By Carolyn Hughes
For centuries, Christian women have been an intricate part of the Church. Our contributions to the cause of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, is just as evident today in evangelism, teaching, and preaching as it was in the days of the bible when Deborah judged a nation, and Lydia established a church. God has used women in amazing and miraculous ways; ways that sometimes contradicts many modern beliefs of women and their roles in the Church.
It is not my belief that we, as women are to merely sit on pews idly our entire lives, but rather walk into the purpose that God has ordained for our lives. The bible tells us to stand up and cry loud! To sing praises, to pray and be intercessors! It is time that we took our rightful places and took up, where our biblical heroines left off. Where are the wailing women? The women not afraid to mess up perfect hair and make-up? The women who need a word from the Lord, and who are not mindful of those standing around them. Women who don't care about titles or licenses? Where are the women who have petitions that have not yet been answered? Women who's husbands who are not saved? Women who have children sitting on death row; and children who won't come home? Women who don't know what to do; where are these women?
We as Christian women have become a divided community. Trivial, non-edifying, disagreements have taken precedence over emotional well-being, deliverance and the anointing of God. We are so busy looking at each other and finding fault with one another, that we have failed to realize when the true purpose of women in the church ceased functioning. We have forgotten that many of our national recognized denominations were birthed from praying, Holy Ghost anointed women. Idealism, ritualism, and traditionalism have now taken the place of this Godly attributes. Today, we debate over whether we should teach or preach; wear make-up or not wear make-up; short sleeves, long sleeves, skirt at the ankle or skirt right below the knee -and the list goes on and on. Women within the Church now find themselves being weighed and evaluated based upon individual opinion, and not upon God's Word. Without question decency and modesty are fundamental requirements for being true women of God, but rigid guidelines, and regulations, are not. I would not be so foolish to say to you that only what is in the heart counts; this is true to some extent, God does examine the heart while man examines the outer appearance. However, God does require us as his daughters to uphold a standard that is acceptable and exemplifies that we are set apart to be witnesses for him in this world.
My concern is that we spend so much time discussing the trivial things; we pass judgment on one another without exploring each other spiritually and as human beings. Recently, at a bible study, a discussion of cosmetics came up. One woman exclaimed "if it's not in the bible, it is not justifiable," "gifts come without repentance" I was inwardly amused. The women who sat around the table condemning others for wearing make-up, were the same ones who wore it on Sundays, pulled out compacts to check their faces, and had mascara laced on their eyelashes. These are the types of women that are hurting us; hypocritical women who seem to think things are only okay if and when they do it themselves.
I do not necessarily endorse women in pastoral positions, but I do know women in pastoral roles that are anointed, committed; and devoted, and most importantly -getting the job done. Even though I myself would not want this task, do I condemn those who are? Absolutely not!
We get jealous if someone is exalted or promoted, and wonder why it happened or "why didn't it happen to me?" I have seen envious looks if a sister walks in two Sundays in a row, in a nice suit or hairstyle. It seems that we cannot get past the superficial coverings and immerse ourselves in the beauty of Christ and each other. God has placed special circumstances within each of our lives. These experiences are designed to build character and to prepare us for what lies ahead of us. When one of our sisters comes forth victoriously, through many hard trials, and tribulations and finds that God has exalted her, don't be envious, be glad for her- know that God is using her to build his kingdom!
Through all the controversies, the opinions, and the scrutiny when all is said at the end of the day, we as women bow down to our Father, in heaven, and lay at His feet as the daughters that we are.
Yet still God's woman whether I teach or preach; yet still His whether wearing Revlon, or just Noxzema; yet still His, in St. John or Kathy Lee Gifford; yet still His whether on the platform preaching, or at the front door ushering. We are yet still His Women, called to reach and birth the nations, called to nurture the sick and lonely, called to be a witness, called to pray and be intercessors. Regardless of our differences... we are yet still God's Woman.
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