In 2 Timothy 2:3–6 Paul gives three examples for Timothy to follow. The first one is in verses 3 and 4: “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer” (New International Version).
I would like to point out a few ways that these verses are applicable to us women just as much as they are to men.
Just like a soldier is separated from other people by his uniform and living in barracks and altogether living a life separated from the civilian world, all Christians (not just women) should be too. We live in the world but are not of the world. So when the call to battle comes, we should not be so stuck in our everyday lives that we choose to be left behind.
Military people have a civilian life as well. They get married, raise families, and deal with the joys and hardships outside of their military duty. The difference is that they are at all times prepared to go to war. Their weapons are cleaned and ready; their uniforms or battle gear can be put on in a moment’s notice.
This is how we should live: prepared for spiritual war at all times. At any time something may come up in our lives where we will need to defend our faith or fight in a spiritual struggle. We better be read up and prayed up in order to be ready when the call comes.
Soldiers are part of a regiment. They never have to fight all by themselves. As a group they listen to the commands of their Commander (think Jesus) and obey him in everything. They have trained together, and they know how to stay together and support each other on the battlefield.
So we ladies work on staying together, as a family, as a congregation, as a community. We make sure we are prepared for many unexpected circumstances and know how to defend each other and our children when the time of battle comes.
Soldiers (and we) are not always marching to war. There are quiet times when mundane tasks ask all of our attention. Soldiers need to keep their area in the barracks white-glove clean, their uniforms spotless, their beds made just so, and their weapons cleaned and ready to be used at any time. Why do they do this? To please their commanding officer. Even when they have a migraine headache or are grieving because they lost a loved one, they follow the rules and stand at attention when the commanding officer enters their barracks.
So why do we do all those mundane tasks and do them at all times? Also to please our commanding officer, who is Christ Jesus. We have him at the forefront of our minds always. And the major happy difference from a human commanding officer is the fact that Jesus is always there to help us, support us, comfort us, and be with us. He is only a (brief) prayer away, and his loving presence is with us at all times, ready to bless us.
Charles Spurgeon says it best: “You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.”
It’s a tremendous task, ladies, but let’s go for it. To please our Commander!
Mrs. Annemarieke Ryskamp was born and raised in the Netherlands and graduated with a master’s degree in Dutch language and literature from Utrecht University. She attends Dutton United Reformed Church (MI), where she leads various Bible study groups.