We want the role models for our daughters to be faithful examples of Christ, but where do we look? Where do we find these real heroes for our daughters? Women who embrace their God-given calling and faced impossible circumstances with grace and dignity are out there!
Over the last few weeks, much has been said about empowering women and those who we want our daughters to model. There were marches that took place across the entire country and highlights have been displayed across my newsfeed. There are debates and discussions taking place, some productive but many causing, even more, divisiveness.
Many thoughts have been circulating through my mind but instead of pushing publish on them to get my point across, I have been sitting here praying and truly thinking about the words burning deep inside my heart.
The women who have the greatest platform to deliver their message are not necessarily the women I want my daughter to look up to. Those who are yelling the loudest and putting themselves front and center on their issue of choice, are not the women I want my daughter to become.
Not because they don’t have something powerful to say but because of how they are going about it. The messages they stand behind are often fueling the anger. Their words are cloaked in hate, disguised as messages of hope and reform.
Their words are simply that… words.
Words not backed up by action, of what it truly means to live a life of service, love, and humility.
Words that represent opinion, not truth.
Instead of declaring messages that unit, inspire and draw us closer to the heart of God, and embrace the true feminity that we were created to exude, the messages are pointing in the opposite direction.
My daughter, at her tender age of 4, is already a feisty one. She is both strong-willed and incredibly stubborn, yet her tender heart is so full of love.
In her few short years, she has already taught me so much. Our children have this unbelievable, God-given gift to draw us closer to God, don’t they?
She reminds me to say please and thank you. She asks for prayers and for the Bible to be read when I’m so exhausted, I’m tempted to skip them.
She asks deep theological questions such as, “Why did Jesus die on the cross? Why does He love us so much? How can God and Jesus be the same, living in Heaven and our hearts at the same time?”
She is challenging me in good ways, strengthing my faith.
She asks hard questions, ones that make me think.
And so over the past few weeks, as images and messages of empowerment and women with great platforms, scroll through my newsfeed, I’m reminded that these are not the messages of heroism I want my daughter to emulate.
The kind of women I want my daughter to look up to are those who have lived a life dictated by taking action compelled by a loving God.
Women who have lived a meek and humble life, who didn’t live a life pursuing comforts or accolades.
Women whose words were backed up by action and who understood what it meant to faithfully serve.
I want her to see the beauty in feminity that God designed, to see the strength and courage in those who run with endurance and fought the Good Fight.
I want her to know that meekness, humility, compassion and grace are not considered a weakness or are out of style.
I want her to look up to these women, women with courageous faith, sacrificial service, and an unapologetic belief in the One True God, even when it’s not politically correct.
I know these are the women both her and I can be proud to consider heroes of the faith.
I want her to live Colossians 3:12-17,
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, you must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Women who aren’t seeking fame or recognization for their name, who are pressing on in light of circumstances that may appear undesirable by what our cultural has deemed “acceptable.”
Women who lived for the Gospel, in their everyday, ordinary lives.
Wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, teachers, nurses, homemakers, caregivers or missionaries, just to name a few. Women who embraced their God-given calling and faced impossible circumstances with grace and dignity.
The stories of these women are often hard to read.
They aren’t pretty, wrapped in a bow, stories with happy endings. Some were deeply persecuted. Some lost their lives. Some lived in extreme circumstances. Some lived in times without the creature comforts we know and love today.
Their example of bravery in the storms of life is inspiring. They remind us that the life we are called to live by isn’t always popular, comfortable, tidy or perfect.
We live in a broken world, where sin has a strong foothold. These women knew that but pressed on.
They represent Jesus in just about every aspect of their lives.
They are real women who struggled with their faith, questioned the circumstances and the cards they had been dealt but never wavered from God’s call for their lives.
As Noel Piper best puts it,
These ordinary women had an extraordinary God who enabled them to do extraordinary things. And He’s the same for us today. (Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God)
We are reminded that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). These faithful women, along with you and I all share the same truth… we believe in God. We long to live a life reflecting His beauty and call for us.
I don’t know about you but these faithful women remind me of God’s provision, His faithfulness and His never ending pursuit of us. Reading about these heroes of the faith encourages me to grow my own faith, be faithful in the difficult seasons and rejoice in the good.
We may have incredibly different stories, circumstances and live in different times but the same God who worked in their lives all those years ago is the same God who is working in our lives today!
So where do we find these faithful women?
Look around, they are everywhere!
In your church, in your neighborhood, in the grocery store. All around us, there are women making examples of Christ.
There are also books filled with the rich stories of those who have gone before us.
(via @victorialynnoborn on Instagram)
I have three such books on my shelf right now that are becoming more and more dog-eared, and worn as I turn the pages and read the words over and over. These are books I can’t wait to put in my daughter’s hands to read someday.
My current recommendations are
Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha
If you need a place to start to reading about women who we can be excited to share with our children, especially our daughters, start with these resources. Let their stories inspire, encourage and challenge you.
Read them aloud or with your children, talk about the positive impact these faithful heroes had on your faith. Encourage them to dig deep and find their own heroes of the faith.
Who are your personal heroes of the faith?
To be clear, there are women’s issues (including some of those being discussed and endlessly debated right now) that I am deeply passionate about. However, the tone of those debates and conversations are doing nothing to bring together, instead, they are causing great divide, anger, and fear.
Imagine the impact we could have if instead of shouting obscenities through a megaphone, we lived a life of action, service, and humbleness?
Image the great change that would take place!
It starts with us. Living out our faith in our homes, modeling it to not just our daughters but also to our sons. When they see that our words are backed by action, a real revival begins to take place!