Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham
Women of The Bible
Damaris: A Strong Woman
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Devotional Reading: Acts 17
Today, we take a break from maximizing ministry to begin a series on women of the Bible.
In today’s reading, we meet Damaris, a woman who is only mentioned once in the scriptures, but who had this testimony: she believed. That is the greatest testimony that anyone can have. Everything begins with your belief. Jesus said, “All things are possible to them that believe” (Mark 9:23). Belief is the precursor of faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Damaris lived around 55 AD in Athens, Greece. She heard the speech of Paul of Tarsus, which was given in front of the Dionysus, the Athenian Areopagus (criminal law judge). According to tradition, Damaris was the wife of Dionysis, and aided him in the Areopagus meetings faithfully. Thus, when Dionysis became the first Bishop of Athens, Damaris was the first Bishop’s wife. She assisted him in organizing the church.
There are many competing opinions as to the meaning of the name. The least contested origin is the Indo-European root, which comes from the word, “dompt,” meaning “dominant.” With this root, a possible meaning of Damaris could be the “dominant woman.” That is not surprising considering the fact that she was of high stature, being the wife of a judge and later a Bishop’s wife. No doubt, Damaris was conversant in leadership skills as she helped to plant the church.
She may have been like that Proverbs 31 woman, whose “…price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Every word she says is wisdom. Everything she does is peace. And she helps hold up the arms of her pastor.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” If it would have said, “… girded and strengthened…” with an “ed” at the end, I would not be so excited; ’cause that would have meant that she did it in the past, but it’s old news. But the Word says, “…she girdeth; and strengtheneth…” with an “eth” at the end. That means repeatedly. That means, continually. So, she can be a helper; and she can be a leader, because she can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth her – repeatedly, and continually.
She is not weak minded. She does not carry the gossip of the day. See, if you really read about the Proverbs 31 woman, you will see that she is much too busy doing right things to have time for the mess that cripples the body of Christ.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Proverbs 31 woman is right there in the battle, along with the brethren.
Wikipedia. “Damaris.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damaris> 15 November 2012