His Wisdom for Her World

Things Christian Women {REALLY} Need to Hear

By on May 16, 2017 in Women's Issues with 4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, the twitter hashtag #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear went viral. Sarah Bessey, author of Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith and Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, sent the first tweet. This thread was a spin off from her original thread #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear. She simply stated, “I feel like #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear could be another convo too.” And from that one tweet, hundreds of men and women have responded.

Over the last few days, I’ve been wrestling with the hurt and frustration I’ve seen reflected in these women’s posts. In full disclosure, I, too, can relate to many of these women because I have heard some of those very statements (along with a few more!).

It is easy and tempting either to get caught up in the emotional draw of the posts and bash those in authority, or completely dismiss these women as “sensitive,” “bitter,” and “un-submissive” to authority. I believe taking on either extreme would miss the point.

Instead, I see a deeper conversation emerging. It’s a conversation that goes beyond denominational, political, or cultural lines. It’s grounded in the realization that women are crying out to be heard. So, instead of dismissing each other, let’s lean in and really talk about those things that all Christian women really need to hear.

 

1.   You are infinitely valued.

The account of God creating woman in Genesis 2:21-22 fascinates me. God knew that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, so God (not man) decided to make woman. Therefore, He, once again, stooped down, took some dirt from the ground, the rib from Adam’s side, and then carefully crafted the image of a woman. God breathed His breath of life into her, and she became a living being (Gen. 2:7).

I love the fact that God didn’t ask Adam’s opinion or check with him concerning the physical characteristics of the woman. God knew exactly what the man and the woman needed, and He provided it.

Ladies, some of you need to know that you are wonderfully created by your Heavenly Father (Ps 139:13-17).  He sees you as infinitely valuable. When He created you, He knew exactly what He was doing. He crafted you on purpose and for a purpose.

For me, some of the most heartbreaking tweets were those that were targeted towards a woman’s body. Several women lamented how leaders in the church told them they could not sing, play an instrument, or give announcements in the church service because they were “too pretty” and would “cause their brothers in Christ to stumble.” If this is your story, I am sorry. Yes, we women have a responsibility to interact with men in a respectable manner (1 Tim 2:9). But, men also have the same responsibility (1 Tim 3:2). God does not see His daughters as “bait” for men, and we need to remove that thinking from our “Christian” mindset. Instead, we need to see each other as those who are beautifully created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27).

2.   You are dearly loved.

#ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear has brought out many misogynous attitudes that are alive in some professing Christians. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the simple definition of misogyny is “a hatred of women.” Over the years, I’ve steered away from this term because of its overuse and ambiguity. However, you cannot do an honest read of this thread and not be brought face-to-face with some truly misogynous statements.

For instance, I read several examples where a pastor, church leader, or counselor chastised an abused woman for confessing and confronting the abuse she endured. Ladies, this is not right! Abuse, of any sort, grieves the heart of God (Deut 32:35; 2 Thess 1:5-7). To the abused woman: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man (or woman) may have trouble, but the LORD delivers him from them all” (Ps. 34:18-19, emphasis added).

What every woman (and man) needs to hear is that God has a deep and abiding love for each of us. God did not create one gender as intrinsically greater than the other, nor did He ever intend that (Gen 1:27). When Christ died, He died for the sin of all…including the sin of misogyny (Rom 5:6-8; 6:10-11). When we see this sin (or any sin) rear its ugly head in our hearts and in our churches, we must be willing to call it out. Instead of casting stones at each other, let’s seek to build each other up.

3.   You are created on purpose and for a purpose.

Many of the #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear posts dealt with one’s calling or purpose. It is at this point that I can most relate. Before getting married, I was told, on many occasions and by numerous people, that I was too strong, too independent, too intimidating, too educated, and too much of a leader for any “good” Christian man to marry me. Those were difficult years to live through, because I knew God had created my personality, gave me a desire for education, and had put me in certain leadership positions in which I had to make difficult and unpopular decisions. (I was a Girl’s Minister and a Women’s Minister at two different churches.)

However, I have come to learn that God, indeed, knew exactly what He was doing when He created me. Eventually, He brought me my amazing husband who is inspired by my strong, independent, “lion” personality and who actually pushed me to pursue and finish my doctorate. I’ve experienced (and at times learned) the joy of coming under his authority as he leads our family. We’ve gone through difficulties in our marriage and ministry in which he needed a strong woman beside him pushing him forward and encouraging him in Christ.

God did not mess up when He created me, and the same is true for you.

