Are you a woman who is afraid to let your voice be heard in whatever sphere God has placed you? Often we are afraid to connect, afraid that we will be judged or left out because we don’t fit the traditional image of a Christian woman.
There is an idea in popular culture that Christian women are supposed to be mild and not express their opinions, but looking at the wide range of women in the Bible that fulfilled different roles in God’s story, we say “not so.”
While International Women’s Day is celebrated secularly as an opportunity to acknowledge the past and ongoing challenges women face in the quest for gender equality, as Christian women we are also acknowledging the challenges and victories of women in the Bible, as well as in modern times. Women who showed, and continue to show, bravery – not allowing themselves to be intimated into silence or inaction.
In the book of Exodus, the Hebrew midwives defied the Pharaoh’s orders to kill newborn baby boys. Because of them, Moses lived to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Deborah was the only recorded female judge of Israel, and she led the Israelites in battle against the Canaanites.
Abigail intervened to help David when her husband Nabal was hostile. Her quick-thinking helped prevent bloodshed between David’s men and Nabal.
Queen Esther risked her life by intervening when the Persian king wanted to kill all the Jews in his empire.
Mary was chosen to bear the Son of God and accepted her calling willingly, even though it would mean judgment and possible rejection.
Phoebe, Lydia, Priscilla, Eunice and Lois are all women who were prominent in the ministries of the early church.
It’s wonderful to have examples from the Bible but we are also blessed to have many Christian women today who are rising above the parochial confines of tradition to be witnesses for Christ on foreign mission fields, churches, prisons, at home, corporations and so on.
Then there’s YOU. “Me,” you say? Yes, you!
You, my sister, are gifted by God to make a positive impact wherever He has placed you. Today, we remind ourselves that we stand on the shoulders of the brave women who have gone before us. We have no reason to shrink into the shadows because Christ himself gave us our matching orders:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 - ESV)
Now, isn’t that the most exciting and reassuring call to adventure that you’ve ever heard?! Christ’s Great Commission is not specific to any gender.
But wait, here’s a more gender-specific verse:
The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host… (Psalm 68:11 – ESV)
The word of the Lord is the highest permission we’ve been given to be the brave and vocal women that God has called us to be in our generation.
So today, let’s celebrate and encourage each other to use our diverse female voices and gifting to fulfill the exciting roles God has for each one of us within this Great Commission.