With the New Year coming up and our new baby due in February, I’d like to challenge myself and invite you along to study one woman in church history a month.
Women have rocked the world in church history and continue to inspire us to greater faith to pass on to the next generation. We have much spiritual grain to gain from gleaning on the fields of women who have gone on before us. God defines faith to us in Hebrews 11 by giving us examples to imitate the saving faith of not only men but notably women too. Some of these heroines now in heaven include Sarah and Rahab. These ladies were not known for being perfect, yet they possess something of eternal value, which in Christ we have access to by studying their lives and conquering faith of which God best remembered of them. We see this in how the Scriptures describe their faith, “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release so that they might rise again to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35). In this passage, the writer tells us that the list of faithful saints for us to imitate goes on and on (Hebrews 11:32-40). We could survey more women of faith in the Bible and women who came after whose faith made a significant difference in the world. Looking at the lives of women who were like us in many ways, imperfect and wrought with emotions, can be such a help and encouragement, especially when spending so much time with little ones. God has something to say to us specifically as women by looking at other women of faith through church history and Christian biographies.
As a stay-at-home wife and mother, and former widow, I have been personally inspired to take my role in my home more seriously after reading biographies on women like Elisabeth Elliot and Sarah Edwards. Women in church history have long impacted the world for Christ in the legacy of their homes, such as Mrs. Sarah Edwards. Her life was simple—caring for her husband, children, and home; however, done in humble, full-hearted devotion to Christ, which made a difference to all who got a glimpse of her faith. She frequently extended hospitality to men who would become fearless leaders such as Pastor Samuel Hopkins, abolitionist William Ellery Canning, and George Whitefield. All who entered her home left changed by observing Mrs. Edwards’s life and faith. She had such an impact that those who knew her went on to affect history for the better.
We can’t think if our husbands are not pastors or politicians, we can’t make a difference in this world for Christ. Historically, the church has had a rich heritage of growth through the hospitality and evangelism of seemingly obscure women. We see this in the example of Paul’s commendation to a long list of women at the end of Romans, and the faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother passed down to him (Romans 16, 2 Timothy 1:5). We never know who our children will grow up to be—potentially the next president, missionary, or prolific writer. Conversely, they could be the most notorious criminals. Our children are born as sinners in need of us, pointing them to saving faith in Christ by word and example. As mothers, we make such an impact on our children either for good or for evil. It is imperative we learn from faithful women and mothers who are commendable and worthy to be emulated.
It’ll be my resolution to read about a different woman each month and write about her. What about your resolutions? I would love to hear your ideas too and be inspired. Wishing and praying for a blessed New Year in 2022 for you!
 Piper, Noel. Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2005), 25-27.