I find it hilarious that women can “teach” but not “preach.” Can someone please show me, what the difference is? If a man is talking about God, it is preaching. But if a woman is talking about God, then it is “teaching” or “sharing” because “preaching” is only for men…does anyone else see how silly this is?!
Ironically, I used to think women shouldn’t preach, much less be in leadership. In fact, at one point in my adolescent years, I informed my Dad that I did not think a woman should ever be president because they couldn’t be trusted. They were given over to their emotions, and we all know that is irrational and bad. How could they make wise decisions under hormonal influences? No, we needed men, who can shoot without remorse, to hear from God and lead people and nations. (don’t you just want to punch me in the face right now?). However, these opinions had more to do with my culture, than they did my actual convictions.
I grew up in a society that mocked the sanity of women and told them they had no place in the inner circles of God’s House. That was “men’s” work. Any women striving after positions of leadership were power hungry and discontent with the roles God had so clearly mandated in scriptures. Women were made to plan the potlucks and wipe tiny bottoms and cook from scratch and waste their husband’s money and smile pretty for the men to admire. Although no one was saying these things outright, the attitudes, casual comments, and jokes made revealed that women were not thought much of beyond procreation and dinner. To be woman, was little more than sexual objectification. This felt damning to me, but it was what I had to believe in order to be accepted by my male peers, and maybe even more so, my female peers.
Somehow, I knew that women were made for more, but it wasn’t until I asked the question, “why not women?” that the truth so clearly materialized. I became a voracious reader of all things women’s identity related, consuming books like “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans, and “Fashioned to Reign” by Kris Vallotton. If men AND women were created in I AM’s image, then both must be equally representative. Two important parts of a powerful whole. When one is silenced, we lose an accurate picture of God’s heart. For centuries, we have been missing half of God’s revelation, though it has been in scripture all along.
The unique way God speaks through women is through their emotions, their intelligence, intuitions, sensitivities, and passions. Nations are edified by their vision, their beauty, their creativity, their strength, their ability to create life and unite humanity. The prayers of righteous women are special, powerful. How could women’s voices mean everything to God, but nothing to the men of the earth?
I believe God has sweet manna for the world to release through women.
The male writers of Psalms and Proverbs refer to what they learned at their mother’s knees, and how they bound this teaching around their necks. Miriam was a prophet of God, a judge named Deborah brought order and enacted God’s decrees to a lost and moral-less wandering tribe. The King of Persia yielded himself to the wisdom of a woman that saved an entire nation from genocide. The New Testament would look VERY different were it not for the female disciples, deacons, teachers, elders, friends, evangelists, mothers, and entrepreneurs, who carried the word of God in their hearts and into their spheres of influence. Time and time again Jesus empowered women, healing them, forgiving them, and sending them back to their communities to speak the truth of His gospel message. Paul’s ministry thrived on the generous patronage of Lydia, a wealthy business woman who loved God and planted one of the first churches in Europe.
This is not about throwing out scripture that is uncomfortable. This is not about re-interpreting scripture to support preferred worldviews. This is about understanding the heart and character of God, and interpreting scripture through that lens. God’s original design was co-dominion, Adam and Eve both charged to rule and subdue the earth as equals. Jesus’ work on the cross opens the door for us to live beyond Eden’s curse, to return to God’s original design.
We need the global community of women embracing their diversity and stepping into the weighty charge of the Great Commission, with nothing holding them back, to showcase the love and hope of Jesus Christ in the beautiful ways that only they can. One tribe, one nation, one voice rising up to quash darkness in every corner of the globe.
Kelsi Folsom holds a B.M. in Voice Performance and has traveled all over the world participating in operas, musicals, jazz bands, and choirs. Now a mom to “three under three”, she currently resides in Saba, Dutch Caribbean while her husband attends medical school. When she is not putting on her best Cherubino while changing dirty diapers, you can find her perfecting gluten-free recipes, snorkeling, *gasp* reading, enjoying a nap, or trying to make sense of her life over french press. Kelsi writes here, and is also a regular contributor to the island website Women Who Live On Rocks.