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Mind

Heart

Bold as a Lioness



"The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)

I am not sure if it’s because I am getting older, or just nervier, but I speak my mind more than I used to. I feel frustrated by a culture allowing injustice and a spiritual enemy who delights in our personal downfall. I can’t be about the whole jungle, but with the family and the ministry I’ve been gifted to lead alongside of Todd, I am feeling bold. Winston Churchill once said, "I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion's roar." Whether we feel like it or not, it’s time to speak truth, be a light, and fight for our families and the defenseless. Here’s how I see the Proverbs 28 coming out in me: 

1. Brave. I want to walk into rooms it’s easier not to, because I believe I can represent God’s family and heart. I want to speak up when it’s easier to go along, because “good intentions” aren’t enough -- we need to take a stand and lead others with us. I want to take more risks, knowing even if something doesn’t turn out how I hoped, there are still lessons for me in it. I want to value that growth over other measures of success.  Lions aren’t subtle, so no more thinking I have to be underwhelming or unintimidating. As a wife, mother, friend, worker, leader, I hope I am both tenderly fierce, and thoughtfully courageous. 

2. Protective. This is so natural for me. Why do I ever suppress it? God is my first Protector, and when I act in this way, I hope to be modeling His nature in me. I want to protect my family, the Bible, the defenseless. I want to protect vulnerable children and the freedoms I currently enjoy. Lions are bold and willing to fight, so I hope I never back down from the opportunity to defend God, or those He’s entrusted into my care. Everyone in the jungle knows where they stand with a lion, and their confidence is unmistakable. May that be said of us. 

3. Social. Lions are the most social of the big cats. The size of a pride ranges from 15-40 members, and I want to remember: I am in a pride. I have people, and those people have me. It can feel easier to isolate sometimes, but I am at my best when I live in community. I want to be known by them and I want living in community to make me better. The Bible talks about in Ecclesiastes 4:9:

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Being with others, helps to strengthen me in every way; I am bolder, kinder, and more self-aware when I am living life with others.

I love Proverbs 31 and all the characteristics that woman demonstrates for us to model, but these days, I am hoping the Proverbs 28 is put on display in my life -- as I allow God to work out my faith with fear and trembling, as I put on His righteousness over my sinfulness, may His boldness like a lion be evident in me.



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Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico where they lived for 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised eleven children.


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