Momma Wears Combat Boots

Momma Wears Combat Boots

Molly was a true American patriot. During the Revolutionary War she had followed her husband’s company as they engaged the Redcoats. At the Battle of Monmouth, she could see the heat was taking a bigger toll on the Continental Army than the canon fire. Rolling up her skirt and grabbing her pitcher, she descended onto the battlefield to bring drinks to the heat-stricken men. When her husband fell behind his canon, not to injury but to heatstroke, she bravely manned his canon throughout the afternoon. Eventually, the sun began to fade and the British withdrew in defeat. General Washington seeing “Molly Pitcher” from a distant made her a Sergeant. Molly, less lady-like perhaps, did the dirty work that had to be done on the battlefield.

There have been women like her down through the pages of history.

The greatest history book of all time, the Bible, tells its own stories of female heroism. Two women were responsible for a great victory in Israel’s history. During the days of the judges, Israel had no king and no standing army. Her enemies exploited this and often oppressed her for years at a time. Deborah, a prophetess, received a word from the Lord, that He would give victory over the Canaanite oppressors. She just needed to find someone to assemble and lead an army. She asked Barak. He agreed somewhat reluctantly: “If thou wilt go with me, then I will go.” (Judges 4:8). Deborah agreed, but warned that he would forfeit the honor: “the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman” (4:9). Barak and his ten thousand troops went with Deborah to engage the enemy. They did prevail over a much better equipped army, just as the Lord said, but the honor went to a woman brave enough to lead an army into battle.

But that isn’t the end of the story. Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, managed to escape the battlefield and headed north to safety. Weary from the battle and from the foot flight he was making, Sisera eyed the tent of an ally and turned in for a rest. Jael gladly welcomed Sisera, gave him milk, and a quiet place to rest. Unsuspectingly, he lay down. When sleep overtook him, Jael took one of her husband’s tent pegs and drove it through his temple (4:21). Thanks to Jael, not one man managed to escape. Two women did the dirty work that won the victory.

The Bible does not discriminate against women or suggest their enslavement. In fact, belief in the Bible has engendered greater respect for women than they have known throughout history. Where the Bible is not respected in the world, typically women are not either. And when the Bible speaks on women, it reminds us that men and women were made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27); that women have just as much claim on the kingdom as any man (Gal. 3:28, 1 Peter 3:7); that women have equal access to God in prayer (1 Tim. 5:5); and that they have gifts essential to the health of the body, we call the church (1 Cor. 12:12).

It is doubtful that we would have a country if it weren’t for the contribution of women like Molly. And it is doubtful that we would have a church either. Would you do more than tip your hat in agreement? Would you do something to show the lady in your life, how much you appreciate her ability to strap on her boots and do the dirty jobs that have to be done? (Oh, and just for the record, my mother did wear combat boots. She served in the US Army.)