Tag Archives: woman

Mom’s Role in the Family (A Virtuous Woman)

Today’s message summary of May 14, 2017 from Elaine Brown:

Women are beautiful, unique and loving.  They have a very important role within the family, and God has appointed them to a role within it.

The design of the family is a male (man), female (woman–helper), and sons and daughters, who are brought up and mentored by their parents.

The man is the head administrator (CEO) of the family, while the woman is the COO of the household.

In contrast, society today has redefined family to different definitions that include a single mother or father, or even two fathers, two mothers, or a blended family.  When did this all start to happen?  It was a generational shift that began in the days of Woodstock.  The mantra of the day was “do your own thing.”  The misuse of alcohol and drugs, and protests became more prevalent.  Each of these things was a part of what became a moral decline as a society, and a gradual breakdown of today’s family.

Here is a startling statistic:  1,415,955 children were born out of wedlock in 2003.  It is hard to know if there are men involved with these children or not, but it is hard to ignore the generational impact of what happened a short time ago. In today’s census (2016), there are 10 million single mothers that are heading their families.  Daycare is now much more prevalent because of the need for mothers to work to earn a living, but the children, who are outside of the home for up to eleven hours a day, are faced with less time within a family unit.

The breakdown of the family has a profound effect on the emotional well-being of the parent and the child.  The need for a strong figure in the family, a mother, is extremely important, and God speaks of this woman in Proverbs 31:10-31:

Proverbs 31:10-31 NLT

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?

    She is more precious than rubies.

Her husband can trust her,

    and she will greatly enrich his life.

She brings him good, not harm,

    all the days of her life.

She finds wool and flax

    and busily spins it.

She is like a merchants ship,

    bringing her food from afar.

She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household

    and plan the days work for her servant girls.

She goes to inspect a field and buys it;

    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She is energetic and strong,

    a hard worker.

She makes sure her dealings are profitable;

    her lamp burns late into the night.

Her hands are busy spinning thread,

    her fingers twisting fiber.

She extends a helping hand to the poor

    and opens her arms to the needy.

She has no fear of winter for her household,

    for everyone has warm clothes.

She makes her own bedspreads.

    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.

Her husband is well known at the city gates,

    where he sits with the other civic leaders.

She makes belted linen garments

    and sashes to sell to the merchants.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

    and she laughs without fear of the future.

When she speaks, her words are wise,

    and she gives instructions with kindness.

She carefully watches everything in her household

    and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her.

    Her husband praises her:

There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,

    but you surpass them all!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;

    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Reward her for all she has done.

    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

 

This woman is one who fears (has reverence of) the Lord.  You may not have any children, but women are natural nurturers.  A woman with strong character is well-respected, and has the desire to please God.

The appearance of the woman is not mentioned.  It is much less important than her outlook on life and how she remains obedient to God.  You are a virtuous woman as you seek to please God.  God provides you with the strength and wisdom to accomplish many things.

Fearing God is having a heart to really know Him.  It’s more than just your feelings–it really is about learning more about Him and making Him the priority in your life.  It is about asking Him where He wants you to be, and leaning upon Him for strength, wisdom and encouragement.

If you are seeking God with all of your heart, you are a virtuous woman.  In order to break these generational issues, there has to be a teaching of the youth as to how to live in this manner:

Deuteronomy 6:1-11

This is the commandthe statutes and ordinancesthe Lord your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to enter and possess.  Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.  Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.  Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give youa land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plantand when you eat and are satisfied.

Needless to say, if there is no teaching, there is a lack of knowledge that is being passed on.  God provides the wisdom and knowledge to you in order to be successful, and that information needs to be passed on to the children.

The key to this teaching is a constant exposure to God’s Word–day and night–with prayer, family devotion time, and reflection upon what He is saying to you.

Mothers also teach their children by their words and their actions.  Children look to mothers for guidance and will follow it.

Even within a single-parent household, God can bring along others who will help within the relational development of the children and the family.

The virtuous woman referenced in Proverbs 31 had a number of duties (!).  She accomplished a great deal and worked inside and outside the household.  She had to be a very good planner, well organized, and be very diligent in running her household.  Her family was a priority of the day, and the additional things that she had to accomplish were done after hours, and she used good judgment.  These are godly character traits of a virtuous women.

