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Modern society teaches women to rely on their own strength and wisdom, rather than the strength God can provide us through those He has placed in our lives. Our culture teaches us to compete with other females, to hold each other back and cheapens the role and honor God has placed on us. We are taught to be selfish and that life is all about protecting “my body,” “my choice,” “my career,” “my rights,” rather than finding true fulfillment in servanthood, sacrifice and moral strength. Thank God I have always able to identify these destructive messages as the lies they are – not because of some innate wisdom on my part, but because of the female mentors divinely placed in my path throughout my life, women I have learned from, drawn strength through and been served by.
As a young girl, I could always count on my mother to be there for me. As a teen-ager and college student, Mom was the first to provide me with guidance, support and unconditional love. She helped me celebrate life, learn to deal with disappointments and taught me the value of having strong values.
Mom shared in my excitement when I met and married the man of my dreams. When our children arrived, she showed me how to be a mother of tiny, precious babies. I already knew how to be a Mom of young children and teen-agers because I have such wonderful memories of her in those crucial years.
Later on, God brought three other incredible women into my life who were willing to share their lives and love, and to give freely of themselves. These women took me under their wings at different times, helped me find my voice, and reminded me of the importance of marriage and motherhood over career. Yet, they were also instrumental in the development of my own career path.
One of these women, Beverly LaHaye, helped me to succeed as both a mother and a professional. She gave me the incredible opportunity to have a home office – way back in 1987 – when there was no Internet and no high-tech equipment to keep me connected. All I had was the unshakeable commitment to care for my baby, and a strong will to succeed in my efforts to help her promote the values in which Mrs. LaHaye and I both believed. Through her leadership as president and founder of Concerned Women for America, Beverly LaHaye was my model for courage, grace, strength and vision. I still can’t believe that amidst her very powerful role in shaping American politics she still found the time and personal interest in the younger women around her.
Later on, God sent another woman into my life who also influenced me professionally and as a wife and mother. Her name is Dee Jepsen, and I will always be grateful to her for extending to me motherly love during my personal heartache when my own mother became ill with a brain disorder, and my world, as I knew it, changed forever. Although Mrs. Jepsen was a fearless leader and dared to take on the mob and organized crime through the “Enough is Enough! Campaign,” which seeks to fight child pornography, she also knows how to be a tender teacher and loving friend. And even though she once held a position in the White House, it always seems second nature for her to want to serve and nurture those around her. This remarkable woman also reminded me to honor my husband in thought and deed. This simple, often-rejected precept, has helped create a marriage filled with more love and mutual respect than I ever thought possible.
The third woman who has given of herself to improve my life is Ambassador Faith Ryan Whittlesey. As the former Ambassador to Switzerland under President Reagan and an amazingly brilliant attorney, Mrs. Whittlesey is also one of the most giving women and mothers I have ever met. She too, came to my aid when mental illness captured my mother. Mrs. Whittlesey taught me to trust in God, to fight for what I knew was right, and to understand that everything we go through in this life is to prepare us to live eternally with Christ. She has also been an invaluable adviser on issues relating to my profession and ideology.
As noted authors, sought-after speakers, world-class leaders and successful organizers, I am both deeply touched and truly amazed that these incredible women found time for me. They were, and continue to be, my mentors. Although I don’t see any of them much any more (we now live in different parts of the country) I know they are only a phone call away.
Recently, I was again blessed by Mrs. LaHaye through a wonderful book she authored with former presidential speech writer, Janice Shaw Crouse. These two women had the vision and calling to write a book about Biblical women who have very real lessons for the modern woman. “A Different Kind of Strength” provides insight into the characters, flaws and strengths of the only five women mentioned in the lineage of Jesus Christ. I read this book a few weeks ago on the train to and from New York to tape the Fox News Show, “Beyond the News.” During those few hours, I discovered that even women who don’t have female mentors in their lives do have a place to turn for advice and wisdom. Both men and women should read “A Different Kind of Strength” – it proves that God can work through our flaws, around our circumstances and above our failures to accomplish great wonders if we are only willing.
In stark contrast to the lessons learned from my mentors and the brave, selfless women profiled in “A Different Kind of Strength” are the diabolical teachings of the feminist movement which have robbed our society of many of the blessings God intended for us to enjoy. The embracing of the selfish, “blame-the-male,” “get out of my way” attitude by the popular media and an entire generation of young women has directly contributed to the break-up of the traditional family unit.
Instead of teaching the values of courage, forgiveness, commitment and honor, the feminist movement and media force feed America’s young women destructive attitudes of selfishness and disrespect of men and each other. In so doing, the movement now bears much of the responsibility for having driven many males from their traditional roles as caretakers, and causing much confusion about exactly how they should approach and treat females. A natural regression in male attitudes about courtesy and responsibilities began when the feminists started slamming them. The simple, everyday question of “Do I open the door?” digressed to “Do I really have to work hard and offer her the opportunity to stay at home?” which further digressed to “Do I have an obligation to stick around and help raise the kids?”
And who is suffering most from the destruction of the family caused by the feminist movement? The young women of today.
Women have a responsibility to restore America’s families by teaching the younger generation the timeless values of decency, commitment, courage, respect for others and service. We need to be reminded that faith and family are the most important aspects of life. We need to “buck” the feminist mantra that calls women to “trash” men and husbands, and instead, encourage each other to love and support the men in our lives. We need to rejoice in our victories and share in our successes rather than being territorial or feeling threatened. We need to be true confidants, give ugly gossip “the boot,” and keep each other’s secrets. We need to be reminded that power in and of itself is vain and empty, but that true leadership is attained when one uses her life to lead others to knowledge of God and His undying love for all humanity.
I will always be grateful to the female mentors God has given me. As I now approach my 40s, I desperately want to return the blessings that my mother, Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, Mrs. Dee Jepsen and Mrs. Faith Whittlesey have been to me. It’s time for me to mentor women younger than I. It’s time to share my experiences and to pass the torch of truth to the rising generation.
My undying and eternal thanks will always be to these “fabulous four” for making me, not just a better person, but a better woman.