Some may think that asking a young girl, probably around 7 years old, to watch out for her baby brother as he floated down a river is a bit irresponsible. But desperate times called for desperate measures, And, the young girl was obviously up the the task.
So, what can Miriam, the sister of Moses, teach our daughters about bravery?
Background on Exodus 2
The accounts that begin the book of Exodus are generally accepted to have started about 300 years after the death of Joseph. (Approximately 1520-1360 BC) The children of Israel had flourished in the land of Egypt. Exodus 1:7 NKJV notes, “…the land was filled with them.”
At the time of the birth of Moses, not only were the Israelites now slaves of the Egyptians, because they feared an uprising due to their numbers, but Pharaoh had ordered the midwives to kill any Hebrew males born to the slaves. When he saw that this was not going to work, because these women “feared God”, he ordered his people to cast all sons born to the slaves to be cast into the river and drowned.
Exodus 2 is filled with brave women. We see the Hebrew midwives refusing to comply with Pharaoh but obeying God and saving his children. We also see Jochebed, mother to Miriam and Moses, courageously hiding her son to save him from death. It’s no wonder that young Miriam is rising to challenge as she has such amazing women of faith to look up to and such a mighty God to trust on!
How can we teach our girls to be brave?
Let’s take a look at the girl Miriam as she bravely watches over her brother and daringly confronts Pharaoh’s daughter with a proposition that would save Moses’ life.
But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”Exodus 2:3-10 NKJV
Remind Her God is Her Strength
Miriam’s father and mother would have been people who trusted and feared God. They would have understood the cost of going against Pharaoh, but also would have known the power of the God they served.
Miriam must have been reminded again and again before she set our trailing her 3 month old brother in that basket that God was with him and God was with her and He was their strength.
Our daughters face difficult people and situations at school and in activities. They fight the world’s lies and definitions that try to define beauty, success, and behavior. We must show them that God’s word and Spirit in their lives is so much stronger and bigger. It must be the truth that wins out!
Give Her Responsibility
Bravery requires action at some point. Our daughters need responsibilities that require them to step up out of their comfort zones and trust God. Miriam’s job was to watch over her brother. We have no idea whether the plan was done to ensure Pharaoh’s daughter would find him and for her to suggest her own mother as a wet nurse, or if this was a spur of the moment suggestion by a quick thinking young lady.
The truth is that she would have been given responsibilities from a young age that prepared her to step into this role. Our girls need house hold duties and chores that teach them how to be self-sufficient.
Miriam also would have been asked for help in matters of family and community. Teach your daughter the importance of serving in your church and community.
Finally, having goals in mind that our daughters are working toward will teach them to be responsible. Miriam knew that God wanted his people to “be fruitful and multiply” and that He had called them to be a great nation. She would have heard stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. They were working to see the salvation of the Lord.
Scriptures on Bravery
One of the best things we can do is to teach our girls how the Bible defines bravery. Here is a list of scriptures to consider memorizing and sharing.
- Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV
- Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm27:14 NKJV
- He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 NKJV
- She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. Proverbs 31:17 NKJV
- The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7 NKJV
Praying for Our Daughters to be Brave
Lord, you promise to be our Strength and call us to be brave. I ask, in Jesus’ name, that you will strengthen ___________ to trust You, increase in faith, and make her brave in times of trouble. Remind her You are with her. Help me to prepare her with responsibility and purpose. Teach her that Your definition of brave means relying on Your ability and power. Amen.
Resources to Teach Our Daughters to Be Brave
Here are some extra FREE resource ideas to help reinforce what the Bible teaches on bravery and what we’ve learned about Miriam.
Activity: Blind Courage from Focus on the Family
Song: Brave from Saddleback Kids
Read stories of Brave Young People:
Susan from the Persecuted Church in Uganda (Warning! May be graphic and upsetting to younger children.)