By Erin Weidemann
Searching for positive role models for your daughter? Look no further than the heroic women of Scripture, not the celebrity women of our broken culture. There’s no shortage of women in the spotlight. Their images are everywhere: artfully airbrushed onto the covers of magazines, perfectly posed in our Instagram feeds, and effectively debasing generations of girls who are desperate to look, act, and be more like them.
Revered for qualities like physical beauty, aggressive attitudes, and an inflated sense of self, these women are regarded as the shining jewels of popular culture. And, in a world where youth, beauty, and overindulgence are the cultural norms, parents know that a battle for influence is underway. In the mire of pop culture and its harmful effects, we wonder: Where are the heroes?
We live in a world that constantly tells girls that beauty, not bravery, is what matters most. It tells them they should value pretty over patient, comfort over compassion. The real trouble is that the world doesn’t whisper. The world is loud, and it expertly expels these lies: a roaring and constant noise.
Girls are involved in a daily battle over their worth, and as parents we need weapons. We need positive role models who can show our daughters what happens when they faithfully pursue their God-breathed destinies. That is how we raise daughters who care less about how they look than how they love people: daughters who will commit their lives to being relevant for God’s kingdom and influential for his glory. That is how we fill the world with a new noise. We can equip them to transform culture rather than fall victim to it.
Girls are involved in a daily battle over their worth.
Ask a girl about the Disney princesses and she can name every detail of their stories. Ask that same girl to name her favorite Bible characters and most of the time she will offer you the names of men. What an opportunity we as parents have to make the women in the Bible more popular than the people and characters that dominate TV screens, magazine stands, and Internet service.
The Bible includes stories of amazing and typically overlooked female role models. Whether they faced one enemy or an army of adversaries, these women rightly assumed their role in God’s plan. And because they were willing, God used them in powerful ways:
Women like Hannah, who laid her burden before the Lord and fought a hero’s battle on her knees with the most powerful weapon she had. Women like Esther, who, instead of barreling into a conflict driven by her emotions, sat in the presence of the Lord and pressed in to Him so she could gain wisdom to know the right time to take action. Women like Abigail, who chose love and kindness over doing what was easy.
The women of the Word are the real heroes. They’re the ones who can inspire our girls to do so much more than take one step out of their comfort zones. They can move an entire generation to live outside them. The more we can point our girls to these women, the more we as parents can reinforce the truth that character, not culture, is the true measure of beauty. When we do this, our girls will be on a journey in a life that more closely resembles the one that God designed when He authored the stories of their lives: a journey that transcends the obsession of self this world has to offer.
The women of the Word are the real heroes.
Our girls are not of the world. They were born to care more about the things that matter. It’s time to start helping them understand that they are heirs to a different kingdom than the one they occupy in the here and now. Let’s help them to rise up, to reach, to stretch for something better: a chance to change the narrative of a broken world to one that looks and sounds a whole lot more like Jesus.
Bible Belles is a children’s series that highlights the stories of five superhero women of the Bible: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah. Together, they show girls what it means to be truly beautiful. Each story presents these women and their positive attributes, values, and unique roles in God’s plan. Adapted from the text of the Bible, these stories allow girls to discover how they can become Bible Belles and remake themselves, and the world, from the inside out. Learn more at www.biblebelles.com.
Erin Weidemann is a wife, mother, speaker, and five-time cancer survivor. Her life experience inspired her to help women of all ages to fulfill their destiny, redefine the world’s messages of beauty and worth, and to promote positive, powerful female role models in Scripture and modern culture.