Strength and Dignity
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future (Proverbs 31:24).
What does godly strength look like? How do I clothe myself with dignity? It was several years down the road of my coaching journey before I began to understand that I could be a strong female coach but also carry with me the dignity of a Christ-loving woman.
Early in my formation, these two characteristics evaded me and seemed almost diametrically opposed in the often-harsh world of organized sports. However, as my life evolved, God used my emerging roles as a mom, wife and volunteer coach to teach me His truth about strength.
As I nurtured my family and began to lay down my life daily for them, my flawed idea of strength (power, control, force) gave rise to God's model of strength (humility, selflessness, restraint). This new inspiration and growth spilled over into my coaching. Strength and dignity weren't opposing characteristics, but cooperating forces to be used for the benefit of others.
A good example from my experience had to do with my use of words. God convicted me to stop using sarcastic, overtly critical or mean-spirited language toward my athletes. Coaching can be exasperating, but verbally venting frustrations is not godly strength in action. Restraining our words shows tremendous self-control.
Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) says, "The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
I haven't arrived yet, and as my journey continues, the ride is sometimes bumpy with unexpected detours and the occasional flat tire. But I do smile at the future, which requires no words at all!
Lord, help me coach each day in Holy Spirit strength. Restrain wounding words from leaving my mouth; replace them with life-giving affirmations.
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