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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Unlikely Heroes: Something Beautiful for God

by Marilynn Chadwick

There are many heroines found in the pages of the Bible. The Hebrew term used in Proverbs 31:10 for the famed “virtuous woman,” eshet chayil, can be better translated as “woman of valor” (Proverbs 31:10 JPS Tanakh 1917). I’ve come to believe women are at our best when engaged in a courageous fight for someone outside ourselves. While I love biblical heroines, I equally love stories of ordinary women who changed their world. This week we will look at real life women—ordinary heroes.

I’ve been privileged throughout my life to be influenced by many strong and courageous women. From my own mother and grandmothers to teachers and coaches, church and community leaders, and extended family members. Most of us can point to women who shaped our life somewhere along the way. They left their imprint on our character, our hopes, and our dreams. At times, they sacrificed their own dreams so we could reach ours.

Africans have a beautiful way of referring to all women as “mothers” whether they have children or not. They believe all women give life to their families and communities. Africans know that mothers can change the world. Thus, they have this saying: “To educate a girl is to educate a nation.” By their very nature, women are life-givers. Throughout history, courageous and noble women have discovered a mysterious truth: They found life when they gave their lives away—pouring themselves out in service to their families, to their communities, and to the hurting and broken of this world.


Most women I know are both nurturers and warriors. I’m reminded of my friend Jacqui, who waged a long and agonizing fight to gain custody of the daughter she lovingly fostered. Jacqui vowed, “I will not give up. After all, I’m a ‘Mama Bear’ fighting for her cub.” Or our daughter Bethany, a young mother of five who educates her children at home and juggles the busy and often unpredictable life of a pastor’s wife, along with her own writing and teaching. Most women know what I’m talking about when I speak of their fierce, fighter side. God designed women to be both nurturers and warriors.

The great evangelist D. L. Moody is said to have issued this powerful challenge to his sons from his deathbed: “If God be your partner, make your plans large.” Courageous men and women say to God, “Use me. Send me to the broken of this world!”

Mother Teresa dared to leave her comfortable and affluent life to serve the destitute in India. Her work has been celebrated the world over. Some have wondered about what were reported to be her “dark nights of the soul.” She was not a depressed woman, and those who knew her best said she would simply see those dry spells as nudges from God, telling her that it was time to go back out among the poor. She would see Jesus, once again, in the faces of those she served, and the joy of the Lord would always return.


Mother Teresa’s life of service was so compelling that the hard-boiled atheistic journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge, turned to Christ after extensive interviews with her. These interviews resulted in him writing a biography of her life, Something Beautiful for God. The apostle Paul similarly encouraged women to adorn themselves with good deeds, which would make them—like Mother Teresa—beautiful. Or as the Message paraphrases it: We should be “doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it” (1 Timothy 2:8-10 MSG).


Today's Moment of Hope is adapted from Woman of Valor by Marilynn Chadwick. To receive a free PDF copy of this book, please visit

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