of her bitter circumstances (1 Samuel 1-2:11), and Mary, the mother of Jesus, who surrendered to a difficult assignment and stayed faithful (Luke 1:26-2:35).

But there are also many stories throughout the Old and New Testaments that show us what not to do, how not to live and who not to be like.

Here are 10 women of the Bible who—for a season or for their entire lives—are examples of who not to imitate:

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  • 1. Eve - The Woman Who Wasn't Satisfied

    1. Eve - The Woman Who Wasn't Satisfied

    Eve was a woman who literally had it all. Not only was she married to the perfect man prior to The Fall, but she had a beautiful garden home (that never needed weeding), no noisy (or nosey) neighbors, no job pressures on her or her husband, no debts, no bills to pay, no in-laws, and no disobedient or demanding children. She didn’t even have laundry! (Think about that one. They were naked before they sinned, remember?) 

    Not only was Eve’s life perfect, but she was perfect and complete in every way. No health problems, weight problems, vision or hearing problems, and no addictions, or achy body parts. But for some reason, all that perfection wasn’t enough for her. Eve entertained Satan’s suggestion that there was something more that she needed, but didn’t yet have (Genesis 2:18-3:23). Don’t be a woman who believes you must have more. Trust the limitations God has put in your life for your wellbeing. Otherwise you may find, like Eve, that in wanting just a little more, you end up losing it all. 

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  • 2. Lot's Wife - The Woman Who Looked Back

    2. Lot's Wife - The Woman Who Looked Back

    God commanded Lot and his whole family to leave the detestable city of Sodom, and not look back or they would be destroyed along with the city and everyone in it. But Lot’s wife had regrets. Instead of looking forward to the new life God was giving her and her family, she longed for the place God was delivering her from. Her heart was still in Sin City. She looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:1-26).  

    Don’t be a woman who looks back at what you used to have, or who longs to return to the place God once delivered you from. Instead, forget the past and move forward into the future God has for you. 

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  • 3. Job's Wife - The Woman Who Offered Horrible Advice

    3. Job's Wife - The Woman Who Offered Horrible Advice

    Granted, her husband was going through a difficult and painful time. And she no doubt felt the impact of him losing his flocks, livelihood, investments, servants and children! Yet instead of being a support and comfort to her husband, or turning to God in her pain and confusion, she let bitterness take over and blurted out to Job the worst advice ever uttered in history: “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Interesting… that was exactly what Satan wanted Job to do as a result of the distress Satan was bringing upon him (Job 1:11).  

    Ladies, we can be the gentle, affirming voice of the Holy Spirit to our husbands or we can be the angry, accusing voice of Satan. I know which one I want to be, don’t you?

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  • 4. Moses' Wife - The Woman Who Did Things Her Way

    4. Moses' Wife - The Woman Who Did Things Her Way

    When God confronted Moses for his disobedience (or perhaps his wife’s) in failing to circumcise his son, (as a sign of obedience to God’s Covenant), Moses’ life was in danger. Zipporah “took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, ‘Surely, you are a husband of blood to me!’” (Exodus 4:24-26). Although Zipporah’s actions saved her husband’s life, she did it with evident disgust.

    Some Bible scholars believe that Zipporah, because she was a Midianite, might have been the one who didn’t allow the circumcision of their sons because she didn’t believe in it. Or perhaps, out of protective mother mode, she refused to allow her husband to perform the procedure. There is always drama when we decide on our way over God’s. Don’t be a drama queen who insists on her own way. 

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  • 5. Rachel - The Woman Who Wanted it All

    5. Rachel - The Woman Who Wanted it All

    Rachel, the preferred wife of Jacob, had love, wealth, and a promising future in front of her. But Rachel didn’t have any children. And she must have thought that having children would be her ticket to having it all! 

    Rachel’s jealousy of her sister’s ability to have several children sent Rachel into a tailspin with drama that negatively affected her relationship with her husband, her sister, and God. Ironically, Rachel – who told her husband “Give me children or I die” – ended up dying just after the birth of her second son. The one thing she believed would bring her fulfillment (having children) ultimately cost her life (Gen.29:14-30:24 and 35:16-20). Don’t be a woman so desperate for what you believe will make you fulfilled that you miss the blessings that are right in front of you.  

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  • 6. Delilah - The Woman Who Didn't Care Who She Hurt

    6. Delilah - The Woman Who Didn't Care Who She Hurt

    Delilah was the tempting seductress who pretended to be in love with Samson in order to sell him out and get rich. Maybe she liked the idea of being the person who could get—and repeat—information that no one else knew. Or maybe she lost her morals when seduced by the promise of a boatload of money. Either way she ratted Samson out enough times that he should’ve been on to her. 

    Scripture says “with such nagging she prodded him day after day [to tell her the secret of his strength] until he was tired to death. So he told her everything” (Judges 16:16-17). Delilah ratted him out again and “put him to sleep on her lap” so she could be right there, facing him, as the  Philistines shaved his head (thereby stripping him of his strength), restrained him, and gouged out his eyes. Then they led him away to prison (Judges 16:1-22).  Some women will do anything to get the scoop and then repeat it, no matter who it hurts. Don’t be a Delilah.

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  • 7. Penninah - The Insecure Woman with the Fake Smile

    7. Penninah - The Insecure Woman with the Fake Smile

    Penninah, the mom of several children, spent “year after year” provoking Hannah – her husband’s favored wife who was childless. Perhaps Penninah was trying to console her hurting heart by provoking Hannah to tears and making herself feel superior when she was the one who was downright miserable (1 Samuel 1:1-7).   

    Don’t put on a fake smile or only post the happy moments on Instagram. Be real. Talk about what hurts. You may find you have more friends that way. 

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  • 8. Michal - The Woman Who Let Resentment Ruin Her

    8. Michal - The Woman Who Let Resentment Ruin Her

    Michal, the daughter of King Saul and the wife of soon-to-be-king David, witnessed her husband publically dancing in his underwear, judged the intentions of his heart, and resented him for it. This bitterness toward her husband not only affected her ability to ever have a child, it destroyed her marriage, as well (2 Samuel 6:16-23). Don’t be a woman who holds resentment in your heart. God doesn’t take it lightly. 
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  • 9. Jezebel - The Woman Who Embodied Pure Evil

    9. Jezebel - The Woman Who Embodied Pure Evil

    This sorceress and murderous queen went down in history as the wickedest woman who ever lived. She incited evil in her husband, King Ahab(1 Kings 21:25) and at the sound of her name, the God-fearing prophet Elijah fled to the desert and hoped to die (1 Kings 19:1-4). Today the dictionary defines “jezebel” as “an offensive term for a woman regarded as sexually immoral or manipulative.” Enough said. You don’t want to go there. 

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  • 10. Herodias - The Woman Who Couldn't Handle the Truth

    10. Herodias - The Woman Who Couldn't Handle the Truth

    This adulterous wife and foolish mother experienced rage when John the Baptist’s preaching convicted her of her sinful lifestyle. So she used her daughter to satisfy her hunger for revenge. After her daughter’s dancing pleased King Herod, Herodius told her daughter to ask the king for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. If he were dead he could no longer expose her sin (Matthew 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29).

    Don’t try to silence the truth if it hurts you to hear it. And don’t resent the person who exposes sin in your life. They are ultimately doing you a favor.

    Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker who helps women strengthen their walk with God and their relationships. She is the author of 15 books, including the best-selling  When Women Walk Alone(more than 125,000 copies sold), When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, and When God Sees Your Tears. Her newest book, Drama Free, releases in April. For more on her speaking ministry, or free articles to strengthen your soul, marriage, or parenting, see her website www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

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