Do you ever struggle with your role as a woman? Do you ever wonder if you were created for more?
There’s a lot of debate about a woman’s place – what roles we should and should not assume. Many say a woman’s place is in the home, in the kitchen and beside her husband. And while there is definitely some truth to each, it is important to know those are all roles we gladly assume but they, alone, don’t define us.
You see, while it’s true, that our place is beside our husband, it is equally true that our value, our worth and our usefulness as women of God is not limited to our role as a godly wife. The same is true about our role in the home.
Each is an important part of who we are, but none completely characterize the fulfillment of who God has called us to be and what He has created us for.
This week we’re going to look at some women who have shaped the course of history because they refused to accept any limitations placed on them by anyone other than God. Women whose lives challenge our own.
Have you ever considered the Biblical examples of women you really admired because of their determination to live out loud for the Lord and to make a difference in their world – to step up to the plate and serve God in their generation?
Today, we’re going to get an overview of a few faithful women who have gone before us:
Noah’s Wife – Faithful to follow God and her husband
Rahab – Harlot turned heroin and ended up in the lineage of Jesus Christ and in the Hebrews 11 Roll Call of Faith
Deborah – A brave woman judge turned warrior
Abigail – A loyal and wise wife who was once married to a callous and cruel man – her beauty and wisdom won David’s heart
Abidhag – Chosen to care for elderly David
Dorcas – A widow whose good deeds won the hearts of her community
Mary – Highly favored of God and chosen to become the mother of Jesus
Lydia – A wise business woman whose new found faith spawned a new church plant in her home
Hadassah – An orphaned Jewish girl whose uncle raised her – We know her as Esther
Now, let’s look at a few mothers of the faith not found in the pages of Scripture:
Susanna Wesley – Married to a minister named Samuel Wesley, Within 19 years, she gave birth to 19 children; 9 of her children died in infancy. Two of her sons, Charles and John, were men of God whose fervent passion is known to have been a catalyst for a revival in England during their day. That revival and their leadership ignited what is known today as the Methodist church.
Catherine Booth – Along with her husband, William, they cofounded The Salvation army – She was also a mother with a growing family of eight children and was dedicated to their spiritual foundation and growth – two of them became Generals of The Salvation Army
Gertrude Chambers – Was the wife of Oswald Chambers…and if you’ve ever had the privilege of reading through “My Utmost for His Highest”, which bears Oswald’s name, you can thank Gertrude.
Elizabeth Elliot and Rachel Saint – Elizabeth Elliot is my favorite speaker & author. She was a courageous missionary who stayed and ministered to the Quichuan Indians after her husband was killed by them – She (along with her 2 year old daughter) and Rachel Saint, whose brother Nate was also killed, remained in the jungle of Ecuador, living among the Indians and ministering the Gospel to them while translating the Bible into the Quichua language
Although these women functioned in the typical roles we associate with women, those roles did not confine or define them. We are called beyond the four walls of our homes. We are called to share the Gospel, to love the unlovable, to feed the hungry, to minister to the weary and to love others in Jesus’ name.
Today, as you look at the list of women who have gone before us, allow it to call you to look at your own life and ask yourself these questions:
• What on earth am I doing on this earth?
• What does Jesus want me to do with the days He has given me?
• What do I need to do to be a vessel of honor that He can use today?
• How can I be a living epistle today? In my home? In my neighborhood? In my workplace? In my church? In my community? In my country? In this world?
Tomorrow, we will begin to look at some of the lives of those I have mentioned. You might be surprised to see a little of yourself in each of them. Perhaps they will challenge us all to be all we can be while we have breath.