Twelve Extraordinary Women is an applicable view of 12 biblical women by John MacArthur. MacArthur did an excellent job, in my opinion, of looking into the lives and hearts of these women.
I struggle sometimes to put into action what I read about the lives of biblical people. What do I have in common with women of biblical times? What can these women teach me about being a woman? Is it even applicable? MacArthur answers these questions for me.
I’ll share one of my favorite examples.
This one is about motherhood through the life of Hannah. God puts into our hearts the desire to be mothers. We begin to just love the smell of babies!
I wasn’t always like that though. My husband wanted kids almost right after we got married. I had some pretty compelling reasons not to have them. For instance, kids are expensive and we were broke. Need I create a spreadsheet on the cost inefficiencies?
Dining out often helped to make my point. Sitting next to us in a restaurant, were those inevitably flustered parents of unhappy, complaining kids. The table, decimated. The parents embarrassed and apologizing.
“Look honey,” I’d say, shaking my head, “kids ruin your dining experience.”
Then of course was my fully legitimate issue with having kids. They leaked bodily fluids from almost every orifice of their bodies. I mean, how can something so small ooze so much gross!? Something is bubbling out of their nose, masticated food is falling out of their mouths and some kind of horrible odor is wafting from their backside. Somebody call Hazmat!
Why would anyone in their right mind sign up for that janitorial nightmare!? “Oh! Good heavens! One is toddling towards me now covered in something sticky! Gross! Woman, please keep your sticky kid from touching me!”
More than once I ran from goo-covered children.
Then, I saw Monsters, Inc., you know, the movie. Strangely, I was enamored by this big-headed toddler who spoke incorrect and badly enunciated English.
She was adorable!!!
I wanted one.
If there were ever a testimony to the power of God, you just read it here. About a year later, I was pregnant.
So getting back to Hannah, she longed for a child. It was a blessing to get one and considered a curse from God, to not. I think I know how she felt though when little Samuel finally arrived. She couldn’t get enough! “’num, ’num, ’num, ’num, ’num, I just want to eat you up!”
But Hannah does the unthinkable. She gives him back…to God that is.
When I first read this story, I didn’t get the magnitude of what she did. After I was a mom, I couldn’t believe her heart would have endured that. But after my son was diagnosed with a life threatening peanut allergy, it didn’t take me long to figure out, giving your child back was really the only option.
The stress of accidental exposure to peanuts kept me up at night. I obsessed about how to control everything. He could die, what option did I have?
That eventual decision to give my son back to the only One who could really protect him never impacted me more than when I read these words from MacArthur. “…mothers are the makers of men and the architects of the next generation.”
How could my son have ever served the Kingdom of God if his own mother filled him with fear and stress?
Now my son is growing into a wonderful young man, learning the Truths of God’s Word. He indeed could be the architect of his generation, but only because his mother learned to trust the Architect.
Hannah’s act of sacrifice “set in motion…a profound spiritual awakening…” (Twelve Extraordinary Women, p.94). I pray, we as mothers, never get in the way of our child’s impactful Callings.
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