Ever feel like you need encouragement to be a strong mom? In today’s world, there are a lot of issues where the right to raise our children as we see fit is being taken away and given to authorities, who don’t know our kids nor have their best interests in mind. We should all work to safeguard children from abuse, molestation, bullying and other forms of violence and neglect, but there is a fine line between what’s truly right and what is someone’s opinion of “right.” In this day and age, moms cannot afford to sit by the sidelines and hand the reigns over to someone who does not have our values in mind.
If you are looking for guidance and encouragement as a warrior mom, there’s no better example of one in the Bible than Deborah. There is no mention of her own children but she was a motherly figure to her people:
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. – Judges 4:4-5
Deborah was fulfilling God’s call on her life when He revealed to her that he wanted to attack the king’s army and promised to deliver their commander, Sisera. She called for a man named Barak to deploy troops, but he wouldn’t do it unless Deborah herself went.
Well, imagine that! What would you do if you called on some strong men you to go fight for your rights but they wouldn’t go without you? You would do exactly what Deborah did: you’d go but you’d probably make a few things clear, like Deborah did. She told Barak: “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” As the story goes, Sisera hid for safety with the Jael, wife of an ally, but she took his life. In doing so, “God subdued Jabin king of Canaan in the presence of the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.” (Jud. 4; 23-24). Read the full story in Judges 4-5.
What can we as mothers take away from the life of Deborah? Here are 5 traits that the successful Christian Warrior Mom should demonstrate:
1. Christian warrior moms study and apply scripture.
There’s simply no way God would have appointed Deborah as a judge and handed down this story of Israel’s only female leader if she had not been reading scripture and applying it to her charges when she would judge, nor would God have appointed her as a prophetess. In taking action, she states, “Has not God said…”, meaning she was praying and seeking deeply into His word to learn what to do next and how to do it. As for me, I have not felt any confidence in fighting for a cause until my studies have shown me that my heart and judgment is aligned with His will.
2. Christian warrior moms wait on the Lord.
It was only after being a judge for the people that Deborah called on Barak to fight. It was only after he forced her hand that she went to battle too. There are fights I participate in, like the battle to support GMO labeling, and battles I do not at this time feel called to fight. It doesn’t mean I won’t some day, but if I invest my energy into a stressful battle that God has not asked me to get involved in, I am doing no good for myself or my family or serving the Lord properly. That’s true even if it is an issue that can harm my family. My trust is in God totally and COMPLETELY, especially for the scary stuff. If you feel upset about an injustice, your first course of action should be to bring it before God and discover His plan for how you are going to handle it. Your next step, if you are to proceed, should be to tell the truth.
3. Christian warrior moms speak the truth.
Deborah was a prophet and mother to Israel. Old Testament prophets were not just charged with telling the future; they also told the people the laws and the consequences of breaking them, as well as God’s promises for keeping them. She was charged with telling God’s truth, whether it was to help judge disputes and issues for the people of Israel, or to fulfill God’s promise to deliver the enemy, or to tell Barak that he was not going to get the glory because he didn’t stand up and do what he was called to on his own. If there is a situation in your home or life that is hurting your or children or is suppressing the Word of God in your home, it’s time to speak the truth and air the issue out. Being married to a nonbeliever, this was an issue that had to be resolved since my husband did not want to hear or know about my faith for a period of time. This lead to very painful suppression of my faith and difficulty in sharing it with my children. I spoke up and we resolved the issue. Now we speak about Jesus every single day in my home. Remember that as Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), so be careful that your words and tone are Godly. If you have spoken the truth, it may be time for action.
4. Christian warrior moms don’t wait on men but do respect authority.
While Deborah did not wait on Barak’s lead, she did give him the chance to lead first. If you are married to a Barak (“Ok, sure, if you do it, I will”) or someone even more passive (“Your call, honey” – I’m sure you’ve heard that one before), and you feel this is a fight God is calling you to do, it may be time to take the matter into your hands but not before clearing it with your husband or co-parent if it involves the kids. Be respectful and honest about what a fight may mean to your family – the good and the bad. Don’t shirk from your duty because you fear confrontation; you may be the sole fighter for your rights, your child’s rights, and your family’s safety and values. Not everyone will be called to fight the same fight, and not every “fight” means coming to blows. It might just be the term for standing up to a class bully, an unfair IEP, or a corrupt principal. It may be something bigger, though, like bringing your child before Congress to make a stand for parental rights. Or it can be something subtle, too, like changing the way you approach your child’s needs or stepping outside the box of failed medicine or traditional schooling.
5. Christian warrior moms give the glory to God.
Judges 5 is a follow up to the results of the battle against the evil king: it’s a 30-verse poem of praise that Deborah wrote. She spares no details in telling the story and yet gives all the praise for what she did, for what Barak did, and for what Jael did, to God. And while Deborah’s story ends in victory, yours may not end with the victory you wanted. Unfair laws may pass. Bullies are let slide. IEP’s need to be taken to the “next level” to get the best results for your child. God knows this too and has it in hand. Give Him the glory for that, too. This is the time to fully trust His guidance and understand what you needed to learn from this experience. Perhaps that battle is not done yet. Perhaps it’s time to make a drastic change for your child or family. Perhaps something awaits down the road that is better but you’re not there yet. Wait on God to tell you what to do next, praising Him as you do.
Christian warrior moms don’t need to tear themselves apart with worry but they do need to understand what God wants to be their place on the battlefield. Maybe you’ll be called to go to D.C. or the state capital, or maybe you need to stand up to something in your church, or maybe it’s right at home in front of your family. God is bigger then all those things and God can and will use you to swing the battle His way – whatever that may be.
What issue do you feel compelled to fight for?
What battles has God helped you with?
Share your story to encourage other moms!