I Want To Be Nehemiah


Before you remind me I am a girl, let me clarify and say Nehemiah is a go-getter. God said jump. Nehemiah did it and added a round of push-ups on the end for good measure. And while he was doing them, he convinced hundreds of people to join him. It’s like he sent an invitation to crazy town, and people looked around and knew this goal, this dream, this desire was just what being a Christian looked like in action. This is exactly how I want to parent.

I want to be Nehemiah.

God spoke to him, and before he dared utter a word, he prayed to God for wisdom, guidance, clarity, words.

I want to be Nehemiah.

God called him to such an outlandish task, he had no hope of completing it without God’s absolute favor. So he asked for it. He believed in it. He walked in it. Scoffers be darned, he didn’t follow them anyway. He followed God. God be blessed and pass it along.

I want to be Nehemiah.

He managed to motivate men to volunteer their efforts, muscles, energy, and eventually their lives. He knew what they were fighting for, and he keyed into that purpose and spent his breath encouraging and committing to them. One writer says it this way, “He invited them to play a role in God’s story”. Whoa. What?

A role in God’s story? But I do that! It’s called parenting. It’s called mentoring. It’s called discipleship. It’s called following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It’s called using my gifts to bring God glory. It’s called being a Missionary Mom.

Nehemiah did all of this and said, “yes,” to being part of God’s story. And he was granted favor.

His goal was not only God approved, but it was a part of God’s story. That wall was protection. That wall was God’s glory, and we see that repeatedly throughout this story.

Men built the wall with tools in one hand and a sword in their other. This is how we are called to parent our kids. As warriors. Like Nehemiah.

It feels too big when we look at what Nehemiah accomplished through hindsight. Even when we know God was with him every step of the way. But God isn’t asking us to build a wall around our city or fight three angry nations. He’s just asking us to take the next right step. Just like every biblical great who’s come before us. Just like Nehemiah.

Written for Strength & Song by Shontell Brewer: wife, mama of five, and author of Missionary Mom.