138:3 has been on my radar for quite some time. The NIV reads like this:
“When I called You answered me,
You have made me bold and stouthearted.”
Bold and stouthearted are such manly sounding words. Even the meaning of stoutheartedness is “valiant, brave, courageous” and other words associated with male qualities.
But y’all, I know some stouthearted women.
While it is much more preferable for a virtuous woman to have a sweet, gentle and pliable personality there are some who have strong convictions and aren’t afraid of asserting them. There is a breed of women out there who have such passions for all that is truth and righteousness that when they are faced with adversities they boldly go forth in valiant courage.
Many decide a woman with a confident demeanor is stubborn. Some call her assertive, overbearing, too much, harsh, brash, outspoken, wild, uncontained, a free spirit; strong willed. (I dislike that last one with great passion. Just saying!)
Call it what you will, courage and confidence in a woman is a beautiful thing when used for her Heavenly Father’s glory. He designed her unique, exactly as He wanted her, for exactly the path He knew she would walk on, facing the challenges only she would face.
Life is hard. We’re going to need a little resilience if we are going to survive the knocks life can deal. We’re going to need a bit of ‘get up’ in our step. Some spunk, if you will.
While it’s no secret that women are the more relational and caring part of humanity, that shouldn’t mean they are incapable of displaying courage in the face of life’s bitter storms, or not allowed to have knowledge, wisdom and insight stuffed between their pretty little ears.
If you’re like me, you might even decide that most people just don’t know how to handle more woman than the average Susie! Anybody?
Oh believe me, I’ve tried to squash these passionate all-consuming feelings. I tried to corral the wild and uncontainable vividness of right and wrong, black and white, that I tend to see. I tried to bite my tongue when things just wanted to spew out.
For a while it worked! And it worked well! It worked because I tackled it with the same passion I’m so driven by. I told my cooking utensils exactly what I thought as I gouged them into whatever dinner was being prepared. I swung that broom with extra vigor, trying to prove a point stabbing those bristles at the dirt. I tackled those dishes, suds a-flying, and passions a-mounting!
Then it didn’t work, and I hated myself for being myself and being myself WELL.
Maybe this is why it failed,
I had tried to change myself instead of letting God change me.
I was trying to change the very person God made me to be. I was trying to fit myself into this cookie cutter shape of what I wished I could be, what society says a Christian woman should be, and what many women around me seem to have no problem being- the submissive wife, the patient mom, the demure, sweet, gentle, quiet woman.
All I figured out was that while I could act demure, there was nothing demure, gentle, patient, or submissive about my heart. Then, because my vivid right and wrong passions kicked in, I was soon condemning myself for being so hypocritical by trying to be what I wasn’t.
Satan used my self against myself to condemn myself. What an evil plan.
Does anybody understand what I’m trying to say here?
I need some wild eyed, crazy haired woman to tell me she understands exactly what I’m talking about. Well, maybe you’re not wild eyed or crazy haired, but I’m willing to bet you feel like it some days!
Here is my conclusion-
My stouthearted spirit was given to me by God- it’s not going anywhere.
But, somewhere between the convictions of the Spirit and the execution of those convictions, I need to choose whether self will take over, or grace will abound.
For example, I get to choose how I respond to situations. That doesn’t take away or even damper the fire in my heart for all things right, good and just in any given situation.
I get to choose to control my words. That doesn’t rein in or diminish my fervency, it’s just channeled into a more God honoring way. In fact, I get strengthened even more as I put God’s grace on display for those around me to see.
The same stoutheartedness that grasps the convictions you and I have, can be the same stoutheartedness in which we execute our convictions.
A stouthearted woman can be proven sweet, gentle, kind, humble and submissive, when she lets herself be guided and directed by the Holy Spirit rather than her self.
When self-will is taken out of the picture, whats left is a confident woman on fire for God, unashamed and unfazed, blazing a trail as she runs hard after Him. >>TWEET THIS<<
THAT is a stouthearted woman.
I like her.
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a virtual coffee break for your heart!
If you are a stouthearted woman too, you might find this article by Lisa Jacobson itweeting.
Sharing with…. Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Modest Mom, Soul Survivor, Proverbs 31 Wife, The Beauty in His Grip, What Joy is Mine, Yes, They Are All Ours, Salt & Light, She Lives Free, Life of Faith, Nourishing Joy, Mom2Mom, Motivation Monday, Unite, Teaching What is Good, Chronically Content, God’s Growing Garden, Joy Dare, My daily Walk in His Grace, Rachel Wojnarowski, So Much At Home, Woman to Woman, Holley Gerth, Becoming Godly Women, 3D Lessons, Graced Simplicity, ImpartingGrace, Jenninfer Dukes Lee, Creative K, Children Are a Blessing, 7 Days Time, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, Essential Things, Missional Women, A look at The Book, Family Fun, Create With Joy, Counting My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, TimeWarp Wife
"Satan used my self against myself to condemn myself. What an evil plan." I know exactly what you are saying! This was a great reminder for me today. I have struggled with the same thing of wondering why every other woman in the church or on their blogs seem like the perfect mom, gentle in what they say and so polite, and then I come along with all my crazy!! I can get so tired trying
Amen to all that, Stephanie! Especially the "then I come along with all my crazy!!" Lol I hear ya, sister! May we dwell in His grace as we strive to become more like Him. He made us with all our crazy, He can handle all our crazy & the most beautiful thing is He can use our crazy! ~ Heart hugs! ~
You also need to add that stout-hearted women need a "posture of humility" – I've heard that, too – but I don't think they mean it in a God-centered way. Even women are called to lead in many ways – in the classroom, as a mother – in so many different capacities – and some people don't know how to handle that. I agree – and I understand. It took a long time for me to
Oh boy! Ive heard that one too! Absolutely we need a "posture of humility" in a God centered way. We just get mistaken for not having one sometimes, leaving people feeling like we need to be brought down a notch. Which just complicates everything! I think learning to extend grace is one of the hardest lessons I'll keep learning for the rest of my life. However, I too, am learning
Nice post! He certainly made us to be strong for so many good reasons, too. After raising three children, the inner toughness sure came in handy. God continues to work on me, too.<br />Thanks for sharing on Together on Tuesdays 🙂
Hi, this is a wonderful thought provoking post, thank you for sharing it. Blessings
I love your quote about a confident woman! You also so wisely reminded us that we need to let God lead the change in us instead of us charging ahead with a possible recklessness that is not healthy for us or those around us. I pray we may all choose grace today over turning to ourselves in an act of selfishness. Blessed to have stopped by.
Loved this post Kaylene!! I have only changed by the grace of God and not because I was able to do it on my own. I totally failed when I was living to change myself without God doing it.
I do believe that every quality can look a little different when we give it our unique expression. For me, being courageous may mean revealing something of myself to another (quiet vulnerability), where on someone else, courage may show up as 'big' or outgoing. Praise God for all the beautiful qualities He has put into each of us! May we use them all for His glory. <br />Visiting here
Yes! Let's strive together as one body cultivating the gifts He equips us with. I think the revealing of a personal story, especially the painful ones, takes a lot of 'big' courage. Vulnerability makes me nervous, yet it helps make us more real & personable. I'm slowly finding it also helps with the healing somehow. Thank you for stopping by! Blessings!
Great article! Loved it! We should use our God-given passion in God-honoring way!
I get accused of having wild hair AND of speaking out too passionately on some subjects–so I know exactly what you mean:). We all have God-given strengths and our purpose in life is to turn those strengths over to God and let him guide their use. It's not easy, as you point out, but it's the only way to be happy with what he's blessed us with :).
Amen! 🙂 There is such a beauty that exudes in women who know WHO they are because the know WHO created them that way. There is a joy that implores and attracts other to her. I think of the Proverbs 31 woman and her bold yet intense way she ministered, and believe me this bold way you are passionately describing is a part of your ministry, was all a part of her make up. We are all called to be
I love this post because it brings up an important topic that many women think about! We can't change ourselves. I used to try and use will power to possess the fruit of the Spirit, but then I realized, I can't do it on my own, there is a reason they are called the fruit of the SPIRIT, not Nathana. I have always had a quieter demeanor, but being a minister's wife I have learned that
Thanks for this! "You have MADE me bold…" I love that God created us with such unique passions and personalities! Channeling is key, of course, not to mention tricky, but in His strength we can be strong, beautiful vessels for His glory! Yay! Blessings to you 🙂
Kaylene, I think we are sisters separated at birth. I too am a stouthearted woman and have also tried by my own will power to change it because I didn't think it very Jesus-y. Turns out… God wants to do the transforming. <br /><br />I love this: "A stouthearted woman can be proven sweet, gentle, kind, humble and submissive, when she lets herself be guided and directed by the Holy
My Mom was this woman! Every thing was black or white to her-no gray or unclear. She knew if you were doing sonething you shouldn't, and would tell you. I want to be more like that! We need to hear the truth in love!
Girl you know I feel the same way! I like the woman you are! Don't change a thing unless it's what God wants you to do. I admire you for the way you stand up for what you believe in and share your faith with others. I also have been praying a lot for that direction from God lately on my place in the church. God keeps nudging me to step out of my comfort zone & do things I said I&
Bless you, sweet friend! I miss you too! I covet your prayers & continue lifting you as well. Much love!
How I understand this! I call it passion but stouthearted is excellent too!. Thank you for sharing your fresh insight on the Art of Home-Making Mondays last week. Please join in again this week as the new link up is running 🙂
I believe my mission this week, if I choose to accept it, is to figure out how to finagle the word stouthearted into a conversation! It's a wonderful feeling when you decide to be the special woman God designed you to be! So happy you have learned this lesson well and have found some more freedom in Christ! Blessings on your week. xoxo Nicki
Awww Kaylene. . . Thanks, just thanks 😉
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