I don’t know what kind of thoughts you have when you hear or read the word “valor” but I think of a medal for extreme bravery. Bravery that is above and beyond what the average person would do. The actual definition for “valor” is: boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle; heroic courage; bravery.
The US Military names the category for their top three medals, “Awards of Valor.” The Department of Justice’s Medal of Valor is the highest national award for public safety officers and is awarded annually by the President to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.
So what does this have to do with me? Or you? I venture to say most of us women never think of ourselves as “valorous.” Yes, that is a word, and yes, I had to google it first.
I have been reading “The Mingling of Souls” by Matt Chandler. In it, he addresses the verse Proverbs 31:10. “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” While most of us women might have never heard of the word “valorous” I am confident Christian and non-Christian women alike have all heard the term “being a Proverbs 31 woman.” So when Matt began to address this chapter in his book, I was prepared to hear a lot of the same things I had heard before, but he mentioned something that totally rocked my Proverbs 31 world. In the NET Bible, the verse is actually translated as “Who can find a wife of noble character? For her value is far more than rubies.” Now bear with me for a moment, but the Hebrew term used for “noble character” is the same expression used to describe Ruth in Ruth 3:11 and is used to describe her as a woman of valor. When the term is used elsewhere in the Bible it is used to describe physical valor in battle (Judges 6:12).
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the word “valor” I never think of a woman. How incredible that a woman like Ruth, who lived thousands and thousands of years ago in a time where women were thought of as nothing, who was obedient and brave for the Lord was described as a woman of valor?!? Ruth was a woman of valor. And I am inspired for myself, for my friends, for my family, for all of you, for all of us…to walk into our role as women of valor. That’s why I have been encouraged to take my own path of bravery….I have given up dating for a year (December 13, 2015 to exact…holla!). Now this might not sound super “valorous” but for me, it has taken every ounce of my effort and my courage (which is not a lot) and thankfully required me to rely on the Lord for his effort and courage more than I ever have in my life. I have learned more about myself and my sin in the past few months than over the 27 years of my life. And I have confidence and faith in God that he is using this moment of bravery to transform me into a woman, and hopefully one day a wife and mother, after His own heart.
We, as women, have long had our bravery and strength underestimated by society. In Exodus 1:8-2:10, we see Pharaoh underestimating the strength of women. Pharaoh was concerned about the Israelites overpowering Egypt, so what did he do…he ordered two Hebrew midwives to kill the male babies born to the Israelite women. Why just males? Because he didn’t think the women were strong enough, smart enough, and brave enough, to pose a threat to Egypt. And God used 5 women…the midwives who spared the Hebrew babies, Moses’ mother who hid him from harm, his sister who made sure Pharaoh’s daughter found her brother, and Pharaoh’s daughter who ultimately defied her father’s orders and raised Moses to ultimately deliver the nation of Israel. To quote Jen Wilkin in this very, very excellent sermon (seriously, every women should watch)…
Israel’s first deliverer was not a man, in a flowing robe, with a streaming beard, and a miraculous sign. Israel’s first deliverer was a woman in average garb and streaming tears and a miraculous courage…MAY WE BE THOSE WOMEN TODAY! http://breakawayministries.org/Resources/talks/Fight-Like-a-Girl