“Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” 1 Peter 3:6
This is the first devotion in a series I have named “Fairer than Sarah.”
As women, we have somehow lost our purpose and vision for bigger things for God. I remember how compelled I was in business; the resolve to excel in everything I did and make a difference in society was extraordinary. What concerns me is that God’s business is the best business in the entire world, and for the most part, we give our least - not our best!
What am I passing on? Who am I influencing? Does my husband have the right to direct the affairs of his own household? Am I in subjection to him as head of our family? Do I live a pure and upright life? Am I imbued (saturated) with the same principles of unbending virtue which characterized the wife of the “father of the faithful?”
True heroes are those who serve God. What God defines as heroism will be honored in Heaven? Poor examples are not heroes or good role-models. These examples come to mind as I write this devotion and what I consider as a poor role-model is the antithesis of what the world embraces and puts forth as a classic role-model for our next generation.
I was nine-years old when my mother died from a long-term illness that had kept her in and out of hospital for five-years prior to her death. It's hard for me to comprehend a four-year old void of a mother around the home. Our son Caleb is the same age as I was when my mother was diagnosed with a chronic heart condition. The reality of Caleb's physical and emotional needs reminds me of something I desired so deeply for myself, and did not have. God has been so good to surround me with women who have a special bond for reasons that are often unexplainable. I still miss the presence of a mama.
She died at the young age of thirty-three. Without a doubt, my mother was a good role-model but unfortunately, I only have glimpses of her in her apron preparing food in the kitchen, and me running into her arms. Apart from that, there is little memory of any mother-daughter moments. If my mother had been a healthy woman, I’m quite sure I would have been able to share her unique qualities.
At the age of twelve, God brought Mrs. Calodine, my Sunday school teacher, across my young path. She was proper and appropriate in her conduct and I loved her feminine appearance and her elegant posture. As we met for our class each Sunday morning, she would open the Scriptures and then ask each of us what we thought God was teaching us personally through His Word. She would then ask how we could apply it to our own lives. She wrote everything down and by the end of the year, there were several books compiled with a repertoire of our thoughts and dreams. She was a good role-model for me.
There was another influence on my life; I was consumed with a television program called “Charlie’s Angels.” There was something supremely satisfying about watching dazzlingly gorgeous crime fighters dangle from helicopters, kung-fu-chopping stocky bad guys and running across rocky shorelines, all in high-heeled boots. My imagination ran wild, and being a “simple one,” I did not foresee the dangers or the possible demise on my part. At sixteen-years of age, I resolved myself to look like Jaclyn Smith (one of Charlie’s angels). That television program was the Trojan horse that attacked my mind and entered my body through Anorexia – a physical and emotional condition that gripped my life for five-years. As I wasted away to a corpse-like figure, I continued to watch “Charlie’s Angels.”
Everyone scratched their heads while my condition worsened. I continued to be fed each week by the original source of my illness – television! There were no angels in our home, but there were the devil’s devices luring my simple mind and filling it with the same trash that is polluting our children’s minds today. “I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.” Psalm 119:113
The more we love the law of God, the more we will obtain the mastery of our vain thoughts. God hates indulgences and self-gratification! Most of what we see on television grieves the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit lives within us. Because God dwells in our life through the Holy Spirit, we grieve Him when we turn our television on and the air is filled with coarse language, alternate godless lifestyles, over-indulgences, naked bodies, seductive images, sex talk, cigarette ads, alcoholic beverage advertising, loud music, luring philosophies, POOR ROLE-MODELS---and on and on.
An intelligent exercise for a woman of God would be as follows;
Turn your television on;
- Write down every godless word used for the next half an hour
- Count how many women were insufficiently dressed
- Make a note of the cigarette and drinking commercials
- How many homosexuals, lesbians, or men-haters were portrayed?
- List how many seductive images you saw
- Number the times loud “in-your-face” music was played
- Be aware of the negative comments spoken about men
Due to incredible trauma as a little girl, I had a greater propensity to be impacted in either a great or a decomposing way through the negative input of television. Rubbish in – rubbish out! For another girl, Charlie’s Angels may not have had the same affect; but nonetheless, role-models always have their impact and they do affect us in varying degrees.
