A Royal Princess

Yes, I admit it- I’m completely fascinated with the Royal Baby.  A certain member of my family can’t seem to grasp my excitement.  To him, he sees just another kid, except this one has a lot of money and power and publicity which she never had to earn.  I see his point and can agree to an extent.

But this is why I have fallen in love with the Royal Princess.

First of all, there are hundreds of years of history wrapped up in that little bundle.  She can trace her family line back further than most of us.  Yes, it helped that her ancestors were monarchs and mentioned in every history book; but still I’m fascinated.

Then there’s the fact that her parents seem like fairly decent people.  Our “role” models nowadays are Hollywood stars who are always caught drinking, cheating, swearing, or breaking somebody’s nose.  Not to mention how they dress- (or more like undress).  William and Kate work, rewear clothing, do their own shopping, and still uphold manners and propriety, all A +’s in my book.

Royalty and leaders do deserve our respect.  I know that hundreds of years ago, English kings and queens persecuted my ancestors; but those Christian martyrs still honored and respected the one upon the throne.  However, there is a difference between worship and respect.  I don’t have Queen Elizabeth posters hanging up on my walls, but I am still called to respect her (whether or not her actions deserve it or whether or not she is the Ruler of my country).  We are called to do this for any of our leaders, be it Presidents or Police Officers.  Sadly, respect for those in authority is missing in most citizens today.

Romans Chapter 13:1-7

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.   Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.   For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.   For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.   Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

But the main reason that I am fascinated with Prince George and Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is because every Christian is a Royal Child, just like them.  Fairytales do happen because there is a King and He has made us Children into His Kingdom.  The celebration in England is nothing compared to the celebration in Heaven when we are born into the Kingdom and when we finally come home to the King. 

Being an earthly prince or princess is rare; it’s a title that few will hold.

But being a Royal Child of the King of Kings is possible for anyone, no matter our color of skin, wealth, or family name.  He longs to place a crown upon our heads, all we have to do is ask!

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Strong Heroines

People are funny things- we always want to be someone different than who we actually are!

I enjoy taking those random personality tests on facebook, sometimes they are pretty accurate and the next time they are REALLY far off.  I sure don’t think that picking your favorite book can tell you exactly what Bible heroine you are, but sometimes it can be a pretty good clue.

When people would compare me to a woman of the Bible, I always received the names of Miriam, Martha, and Deborah.  So it did not surprise me when the “Bible heroine test” came out as Deborah.

I have always longed to be a Ruth who made the submissive beautiful statement of “where you go, I will go” and then had a fairy-tale romance with Boaz.  I envied Esther, the gorgeous queen who won the heart of the king and then saved the entire Jewish nation; or Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was so sweet and virtuous that she was the one chosen to carry the Christ Child.  But I’m always labeled as the characters that aren’t quite as well-beloved as some of the “famous” ones.

I decided to really look at Miriam, Martha, and Deborah’s lives and see what made up these woman and what I could learn from them.  Their stories are actually quite interesting and amazing, and I have come to the conclusion that I am quite content with being patterned after these ladies of the Bible times…as long as I don’t repeat the mistakes that some of them made.

They all have something in common- they are strong, they are leaders, they are quick to make decisions and act upon them, and they know how to include others in their plans.

How does a woman with these characteristics handle life today when we are surrounded with submissive, tender, and meek women?  How do we balance our personality traits that sometimes seem like a curse?  How do we keep from offending, coercing, or intimidating others?  How do we not dictate the men in our lives but allow them to establish their godly male leadership?

I wrestle with all these questions, and I know that my very strong-willed friends do as well!

As a child, I was talkative and bubbly and quickly made decisions.  I was the oldest child as well, which did not help matters.  I soon discovered that people do not like when you always tell them what to do.  I also discovered that a woman with strong personality tends to drive people away from her if she is not careful.

Miriam- The firstborn, the protector and guardian of her little brother, Moses, a prophetess, the one who helped lead the women with Aaron and Moses during the wilderness adventures, the one who broke into joyous song when the Red Sea crossing was complete, the one who was cursed with leprosy and separated from the group because she had condemned the leadership.

Martha- The sister of Lazarus and Mary Magdalene, the firstborn, the one who was in charge of the housework and making sure things got done (most likely the owner of the house), the one reprimanded by Jesus for putting material things before spiritual.

Deborah- A prophetess, a wife, a trusted source of wisdom, a judge, the initiator of action, the one who broke into rejoicing after the victory.

All three of these women filled important roles in the Bible.  If they would not have been there, something special would be missing.

