6 Christian Role Models for Young Women
Female empowerment. It’s something our culture seems to value a lot nowadays, but in a world where everyone is intent on having their voice heard first, whose voices can be trusted to direct our sisters, daughters, and mentorees towards Christ? We’ve made it easy for you to find inspiring role models for the young lady in your life with our list of 6 female authors (and their books!) that will encourage women everywhere in their walk with Christ.
#1: Sanya Richards-Ross
There’s about a million ways you might have heard of Sanya Richards-Ross. What about from her reality TV show Sanya’s Glam & Gold? Or maybe you’ve heard of her as the wife of Aaron Ross, two-time Super Bowl champion for the New York Giants? How about the four times Sanya won gold at the Olympics in track and field?
Sanya Richards-Ross, though she might be a lady who does it all, always keeps Christ at her very center. In her memoir Chasing Grace, Sanya talks about everything from her experiences as a professional athlete to her heart-wrenching failures and biggest regrets, and always pointing back to Christ at the center of it all. After her career-ending injury in 2016, Sanya Richards-Ross now dedicates herself to her charitable work with several of her own organizations, like the Sanya Richards-Ross Fast Track program which helps youth in her native Kingston, Jamaica with literacy, physical education, and access to healthy meals.
Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life
#2: Kate Merrick
If there’s a struggle that women in the 21st century are familiar with, it is the temptation to distract themselves from the sometimes painful present in favor of social media, text messages, or literally almost anything else. This is the struggle that is at the center of Kate Merrick’s ministry. The mother of three children, founder of Reality Churches, and author of 2 books, Kate Merrick’s life can be hectic. That’s why, 6 years ago, she made the decision to step away from social media entirely.
That decision has given her wisdom about being present even in the most ordinary moments, which is what her newest book, Here, Now is all about. After the loss of her daughter, Daisy, to cancer, Kate Merrick has had to learn how to find peace from Christ alone and continue to live life in a way that is honoring to Him. Her story and writing are encouraging for women at any point in their faith.
Here, Now: Unearthing Peace and Presence in an Overconnected World
#3: Lysa TerKeurst
Lysa TerKeurst’s life has been one big rollercoaster. Many of Lysa’s readers see her now as the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, New York Times Bestselling author of 20 books, mother of 5, and wife to a loving husband. When you read It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, you’ll hear Lysa’s story of recent heartbreak when her husband was unfaithful. Read more about Lysa’s testimony, and you’ll learn that she lost a sister at a young age, survived sexual abuse, experienced her parents divorcing, struggled with perfectionism only to retaliate against God, eventually having an abortion.
But for any woman that knows Jesus can attest, God’s grace is never out of reach. Lysa found Christ, and He radically changed her life. Lysa not only overcame with God’s help the scars of her past, but also, with great patience and prayer, restored her marriage and renewed her vows only about a year after she had announced that she would be getting a divorce. Lysa’s story is one of finding God even when you’re not content with His plan, and any woman who reads of her will have an admiral example to follow.
It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered
#4: Bianca Juarez Olthoff
Bianca Juarez Olthoff was once an illiterate and obese 11 year-old “MexiRican” (that’s Mexican-Puerto Rican for you who don’t know). Young Bianca was no stranger to the poor and the drug-addicted in Los Angeles. However, after learning to read, Bianca became a voracious reader and an even more voracious chaser-after-Christ.Now, she leads In the Name of Love, a non-profit prison ministry. She serves as the Chief Storyteller for A21, an organization that works to end human trafficking, as well as the creative director for Propel Women. She’s the stepmother to 2 children and has been working in church ministry for 15 years. Her story is detailed in her book Play With Fire, with the constant reminders that Jesus bids His daughters to come as they are to be used by the Lord.
Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God
#5: Jess Connolly
Everywhere she goes, Jess Connolly just seems to create beautiful things. Co-founder of She Reads Truth, founder of All Good Things Co. (formerly Naptime Diaries), and founder of The Influence Network, Jess has her hands in as many creative endeavors as it takes to make her generation fall deeply in love with Jesus.
But Jess’s life hasn’t been all beauty and success. Her teenage past of rebellion led her to depression and suicidal thoughts that she carried into adulthood. Though it once stood as a temptation, Jess openly depends on Jesus to give her the joy and strength that she needs. As a church planter, author of 2 books, and mother of 4, Jess continually has challenges coming her way. But in her book Dance, Stand, Run, Jess reveals her advice for living in freedom and escaping the trap of legalism. Readers love her “real-talk” writing style, making her a major voice for young Christian women.
Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground
#6: Jennie Allen
Jennie Allen’s story just might sound like yours. Jennie grew up in a Christian home, but truly came to know and love Jesus when she got older. She married a godly man and had four children. But then she prayed a very dangerous prayer . . . she and her husband Zac told the Lord they would do “anything.”
What followed was adoption and ministry and many unforeseen challenges, and, ultimately, something very, very beautiful, all of which Jennie writes about in her book Anything. Once a church planter and ministry wife, this mother of both three biological and one adopted child now mainly works on IF:Gathering, a ministry focused on equipping women with Gospel resources through small gatherings and conferences. Jennie’s writing is casual enough to hold the attention of young women, but spiritually wise enough to impact them forever.
Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul
Whether you or the young woman in your life is an athlete, an aspiring entrepreneur, a young mother, or just a Christian girl looking for a voice of truth in her life, any one of these six women can serve as a role model for your faith. Which of these women’s stories resonates with you the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Sydney Berry is Memphis-born author who can usually be found sipping coffee with a book in her hand and cat on her lap.