Arming Warriors

I’m a girl mom, and it really doesn’t look that pink and fluffy. When I found out that my first was a girl, moms of only boys occasionally told me that they wished they could have a girl so they could have at least one calm, mild, clean child.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that my beautiful little daughter was a lot more spice than sugar, and my illusions of calm, clean, and mild went right out the window. And then my second came roaring in like a pint-sized hurricane, demolishing all remaining sense of order in our home.

Some sisters have tea parties. Mine are much more likely to wrestle and try to sit on each other’s faces. They do love to dress up and be pampered, but they’ll probably be outside a couple minutes later taking their fancy clothes and painted toenails for a ride on the rope swing.  They’re feminine and muddy, loud and wild, opinionated and passionate.

Kind of like their mama was as a child.

My younger years in the Philippines were full of knees scraped from climbing – and leaping out of – fruit trees, feet stained black because shoes were basically shackles, wind-wild hair, bike tricks, swimming races, and burping contests. I remember a couple of attempts by well-meaning adults to civilize my friends and me into young ladies, but the results never stuck. We quite enjoyed being barbarian missionary kids.

Then at 14 I found myself in the foreign land of Ohio, where girls wore hairspray and makeup and Love’s Baby Soft perfume. And I suddenly felt completely, utterly less than. I learned, at the sharp end of cruel words, that being feminine meant covering up. Cover the callouses with shoes, cover the acne with foundation, cover the loneliness with gossip and the opinions with silence and the intelligence with jokes.

Unfortunately, my years at a conservative Christian high school left me even more confused about what it means to be a woman. We were taught that godly women are quiet, compliant, reserved, fragile, and secondary in every way to men. Any questioning of their understanding of the “Biblical” model was painted as sinful, and out-of-context verses were wielded to hush disagreement.

For years I felt there was something wrong with me, and I tried to pack down the parts of myself that didn’t fit the mold.

How it must break God’s heart when His Word is used to tame and silence rather than transform and equip.

The first way God spoke of womankind paints a radically different picture than the one my high school Bible teacher presented. Adam was alone, which wasn’t good, so God created Eve to be his ezer kenegdo. These Hebrew words are often translated as “helpmate” or “helper suitable for”, but the literal, in-context meaning is closer to “strong rescuer corresponding to” or even “warrior beside”.

Ladies, from the beginning God referred to us with powerful battle imagery. The call to fight is core to our identity. We are needed by the people in our lives (including men), not as an accessory or an assistant, but the way one soldier needs another.

Think about it.

The worst and noblest parts of ourselves revolve around battling for something – whether it’s control, status, and affection, or truth, freedom, and restoration. Our girls will fight. There’s no question about that. The question is what they will fight for.

We can leave them to be swept along with shifting cultural sands to places where they’ll feel compelled to fight only for what seems right in the moment, where personal comfort and gain become the priority. This is where bitterness and entitlement reign, where cliques thrive and words diminish others, where manipulating and threatening and whining are the norm. What an ugly place to live.

Or we can teach our girls who they are and why they are, and watch their passion spread like holy wildfire. We can model it for the girls in our lives, for each other: a knowledge of God’s Word that gives us an understanding of God’s heart and the courage to stand for what’s right, even when it’s not easy. This is where we can live elbow-deep in the reality of Isaiah 61:1 as we fight with all of our uniquely feminine strength for our families and everyone around us.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” (NLT)

Our job as moms, aunts, grandmas, youth leaders, teachers, and friends isn’t to train the next generation of girls to fit into the world’s less-than/too-much boxes.

We don’t have time to waste on that foolishness.

We are warriors training warriors.

1 Comment

  1. Jady
    Jan 10, 2018

    Beautifully done ❤️

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