Miriam was there to speak to the Egyptian princess and help save baby Moses.  She was public in her praise of God’s miracles, and was not ashamed to lead others in that as well.  According to Scripture, she was partnered closely with Aaron and Moses in terms of leading and decision-making- which is somewhat uncommon for those times of history.  Her downfall was when she decided that she knew better than God’s established leadership; and instead of talking with God and Moses, she went to Aaron and scorned Moses’ decisions.  She was promptly punished with leprosy and banned from the camp until Moses pleaded to God on her behalf.  I believe that she was a changed woman when she came back from her solitude, although nothing more is said about her until her death.  Would it not be interesting to know her entire story – to know what happened between her punishment and her death?  I would like to think that she became wiser in how she used her leadership qualities and did more help than she had even done before.

Martha was quite a lovely woman when you think about her life.  She helped make Jesus’ time on earth restful and peaceful.  She was the one making the household decisions and responsible if anything did not go right.  Her problem came when she was so intent on making sure the meal was its best and that the guests were comfortable and well taken care of that she forgot to slow down and listen.  She forgot that being with Jesus is the key to serving Him.  She did not realize that criticizing others for their seemingly irresponsible, weak, neglectful behavior is not the best way to get something done.  Martha thought that she knew what was best at that moment, and so complained when others did not see it her way.  Jesus lovingly corrected her- for he did love her.  This verse is so special, (John 11:5)  “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.”  Jesus saw that Martha was giving her very best to Him in her own way, and He appreciated and loved that about her.  He only had to redirect her attention when she got a bit carried away!  Martha must have learned her lesson and balanced both the tasks with the time; and we gather this because of an event that takes place later on in Scripture.  A commentator pointed out that Martha probably had investment as well in the bottle of expensive perfume that Mary poured upon Jesus’ feet.  Never once do you hear Martha condemn Mary for her actions; isn’t that beautiful!  Her heart was at the right place this time.

Once in a while you hear of women prophets in the Bible…

Anna- Luke 2:36

Huldah- II Kings 22:14

Four Virgins- Acts 21:9

But it was mostly men that held such a position and honor.  However Deborah is unusual in the fact that not only was she a prophetess, but she also was a judge!  She called Barak unto her and told him that God intended for him to go into battle against Sisera.  He said that he would not go unless she went with him.  I can just imagine Deborah shaking her head at his statement and saying, “Fine, I’ll go; but instead of you getting battle honor, a woman is going to get the credit for destroying Sisera.”  So she marches with Barak into battle and tells him to go forth because the Lord goes before them.  They win the battle, and a woman, Jael, destroys Sisera as prophesied earlier.  Judges chapter five then records Deborah’s song, a beautiful proclamation of God’s praise and might.

I think we can learn a lot from these ladies.  Being a strong woman does not make us better than other women, but neither does it make us bad or sinful.  We do not have to try to change our personalities or sculpt it into something that we are not.  There is a lot of good that we can do with our strength.  We can cause action, inspire, encourage, and uplift in ways that others may not be able to.

But this can also be our downfall.  We can become so intent on the mission that we forget the True Commander.  We can become so involved with achieving that we hurt and step on others that are in the way or are not working with us.  We have to be careful that we actually appreciate our friends and their personalities.  We need to not simply use them for what we may gain from the relationship.  We must not feel threatened by other strong women and hold them off because we want complete control.

Ladies, we also have to be very careful with the men in our lives.  We have the power to motivate or destroy them.  Don’t roll your eyes at the sixteen-year old youth leader that just can’t seem to get his act together; don’t step in and make his decisions.  Instead come along beside him and encourage him.  We may be able to make powerful choices, but the most powerful thing we can do is let the man lead and develop into the godly male leader that God intends for him to be!

I don’t know how this applies to marriage (obviously, I’m not married so I can not pass statement=), but Deborah and Lapidoth seemed to be able to make it work.  If I ever do get married, I pray that my husband, the true leader of the home, will respect and value what I think but will ultimately make the final decision on a matter.

I think though for single women, we easily intimidate men because we have become so used to making decisions.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help; you don’t have to be in complete control all of the time.  Don’t walk over the “weak” men, and don’t fight and criticize the strong ones.  Be okay with letting go!

Like I said before, we hold a lot of power and strength in our personalities that can be used for great good, but it can also be turned into a weapon of destruction, hurt, and manipulation.

Lord, may we constantly come to You for wisdom in how to make choices, how to relate with others, and how to glorify You.  May we never be ashamed to break forth in song that praises You.  May we be able to be the support the men need- not mindless dolls, but yet not scheming bossy feminists.  Thank You for giving everyone their own personality; help us to work with each other so we can fit our unique talents and giftings into a beautiful picture that honors You!    Amen.