Tonight kicks off our women’s ministry at The Sanctuary. We’re getting together for dessert, recipe swapping and a short devotional. Women’s ministry freaks me out.
In my previous experience, women’s ministry began as a light-hearted tea with some deep morsels from God. It morphed into a militant good ol’ gals club. I wasn’t one of the cool kids; I wasn’t accessorised enough and I didn’t kiss enough butt. I wasn’t invited into the club.
I’m reticent to engage a group of women. I don’t know what it is about us, but there is this constant underlying tension for control. It all began in the third chapter of Genesis when the serpent lured Eve into splitting hairs about what God said, or more accurately questioning the validity of what God said. I know Satan was laughing when Eve died. I wonder if she felt a bitterness in her spirit as she took her last breath.
Genesis 3:6-7 says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
As women, when we gain wisdom and knowledge, we want to disseminate the knowledge. We are nurturers, no matter what current psychology wants to tell you. We want to teach our kids to walk; we want to help our loved ones find healing; we want to teach the men in our lives to lift the toilet seat up before use of the toilet and put it down after use. Sometimes our wisdom is helpful and causes harmony and growth in the home. At other times, it causes pain and sometimes death.
I know that women have a voice. We have something valid to say, to add to the conversation. In the Bible, there are examples of amazing women–Rahab, Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Mary. These women knew under Whose authority they operated. Something in them innately bowed its knee to the Lordship of Jehovah, of Jesus Christ. But, there are examples of equally bad women. Jezebal is the most glaring example. She was given free reign–even over what gods to worship–and caused such fear in Elijah that he asked God to kill him.
Galatians 3:38 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Obviously, God has given women a voice. I believe this voice has to be in the correct context and submitted to authority. Our generation needs a woman to stand up and be our voice, to be an example of what that life looks like. We need a role model. I look around at women in power, and I see noone that I want to emulate. Hilary Rodham Clinton and Nancy Pelosi seek to emacsulate men and create a female dominated society in which it is acceptable to kill the unborn because “it is our right.” They want men to do their bidding. There are women in ministy whom I admire, but honestly none to whom I can relate.
I want a Proverbs 31 woman to follow–a woman who balances family life, the marketplace and ministry. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Lately I’ve been wrestling with my desires. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a wife and a mother. Thanksgiving solidified these desires in me. I thoroughly enjoyed everything involved in preparing the house and the meal. But, as long as I can remember, I’ve also wanted to be a pastor. Yesterday cemented that is my spirit. I love telling groups of people what God is doing, and how God can, is and will work through their lives–though I admit I rambled because I was unprepared.
How can I reconcile two seemingly opposing desires? How can I live a balanced life, being a helpmate to my husband, mother to my children and a pastor? I’m willing to try. I’m willing to be a trailblazer. I’m willing to join in the women’s ministry at The Sanctuary.
But know…I’m doing it afraid.