Claim Your Voice

by Teresa Swanstrom Anderson November 9, 2022
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

It takes courage to find your voice, especially when you’ve felt silenced.

The Bible tells the story of a woman who could have stayed quiet … who could have chosen to be hidden, suffering in silence. Instead, she spoke up, and by finding her voice, she changed history.

Her name was Bathsheba.

When we read about Bathsheba in 2 Samuel, we might think of her as voiceless. (2 Samuel 11-12) For so much of her story, she was battered by the voices of the powerful. Taken by messengers just after bathing. Losing her first husband at a king’s word and a general’s order. Married to that same king upon his demand. She suffered more than most people could bear.

But she was not destined to stay voiceless. She had a decision to make — the same each of us has when we face pain.

It's hard to claim your voice sometimes. You don’t want to cause problems or make a scene. You might feel afraid or unimportant. But finding your voice means more than just saying words. It means speaking up for yourself and speaking life into those around you. It means knowing your worth because of who you are … and whose you are.

God asks us the same question I believe He surely asked Bathsheba: Will you stay silent and become a victim of your suffering, or will you speak up and choose to change your story?

How do we know Bathsheba changed her story? Her son Solomon grew to adulthood following God. This suggests that Bathsheba clung to God and defied her wounding rather than let it define her. Years passed after the moment Bathsheba was taken into David’s home. She seemingly didn’t have a voice that day, for he was king. But eventually she advocated for her son, Solomon, to be set upon the throne. (1 Kings 1:15-22)

Bathsheba spoke clearly and boldly. She made her case so well that the king of Israel listened and agreed. And after Solomon became king, Bathsheba continued to use her voice, honored with a seat at her son’s right hand — a place of privilege and influence.

We’re told that Solomon honored his mother with this position: “So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right” (1 Kings 2:19, ESV).

She had a voice not only in family matters but in matters concerning the whole country. Through his actions, her son — famous for his wisdom — recognized wisdom in turn.

As a matter of fact, Bathsheba may make one more important appearance in Scripture — at the beginning of the famed Proverbs 31 passage. Jewish and Christian theologians debate whether King Lemuel, who wrote Proverbs 31, may have actually been King Solomon. And if that theory is true, and Proverbs 31 is “an oracle that his mother taught him” (verse 1, ESV), who was the mother who spoke words of wisdom over him? Bathsheba.

If so, Bathsheba’s voice is still heard and her legacy lives on in King Lemuel's words about a wife of noble character: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue”(Proverbs 31:26, NIV).

Let’s be women who claim our voices, stewarding our wisdom and influence for generations to come. We can be women who rise above our pain and speak up — stepping into the story God is writing.

God, let us be women who speak from the wisdom You offer. No matter the pain of our past or the fear of our present, let us claim the voices You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Teresa Swanstrom Anderson is passionate about helping women connect with Scripture. Her Get Wisdom Bible Studies are rich in depth yet approachable for all readers. See her newest study on five amazing women in the lineage of Jesus, Finding Your Place in God’s Story.


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Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (NIV)

Who can you speak up for? How can you affirm and support them, amplifying their voice with your own?

© 2022 by Teresa Swanstrom Anderson. All rights reserved.

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