The destiny of a woman has been contested since the fall in the garden (Gen. 3:15-16). A prolonged struggle rages between the seed of woman giving birth to the family of God and spiritual descendants of Satan that will end one day in victory when Jesus returns.
In a time of heightened attack on the sanctity of being created male or female, I am passionate about understanding God's viewpoint of women and how He feels about us. In a mother's womb, God literally created us as individuals, male or female (Ps. 139:13-14).
There's a grand storyline developing in history which has a starring role for women.
God highlights the role of women in several defining points in the life of Jesus:
- Mary, the mother of Jesus: As a virgin, Mary gave birth to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Ancient belief held that the male was the only source of life and that woman's purpose was to carry the child and to give birth. Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton point out in their book, Why not Women?, that Mary was the only human source for Jesus' DNA (Luke 1:34-35.)
- Women on the team: Several females were included in Jesus' ministry team (Luke 8:1-3).
- The woman at the well: Jesus was interested enough in the destiny of a woman caught in sin that He told her about her past. When she responded, saying, "I know a Messiah is coming," He gave her the news that would change not only her life, but the whole village: "I am He," said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further" (John 4:26).
- Mary of Bethany: Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Jesus' feet with costly perfume and wiped His feet with her hair before His death (John 11:2; 12:3).
- Mary Magdalene: After His resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14).
What are some things men and women can do today to value the destiny of women as Jesus did?
Godly womanhood is an honor, a pure and holy pursuit that drops a plumb line for how to step up as a woman without resorting to clenched fists, raging at society with hands on hips demanding our rights—or succumbing to the silent tragedy of folding your hands in your lap and doing nothing, all the while screaming in quiet desperation. Women are struggling to find their place.
As a believing woman in leadership, I want to apologize to women who didn't see a compelling picture from mothers in the faith of the ecstasy and extreme fulfillment of being a confident woman in God. For those who felt "less than" and gave in to self-pity, even betraying their own identity and settling for a mediocre version of the woman they are called to be, I wish we had shown you something greater. I'm sorry I didn't pave the way as a modern-day Deborah, a woman secure enough in God's leading to call a male military leader to do what God had called him to do, a powerful woman who mounted a horse to ride into battle when it was necessary, a woman who was a key leader bringing peace in her community.
Have Christian women failed to live with passion and zeal because we didn't think we could or should? It's time to trade lackluster versions of leadership for a passionate pursuit of godly womanhood. It is time to be mobilized becoming who God has invited us to be, doing what God has given us to do for the harvest is here.
I want to apologize to those in my circles looking for an example of womanhood who didn't see me living and leading in such a way they could find a highway with neon signs (or at the very least a trail of breadcrumbs) leading to Jesus, the one who positioned women in high places at strategic times in history. It was a woman overshadowed by the Holy Spirit who brought Jesus into the world, and it was a woman who met the resurrected Lord at the tomb. Martha cooked for Jesus, Mary lavished her affection on Him by pouring costly ointment over Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. The love of Jesus truly sets a woman free to live and love with abandon. Oh, that this would be our testimony.
It is my desire that we change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the church as well as in the marketplace by passionately embracing the holy and pure pursuit of embracing Spirit-led women who buy and sell, have a voice at the leadership table, make tough decisions, rock the cradle, raise the evangelist, rise to global leadership levels—what glass ceiling?
Women, I urge you to embrace the opportunity to become women of beauty and substance, for God has created you in His image.
Linda Fields, author and speaker, is the director of 7-MPact Marketplace Ministry at the International House of Prayer Kansas City.
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