Philippians 4:13

I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

A woman who fears the Lord is worthy of praise.

If you fix your heart to please the Lord, you are a virtuous woman.

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Ladies Conference feat. Chrystal Evans Hurst – Saturday, November 5, 2016

Meet Chrystal Evans Hurst

Meet Chrystal Evans Hurst on Saturday, November 5, 2016 – 8 AM – 1 PM

Attention, Ladies!

Our special guest speaker for the program “Are You the Queen or the Concubine” is Chrystal Evans Hurst, daughter of Dr. Tony Evans of The Urban Alternative and tonyevans.org, and co-author of the book, Kingdom Woman.

Akron Alliance Fellowship Church, 688 Diagonal Road, Akron OH 44320 – 8 AM – 1 PM

Tickets have limited availability and are required for this conference!

Please go to our sister site akronalliancefellowship.com and click on the graphic to purchase tickets online or purchase tickets in Akron, Ohio at the following locations:

  • Lifeway Christian Store, 143 Rothrock Road, Suite A, Copley OH 44321 (in Montrose near Home Depot)

  • Wonder World Child Development Center, 688 Diagonal Road, Akron OH 44320 (Monday through Friday).


The End Times: Babylon the Great

Today’s message summary of May 3, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Revelation Chapter 17 refers to Babylon as “Babylon, the Great.”

Revelation 17:1-18

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.”  So he carried me away in the Spirit to a desert. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns.  The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She had a gold cup in her hand filled with everything vile and with the impurities of her prostitution. On her forehead a cryptic name was written:

BABYLON THE GREAT

THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES

AND OF THE VILE THINGS OF THE EARTH.

Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 

Then the angel said to me, Why are you astonished? I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast, with the seven heads and the 10 horns, that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again. 

Here is the mind with wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings: Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for a little while. The beast that was and is not, is himself an eighth king, yet he belongs to the seven and is going to destruction. The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

He also said to me, The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The 10 horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose and to give their kingdom to the beast until Gods words are accomplished. And the woman you saw is the great city that has an empire over the kings of the earth.

 

Satan knows that he can move nations, countries and people to a place where they adapt to more and more immoral behavior.  People are being conditioned mentally to accept things that you normally would not accept.  The worst is coming.  God warns His people to stay clear of this deception and see it for what it really is.

If you are not careful, Satan will rob you of many things.  He seeks to destroy.

Jeremiah 51:6

“Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It us time for the Lord’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves.”

 

Romans 13:11-14

Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

 

1 Peter 5:8

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.

 

Ephesians 5:8-14

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light–for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth–discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.  Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.

 

God will not force you to seek Him and His holiness.  He will let you continue into your ways, but God desires for you to come out of the “playpen” of the world, and to seek Him with a relationship.  He will respond to your prayers that seek Him and a humble way of living.

Nimrod was the founder of Babylon and builder of Assyria. He was a grandson of Noah.

From Babylon, and its founder, Nimrod, comes every heresy that has even been spoken or taught.

Abraham and Nimrod were two important men after the Great Flood.  Right after the tower of Babel is when Abram is called and is renamed Abraham by God.

Micah 5:6

They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade. So He will rescue us from Assyria when it invades our land, when it marches against our territory.

 

Genesis 10:8-12

Cush fathered Nimrod, who was the first powerful man on earth. He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord. That is why it is said, Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord.” His kingdom started with Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and the great city Calah.

 

Nimrod means, “We shall rebel.”

Abram’s name means, “Father is exalted.”

Abraham’s name means, “Father of a multitude.”

Genesis 17:1-8

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be blameless.  I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.

Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: “As for Me, My covenant is with you: you will become the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations.  I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you.  I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residingall the land of Canaanas an eternal possession, and I will be their God.

 

Abram was raised by Terah (Genesis 11:26) and came up under Nimrod’s system.  His family moved to Ur of the Chaldeans.  The Lord scattered everyone throughout the earth.  God called Abram in Genesis 12:1:

Genesis 12:1

Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

 

Note that the Tower of Babel was a move to become independent from God.  God had to scatter the people in order to prevent this from happening.  Nimrod had set up a system of self-worth and independence from God.  Through God, Abraham set up a system of faith.  Of this, two groups emerged: Christianity and Islam.

