quoted from Captivating, by John & Stasi Eldredge, pp. 186-188
Women are often portrayed in stories and tales as the "Damsel in Distress." We are the ones for whom men rise up and slay dragons. We are the "weaker sex"; said to faint at the sight of blood, needing to be spared the gory details of battle whether on the field or in the market place. We are the ones waiting in our flowing gowns for the knight to come and carry us away on the back of his white horse. And yes. There are days when a knight in shining armor would be most welcome. We do long to be fought for; loved enough to be courageously protected. But there is a mighty fierceness set in the heart of women by God. It is true to who we are and what we are created to do.
Women are warriors too.
Redeemed women of God have tender, merciful hearts, backbones of steel and hands that have been trained for battle. There is something incredibly fierce in the heart of a woman that is to be contended with, not dismissed, not disdained, but recognized, honored, welcomed and trained.
This notion has been brought to my consciousness in various ways these days, by my daily inspirational through the Ransomed Heart Ministries (today’s message quoted above), through my mother and my daughter by example, and through my training in Kung Fu. When that happens, I realize there’s a God-factor at play.
The idea of learning Kung Fu was a hurdle for me. Why would I want to learn to fight? When young I used to ask my Dad, “Why would I want to learn to shoot?” It’s interesting when things circle back around in one’s life. Obviously, there was something critical I was supposed to learn. I didn’t understand it, but wisdom born of age had taught me that moments like this happen for a reason. I needed to listen and be open to hearing.
While discussing the art of kung fu one day, my instructor said to me, “I don’t think of you as small at all.” My first reaction was to wonder if he was talking about my weight. Heavier people, even though they are short, often tend to seem larger and more powerful perhaps--at least, that was the age-old accusing message in my brain. Old arrows, old wounds. Old messages I recognized for what they were and immediately discarded once again. As the weeks went by and my practice continued, I began to hear his words in a different light. He’d actually been complimenting me, encouraging me to be the woman I was created to be...a woman of strength and fierceness, in addition to being warm and tender and compassionate. It lies within that juxtaposition a certain beauty granted to women.
What I didn’t realize...am only beginning to realize, is that women need to know how to be strong and protect themselves should need arise, rather than fall victim. My work with abused women has taught me that the numbers are staggering when it comes to the victimization of women. Men, while desiring to protect their women, need to feel assured that their women (wife, sisters, daughters, friends...) are capable of protecting themselves when they aren’t around...and they need to know that the woman has his back as well.
Kung Fu then, isn’t ultimately about war; it’s about strength of character.
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