One of the most positive experiences in my work is to imagine and then see good changes manifest in people, especially in young women. Society throws so much at this group. They must look a certain way, behave like others, and believe the same fallacies their social media groups promote. In fact, just recently I was told of a new trend on the social media platform, Snap Chat, where young women can create an “Only” platform. This is a platform where these young women are paid to show nude shots of their bodies. I was stunned when I learned of this. To add to this level of shock, this information was given to me prior to a Bible study I attended a few weeks ago. I was told of this because one of these very young women was going to be attending, and it was shared with me how desperately she requested prayers.
A life with Christ is so different from what I’ve described above. As a mother, and a woman in leadership over a ministry and consultation agency, the mothering piece is the most challenging. I’ve experienced my own daughter taking a path unfamiliar to me. Some of these choices were devastating at the time. Just like the young woman above who sort desperate and violent prayers, I asked for the same over my daughter. At this moment, those prayers have been answered. So much so, she will soon begin her life as a wife and a leader of her own ministry.
The imperative of discussing my daughter’s new role as wife and ministry-starter, could cause some Evangelicals to wonder if this is a wise choice. Many may say it is impossible to do both, because the Bible tells us so!
1 Timothy 2:11-15 says:
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.
Whoa! That’s a great deal to take in. Yet, we know that the Apostle Paul also speaks highly of Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2. In addition, Paul speaks of Prisca and her husband Aquila on their leadership (Romans 16:3). Furthermore, he calls Junia an apostle (Romans 16:7).
He also wrote this:
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
Citing other researchers, Glantz (2020) shared that pragmatic research emphasizes that the formation of adulthood is created by involvements, measures, associations, principles, conviction, gender, negative work experiences, and absence of role substantiation by employers.
Going deeper, I draw from the words- associations, principles, and conviction, discussed in the paragraph above. From my experiences, a woman building a ministry or involved in church leadership, is careful about the relationships she keeps, is serious about her faith, and holds high morals for her family. In reading Paul’s viewpoint on this area of reflection, it is equally as important to consider the consequences, scenarios, and regions he writes above. Taking on one verse, to denote its meaning, does not give the entirety of the Bible justice. Profound considerations must be given to every aspect of each chapter and corresponding verses.
Cultural expectations or requirements do not make the decision to use 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to oppress women valid. This is not binding, because God’s words supersede one’s culture or belief systems. God’s belief system of fairness, justness, and compassion trumps any man-made ideologies.
A woman who seeks God and wants to serve Him, pleases Him. A woman who walks away from what society expects her to be and finds Him, is a woman God honors! Please think twice before condemning this precious decision.
Now that I have created this premise, in my blog next week, I’ll discuss more on the structures and practices of women in church leadership!
Until then, please reach out if I can assist you in building and growing your ministry.
Enjoy this week!
Glanz, J. L. (2020). Exploration of Christian women’s vocational ministry leadership and identity formation in evangelical churches on the west coast. Christian Education Journal, 17(2), 325–346. doi.org/10.1177/0739891320919422