From Nimrod comes Babylon and Assyria (Ninevah).  These are the two cities that destroyed the nation of Israel.

Assyria destroyed the Northern Kingdom in 721 B.C.  Babylon destroyed the Southern Kingdom of Israel in 586 B.C.

Jonah 1:1-2

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because their wickedness has confronted Me.


Mother’s Day: God’s Message of True Beauty

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today’s message text for Mother’s Day as presented by Lynn Gaines: 

When Pastor Gus asked me to speak for the Mother’s day service, I thought he meant a supplemental reading—then he said no—he meant the main message!  So I regrouped and asked the Lord what He wanted me to talk about, and He gave me this topic: “What is True Beauty?” …so here it goes…

The Webster’s (Dictionary) definition of beauty is:

  • A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
  • A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

The definition of beautiful is:

  • Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically
  • Of a very high standard; excellent.

Type in a Google search for “beautiful women” and a flood of images come up – women with unusual eyes, long hair (with a random shot of Halle Berry’s pixie cut tossed in), Angelina Jolie pouty lips and pleasing curves.  What’s interesting to me is that as I look around, most women I see don’t fit that definition!  I know a lot of women that I consider beautiful, but they don’t necessarily fit the world’s description… in fact when I think of beautiful women, some physical attributes come to mind, but usually for me it’s other “unseen” things that come to mind when I think of the word beautiful. For example, my mom is physically attractive but it’s her calmness, her elegance, her love and support of others that make her beautiful to me.

We see a lot today about how the world defines “beautiful people”–perfect hair, teeth, and skin (sometimes accompanied by large homes and a jet setting life)–but is that all there is to beauty?

What happens if you don’t fit the stereotype does that mean you’re ugly?

All of us as women are bombarded with constant imagery that only a few can live up to. From Toddlers in Tiaras to the Bachelorette to the Miss America pageants, we are constantly being inundated with all these images of what the media deems “beautiful”. The average American woman is a size 12-14 yet when we are shown supposedly “beautiful women,” they are usually a size 0-4–so is everyone else less beautiful? (Man, I sure hope not…)

There are reports now where girls as young as 12 are getting cosmetic surgery done, not because it’s necessary, but because they want a certain feature to look a certain way. In “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem,” a survey of more than 1,000 girls in the United States showed that 70 percent of girls ages 8 to 17 believed that they “are not good enough” or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, relationships with friends and family members and they are looking to plastic surgery to give them a mental boost and the confidence that they are beautiful.

When someone says,  “She is beautiful”, what is the first thing you think of? -what is on the outside or the inside? Sadly, in our culture today, one’s mind usually goes to the outside.

Magazines, TV, and books have all hijacked the definition of what beauty means and they are using it to promote a better bottom line for their products- buy this dress/perfume/hairstyle/book and voila, instant beauty!!  But I contend that there is more to beauty than what you see and it’s more than money can buy…

More encouraging, another study done by the Dove Campaign found that:

  • 77 percent of women strongly agree that beauty can be achieved through attitude, spirit, and other attributes that have nothing to do with physical appearance.
  • 89 percent strongly agree that a woman can be beautiful at any age.
  • 85 percent state that every woman has something about her that is beautiful.

The study also found that two-thirds of women strongly agree that physical attractiveness is about how one looks, whereas beauty includes much more of whom a person is. Women rate happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor as powerful components of beauty, along with the more traditional attributes of physical appearance, body weight and shape, and even a sense of style.

But the question still remains, what is true beauty? Well I believe that to find the best answer, we have to go to the Creator – So I investigated the scriptures to see what it said about beauty and interestingly enough, there was not a thing about pouty lips or an hourglass figure–Scripture lets you know that those things will go away (by the way, if you don’t believe this, you will).

It’s a woman’s reverence for God—how she carries herself because she knows the Lord—it’s THAT quality that makes her beautiful.  Physical beauty is fleeting, but true beauty (virtue) is timeless.

