Last Friday, I wrote a post on whether women were called to preach or not (click here to read). In that post, I went into great detail explaining that God doesn’t call women to teach, preach, or be elders in the context of the Church and in all local churches. However, I don’t want to simply leave the importance of God’s design for women. God has indeed given women extraordinary gifts and responsibilities that are not only unique, but they are crucial for the sake of the gospel.
God created women for a unique purpose and in a unique way. He has created them to complement the gifts and responsibilities that men have, and to do the things that men are not capable of doing. Now, some gifts are given to both men and women, but we must understand that God’s call for women is one that is special, and one that should be admired. From reading Scripture, you can see how much God cares about women being involved in worship, evangelism, and even in ministry. As promised in my post on Friday, I will go into detail about the ten things that I mentioned women are called to be, to do, and to desire all in accordance with the Scriptures and God’s design.
1) God calls women to learn.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when Jesus spends time with two women, Martha and Mary. Mary decides to abandon everything to listen to the teachings of Jesus, and then Martha goes, “Mary, come back here and help me over here in the kitchen!” Then Jesus tells Martha that she is to come out of the kitchen herself and help herself to the riches of His knowledge. People don’t realize how controversial that was.
If Paul was writing from a cultural perspective, then he failed to understand the culture of the Romans when writing 1 Timothy 2:11 (ESV) when it says, “Let a woman learn…” Roman, Greek, and even Jewish society didn’t permit women to learn anything. Paul actually encouraged women to be a part of the congregations and to learn sound doctrine. The Bible was not acting according to cultural norms but according to God’s will, and God’s will is that women study doctrine, theology, and even educational pursuits that God has called them to, according to Proverbs 31.
2) God calls women to teach children, and to strengthen one another.
The most unreached demographic in America, and in the first-world countries is women. Women are being lied to, being taught heresy, and are being brought into false gospels. Now, more than ever, women should be rooted in the Word of God, and they should be in fellowship. In Titus 2:4 (ESV), Paul says this to the older women, “And so train the young women.” The Bible desires that women teach women, because they must be strengthened with the truth of the gospel, in fellowship.
Also, Paul admired two women specifically: grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. Why? Because had it not been for their dedication to teach Timothy, Eunice’s son, Timothy wouldn’t have been rooted in the faith. He was taught by his mother and his grandmother. I encourage women, and especially young women, to be involved in children’s ministries and nurseries, for this is actually encouraged in the Scriptures.
3) God calls women to be good wives and good mothers.
To be a good wife and to be a good mom is not stressed enough today. Children desire a good mother, and a husband desires a good wife. Maybe it isn’t said too often, but it is true. Now, I am not saying that in order to be a good wife you have to be the literal image of a 1950s housewife, what I am saying, however, is that women are called by God to be wives and mothers and to do it to the best of their abilities.
One of the most famous chapters for biblical womanhood is Proverbs 31. In Proverbs 31:28 (ESV) it says the following about the woman mentioned, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” I have never seen a child or a husband praise a bad mother or wife (I’m just saying). God desires that women have the right attitude when having a union with another man (literally becoming one flesh), and raising and teaching children who have eternal souls. What a blessing it is to be called to such a ministry. As a guy…I see this ministry as beautiful for a woman.
4) God calls women to be submissive to the husbands.
In Ephesians 5:22 (ESV), Paul writes the following under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” God instructs women to humbly submit to the husband, not because he deserves it or because he is superior, but God has a reason for desiring this. In the same way that God instructs the husbands to love, honor, and treasure the love of his life, so much so that the man is willing to risk his own life for her’s, God desires that a wife submit to the husband. However, we must remember that women must submit to Christ above all else, which is Paul means by saying, “…as to the Lord”.
5) God calls women to support their husbands, and their husbands’ leadership.
The Bible is very clear that love is patient, kind, faithful, and one’s denial to arrogance or rudeness. It is also is very clear that a wife should support the leadership of the husband from the Scriptures. Some ask, “What if the man is an unbeliever? Do I still support him?” Yes, you should.
In 1 Peter 3:1-2 (ESV) it says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” That is truly convicting, as our own intuition and rebellion would say otherwise. However, please understand that the Bible is also clear that a woman should fear the Lord, and obey the commands of God above all else. Thus, the passage is not calling for unconditional obedience, but submission unto the Lord, and then the husband.