Praise God, that through my own personal experiences, I have an increased awareness of what influences I allow our son Caleb to be subjected to and those I choose to flee from – like television!
Our country is starved for role-models. Everybody is looking for somebody they can be like. Each person desires a role-model. I am consciously aware of our Pastor’s wife and the influence she has on the women in our church. She is a great paradigm; her modesty, her disposition, her godly character traits, her wisdom, her walk with God, and her love and respect for her husband, are just a few of the attributes I admire in Mrs. Schaap. Watching and learning from a godly woman will have a good impact on your life. Mrs. Schaap continues to be a great example in my own life. She is a wonderful role-model!
In Genesis 23, we read of the death of another great role-model for women. At 127-years of age, Sarah dies at Hebron in the land of Canaan where she had been a 'sojourner' for more than sixty years. She is the only woman in Scripture whose age, death, and burial are mentioned “And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.” Genesis 23:2
I have studied some of Sarah’s qualities, her weaknesses unveiled through Scripture, and her growth in the Christian life. This week, I will list these for us all to glean from, and build some practical applications we can use in our own lives.
Jesus Christ is the perfect role-model for our lives. He is the Crème-de-la-crème of mentors. As Christian women, we are to follow in His steps; “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21 The Greek translation “should follow” means to “follow after” and when we do, the purpose is to reach somewhere.
The Bible is full of good thoughts; we were not created to live our life the way we want to live it. We were created to live our life the way God wants us to walk. We’re to live our life the way God wants us to live our life. Others are watching us and following us. Our followers will follow our example. My steps are to follow Jesus, and this is passed on down---not half-way, part-of-the-way, some-of-the-way but, ALL THE WAY!
We are all a role-model for someone. As mothers, we are put up as a role model for someone else who will follow in our foot-steps. “Watch me Caleb, as I follow in the footsteps of the Saviour.”
I am always taken back when a younger woman makes a statement to me ABOUT ME. This is a confirmation that she has been observing my ways and responses in relation to living the Christian life.
A role-model is someone who holds nothing back from God; we must be in complete surrender to His word -not a “know-it-all” but a “living-what-you-know.”
Why is my conduct so important?
- Every woman is another woman’s role-model. We have somebody watching us all the time! We wear Christ’s name “CHRISTian.” We are a role-model whether we like it or not. Every Christian woman will be accountable for the influence she has on another woman's life. We must do all we can to live by example. Somebody is watching you, and somebody is going to pattern their life after you.
- Parents are to be role-models. We are to show our children how to live by example. Mama can’t rear her boy to be a good dad, but she can teach him by her own virtues, how to be a great Christian. Children do what we do more than they do what we say. Hollywood is not where our children learn good standards or where they would find a good role model.
- The Bible teaches very clearly about what we should and what we shouldn’t be. If we go astray, those whom we have influence on will go astray. Walking in His steps is defined as US being a role-model and teaching somebody else to be a role-model. They in turn will be a role-model for the next generation.
God is real! When we are not living what we’re to live, those whom we have influence on are confused. We don’t want religion created on the outside and confusion on the inside.
We will perpetuate whatever we live!
Christian womanhood needs to be taken to a new level from what it is in this generation. I don’t necessarily focus on being better, but I do focus on being the best Christian woman I can be. There is always more we can do – always! We fall victim to the world’s philosophies at different stages in our lives, and by staying in God’s Word, He will open our eyes to the subtlety of our besetting sins. We stray from our posts all the time!
Most recently, I prayed that God would reveal to me the besetting sins that I was not aware of. There are always the obvious things I can do that will please Him; like refraining myself from any unnecessary negative comments in my home, applying discipline in specific areas, and having an understanding of the daily time wasters that can have a profound impact on the way I perform or neglect my responsibilities. But, if we are to grow to the next level as a Christian woman, and if we are to have a profound impact on the next generation, God needs to reveal matters of the heart that have been tucked away for quite some time. This is a whole different level and one that is completely out of our comfort zone.
Everyone has a besetting sin. Why don't you bow your head (as I did), and ask God to reveal your besetting sin. Your life will transform!
Over the next few days I will continue with our “Fairer than Sarah” series, and will list the qualities by which Sarah is known. We can learn to apply these virtues to our own lives and be women who bring Christian Womanhood to the next level for God.
I Love You,