Moms, Grandmas, Grandpas, Dads, Uncles, Aunts—begin to affirm your daughters, nieces and granddaughters, the young women in your lives.  Tell them they are beautiful—not because of how they look but how they carry themselves as God’s creation.  (A side note to Fathers—it is the important men in a young woman’s life that inform her of what other men see as beautiful and if they don’t get the correct message from the good men in their lives, they will get an incorrect message from men in the world.)

Now, this is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, but I want to look at 5 Scriptures that will give us a better idea of what God looks for in the “Beautiful” person:

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

In Genesis 1:27 it says So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So if we are created in His image, we can concluded that we are as beautiful as God is – and God makes no mistakes and He makes no junk!  Just like the snowflakes that He creates, no two people are alike either, but all are equally beautiful.  The Psalmist says he is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s works are wonderful–now, does that sound like the measuring stick for true beauty is based on physical attributes?

Consider this next scripture:

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Again, it seems that our natural inclination as people is to look on the outward appearance and once again God stresses that He has a totally different point of view–He looks at the heart.

Now he says in Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is desperately wicked but He also says in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. So there is hope for our wicked hearts, hope that they can truly be beautiful–that will happen as we submit them to a loving Father and let Him transform them.

Here’s a verse you may have heard a lot in reference to a woman’s beauty—

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

This verse is telling us that although physical beauty fades with age, it’s the beauty that come from being in awe of God that will really impress Him, that reverence for God that is true beauty to Him – and He is the only judge that truly matters. It’s comforting to know that we can become more beautiful to God simply by showing reverence for Him–or, to put it another way, it’s our love for Him that makes us more beautiful to Him. And His opinion is the one that counts.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Now before anyone goes too far in his or her thinking, this not a call to a legalistic dress code (although I am a champion for modesty) and this does NOT mean go around in a sack, with no make-up on and try to be as plain as possible.  It’s not wrong to make the most of what you have, but it is dangerous to rely on that alone to be the barometer for your beauty, because ladies and gentleman if you hadn’t noticed, things change–and not always for the better (!).  I don’t know about you, but I know there is more of me to love these days.

To give you the context of Peter’s remarks, in the culture of that day, some of the Egyptian women were spending hours and hours working on their hair, makeup, and finding the perfect outfit (sounds a lot like today actually–some things never change…) and Peter was exhorting the Christian woman to realize that true beauty was more about how she carried herself and where her focus was (on the Lord) rather than “who” she was wearing.

Finally 1 Timothy 4:8 says:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Now there is nothing wrong with physical training–it is, in fact, a good thing. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is good to keep our “temples” together so we can better serve the Lord.  However, today we are sometimes overly fascinated with comparing ourselves to others and who’s got the most perfect body and getting our bodies to look “perfect” when a better use of some of our time might be spent on “spiritual” exercises (actually much easier on the back, and more beneficial).

Some folks who would never skip a weekly visit to the gym, will go weeks without lifting up their bibles and impress their hearts with the Word of God… no matter how perfect your physical body is (or isn’t)—the criteria for being “fit for heaven” is knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior (thank Goodness), the criteria for beauty is a spirit that is in awe of God.

So I want to leave you with these thoughts:

Ladies–recognize that true beauty is defined not by the world and man but by God and that TRUE beauty is an “inner” thing, not just an appearance thing.

Work with what God gave you physically, take care of God’s temple and focus your energy not on perfect physical features but a spirit that reveres God.  Now that’s beautiful!

Thank you!

Copyright © Lynn Gaines. All rights reserved.

Lynn is a Senior Designer/Illustrator with American Greetings Corporation.


Today’s Culture Must Adapt to Scripture

The service of ministry requires the person or persons in the body of Christ to be centered in a church that bases all of its instruction on God’s Word. This is very important in that today’s culture will, at times, dictate the direction of a church in a direction that may be contrary to or outside of God’s Word. These churches must remain true to scripture; otherwise, they are to be avoided in all circumstances.

We are all called by God to serve in ministry. Men and women are called to glorify God in our areas of service. in doing this, however, it is important to remain true to scripture. This is the challenge for both men and women today.

