There is a movement growing in society that tells women that they have power to tap into and use to “rise up”, “overcome”, “stand up”, “take over”, “breakthrough”, and “take charge.” I have seen book after book title calling for women to be strong, to rise up, etc. each one calling them out to be someone or do something. As I read these titles I have started to wonder, is this a new version of the prosperity gospel?
I am absolutely for women realizing their value and embracing the talents and skills they were given. I am also for women realizing they have a unique role in God’s Kingdom.
As women, we were created in God’s image for His purposes and His glory. Nothing more and nothing less. Some of the most precious women in my life are strong, capable, and wise. Yet, in their wisdom they have recognized they don’t have to fulfill their roles by trying to become a man.
The women I know, love, and respect are single parents, entrepreneurs, executives, social workers, counselors, teachers, writers, as well as wives, mothers, even grandmothers. They seek balance for their lives in who they spend time with during the week, where they attend church on the weekends. They have homes where you may sit down to a table set with china or stand near a countertop with paper plates and take out pizza. Each of them are striving to seek God’s plan in their lives and over their personal desires.
God’s perfect plan for all of us as women was to complete man, not because he was lacking, but because God gave man different skills and gifts and when ours are added to man’s we reflect the full image of God, of Christ. I am praying for wisdom of my own, that God will lead me. My personality is strong, even aggressive, and I am more apt to make a fist than to make amends. This is who I am.
At the very same time, when I come to God with my heart, what is rumbling within me, I know He can restore me and put balance back into my life so that when I am seeking strength I am also acting out of mercy, out of grace.
The women of the Bible who are often held up as an example are Mary, Jesus’ mother of course, but also Ruth, Sarah, and Mary Magdalene. If we look into each woman’s story we will find someone who is strong, but gentle. Capable, but willing to be secondary to the story God has written.
In the desire of womankind to rise up and be seen and heard in new ways, my concern is we will try to complete the picture God created without including the other half. As a mother of two young men and “auntie” to many more, I pray for their souls and hearts. I pray they will embrace the heart of the woman they marry and celebrate her gifts and talents, but I also pray for their spouse to do the same for them.
God, in His perfect wisdom, said it best, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. . .Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:18, 22-24).
I pray that as women seek to be empowered they will also seek to be filled by the Heavenly Father’s power. We will never complete God’s purposes for which we were created if we try it any other way.