Defender of the Faith: Lessons from the Queen

I’m a fan of Queen Elizabeth II. As the longest-reigning monarch in history, she models calm, cool, and collectedness as she rules a nation. Her faith is the framework that guides her. As reserved as she is in other areas of her life, Queen Elizabeth is notably open about her Christianity. She embraces her historic title, “Defender of the Faith.”

“To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?” the Queen once asked.

Bryan Kozlowski’s book, Long Live the Queen! 23 Rules for Living, serves up details and anecdotes about the Queen’s life from which he draws the twenty-three rules. Kozlowski further condensed the rules for the magazine article, “Ten Life Lessons from the Queen.” Each lesson centers on an action that can lead to a long, productive life. 

Queen’s Elizabeth trusts that Some One Else is in control. Her demeanor and leadership style grew out of that knowledge. We can find plenty of parallels between the way she does life and the Bible’s instruction. 

Part I of this topic focuses on five of the lessons and supporting Scripture.

Lesson 1: Recharge Your Willpower

Queen Elizabeth possesses an abundance of self-control. One reason is because she pauses for an hour each day to recharge it. The popular monarch escapes her hectic day and unwinds with a pot of tea and a pastry.

God is the branch and we are the fruit. When we abide in God, we produce the fruit of the Spirit. One such fruit is self-control.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Galatians 22-23 (ESV)

And among numerous Bible verses about self-control, we have Peter’s admonition.

…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control…

2 Peter 1:15 (ESV)

Lesson 2: Stick to a schedule

Queen Elizabeth follows a strict routine daily — a practice started by her childhood nanny. From a 7:30 cup of tea to the 11:00 bedtime with journal in hand, it rarely varies. The Queen’s “timetable” includes breaks throughout the day, and prayer is firmly established in her daily schedule.

Spending time in God’s presence strengthens and calms her. The Bible instructs us to:

Be still and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

True rest comes from Him, as promised here:

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

Lesson 3: Develop Your Sense of Purpose

From a young age, the Queen has been dedicated to her country. No hint of self-importance remained in her personality when she became Queen at fifteen. “Britain got its least self-centered monarch in history,” writes Kazlowski.

God calls us to a selfless and Christ-centered life.

God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live.

Ephesians 2:10 (CEV)

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus

Hebrew 12:1-2 (NASB1995)

Lesson 4: Serve Others

Through the years, the Queen has demonstrated a heart for others and their welfare. In a 1954 speech she said, “It is my resolve that under God I shall not only rule but serve.”  In addition to many good works, she supports over 600 charities and public service organizations.

…do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love.

Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Lesson 5: Sweeten the Self-Talk

Those who deliberately mute the negative voices in their heads gain a healthy emotional barrier. The Queen once commented, “I find that I can often put things out of my mind which are disagreeable.” Psychologists call people like Elizabeth a “purposeful repressor,” the opposite of ruminators, who obsessively chew on distressing events. I love what Elizabeth says here: “Perhaps we make too much of what is wrong and too little of what is right” — the gist of Philippians 4:8:

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things.

Philippians 4: 8 (NIV)

All simple and good practices for sure. Following them consistently is the tricky part. Which of the five do you need to improve? As for me, I’m going to work to “sweeten the self-talk.”

As reserved as she is in most areas of her life, the Queen is notably open about her Christianity. #QueenElizabeth #leadership #christianity Click To Tweet

Click here for the next five lessons from the Queen.

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  1. How refreshing to see that one of our world’s most powerful leaders is letting God lead her through each day. Thank you for sharing this and for reminding us how we can keep faith a part of our lives, too.

  2. Candyce, what a fresh view of Scripture you created by writing about Queen Elizabeth. I’m working on a combination of 1 and 2—using the self-control the Spirit produces to use time wisely. Thank you.

  3. I had the privilege of being in England several times and saw the Queen in parades and events. It was an amazing experience. She always seemed to be calm and in control. The people of Britain do respect and love her. She has been an example to them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. What a wonderful experience. When I was in London a few years ago, I enjoyed seeing Buckingham Palace and the surrounding gardens. Such a storied and historical place.

    1. In my reading, I discovered many of her advisors and peers prefer that she not be so “out there” with it. That may be why we didn’t know the extent of it.

  4. Amazing post Ms. Candyce. While I knew the Queen was a Christian, I was pleasantly surprised to read how she makes purposeful time to focus on Him throughout her day. A great lesson for all of self-important, busy people. Well done ma’a m.

    1. Yes, I wonder about that. We know the direction the later generations in general are taking when it comes to Christianity. It’s a watered-down Christianity. But I hope she leaves a legacy that influences some.

    1. That series really humanizes her, doesn’t it? She is so inspiring and has some great lines. But I don’t recall much, if anything, about her strong faith. I’ll have to watch for that when the new season starts.

  5. Such an uplifting message! I am also a fan of Queen Elizabeth, but I did not realize her faith was so strong until I read your post. She is such a good role model for faith, perseverance, and dedication to her country. Thank you for sharing about this book.

    1. She is a good role model for so many. Her straightforward no-nonsense style reminds me of my dad’s, who was part of her generation. It’s a good book. Both entertaining and informative.

  6. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading! You offered excellent points backed up with scripture to lead us to live a personally fulfilling life and to bless others.

    1. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to explore the Queen’s faith – not much is made of it in the popular press. But then I wasn’t that surprised about what I discovered – based on how she leads her life.
      Have a great week!

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