I could list countless faithful women who have had an impact on my life, and I realize each one has similar traits. These characteristics are what compel me to do better, try harder, love deeper, endure longer, reach higher, see clearer, and above all, realize the power of God’s grace and the hope in His promises. There are women I have had the honor to know, to love, and to share this life with . . . and I reach out my arms to hug you, to thank you, and to tell you that you’re a living testimony to the goodness of people and the greatness of God.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 extraordinary traits you hold that inspire, empower, and spur me on to run the race set before me.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. -Hebrews 12:1-3
1. She holds incredible strength. She can withstand a crisis and forge forward on her path with relentless endurance. She can face barriers and burdens in her life with tenacity and grace. This fortitude is often anchored in her faith because we all know when we fall, we land on our knees. She is a warrior. A fighter. And Perseverance is her name.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13
2. She shines magnifying love. This love has the power to enlarge and enlighten those who surround her. Her passionate heart illuminates compassion to anyone who crosses her path. She does not discriminate, nor separate the “ones who deserve love” and the “ones who do not”. She knows all people deserve the unconditional love that God freely offers to us all.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. -1 John 4:11
3. She embraces the good. This woman has the ability to discover and recognize a blessing when she sees one. She delights in the beauty of the moment and the triumph in any trial. She pauses with gratitude to celebrate with joy in every good thing because she understands that thankfulness has power and searching for small miracles brings hope.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. –Philippians 4:8
4. She understands grace. This woman faces offenses and responds by extending mercy. Although she may never understand or condone wrongdoings, she chooses to let go of the bitter grasp of resentment, because forgiveness and redemption were a gift to her from the God of Grace. She, in turn, shares that gift.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32
5. She walks in humility. This woman gives relentlessly, serves without reward, and sacrifices without needing acknowledgment from others. She can readily accept her flaws and weaknesses and easily exposes her vulnerability. She gives generously with no expectations. Instead of weighing the balance of reciprocation or seeking credit for all her hard work, she celebrates living a life fully extending herself to others, answering the call to “Go and do”. That in itself is enough.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. –Romans 12:3
6. She believes ALL people are equal and worthy of love. This woman believes in her core that EVERYONE is valuable and worthwhile in God’s eyes and therefore in hers. She lives out the truth that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect. She knows there are no qualifications or conditions to earn it. She sees with unwavering clarity that God did not discriminate when He created humankind in His image, and neither should we.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. –Genesis 1:27
7. She has passion. This woman has a passion for what she believes in. She dives deeply into sacrificing her time, her energy and all her effort in making a difference in this world. She pours her heart into whatever cause or need she deems significant. She is able to extend her hands and her feet to serve because she understands there are responsibilities and obligations in pursuing God’s calling and purpose for her life. She will face down barriers and burdens with a relentless will that is ignited by her faith, for there is no stopping a woman who commits herself to a mission.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. -1 Corinthians 15:58
8. She’s a TRUE friend. She is thoughtful and trustworthy and dedicated. She will shower mercy on your shortcomings and speak truth to grow you in the name of love. She shows up. She will be there when you celebrate big moments and she will dive into the trenches to carry you when life leads you into a battlefield. When there is a call for help, she responds. She shifts her priorities as needs arise. She honors her friendships with a spirit of humility and gentleness, while she is honest and as real as they come. There’s no comparison or competition, no expectation or condition when it comes to being her friend.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. -Colossians 3:12-14
9. She is daringly honest. This woman has the ability to look honestly at herself and risk sharing her feelings and thoughts with a bold and courageous voice. She’s not afraid of being transparent, because she has the strength and conviction of knowing that in her honesty there is freedom. She is willing to expose her truths, for the sake of gaining clarity and connection. She values honesty in others, and she pursues wisdom and trust through her vulnerability. She reveals parts of herself, in order to grow and nourish those pieces of who she is. It is in taking those steps of faith, she empowers us all to do the same.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. -Ephesians 4:25
10. She is relentlessly faithful. This woman, at the very core of who she is, holds an anchor of faith so unshakable nothing can tear it from its roots. The groundwork is paved with thick sanctified sealant and absolutely nothing can crack it. This certainly doesn’t mean there are no doubts, temptations, struggles, and sin; but rather, this is the essence of a fervent hope in redemption. She has been refined by the fire and done the hard work to revel in His Glory and cling to His Truth. Her faith is evidence that His mercy is new every morning, and she will buoy you up with this promise.
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3: 22-23
To all the women who hold these extraordinary traits—thank you for being the faithful warrior and trusted friend you are.
God works through you in a profound and glorious way.