Every night, I read a Bible story to my daughter, Norah. One evening several years ago, I was searching for one with a brave woman of God. And I chose Ruth.
And my heart sank.
The moral of the story, according to this particular children’s Bible? “God blessed Ruth for her kindness and provided her with a husband named Boaz.”
No mention of her bravery. Her remarkable faith. Or her ancestry in the line of Christ.
Instead, Ruth has to be rescued by a husband.
On the next page is the story of David and Goliath. And the moral of the story provides a stark contrast to Ruth’s: “Everyone cheered because David had defeated the giant.”
Wait. Wasn’t Ruth also victorious? Imagine journeying to an unknown land with no promise in your future—except the guarantee of destitution as a foreign widow, the lowest rung of society. Still Ruth has the strength and bravery to leave everything to trust in Yahweh. And the God of the Universe commends Ruth for her faith and courage. But, all of this is missing in the children’s story.
The juxtaposition of David’s and Ruth’s stories in the children’s Bible made me reflect, What are we teaching our daughters through our Bible stories?
We want our daughters to grow up strong and brave, yet are we depicting strong and brave women in Scripture?
We want our daughters to be full of faith, but are we reinforcing that men have faith to slay giants wile women must be rescued by godly men?
We want our daughters to follow their God-given passions and vocations, but is our secular culture leading the way in providing passionate and gutsy role models like Disney’s Anna from Frozen and Moana?
While I affirm the many examples of brave female heroines in secular culture, strong women already exist in Scripture!
Faith-filled adventurers, they take risks to unleash the Kingdom of God. They are disciples, evangelists, prophets, moms, philanthropists, businesspeople, and political and spiritual leaders.
Here is a sampling of the Bible heroines my daughter Norah and I have been enjoying together when we read Bible stories in the evenings:
Miriam- a prophet, she is accredited in Micah 6:4 as leading the nation of Israel along with her brothers, Moses and Aaron.
Deborah – called by God as a prophet and leader of the Israelite nation, she delivers the people from their enemies.
Tabitha – a disciple who was raised from the dead, she champions the plight of the poor.
Priscilla – a teacher in the early Church, she and her best friend (and husband) Aquila start house churches on two continents and instruct some of the foremost teachers of the emerging church.
And there are many more!
So, tonight, when I read Bible stories to my daughter Norah, we celebrate together the many brave and adventurous women in Scripture—some who have led nations, rescued their people from genocide, and ministered and walked with Christ! I pray you will be led you share these stories with your son or daughter also.
Rachel Spier Weaver is cocreator of the Called and Courageous Girls book series. She lives with her husband, Shane, and their two children, Jack and Norah.
Watch the brand new trailer for Rachel’s latest book below: