Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Godly Women on Mission

A few weeks ago at the women's ministry meeting at church a woman brought up a fabulous question about pursuing godly womanhood in regards to missionality. She asked if it was appropriate that once we begin to understand what God's call is for us as women, that we begin to live it out in a way that affects women who don't know Jesus yet -- use what we know to help other women love their families well, respect their husbands, and bring up their children in the ways of the Lord. And yes, that couldn't be more appropriate! This does, however, seem like a daunting task because it seems like it would take so long just to communicate Jesus to the woman (at least that's how I feel at times), and it would take even longer to influence her in such a way that she wants to shape her life around Jesus and build her family on Jesus. But what am I thinking, Jesus is in control ... all we have to do is TRUST him. He's the one with the power to do all things, so why shouldn't we be pursuing other women in this way so that they not only come to know Jesus themselves, but introduce their family to him as well!

I began thinking about this again after studying Mark 6:30-44. (Yes, I know this passage is about feeding the five thousand, but hang with me.) The verse that really did it for me was verse 37:
But he answered, "You give them something to eat."
They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"
Here, we see that when Jesus presented a need to the disciples (feed five thousand people), they automatically thought that Jesus wanted them to take care of the situation in their own strength. Most of the time, this would be my reaction too. If we go back to my initial point about loving other women well who don't know Jesus, I would naturally think, "Ok Lord, I see that you want me to build a relationship with __________. But wow, that's going to take a lot of time and maybe money to invest in her. I don't know if I have that to give, but I'll see what I can do." Hmm, sounds similar to the disciples response, huh?

But as the passage continues, we see that Jesus instructs them, graciously and compassionately, on how to take care of the need. He doesn't require them to spend the eight-months wage (money they don't have) or even buy the food needed to feed the people. He doesn't even say, "Of course not, I'll take care of it." Rather, he simply instructs them on how to go about taking care of the need (Mark 6: 38-44).

This particularly struck me because our financial situation has changed dramatically in the past year since I chose to follow God's call for me and stay at home with my son full time, causing us to "lose" an income, and then even more so since my husband followed God's lead and changed jobs. (I'm not complaining, but I'm just being honest about where we are. In fact, I know with certainty that the Lord is using this time to challenge me and my false securities so that I begin to give everything to Him!) But after reading this passage, my response to live missionality or even generously with other women around me shouldn't be based on money at all. Jesus is very clear about that in this passage. He's basically saying, "It's not about what you can give at all. It's about trusting in ME to fulfill that need. My spirit lives within you and enables you to do the work that only I can do (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). Just trust me and believe!" If that need requires money, God will provide. If it requires time, God will help us re-prioritize our day to give more time. Etc.

Of course the Bible is also very clear that everything belongs to Jesus anyway (Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, Haggai 2:8) -- our time, our money, our possessions ... everything! So when we think about giving those things, they aren't really ours to give anyway. We're only stewards of those things -- be it a lot of money or a little -- and we should give it back to the Lord willingly in response to the grace he's shown us. I believe this is a different conversation, but one that requires us to place our trust in Jesus as well. If we trust Jesus with our whole lives, our only response should be, "It's all yours Jesus, do with it as you want. Thanks for using me in the process!"

And when it all boils down, regardless of our financial situation or schedule, we should be able to say that Jesus is enough ... period, and allow that truth alone to compel us to change our cities for Him, regardless of the cost!

If you want to explore stewardship a bit more, Deuteronomy 8:17-18 and 1 Corinthians 4:7 are good places to start.


  1. Very well said. This post definitely hit home with me as I am trying to work with my husband to structure our finances and life in such a way that if God calls us to give we won't be as reluctant. Seems like I always think of stewardship in a big situation context instead of the day to day attitude that it actually is.

  2. I am so convicted of this, as well. How many times have I chosen to spend my time unwisely? More than I'd like to admit.