Are Your Feminine Heroes Really Super?

If you were asked to name a personal female hero, who would you name?

This question came to me the other night when I was on a date with my husband. We were eating pizza and within my view was a TV playing a sports channel. I could see the ticker going by on the bottom of the screen stating something extraordinary about Venus and Serena Williams. 

I shared with my husband how depressing it must be for excellent female tennis players in the last 20 years to never be able to top the domination of the Williams sisters. 

That got us thinking about how the world views heroes and how that view contrasts with heroes in God’s eyes.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of a hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.

THE WORLD’S HEROES

On The Undefeated in an article titled Just Watching Williams Sisters Play Changed My Life, the writer said this about Venus and Serena:

We hear a lot about the need for role models who look like us. That’s not just a platitude. That’s real. Their example has had a profound impact on me and helped mold me into the man I am today.
— The Undefeated

Clearly, this author sees the Williams sisters as heroines that have definitively shaped and molded who he is today. 

Maybe sports aren’t your thing and, like me, you couldn’t even name three sports stars. However, Hollywood has a way of influencing almost everyone in some way.

A recent blockbuster hit, Wonder Woman, had millions of people around the world collectively shouting, “Finally! A female superhero!” As if the world has been lacking this chief cornerstone all these years. 

The Huffington Post penned the article Wonder Woman As a Feminist Hero. In it the author states: 

We expect our action heroes not to be quiet geniuses, but paragons of moral virtue, courage and physical bravery. Wonder Woman fits these qualities excellently. She is a hero and a role model because of what she does not because of how she dresses, nor even because she is a woman per se.

Wonder Woman may not be perfect…she provides an excellent role model for girls and boys alike.
— The Huffington Post

Ladies, Wonder Woman may be good entertainment but are we, as Christians, really going to stand behind this glowing characterization?  Is Wonder Woman a paragon of moral virtue, courage and physical bravery worthy of being a hero and role model? Remember, we are talking about a fictional character! 

Whether you and I buy into it, the world certainly does and it will affect our lives. 

One post on Tumblr by a kindergarten teacher went viral when she shared a list of things her students did and said within a week of Wonder Woman being released. 

At the end of the list, the teacher said, “Consider this your friendly reminder that if this movie completely changed the way these girls and boys thought about themselves and the world in a week, imagine what the next generation will achieve if we give them more movies like Wonder Woman.”

Does the next generation need more movies like Wonder Woman to achieve a proper view of themselves? Are movie characters the type of role models children need?

Christians must believe with all their heart, mind and strength that God’s Word is able to change the world. We have to own that because what we say, who we choose as ‘heroes’, where we find our joy will all reflect the Gospel if we do. 

Am I saying we can’t admire the God-given gifts of talent we see in the world? Absolutely not! Everyone was made in the image of God and therefore can exhibit extraordinary qualities that inspire us to push ourselves. 

But, should a Christian’s hero be the most current headline stealer? The ones we ‘regard as a role model or ideal’ should be someone who exemplifies the character of Christ. 

GODLY HEROES

I believe, not only should we seek godly role models, but we should strive every day to be a godly role model. 

How many Christian women have you heard say their mother or grandmother is their ‘hero’? Lots! What a beautiful legacy to leave behind. Were their mothers and grandmothers perfect? NO! But, they LOVED the Lord Jesus Christ and lived out their desire to honor Him as best they could. That is what made them a hero. You may not be a mother or grandmother, but you are a friend, neighbor or co-worker. Someone is watching you and you have an opportunity to lead them down a godly path. 

You may be thinking you’ve already messed up way too much to be anyone’s role model. Maybe you have done a lot of damage. But, are your sins and shortcomings beyond the forgiveness and Grace of the Lord? Of course not. 

God’s mercies are new every morning!

Most of us believe, fairly easily, in the sovereign power of God (Ephesians 1:11), but often neglect or forget that it actually applies to us: to our lives personally and to our circumstances specifically. Perhaps part of the self-deceived self-loathing inside of us blinds us and keeps us from believing the truth. Yes, God is sovereign, but I’m too messed up or too insignificant to deserve that kind of power. So, we need to remember that the power of God is now ours through Christ (Ephesians 1:19–20), and that he promises us new mercies each morning:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22–24)

In Christ, the steadfast love of God for you will never cease. Never. His mercies will never come to an end. Never. They will be new every morning, and he will be faithful to bring them to you. If God is your greatest treasure, if God is the thing you love most, your portion, then you can hope in him with these unbreakable (almost unbelievable) promises.
— Desiring God

This excerpt from a Desiring God article more than adequately sums up what each of us often feel when reflecting on the sins we have committed against a Holy God. It is a humbling truth to realize that we are a role model whether we like it or not. 

BECOMING A GODLY ROLE MODEL

Every morning we decide who we will honor. What will your reflection be? Your flesh or Christ?

Yes, Serena Williams will be remembered for decades upon decades as the greatest female tennis player. But, will the world’s heroes be remembered for all eternity by the King and Creator of the Universe? 

Our inspiration in life comes from the perfect Word of God. Scripture is the springboard for us to achieve more than the world can ever propel us to do.  Today when you are doing the mundane in life, remember, to God nothing is mundane. All that we do and say is being catalogued and processed by those around us and might just be the influence they were waiting for to achieve great things for the Lord. 

The only heroes in God’s eyes are those who have faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. His heroes fight the good fight every single day, never losing sight of the goal of being with Christ in the heavenly kingdom for all eternity. 

May we be like Paul in Philippians 3:17 as he confidently says, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”