Ephesians 3:16: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being
We all want to be women of strength. However, we likely do not desire all of what it takes to become her. Physical strength, emotional strength, spiritual strength and mental strength all require discipline and hardship. We long for the end result but we don’t want to endure the road that leads us there. We pray for God to make our life easy and instead he promises to discipline those he loves. He does this to develop strong characteristics within us.
Proverbs 3:12: Because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
I can vividly remember three specific times in which I was told that I was a strong woman and they all were birthed out of hardship. The first was after my husband Mark died. “You are so strong!” people would tell me when they would find out the grief I had gone through. People would say that they didn’t think they could survive like I had. The truth is, they likely would have. They would have because they would have no other choice. We must all go on and with God’s help, we can. I wouldn’t have thought it possible myself until I was in the depths and God led me through. Trusting in God and leaning on Him provides the ability to endure.
The second time I was commended for being strong was after running a marathon. My physical strength was built to a level that I had once never imagined possible. I remember watching my best friend’s sister run a marathon many years ago and thinking it was an impossibility for me. I started with a few miles and after much training, I completed 6 marathons in 3 years. This physical strength was built through hours of sweating the many tiresome miles of training. It was not an easy accomplishment and this is why it tasted so sweet to reach the finish line. Discipline leads to achievement.
The third time I was commended for being strong was after the birth of my child this past July. I labored for hours, many without pain relief, and eventually delivered a healthy baby boy. The physical pain that I experienced was worse than I had imagined and my husband, who watched it all, praised me for my strength. Ever since then, I have a new found respect for what women all over the world go through! I have to admit, I felt a bit feminist after the birth as I thought surely there is nothing women cannot do. We endure terrible pains for the outcome of a beautiful child. We endure pain to birth life.
“If you meet a woman of whatever complexion who sails her life with strength and grace and assurance, talk to her! And what you will find is that there has been a suffering, that at some time she has left herself for hanging dead.” -Sena Jeter Naslund
A woman of strength is one who is not merely physically fit, but one who is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong as well. Developing strength requires constant discipline and it is often built through hardship. By focusing less on ourselves and more on God who gives generously to those who ask, your strength can be built on every day. It is something to strive for daily in prayer and in action.