God is doing a new thing where women are concerned. He is uncloaking evil in all its forms within the church and outside the church. He is setting women free to do the work He has called us to do; in the church, in the home, outside the church, and outside the home. He is uncloaking abuse of power and abuse of persons. He is showing women who they are in Him, not who they are in their “role.” He is showing women that no one defines them but Him. Ladies, a role does not define you, it is simply something you choose to do based on your gifts, talents and personality that God gave you. A man does not define you. A man is supposed to be your partner, not your kid nor your boss. Ladies (and gentlemen too), my hope is that you will read this blog and see just how important and how called you are in the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is neither male, nor female, we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28)!
Ladies, we can be many things but who and Whose we are is not determined by any one role we may choose to take on. Proverbs 31 is a famous passage used to show women, particularly in the church, who they are or can be. This passage is role specific; it does not address identity. I am not saying Solomon was wrong, I am saying he was not pointing out Who women’s identity comes from – Jesus. Solomon could not point this out b/c he did not know Jesus. He knew God but he knew God from an old covenant standpoint – Jesus had only been revealed in prophecy up to this time so the full weight and understanding of what He would do for mankind, especially women and children, had not come into their understanding. Proverbs 31 is an excellent description of an enterprising woman who carries many responsibilities and loves God too. If you notice, she works in and out of the home, runs her own business and makes her own money. All of these are good things and I highly encourage them; however, they do not define who we are as women. We must be careful not to get caught up in the “doing” of Proverbs 31. Under the old law, the old covenant, there was a lot of “doing” to get salvation and to be pleasing to God and others. There were also very specifically defined gender roles that came from the minds of corrupt men and corrupt systems, not God, during the time of old covenant. Under the New Covenant, which began with Jesus’ resurrection, we no longer “do” to get salvation. We receive and rest in His salvation. The New Covenant also brings an undoing to many of the preconceived ideas about men and women and their roles. The one and only reason you see oppressive social structures continue to exist both in this nation and around the world for women and children is the lie and love of power. These old structures of power are being revealed and undone in the 21st century, both inside and outside the church. Jesus has already done the work to crucify these old structures to the cross! He is now cleaning house, so to speak, as He continues to reveal corrupt church systems, corrupt secular systems, corrupt theology, and people.
Ladies, we are to be who God calls us to be. This won’t look the same for every woman. This won’t look the same in every family. Men, we need you all to be supportive of God’s call in our lives just as we are supportive of His call on your life. Ladies, no matter what God has called you to do, do that as unto Him. He made you and He called you. He defines you, not anyone or anything else. If he calls you to lead, preach or teach, lead, preach and teach. If he calls you to write and speak, write and speak. If he calls you to be a wife and mom, be a wife and mom. If he calls you to be single to fulfill a specific calling, do that, it’s okay. A marriage does not define who you are, again those are roles you choose to do, not the definition of who you are. We all have a call as women and no call is more important than another. Men, we need your support, after all, you didn’t call us, God did. I am going to say this as gently yet as plainly as I know how. We love you men, and we value your input, your call, and your presence too. We are in this together. However, when it comes to my calling and being who He made me to be, what God wants me to do will trump you every time. I don’t say this because I don’t care about feelings or I’m trying to be difficult, I say that because the One Who made me called me and the fact that He called me should be more important to you than what you want me to be. His will and His ways are higher than yours and mine. He is enough for me. He should be enough for you too.
Ladies, the Bible is full of women who took on different callings. I encourage you to read about them; Deborah in the book Judges, Ruth in the book of Ruth, Esther in the book of Esther, Rahab in the book of Joshua, Priscilla in the New Testament, and Mary and Martha in the New Testament. These women were leaders (politically and militarily), servants, wives, moms, single women, business owners, and queens. They were clever, informed, aware, strong, courageous and many times did the hard things the men of their cultures would not do. Ladies, if they can do it, without even knowing Jesus, how much more can we do? We have the benefit of a different culture, and most importantly, we have the benefit of knowing Jesus and the freedom he brings to both men and women. We see through New Covenant eyes!
Ladies step out into your calling. Men come along beside us. Together, as equals, let’s advance the love of God, one person at a time. Together, as equals, lets walk in our callings and in the freedom that Jesus gave to all men and women. Together, let’s change the world. Love, Elizabeth