When you think of strong women of the faith, who do you think of? Is it a woman in your church who models Biblical womanhood or perhaps your own Mother? Has she shown you what it looks like to live out a gospel-centered, heart-surrendered, loving-others kind of life? If so, then consider yourself blessed to have known her.
The Church is looking for more of her, but too often realizing how uncommon she actually is.
So where are these strong women of the faith? It seems too often, that they are still sitting in Bible study after Bible study soaking it all in. They are in some senses “pampering” themselves in the things of God instead of imparting it to the women of God who come behind them. These more mature women have even been called out in scripture to play a very significant role in leading the next generation of women, according to Titus 2:
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
They are to teach what is good and so train the young women….
Some older women do this so well. I am indebted to a few. But, they didn’t just wake up one day and have wisdom to impart. Wisdom comes from the Lord and time spent with Him. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
These women chose to be students of God, studiers of the Word, and molded to His likeness. They chose to do the hard work of laboring over God’s people and loving when it seemed impossible. They clung to the truth and spoke it in love. Their lives are not marked by amusement and entertainment, but instead, service and sacrifice. It started as a choice to be refined, often when they were young women deep in the throes of changing diapers at 3 am or wiping little noses. Instead of being annoyed by their children, they chose to train and teach them. They asked God for ways to serve their husbands rather than wishing he would meet all their needs. They made every effort to cling to the One who knows their heart instead of everything else that is vying for it. See, there is something different about these women. That’s why we look up to them.
What makes these women so special though, is that during this “training time”, (for many, it was some years spent at home caring for others), they embraced God’s role for them and realized that maybe God was working all of this together for good. As they surrendered to Him, they began to grow in depth. Then, as the Lord saw fit, they began to give out this wisdom that had been grown and pruned and tended so meticulously during those years.
I appreciate those women who have matured past caring about what everyone else in the room is thinking about them and choose instead to be used to impart God’s Word to others. Like those that will sit with a cup of tea and share God’s goodness in an otherwise heartbreaking situation with another woman who needs to hear. Or those that will serve the women of their church by not attending the Bible study, but leading it. Or mentoring younger women instead of feeling that they’ve “done their time”.
I see women my age rising to this call.
Today, she is changing diapers, advocating for her children at school or tending to their special needs. Perhaps she is being refined by schooling her children at home, adopting, or trying to figure out if her newborn will ever let her sleep again. She is tired, but driven to God for strength. She chooses to be teammates with her husband. She answers, not to what seems acceptable in the world’s standards, but surrenders herself to a higher call that has been given to her by the One who gave her this role. She desires to spend time with the Lord, but knows that legalism isn’t welcome here, so she asks for quiet moments to soak up wisdom from Him as He teaches her through her children, His Word and even an uplifting book.
Some of these women are single. She has the ability to concentrate fully on God’s agenda and can carry out His mission with great freedom. 1 Corinthians 7:34
Some of these women spend their days in the work-force and will choose to be refined in the midst of chaos or difficult co-workers.
Some of these women realize that they missed their early “training” years, but will ask God to use them… today.
As she answers this call, she is graciously used to invest in the lives of others and because of her, God’s model of leaving a Biblical-legacy continues.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5