How do you define a strong woman?
As I think about this question, the first thing that comes to mind is movies. A little something about me is that I enjoy watching movies and TV series. Let’s just say that I spent way too much time watching TV in my teen years, but I still do enjoy the occasional movie. My favorites are action movies, rom-coms, and anything Disney. Many of these movies portray a strong woman as the CEO, best in the company, or leader who is confident, strong, and defies obstacles to get her to the top. There is no need for this woman to trust or rely on others to get the job done because she will do it. A few examples that come to mind are Mulan, The Proposal, Moana, Captain Marvel, Bridal wars, and the list goes on.
Strong Women of God
From the New Testament, we see how Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a woman of strength. During her time of engagement, the angel Gabriel told her that she would conceive and bear a son as a virgin by the Holy Spirit. Without asking any questions, she said in Luke 1:38 “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” She would face shame for being pregnant out of wedlock and her fiance, Joseph, almost broke off the engagement (“And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.” Matthew 1:19). Her response shows her trust and reliance on God’s goodness. She did not fear the unknown. Mary also shows her great strength in submitting to Joseph and ultimately trusting in God’s planning as they travel to Bethlehem at the end of her pregnancy and give birth in a manger.
Rahab, in Joshua 2, shows her strength in standing alone against the city she is living in. By giving shelter to the spies that the King of Jericho wants captured, to save her family from Israel. She knew that God was with Israel and that her city would be destroyed due to their sin.
Another strong woman, though not in the Bible, is Elisabeth Elliot. She is one with a great story, I highly recommend reading her biography or a book that she has written. Elisabeth was a missionary with her husband, Jim Elliot, in Ecuador. Three years after their marriage, Jim was speared to death by indigenous people they were trying to reach. A couple of years later, she went back to the same group of people with her daughter and lived with them, learning their language and finding opportunities to minister to them. Her strength to go back to the people who killed her husband and to do it with her daughter is a strength that is only to be attributed to God.
As we look at stories of these Godly women, we can see a common characteristic to the worldly women in the movies. These women are fighting for something that is important to them. Though they have this in common, there is on big difference. The women who are of GOD draw their strength from relying on GOD.
They KNOW God. They have a relationship of fear and love for God. They have knowledge of who He is and a personal relationship with Him through prayer. From this relationship they have strength. They put their trust in God to protect them, to bless them, and to stand for the truths of who God is. They are fighting for God and heavenly riches, while the worldly woman is fighting for herself and earthly riches.
Living As Strong Women of God
How do we take on these characteristics of strength that these women portray so clearly? How do we be strong women who fear the Lord, submit to our authorities, have wisdom, and acknowledge our continual need for Jesus?
We need to read, study, and memorize scripture.
We need to have knowledge of who God is. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” What better way to be a strong woman of God than to be equipped for everything that we do. To know the characteristics and instructions of God so that we may live righteous lives for God and to teach others around us what it means to be a woman of God. I encourage you to read Proverbs 31 which defines who a strong Godly woman is.
We need to be in prayer.
Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. It grows our dependence and fear of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says “pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” and Philippians 4:6 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Prayer opens up our hearts to God, for the Holy Spirit to work within us, to have a friendship with God.
We need to be in Christ-centered community.
Lastly, we need to surround ourselves with like-minded people who will support us and keep us accountable in our walk with God. Proverbs 27:17 says “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” I can far more easily fall into sin when I do not have my husband or others keeping my actions accountable. It is important to remember as we rely on God for strength we must also rely on others for strength.
These things will help align our hearts with God so that we are able to be strong women of God.