Some of you may be timid to live out what God has called you to do because you are afraid of the labels. If you are governed by fear instead of freedom, I encourage you to confess that fear and move on with what God has called you to do. Because I was willing to follow God wherever and however He led, I’ve been able to physically (and spiritually) go to places I never dreamed I would go. I didn’t seek out marriage or a man as the source of my fulfillment (that, alone, is God’s job), but I was certainly ecstatic and ready when God decided it was time for that next stage. Now, as a married woman, I am able to serve and minister in a different capacity than before marriage. In both singleness and marriage, there are unique challenges in which God uses/used my personality, education, and strong leadership instinct for His purposes and glory.*

As we engage each other in this conversation, my prayer is that we would be willing to really listen to each other and respond in a gracious manner. Some women, maybe even you, have experienced the sting of #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. If you have given up on the church (or even God) because of a man’s failure to speak in a God honoring manner, know you have a Heavenly Father who is waiting to greet you and welcome you back. If you are one who has been guilty of using God’s Word out of context to fit your own agenda, please be willing to confess that to Him.

However, my guess is that most of us are somewhere in the middle. We’ve experienced and/or seen the hurt and we have, at times, been the cause of the hurt. Instead of rallying behind a certain hashtag, let’s make sure that we are faithful to encourage each other with the things that all women really need to hear.

 

 

*(I will add a side note here. Some of you may be seeking leadership in an area that God, through His Word, has been clear you are not to seek (1 Tim 2:9-15). Instead of resisting God’s authority on the issue, look at the vast ministry field that He has given you and flourish in it. (Prov 31, 1 Cor 7:25-28, Titus 2:3-5) )

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About the Author

About the Author: Amanda Walker is a teacher, pastor’s wife, and mother. She holds both a Master of Arts in Christian education with a concentration in women’s ministry and biblical counseling (2006) and a Doctor of Educational Ministry in Educational Leadership (2013) from Southwestern. She lives in Ruston, Louisiana, where she serves alongside her husband, Chris, who is a university and missions pastor. She is passionate about discipling young women to become ambassadors for Christ. However, her greatest joy is training her children Makaylan, Hannah, and Aaron to engage the culture around them with the truth of the gospel. Amanda is the author of the Bible study Discovering God’s Design: A Journey to Restore Biblical Womanhood. In her free time (what is that?), she enjoys a good chat over a cup of coffee.

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  1. Anna says:

    Well, this was disappointing. I really needed this article, however it was ruined by the cute little side note at the bottom. One of the #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear that I’ve been told is that women are easily deceived, and therefore can’t teach men. But then why are we allowed to teach (and possible deceive) women and young children?

  2. k. martin says:

    @ Anna

    I’m not going to tackle the women having authority over men here because I believe that’s a different discussion, although folks do like to tie those two things together.

    Paul said THE WOMAN ( as in 1 – singular – not plural) was deceived. Who was that woman? Eve. Paul NEVER said that all women, most women or women in general are more easily deceived than men. That’s not in the Bible, nevertheless certain camps like to assert that “women are more easily deceived than men” although Paul never said that. Paul did say, “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). So, we aren’t limited to just the scriptures that Paul wrote. There are numerous well- documented, Biblical examples of women who were not deceived: Sarah, Mary, Esther, Jehosheba, Huldah, Lydia, Rahab, Midwives, Abigail, Dorcas, Phoebe, Deborah, Wise Woman of Abel, Women who traveled with Jesus, Anna, Queen of Sheba, Priscilla, Zipporah, Faithful Canaanite Mother, Rufus’ mom, Lois, Eunice, Jochebed, Hannah. Therefore, what Paul said about Eve being deceived doesn’t apply to ALL women, and there’s no concrete evidence to prove that it applies to MOST women.

    Eve was deceived. There’s no denying that. Likewise, the very same Bible tells us that numerous male leaders were involved in and propagated deceptive cult practices, idolatry, and heresies: Jeroboam (1 Ki 14:1-20), Nadab (1 Ki 15:25-26), Baasha (1 Ki 15:32-34, 16:1-17, 6:11-13) Zimri (1 Ki 16:19), Omri (1 Ki 16:25-26) Ahab (1 Ki 16:30-33), Ahaziah (1 Ki 22:51-53), Zechariah (2 Ki 15:9), Menahem (2 Ki 15:18), Pekahiah (2 Ki 15:24), Pekah (2 Ki 15:28), Ahaz (16:2-3), Manasseh (2 Ki 21:1-7,9-12,16, 24:3-4), Amon (2 Ki 21:20-22), Jehoiakim (2 Ki 23:37), Zedekiah (2 Ki 24:18-19) – to name a few.

    Currently, most of the world’s major false religions (cults) have been founded by men – not women: Islam (Muhammad), Buddhism (Sanskrit), atheistic communism, Sun Myung Moon’s Unification, Mormons (Joseph Smith), Modern Witchcraft (Gerald Gardner), New Age movement (Edgar Cayce), Scientology (L. Ron Hubbard), Bahia (Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núr), Sikhism (Guru Nanak), David Koresh, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Yaweh Ben Yaweh.

    If some in the church are going to use the “Eve was deceived and women are more easily deceived than men” argument in order to try to prove that men are more cut out for leadership than women, it is only fair to talk about the numerous male leaders in scripture who were involved in and propagated deceptive cult practices, idolatry and heresies.

  3. Heidi Stauff says:

    Have you read Man and Woman:One in Christ by, Philip Barton Payne? I highly recommend it.

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