Did you know that during World War I, more American women died in childbirth than American men died on the battlefield?
Women’s healthcare improved dramatically the next year once women we able to vote, but the pain of Eve’s curse hasn’t gone away.
Every day I am reminded of my physical weakness as I go about my daily tasks. I tire easily. I can’t open jars. When extra things are jammed into my daily toddler-filled schedule, I can barely keep up.
Sometimes I wonder. . .
Why did God make us physically weaker than men?
Why would he want to use us in our hormone-charged limitations when there’s another gender out there that doesn’t ride out their emotions on a 28 day cycle?
Fight Like a Girl
I recently listened to a talk by Bible teacher Jen Wilkin, who explored biblically what it means to “fight like a girl,” (referring to the female empowerment campaign that ran during the Superbowl).
She asked, “Are women’s contributions to the church nice but not necessary?”
Why were women created in the first place?
In Genesis 2, God created Eve to be Adam’s helpmate and work together in the beauty of the Garden. It wasn’t good for him to be alone.
So what does it look like for women to be, as Jen puts it, “co-laborers in the fight, and not cheerleaders on the sidelines?”
In Exodus 1-2, the Hebrews living in Egypt had multiplied so much that Pharaoh started to get scared. He told the Hebrew midwives to kill all the baby boys that were born, but that they could keep the girls alive. Since the midwives feared God more than Pharaoh, they told him that the Hebrew women kept giving birth before they had a chance to get there.
How many baby boys were saved because of these women, eventually growing up and guiding their families across the Red Sea to freedom?
Moses’ mother hid him after he was born, and God used him to lead the people out of Egypt.
Pharaoh underestimated these women.
I’m grateful for our culture’s desire to value women.
But the beauty of womanhood is not in our ability to be equal to men.
God has gifted members in the Body of Christ differently, so that He can use us to touch all kinds of people.
Here are five ways God may want to use us because we are women:
1. Women are compassionate.
2. Women can empathize.
3. Women are brave. (Like a shepherdess who guards her sheep against a lion)
4. Women understand powerlessness better than men.
5. Women see needs that men may not see.
Men might unintentionally overlook widows, orphans, single moms and hurting children. They may not perceive when someone is living in fear.
They probably won’t ask:
Who might need to be nurtured?
Who might need someone to listen to their confusing flurry of emotions?
A Parable for the Gospel
Jen Wilkin shared that when a woman gets pregnant, she makes herself weak for a designated period of time, delivers another by the shedding of blood, is restored to her former strength, and lives to intercede for that new life.
Could there be a clearer physical parable for the gospel? (Check out Philippians 2:6-11)
“Women, you are not an afterthought. What you contribute to the mission of the church is not of secondary importance.” (Jen Wilkin)
Are you ready to give Him the chance?
Click here to listen to Jen Wilkin’s 35 minute talk (with more humor and insight than I can usually conjure up).
Jen also has an excellent article on her blog about women and the church entitled, “More Pressing Than Women Preachers.” Click here to check it out.
4 thoughts on “Why Women in the Church Can’t Be Cheerleaders on the Sidelines”
Encouraging post. Can’t wait to listen to this message!
Thanks, Jessie. She is such an engaging speaker.
Very encouraging! Defiantly needed that today. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to listen to the 30 minutes of encouragement!:)
You’re welcome, Jessica! It’s wonderful to be able to have a place to share things like this.
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