It is concerning how often we tell girls and women how beautiful they are and how little we tell them how smart, capable, and gifted they are. Sadly, the Church has been among those who treat women more like dainty, beautiful fine china. Yes, we have been told we are “valuable” over and over, but another message is getting mixed in which screams “You are valuable because of your beauty and ability to be submissive to a man.”
Strangely, women in the Church have been encouraged to look more like beautiful servants than beautiful warriors. While Jesus most certainly calls all of his Church to serve, not one of us is called to identify as a “servant.”
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). -Jesus
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir (Galatians 4:7). -Paul
We are not pretty little assistants to men; we are daughter’s of the most high God – The King of Kings! Our identity should be found in the fact that God is our Father. This makes us royal no matter what we look or act like!
Patriarchy in the Church has caused women to have “identity confusion,” which has led to Christian women focusing on their looks, getting plastic surgery at 30 years old, obsessively dieting and working out, taking 800 selfies a day because we never feel pretty enough, comparing, backbiting, frustration, low self-esteem, and epidemic insecurity.
We have to expect our secular culture to be caught up in all of this, but why are us Christian ladies struggling so much to find ourselves outside of our appearances. Perhaps one huge reason is because we have not been given many responsibilities in the Church. We have been told over and over, “The men got this.”
Oh, but we are SO. MUCH. MORE. than a pretty face!
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What if I told you that you are needed in the Church even if you never really considered yourself a minister? Sure, there are some amazing women who we need to continue to bake cookies, bring meals to new mothers, and manage the children; but when this is all we are permitted to do then there is no place for the women who don’t like to bake, make meals, or manage children. Therefore, these women are left to find their purposes outside of the walls of the Church.
How sad is this when there are women sitting in the pews who are math wizards and could be helping to manage the church finances, women who are teachers and could be teaching youth and adult Sunday school classes, women who are gifted communicators and could be preaching on Sunday mornings, women who are gifted writers and could be helping to write curriculum or bulletins, women who are highly influential and could be leading people, and the list goes on.
Women have not been allowed or encouraged to use their gifts in the Church unless their gifts happen to be with cooking, children, or singing. How tragic! How can a Church truly be healthy without the balance of female and male gifts? It is no wonder Christian women are left to find their purposes out in the world. How much the Christian Church is missing out on!
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It is time for some men to take a seat. Ouch, I know that hurts a little, but if there is a female in the church who can do a job better than a man, is more experienced, is more educated, and is simply more gifted in a certain area; why would we not want that person in the role despite their gender? There are far too many men operating in church roles who are not even that good at their position. Yet, they are still favored for the responsibility at hand because they are a man!
Roles for women in the Body of Christ are narrow-minded and leave most of us marginalized. I am just being real here; I have a BS in Church Ministry, MA in Christian Doctrine and History, and years of ministry experience and I still struggle to find a job! Heck, I struggle to find places in the church where I can work for free (unless it is in children’s ministry of course).
This is a really big problem; not just for me who wants to be in full-time ministry, but also for everyday Christian women who just want to be more involved in their churches and would like to share their gifts with their congregations.
So what do we do? We first find our identity in being a daughter of God. We are strong, we are capable, we are smart, we are gifted, and we are NOT satisfied with the limited roles we are being offered. It is time to stop being content with the way things are and speak up for each other. Women are powerful when we come together. We are half of the Church and our voice and gifts matter. When we know who we belong to and that we are needed, we are no longer content to stay silent.
“Breaking the Glass Steeple” is going to take some time ladies, so we must be patient and trust God to open up doors for us, but we do not have to take a passive role! This is why I started this blog. I struggled to find a platform in the Church, so I created my own platform. Patriarchy in the church has tried to hold us down by making us afraid to speak up. The Bible has been taken out of context in hopes of shutting our mouths. Will you continue to sit pretty or will you roar like the warrior-princess you were intended to be?
“Have Courage and Be Kind” -Cinderella’s Mother
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