I've often thanked God I was not born in Bible times. Women in that time period were treated almost like property. I am always taken aback when I read of the strangers coming to Lot's door, asking to sleep with the men visiting and Lot says, "Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." (Genesis 19:8) What?! Shouldn't a daughter expect the same protection from her father?!
If one read the Old Testament alone, it would be easy to say that God doesn't value women. But Christianity is based on Christ and the New Testament suggests otherwise. When I was in college, I did a research paper on women in the Bible and came to the conclusion that while mankind in general didn't give women respect, Jesus did. God in the flesh gives women great significance.
God could have brought His Son into the world in any way, but He chose to use a woman. Does that not speak volumes? Jesus had many gracious encounters with women, some His society wrote off--the woman who'd been bleeding for 12 years, the woman at the well, the woman accused of adultery the Pharisees wanted to stone. He established meaningful relationships with women. And perhaps as significant as the method of His birth, after His resurrection He appeared FIRST to women!
There's value for you, ladies!
Yet sometimes it's frustrating being a woman. Never mind the fluctuating hormones which wreak havoc on our delicate sensibilities. There are certain limitations put on women in God's Word. There's the whole submission issue in marriage I'm not about to touch today (but you can click here to see what I have written before). The one that annoys me from time to time is His command for women to be under the authority of men. Now I'm no women's libber. I completely subscribe to God's hierarchy, knowing it is for His order and purpose and my protection, but sometimes it's disappointing.
Once I was asked to substitute for a couples' Sunday School class. My heart skipped a beat when the teacher asked, thrilled to have the opportunity to take a crack at it. I knew I could get a lively discussion going. I knew I had something to offer on the chosen subject. I had experience and desire and a bit of knowledge. I knew I could get the job done. But I had to turn him down because Scripture clearly states "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man . . ." (1 Timothy 2:12) Sigh. It didn't seem fair. Everything in me wanted to teach that class. The only reason I couldn't was because I was a woman.
I suppose I could scream for justice. I could push the envelope and worm my way into places God doesn't want me being, but what good would that do? How does that display the "gentle and quiet spirit" He praises? I may not like it, but God limits me some because I am a woman. I can whine about it, or I can accept His plan, trusting His way is best.
I can let Him be God and follow.
I can't go against His natural order and expect His blessing. I choose instead to remember how valuable women are to Him and trust His love to lead me where He needs me most. Women ARE part of His divine plan and He treasures us. May we make His joy complete by doing it His way.
“We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”
Do you feel limited by God? How will you fight that?
Want to see what others think of this quote? Visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures.
Photo Credit: mharrsch