Every Christian woman knows someone who is an example of a godly and gracious woman. Some times that special woman is in the church, or perhaps has been a friend of the family for years. No matter how you are acquainted, she stands out as one who is committed to Christ, desires to be the best wife and mother possible, and serves the church as her community. These women are actually rather common place to those of us who grew up in the church. However, a true woman of faith is also one who mentors young women by encouraging them to sit at the feet of Christ Jesus, learning from Him how to be mighty women in His kingdom.
One of the most marvelous teachings I ever heard was by Bill Gothard in a Basic Youth Seminar Conference in the late 1970s. He stressed to parents who lived away from their own parents and the grandparents of their children, to prayerfully enlist the help of a godly couple who could be surrogate parents and/or grandparents. My late husband and I were impressed with this idea because we were in ministry and far away from our parents. Applying this idea to our family was one we never regretted. The Lord led us to a precious couple who loved Him intimately, who had not been blessed with children, and who welcomed becoming a part of our young family as much as we loved having them as surrogate grandparents for our three children.
When my husband passed away, I felt the need to expand this idea and enlisted the wise counsel of one couple while my children and I were on the mission field and another couple when we returned to the mainland U.S. Both couples’ lives represented Christ Jesus in amazing ways. Approaching them was not difficult at all because they loved the Lord and had strong desires to minister to younger women and families. Both couples were humbled by the request to be prayer warriors for my children and I. They also gave wise counsel to me when I needed to make major decisions as a single woman. I gave them permission to speak to my children and me about any issues they witnessed that were not appropriate. Prior to asking them to be a part of our lives, and after my husband had died, I found myself unable to deal with the onslaught of pressure of being a young single mom. I made some horrible decisions that could have been thwarted had there been similar counsel in place.
It was important to set some ground rules in these relationships. When personal issues required attention, I would always go to the woman alone. After she spoke with her husband, they would call me together so he could add his comments, but never without his wife being in ear shot. This practice has been a way of getting the help I have needed over the years while also making certain that integrity and appropriateness is in place. Also, we made it clear that the husband and I would never be alone.
Over the years God has blessed these relationships, affording many times of sweet fellowship with these dear and committed saints. We have also had a lot of just good old down-to-earth fun. I try to not take advantage, but I know they pray from my children and me. I know they care, and every bit of advice from them will be based on scripture and seriously considered before the Lord.
A few years ago, one of the men lost his long battle with cancer. Up until a few weeks before he passed on to glory he was still communicating the joy of his life…his love for Christ. I still have contact with his dear bride who is now being ministered to by her children and the many surrogate family members they loved and made themselves available to over the years.
I have seen in Margaret a strength that comes from years of serving Christ first and being a wife and mother who loves who she is called to be. In her busy life she has always found time to reach out to hundreds of others the world over. She and her husband, Ken, after retirement, moved to the South Pacific and served faithfully with a mission board for equally as many more years.
The mainland surrogates have been dear to me in many different ways; not only as daily prayer warriors, but also as friends and mentors during years of being a single mom to three teenagers. Joyce and Jim have come alongside me many times to provide guidance from the Word of God sprinkled with years of experience as parents and grandparents.
As blessed as my children and I have been to have these godly men in our lives, I have been blessed immeasurable by Margaret and Joyce in my life as prayer warriors and mentors. Both women have played major roles in my relationship with the Lord God and my desire to serve Him with every part of my being. These women are living examples of godly wives and mothers. Both of these dear saints are examples of holiness and grace. They are Proverb 31 women, and Margaret and Joyce are truly women of faith.