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The church should model integrity, honoring men and women equally. Earnest repentance and intentional reform would have a ripple effect throughout our culture. The world's reforms will never do the job because they aren't capable of changing the hearts of men.

How can we hang back when we have the answer to the injustices in society? How can we remain insecure and divided among ourselves, elevating men and devaluing women when we know Christ's view of us?

God may ask us to risk hurt in order to model vulnerability and our commitment to a higher call. How tragic if we instead build walls around our hearts, keeping at a distance the very people to whom God desires we minister.

As we reflect on women's roles in our churches and ministries, let's encourage reform. Let's have the courage to bring continuing change within the church.

And if we have spent our lives playing "second fiddle" when the quality of our work should have placed us in a lead position, let's forgive and go on in obedience to the Maestro. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him and our ears attuned to the words He whispers to us, we will become instruments for His glory.

Joyce Strong teaches and ministers internationally through conferences and leadership seminars. Her books have been translated into many languages and distributed freely on four continents. She speaks and writes about issues of life and leadership with honesty, relevance, and compassion. Her love for others flows from her personal walk with God and a deep understanding of what men and women face as they seek to follow Christ.

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