As graduation ceremonies near and the buzz of joy fills the Spring air—hearts race and minds are flooded with memories of the past and thoughts of the future. So, you’re a young lady on the precipice of high school graduation, now what? Perhaps as never before in the history of humanity we stand in need of biblical womanhood. You’ve been encouraged to go to college and aim for the stars. You’ve been given all sorts of encouragement about personal ambition and how the sky is the limit. You heard the testimonies of successful women during the month of March (Women’s History Month). How will you respond to this array of opportunities?
Have you considered what God’s word says about a simple God honoring life? Have you contemplated the importance of the home and the investment of discipleship in the lives of your children? What will be your next steps as you consider the life God has given you?
We all know the stories of people like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Two men who changed the way we communicate—indeed the way we live life. Have you paused to consider the names of people that the world may not celebrate? What about Mary? What about Hannah? What about Elisabeth Elliot? What about Ann Hasseltine?
As our world continues to encourage “girl power” and the display of brute strength for women—have you considered the path less traveled? Will your life be focused on yourself, your pleasure, and your future retirement or will your life count for the glory of God? Remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Our world is being bombarded with worldly ideologies, false religions, and divisive teachings. Many of these worldly ideologies involve a misguided definition of what it means to be a woman. We are living in a time of great division and darkness. Human depravity is celebrated openly and pagan philosophies are mainstream and commonly accepted while the teachings of Christianity are ridiculed and rejected. As a young lady, you can leave an indelible mark upon your culture by how you live, worship, and serve your God.
To the young lady who believes that she can’t possibly make a difference in this world as a mom and a wife, never underestimate a life lived for God’s glory. Remember Mary who was chosen by God for a unique task and as a young Jewish girl of about 13, she would be used mightily by God. Mary’s response to Gabriel who brought her God’s word was a heart of humble submission. While we should reject any teaching that would call us to worship Mary, we can look to her as a fine Godly example of submission and faithful service to our God.
Remember Ann Hasseltine who married Adoniram Judson. When Judson was preparing himself for the work of missions, he asked her father for her hand in marriage. This is what Adoniram Judson said to Ann’s father:
I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left is heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
Not only did her father consent, but Ann said yes and sailed across the world to serve on the mission field where she would give her life in faithful service to our Lord. Ann was 23 when she accompanied her husband on the boat. After working alongside her husband and enduring the challenges of gospel ministry and opposition to Jesus—including false accusations and imprisonment of Adoniram Judson for 17 months—Ann died. She did not waste her life. She spent it for God’s glory.
Remember Susie who married Spurgeon. When we look at the accomplishments of Charles Spurgeon, we are right to be astounded. He preached more than 600 sermons before he was 20 years of age, sold 25,000 copies of his sermons in 20 different languages every week, founded a college for pastors, authored more than 140 books, edited a magazine, responded to approximately 500 letters each week, and faithfully pastored his church in London that experienced dramatic growth. The life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon is one unbelievable story. Spurgeon was a preaching phenomenon and remains a towering figure who transcends Baptist history and impacts evangelicals far and wide.
If Charles Spurgeon is the Prince of Preachers, Susie Spurgeon is his Princess. Their Christ-exalting love and affection for one another is one of the greatest encouragements of Charles’s life—enabling him to labor with intensity and faithful attention to the ministry of the gospel. Never underestimate the life of a faithful wife and God honoring mother.
Remember Elisabeth Elliot—the faithful wife of missionary Jim Elliot. When Jim and his friends prepared to enter the jungle to preach the gospel to the savage Auca Indians, he was warned. With his brilliant mind he could’ve chosen any other route in life and been successful, but he chose the jungle. He chose the work of gospel missions. When they descended into the jungle of Ecuador to make contact with the Auca Indians, his wife and children would never see him alive again. They would find his lifeless body in the river in Ecuador.
However, that’s not the end of the story. Elisabeth and others would eventually return to the jungle where they would live among the tribe, spread the good news, and today the once savage Indians in that region are largely followers of Jesus Christ.
As you celebrate your graduation and make plans for the future—take time to pause and consider the value of a life spent for God’s glory. Consider your gifts and abilities and look at life through the lens of Scripture. Listen to the older wise women of faith who have gone before you and who are present with you in the life of your local church. Never forget that a life dedicated to the glory of God will leave an indelible mark on our world—one that begins in your own home. Better than “congratulations” for graduation will be the word of our Lord, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Titus 2:3–5 — Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.