6) God calls women to be keepers of the home.
Here we go…the one you’ve all been waiting for. (clasps hands; rubs hands together; dusts knees) Alright…let’s do this! No matter what the culture says, no matter what kind of movement has taken place, and no matter how eager the majority of Evangelical churches are to say otherwise…but the priority of a woman is the home.
Titus 2:5 (ESV) states that women should be “working at home.” The Geneva Bible puts it “keeping at home”, and the Holman’s Christian Standard Bible puts it “homemakers”. Now, this doesn’t mean stay-at-home mom. It simply means that a woman must prioritize. Number 1: God. Number 2: Family. Then, comes work. Yes, it’s different from what we hear, but that is what needs to be done. I am not saying women should quit their jobs, but I am saying that the priority of a woman should be in her home, meaning being a good mother and a good wife.
7) God calls women to be doers.
You may find this confusing after my last point, but I do believe women are called to do something and be productive. I am not against women working. In fact, the Bible instructs all of us to keep ourselves busy. Why? So that we would not be ensnared by the devil’s temptations, and lest poverty strike any of us. Whether a public school teacher, a stay-at-home mom, or a nurse, women are called to glorify God in everything they do and to be strong.
Proverbs 31:15-19 (ESV) says, “She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household…considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard…dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong…perceives that her merchandise is profitable…puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.” This woman is very busy. I have never planted a vineyard, but I imagine it would take some time. The Bible is clearly not against women being at work or administering a gift that God has placed within the heart.
8) God calls women to worship Him.
A beautiful story that is found in the Bible is in the Gospel of Luke. Mary, once she had found out that she was pregnant with the Savior, travelled to see her relative named Elizabeth. Elizabeth too was pregnant, and declared that the baby inside jumped with gladness at her coming. Then, Mary responds in Luke 1:47, 49 (ESV): “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of his servant…He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.”
Mary praised the Lord with boldness, confessing that the Lord God is wonderful and gracious. Miriam, the sister of Moses, led Israel in worship when they had crossed the Red Sea. Throughout Christian history, countless women have written beautiful hymns, and their words have stirred our spirits into a blessed worship. God finds this to be an incredible gift, as sometimes women can better see (more often that men at least) that God is beautiful, loving, and sensitive.
9) God calls women to draw near to Him.
Jesus called women to follow Him, and they did. Mary Magdalene was a woman who was once an adulterer, and she followed Jesus to know the truth of God. Mary and Martha were called away from their duties to have fellowship with the Savior. Paul encouraged women to be rooted in doctrine, and many more examples in the Bible could be found how God desires that women know doctrine, theology, and the truth of the Bible. Proverbs 31:30 (ESV) upholds this truth saying, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Indeed there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who seeks after God and submits to Him.
10) God calls women to represent the Church.
The final call that God has for women which I would like to address is the most unique roll that a woman has. It is astounding, astonishing, and truly extraordinary for God to say that a woman is to represent the Church. Just consider the sin of Eve: is it a coincidence that Eve sinned first, and that Adam knowingly bit into the fruit that Eve had given her? No. Even then, Eve represented the folly of elect of God, and Adam represented Christ’s sacrifice by becoming sin for the Church.
All throughout the Bible, we see the greatest love story being played out in which Jesus, the white knight, defeats the dragon in order to rescue His princess, His bride, and His truest love. Women are the image of the Church on this earth. Women are the glory of men. Why? Because of womankind represents the Church. In Ephesians 5:23-24 (ESV) it says, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” The reasoning for all of the biblical definitions of gender roles come back to this truth: women represent the Church. That is far too amazing for me to still grasp, and I think that this the most honorable calling that God has given women: be the image of the Church.
I hope that we come back to the biblical understanding of womanhood, and I hope that women will realize that there is more to their being than to keep desiring to be leaders. I get the fact that everyone wants to be a leader, or to be someone in authority, or to be teachers. However, God set forth great things for all women. These things are beautiful; I say that in complete honesty and sincerity. God made a marvelous thing, that man should love women liked Christ loved the Church, and that women should be honored and esteemed by men. May we glorify God by fulfilling the complementary roles that God has given to both men and women.
Soli Deo Gloria.