Monday, December 12, 2011

Mary :: A True Godly Example of Biblical Daughterhood

                                    {Written by Bethany Ann}
As Christmas time comes even closer with each passing day, I am reminded of my favorite Christmas past-time :: studying the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Each time I take a look into what the Holy Bible has to say about her life, I am amazed that such a young girl could do so much for the Kindom of God. It is encouraging to know that our single years as ladies DO matter and that they CAN be used for the glory of Jesus Christ--no matter what our age--if we allow Him to use us and live through us. Today I'd like to share with you some things I've learned about Mary and reasons why she is one of my favorite female Bible characters.

Mary was an encredible godly young lady. She is what all Christian daughters should desire to be like. God choose Mary, out of all the other women in the world to play the ever-so-important role to be a mother to the Holy Son of God. I can just imagine how close her relationship was with the Lord and how much she desired to serve Him, that He would choose her above all other girls. She, a virgin. She, a young teenager. She, just another of the many ladies living in that time. But He choose her. What a provelige it must have been to be trusted wih such a gift, such a treasure, such a blessing. Sometimes it is hard to relate to people recorded in the Bible, becasue they are men, or older than we are. But through Mary's example the Lord is showing us that those in their youth can make a difference--those who are chosen regardless of age or talent, but for the amount of their heart that is yearning and forming to the Christ-likeness. Dear sisters, it isn't about age, and it isn't about beauty or talent or wealth. No, indeed not. The Lord used Mary, she was certainly young, probably not the wealthiest of people and to Him, beauty didn't matter near as much as the heart. 

Some Character Traits I've Found in Mary That We All Should Try To Perfect ::
  •  Humility :: Mary had to be very humble to have been the mother of Jesus. The Lord delights in humble young people! Zephaniah 2:3 urges us to "Seek righteousness, seek humility" 1 Peter 5:5 tells us that "In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  One way that Mary might have been humble was in the way that she of all women was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. So she could have easily boasted about her high position--her God given position. She probably worked for her family and served her family at home, and this is a  job that takes much humility! Luke 1:48 gives us a portion of her song to the Lord were she declared  "for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed..."
  • Fear of the Lord :: Mary obviously served the Lord with her whole heart and obeyed Him faithfully-or else He would have chosen a more God-fearing lady. Mary was obedient to His commands wereas she kept herself pure for her husband and waited to do anything physical until after the marriage vows were taken. {Matthew 1:25} She was faithful to obey the command even when it wasn't easy. {Luke 1:38} She was obedient and presented Jesus to the temple {Luke 2:21-24} and Fled to Nazareth with Joespeh and baby Jesus when she was commanded to do so {Matthew 2:13-15} in obedience to her Lord.
  • Purity :: As I explained above, Mary was pure. {Matthew 1:25} Not only in the physical sense but also spiritually. We know that Mary had never had relations with anyone even while she was engaged. This is true purity! Most women of today cannot say that they have saved themselves for their husband! This is sad and should not be this way. We ladies must take a stand, even when others arent, to purity just like Mary did! Look at how life turned out for her when she obeyed God in that area of her life!
  • No Fear of Man :: Imagine how terrifying it would be to know that althought you are a virgin, you are pregnant and engaged! The punihsment for this action before marriage was being stoned to death! This was one way Mary could have fretted over what would happen but she trusted the Lord. When she has to leave the land with her husband and baby Jesus in order to save their baby, yes she was scared! {Remember that she was still a teenager and a new mother and wife!} We can all learn a lesson from Mary and her ability to not fear what men can do, but rather to trust in God. "In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?" {Psalm 56:11}
  • Trust in the Lord :: This certainly ties in with the above character. Mary trusted in the Lord to provide for her and make a way for her to escape the death sentance she was in! She truly trusted that no matter what, He was in control of her life and she was willing to submit even when it might have cost her life! What a faith! Mary was young when all these events began to unfold yet she still had a faith that went beyond some of the older people in her time! May we all learn to trust the Lord as Mary did! "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." {Proverbs 3:5-6}
  • Strength In Her Youth :: What a blessing it is to be strong for the Lord in our youth! Mary diligently showed this and was a wonderful example! By the time she was a teen-ager she had had a baby and traveled many miles with her husband-and this is only of the accounts the Bible gives us, what more happened that we know not about due to Bible space? Mary was strong for the Lord, and so must we.
  • Treasured What The Lord Had Done :: We are told that "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." {Luke 2:19} Often times we forget to take time to remember what the Lord has done for us and thank Him for it! In these busy days its sometimes difficult to find the time to get quiet and remember, but I think this is one of the best faith-builders there is! We need to constantly be remembering what the Lord has done for us. Keeping a journal and reading over it later is a wonderful way to do so. You could even do a scrapbook! Be creative to find ways to remember what the Lord has done for you! Johanna and I will be writing more about this in our Reflecting Grace post {formerly titled Royal Council}, to be published later this month.
  • Joy :: We find that Mary sang a song to her Lord, so we know that their was joy in her heart. What I find amazing is that not only did she obey the Lord but she went the mile further to be joyful in it! just remember that the next time the Lord asks you to do something! Here is what she sang, take note of her joy for the Lord dispite her difficult sercumstances:
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” -Luke 1:46-55


     Recently I enjoyed reading a wonderful book entitled Two From Galilee by Majorie Holmes, a now out of print book. This book is at least 30 years old yet holds much treasure. The book is a novel based on the life of Mary and Joesph before they married and had baby Jesus. It was such a wonderful book and gave many details I often overlooked or didn't even think of. Things such as how it must have felt to have to journey through a busy town while about to give birth, how it feels to be mocked and scoffed at in your pain. How embarrassing it must have been. How it felt to have to stay in a stable for days on end after Jesus was born, how it felt to not have very much and need to continue to get by with food on the table {or hay in this situation-there was no table!}. These were things the book brought to life and I realized how easily we miss exciting or interesting details because we are not willing to allow our mind to "travel" there. So this Christmas I encourage you to study the life of Mary, delve into the details and imagine how it felt, dear sisters, what it must have been like! It definitely brings the Christmas story to life!


~*~


We can certainly learn much from the humble life of Mary. She truly took a life that most would consider insignificant and used it to the fullest for the Lord's glory. I encourage you to further study Mary's life in depth during this Christmas season, you will be inspired, amazed and in awe of what you find! May the Lord bless you an yours this Christmas!
Rejoicing in Jesus birth, both now & always,
~Bethany Ann

4 Words of Grace:

Alison said...

Wonderfully inspiring article,Bethany! I can just imagine how SCARED I would have been if I was Mary!! Have you ever read "The Messiah" by Marjorie Holmes? It is a novel about the life of Jesus... I am currently reading it,and I am also reading "Three Days" by Melody Carlson,a interesting read about what Mary's life might have been like at that time. Thanks again for the great article!
God Bless!
Alison

millsmcg said...

Wow! What a great post, Bethany! I needed this to help me remember the importantance of this Christmastime season. Thanks for taking the time to make this post. It really encouraged me and made me think, and I'm sure it did the same for other young ladies as well.
Blessings!!!
~Camille

Anonymous said...

Bethany,
Thank you for writing this, what an encouragement. It is also very well written, and inspiried me....
thank you again, keep shining God's light!

Love,
Emily J.

Anonymous said...

I have just, well partly read a
book by francine rivers called unafraid and it is about Mary
from before the angel came and show up to [I suppose Jesus' death]It shows many things I never though of
very good post!I'd never really though Mary being an example for single women but I suppose she is.
Blessings