Hi, Ladies! This is session 8 and boy, it is a doozy! Navigating the Male-Dominated Church World is an interesting chapter and a topic that’s been a source of contention within Christendom.
I never intended to write a theological position on women leading in the church; however, I wanted to present different leadership experiences that women have had in churches. But for today, I want to focus on page 183 of chapter 8, on the following two paragraphs about how women view themselves.
“I researched a few top songs of 2013: Pitbull’s, Timber, Lady Gaga’s, Do What You Want, and Justin Timberlake’s, Suit and Tie. After reading the lyrics, women are portrayed as sexual objects. Is it any wonder women often see themselves as sexual objects instead of women afforded all the honor, dignity and esteem of a daughter of the King. Here is an idea you won’t find in the lyrics of pop culture: 1Timothy 5:2 we read “Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.” (NLT)
For the woman coming through the doors of a life-giving church for the first time, she needs her mind transformed by the living Word of God, His love and grace. She needs to know that Jesus was the ADVOCATE for women, affording them honor, dignity, and significance. She needs to know that God’s Holy Spirit is for men and women as the Bible says in Joel 2:28-29 “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike.” (NLT) She needs the opportunity to serve and worship in life-giving churches where she can be fully equipped to do the works of the ministry in all the fullness that God has for her. This is Life-Giving Leadership!
Questions: Who or what helped you to form how you view yourself as a woman? As a leader? How can we help our daughters as well as the women we influence to value themselves?
Prayer: Father, help us as women who love You and follow You, to represent You well in every area of our lives. Help us to steward wisely the opportunities to lead within the local church, our work, our families and our communities. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Dear Moms of Boys,
First, I want you to know, I’ve been where you are at, a mom of boys. I’ve raised two sons, and this past year, my oldest son became a father…a father! It’s incredible to see your baby boy with his own baby. He holds her, kisses her, tells her how much he loves her, reads to her, bathes her, and already takes her on daddy-daughter dates to Publix so mom can have a few moments to herself. I’m so proud and blessed.
Which brings me to the point of this letter. I remember the following moments – in no certain order -with my sons, and I’m sure you’ve experienced them too.
· The moment you change your baby boy’s diaper and you realize it’s like changing a fire hose – and you get hit in the eye!
· The moment when your son tells you he wants to marry you and that you are the prettiest girl in the world.
· The moment you realize that there will NEVER be enough food in the pantry. It disappears before you get it out of the grocery bag!
· The moment he only wants you when he’s sick – even in high school.
· The moment he smiles at you sitting in the bleachers cheering him on.
· The moment he shares that he likes a girl.
· The moment you find out kids made fun of him at school and YOUR heart breaks.
· The moment your son asks Jesus into his heart at Vacation Bible School.
· The countless moments praying for your son, praying for his future wife, and his future children.
· The countless moments in the pediatrician’s office because of ear infections, fevers, and then concussions from football, skateboarding, and other “adventures.”
· The moment he drives down the street and around the corner as you stand out in the driveway until you can’t see his car anymore.
· The moment you pick your son up with a group of his friends from football practice and the stench is soooo bad you can hardly breathe!
· The moment you see your son graduate from high school and college and you thank God he made it!
· The moment he tells you he’s found the one he wants to marry.
· The moment you see him at the front of the church waiting for his bride.
· The moment he dances with you at his wedding and you can’t stop laughing because he’s cracking jokes and yet, you want to cry because it’s such a profound moment in your relationship.
· The moment you see your son hold his baby for the first time and he looks at you with tears in his eyes.
A lifetime of moments. Make each one count. It’s an honor to raise sons to be godly men, godly husbands, and godly fathers. As their moms, we have tremendous influence in their lives. Be intentional. Be prayerful. Be diligent, and when it gets hard because there are definitely difficult times, remember you are parenting them for the future. Bless each of you as you raise your boys to be men!
Well, Ladies, I’m a little sad that today is the last book study. I hope you’ve found it valuable. I know time is precious and I wanted this study to be worthy of your time. Thank you for joining me. Before we get started today, please know how much I appreciate you and I pray God’s blessing on your lives, your leadership and I pray you continue to make an impact with the love and joy of Jesus Christ. I want to end this book study by talking about the joys of leading.
Today, I want us to celebrate those women who have believed in us, invested in us, and inspired us to lead. So, l want you to share stories of women who have done this for you. Tag them, give them a shout out, and let them know how much they are appreciated. I’ll start!
I want to give a shout-out to my sister, Mary Reed, who has faithfully cheered me on in every season of my life – whether singing in plays as a child, to graduating from college, to getting married, parenthood, and up to this point, you have been a voice of encouragement, love, and support. Thank you. All my love!