Raising Women Who Lead Men

Raising Women Who Lead Men

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I really wanted a boy.

I didn’t realize how much I wanted a boy until the doctor told us we are having a girl. Since I got the news I’ve been a little disappointed with God.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about our little girl. But because I take lots of men into the outdoors I was excited about raising a boy to take with me. When I got the news I found myself quietly asking God, “What the heck?”

I had come to grips with it. But last week in the Grand Canyon lots of men brought their sons. It kind of stirred up my disappointment again.

Then when we arrived at the canyon I discovered that for some reason the rafting company sent one female guide with a group of twenty-two men, plus five male guides. I was annoyed as it was going to create some awkward situations.

But God used that woman guide to speak to me.

On day five we faced the most dangerous and intense rapids of the entire trip. That morning I could sense the entire team was nervous about what was ahead. One wrong move and the boat would flip and throw the team into the 46-degree waters of the Colorado River. It was tense.

As we approached the largest sequence of rapids I witnessed a scene I will never forget.

Just ahead of my boat was the raft being commanded by our lone female guide. Their tiny boat was perfectly framed by the steep red walls of the canyon on both sides. Powerful whitewater rapids churned ahead of them. She sat up straight at the back of the boat, paddle ready, with six men in the front of her boat looking at the chaos ahead.

I watched her survey the giant waves as she mentally mapped out the best way to attack the rapids. All the while, their raft slowly drifted closer and closer toward the danger.

Just before the drop into the roaring rapids she put her paddle in the water and loudly gave the command over the thunderous water. “All forward! Paddle hard!”

In unison the men jabbed their paddles into the river and surged forward into the raging water.

I’m pretty sure God spoke to me in that moment. I think he said this:

I’m giving you this girl because I want you to raise her to get behind men and lead them to be brave.

I’m starting to rethink the role of women in leadership. Please forgive me y’all. I think I’ve been wrong about some stuff. I’m still convinced it’s up to men to step up. But women help men be all God made them to be. I’ve known this, but it’s getting a little more real.

I know that God has given me a mission now. He gave me a girl so I will raise her to be confident and bold. I’ll raise her to be a woman who encourages men to lead from their strength – just like she will lead from hers.

I’ve got a lot of learning to do in the next few years. I’m certain God is going to teach me a lot about the power he has given women to lead with quiet strength.

So here’s to all the women out there who lead strong. I’m watching your example to teach my daughter. Keep up the good work!

Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time… She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. Judges 4:4-6