Are you a wounded woman or a warrior woman? I can help you be the latter.
But first, I had to get beyond being the former.
Any of us can easily become a wounded woman… without even thinking about it.
Hurtful remarks from others, stolen dreams, disappointments in relationships, or just a circumstance in life that seems unfair can make us cower in feelings of weakness and failure. Add wounds from our childhood to that and we’re all a Class Act Mess.
But you and I don’t have to live that way any longer.
Scripture says if we are followers of Christ, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against "the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).
That tells me we are to be warriors… not women who cower in our wounds. Scripture exhorts us in Ephesians 6:10-11 to "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power" and to "put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Then as we're given details in how to put on those pieces of armor, we're told to take the shield of faith "with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (verse 16).
I started thinking about how many of us fall prey to the flaming arrows or "fiery darts" of the enemy because we believe his lies:
No one will ever really love you.
You are a pathetic example of a mom.
Your husband doesn’t really love you; he’s just going through the motions.
You call yourself a child of God? Just look at the way you behave!
You should be ashamed of all that is in your past.
Everyone knows what a fake and phony you are. Just give it up!
You can never live a life of meaning and purpose, so don't even try.
Those fiery darts pierce our hearts, they stab our minds, they condition our thinking. They convince us that God's words are lies and the enemy's words (sometimes our thoughts and sometimes actual words spoken to us through other people) are true.
But Scripture tells us to put on the armor of God as a defense against these lies, accusations and fiery darts.
For years, I wondered what the analogy meant and how to actually suit up in the armor of God. Then my husband, a pastor, explained it in a Bible study one evening. He pointed out that every piece of armor symbolizes Christ in some way. And therefore, putting on the armor of God is synonymous with clothing yourself in the character of Jesus Christ, or simply abiding in Him. Here is what that looks like:
We are to fasten the belt of truth around our waist, which means to know at the core of our being that Jesus is the truth. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
We are to wear the breastplate of righteousness, meaning we are to cover our hearts with Christ who is called "The Lord our Righteousness" in Jeremiah 23:6.
We are to take up the shield of faith in order to extinguish those fiery darts from the enemy. Psalm 84:11 tells us "The Lord is a sun and shield…" and Christ is the object of our faith.
We are to put on the helmet of salvation by guarding our heads and minds with Christ because Acts 4:12 says "Salvation is found in no one else."
We are to take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God – and John 1:14 tells us Jesus is the Word made flesh.
When the enemy starts shooting his fiery darts at your heart and mind, making you think you are defeated, don’t shrink from the attack. Don’t become a wounded woman, who falls prey to his lies, accusations, and schemes. Instead, be a warrior woman. Know the truth of who you are and the power of Christ in you. Stand firm, clothed in Christ by abiding in the character and identity of Jesus Christ.
The easiest way for me to remember to suit up each day is to pray through those pieces of armor as I’m getting dressed. As I’m putting on my clothes, I ask God to clothe me with His character, wrap me up in His truth, cover my heart with His righteousness, guard my mind with His salvation and so on. And to keep me focused on the war I’m in, I spend time in His presence, praising Him for who He is (a mental reminder that He is God and bigger than any problem or pain in my life), reading His Word (and getting His advice for the day instead of the world’s) and listening for His voice (which will remind me who my commanding officer is – the King of Kings, not my fears, doubts, wounds, or regrets).
Can you face each day with a clear reminder of who you really are in Christ Jesus? If so, you will live as a warrior woman, not a wounded one. So, suit up. Wield your sword like Xena the Warrior princess. And take on the world as a warrior!