My first thought was, What? Shouldn't we want our sons to be like David, and Paul, and Abraham? Shouldn't we want our daughters to be like Ruth, and Deborah, and Lydia? Shouldn't we strive for that ourselves?
But how much better would it be to encourage our kids to be like Jesus when he spoke to crowds of thousands on the mountainside? Or when He had faith in God's promise of the resurrection? Or when He said, "Not my will, but Thine be done"?
I have this bookmark that has a poem on it. The poem is a prayer, asking God to make me like--and then it lists about fifteen women from the Bible. Every person listed is a human. Every woman had some part of her life be wrong. Even though the Bible may not specifically state which sin Timothy's mother struggled with, subconsciously we know she did. But since the Bible doesn't say, it is so easy to think about her as a perfect mother--and we know we'll never measure up. But we're supposed to, right, since she was human and we're human. If she could be perfect, I should be perfect.
Probably the most oft-compared to woman is the virtuous woman. Oh, she is so lauded for her immeasurable strength and stamina! Everyone loves her and she commands such instant obedience from her kids. She's the quintessential Perfect Woman. And yet she's human, so she must have made a mistake somewhere in there, right??
While I don't think for one minute that we shouldn't try to copy certain people's certain attributes, it always makes me discouraged, because when I don't quite measure up, I feel like a failure. However, everyone knows nobody can completely measure up to Christ! So when I fail to be like Him sometimes, I know it's okay; I just need to repent and try again.
I tell you what--it is so refreshing to have only Jesus be the One I'm striving to be like. I can always look to others in the Bible to see how they lived those qualities, but they aren't my golden standard anymore. A simple change in mentality: instead of following those who follow Christ, why not just follow Christ? Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones.