You and I hear all the time how important it is for women to be strong. Well, friend, the Bible agrees! Proverbs even gives us a picture of a strong woman. It says, “she clothes herself with strength and dignity” (Proverbs 31:25).
But, how can you know what that kind of strength looks like in a practical, day-to-day way?
On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, we modern-day women are going to turn to the age-old wisdom of the Bible to discover how to be the right kind of strong. You’ll learn seven habits of a strong woman—and author Mary Kassian is here to guide you through it.
Mary Kassian is an award-winning author, popular speaker, and a distinguished professor of women’s studies at Southern Baptist Seminary. She has published several books, Bible studies, and videos, including Girls Gone Wise, The Feminist Mistake, and her newest book which we’re talking about today, The Right Kind of Strong.
Like me, she’s also a boymom and has spent endless hours on bleachers and in stadiums cheering on her guys. Mary’s got a cat named Miss Kitty and a lab named General Bo. And today, she’s a 4:13er!
So, strong women, pour your strong coffee. You’re going to love this conversation! It’ll clear up any confusion you may have about what it means to be a strong woman.
7 Habits of a Strong Woman
The wrong kind of habits can zap your strength! As Mary unpacks Paul’s teaching in 2 Timothy about the women in the church in Ephesus, she uncovers seven biblical habits that help you develop the right kind of strong.
- A strong woman catches the creeps. Mary shares that the women in Ephesus were letting false teachers or “creeps” into their households. She states that it’s just as easy for us to do the same, and not only in the area of false teaching. We also let creeps—or invaders and imposters—into our attitudes, words, thoughts, and morals. Sometimes we allow creeps in by not prioritizing our relationship with the Lord.
Mary says, “Sin doesn’t advance by leaps. It advances by creeps, one tiny compromise at a time.” But, a strong woman can say, “No. I’m closing the door, creeps. You’re not allowed in.” While the practical side of this may look different depending on what the creep is, it could mean staying off of social media, or shutting down your phone so you can spend undistracted time with the Lord.
- A strong woman masters her mind. The women in Ephesus, Mary shares, were failing to take every thought captive for Christ. Instead, their thoughts were being taken captive. This happens to us too. We often dwell on stuff that isn’t true. Our everyday negative self-chatter may include thoughts like: I’m not worth it. Nobody loves me. I can’t do it. I’m incapable.
Mary says that a strong woman understands that a lot of the battle she fights goes on between her ears. So, today, take the time to evaluate your thoughts using Scripture and shut the negative ones down. When you do, you show strength.
- A strong woman ditches the baggage. Mary states that the women in Ephesus were burdened with sins. They were allowing them to pile up. She shares that while there are burdens we’re meant to bear, we’re not meant to carry sin, shame, and guilt. Those burdens are supposed to be taken to the cross daily.
Strong women get ride of the junk regularly. When you have an attitude creep or you see something in your life, you need to come to Jesus. Make a habit of confessing it and asking the Lord to deal with it.
- A strong woman engages her emotions. Mary explains that the women in Ephesus were dealing with desires, yearnings, and feelings that were leading them astray. They were being governed by their emotions instead of governing their emotions. We often struggle in the same way.
While it’s not healthy to suppress your emotions, it’s also not good to allow them to be the steering wheel of your life. Instead, your feelings should be like indicator lights on the dashboard, giving you good information so you can bring your emotions, mind, and will under the lordship of Jesus. When you’re walking with Christ, you can regularly take your emotions to the cross and make sure they are in line with Scripture.
- A strong woman walks the talk. The women in Ephesus, Mary shares, were big on learning. She says that they were taking in useful information, yet it wasn’t transforming their lives. They were always learning but never able to arrive. Mary explains this is a modern struggle too. Many Christians still battle the same problems, same issues, and same attitudes that they were fighting five or ten years ago.
So, how can you avoid being like the women in Ephesus? You can choose not to be a spectator, consumer, or evaluator at church and in Bible studies. Instead, allow Scripture to transform you. As you’re learning, go to God in humility and ask Him how He wants to use what you’ve just heard to change your heart.
- A strong woman stands her ground. Mary says that a weak woman doesn’t have solid, biblical convictions. She’s tossed about by whatever is popular in the culture. But a strong woman bases her convictions on the Word of God. She knows truth and believes you can know it with certainty. Not in a dogmatic way, but instead, she understands that God has revealed enough to us that we can be confident of what He says in His Word.
It takes strength to be concise with the knowledge of the truth because it’s culturally unpopular. But you can do this by depending on the Lord. You don’t have to feel like you need to conjure up some super ability to know the truth, defend the truth, or be the truth. You just need to stay in the Word and trust God to do the rest.
- A strong woman admits her need. Mary explains that the women in Ephesus had a lot going for them. They were competent and capable. Yet, Paul referred to them as weak. These women were embracing the wrong kind of strong. Instead of realizing true strength comes from depending on God, they were looking to culture to define strength.
You’ll have the right kind of strength when you’re dependent on Jesus. Maybe life has thrown you a curveball recently, and you’ve realized you’re not as strong as you thought you were. It’s in these moments, your need for Jesus becomes even more apparent. But, that need was still there when things were going well. So, no matter what kind of season you are in, admit your need for Jesus and look to Him for strength.
Friend, if you want to be the right kind of strong, remember that strength doesn’t happen overnight. So, start small and depend on God for one thing. Then, do it again. Trust Him to grow you in one area of your life, then trust Him again for something else you need. That’s how your strength will grow. As Mary said, “When we walk with Jesus on a daily basis, that is how we become strong.”
And remember, wherever you are, however you feel, whatever you are dealing with, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies for Young Women: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover Bible Study
More from Mary Kassian
- Mary’s website
- The Right Kind of Strong: Surprisingly Simple Habits of a Spiritually Strong Woman
- Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild
- The Feminist Mistake
- Follow Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Links Mentioned in This Episode
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What’s your favorite Scripture verse about strength?