When we look at the social norms of the first century according to the Bible:

  • Husband leads, wife supports (Ephesians 5:22-23)
  • Parents lead, children under parents (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20)
  • Masters over slaves (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; 1 Peter 2:18)

The husband is the protector and covering of the wife. The husband is the provider for the wife. In contrast, today’s society declares that men and women are equal. That equality is evident even in marriage, where a husband and wife will look at their relationship as a 50-50 proposition. Scripture indicates that the man still has the responsibility over his wife and the household, and, if necessary, can delegate responsibilities within the home, for the wife is to be the husband’s helpmate (Proverbs 31:10-31).

In the same way, parents are to be the covering of their children, and are to come under their authority. Today’s society has elevated children to have rights that are equal to, or even supersede, their parents. Some children question the authority of their parents in the spirit of wanting to exercise more of their own free will. The employer-employee relationship is much the same way today, which is the closest parallel to the master-slave relationship of the past. Employees that believe they have greater rights will challenge, or even ignore, the authority of their superiors. This is indicative of today’s society, where the belief that everything is relatively equal has even moved into the philosophical belief that this also applies in ministry. Scripture, however, has maintained that their is a structure and hierarchy relative to men and women and their roles in ministry.

Culture does not dictate scripture. Culture must always adapt to scripture.

That’s the problem that we encounter today. Serving in ministry has one goal–to accomplish God’s will in God’s way. For example, when it comes to women in ministry, many will point to Deborah in Judges 4 and 5 and infer that there is room to interpret that a woman could be a pastor. It should be pointed out that there was no church or temple referenced at that time, and Deborah was a prophetess (Deuteronomy 18:21-22), one who speaks for God, yet not a priest, leader of men, nor as a proclaimed leader of Israel.

If someone were to ask the question about the relative success of a woman or women who are pastors, note that this is not lost on God, and also be aware that it is still being accomplished even though it is outside of His intentions for the roles of service. God is in control and does accomplish what needs to be done according to His will.

“But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result–the survival of many people'” (Genesis 50:19-20).

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God is at work in everyone’s lives, even when we don’t see it. In the life of the disobedient person, God is still working. His purpose is to bring good out of bad or questionable situations and circumstances. Even people who love the Lord still make mistakes. The goal is to get exactly where God wants you to be. It is in this effort that you can blossom in your ministry for God.

Deborah was a judge, She never describes herself as a priest or even as a leader of Israel. She was a “mother of Israel”–one who cares and nurtures
(Judges 5:7). All of Israel was not under her leadership; as a result, not all of Israel went into battle (Judges 5:13-18). Deborah was not a priest and did not lead her people into war, but God used her as a messenger of His Word to minister to Barak to lead men. Each person involved here had to fulfill their individual role in order to accomplish God’s will. God uses both men and women to fulfill his will.

Note that Deborah’s job was to communicate God’s message to Barak and be an encouragement. God gave the direction here that Barak was to lead (Judges 4:6). Note that Barak was given direction, yet he trusted the person (Deborah) more than God’s command. Note the response in Judges 4:9: “‘I will go with you,’ she said, ‘but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take, because the Lord will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.'” The servant, Deborah, in this case, was willing to put herself in harm’s way in order to accomplish God’s will. Here, Deborah still provided encouragement, and was not leading Barak. She gave him the encouragement that the Lord was still going before Barak (v. 14). Barak, in turn, needed to take the step of faith to lead and act according to God’s will (v. 15). Note that when God gives the command, you will never experience the power of God unless you obey and move according to His command (v. 15-16).

But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for you are all under a guardian, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:25-28). We are all equal when it comes to a need for salvation. There is equality for men and women when it comes to their need for Jesus Christ. The modern day argument with scripture in general is the use of the term “sons” from a gender perspective (v. 26).

From verse 28 comes three results that address this argument:

  • Condemn and dismiss the New Testament as exclusively chauvinistic and oppressive to women with its male dominant language. It is sometimes used improperly by men to justify what is often viewed as domineering behavior, which is not supported by scripture.
  • Mutual equality but functional subordination. This has been the traditional view throughout the history of the church. The NT teaches that both equality before God in status along with functional subordination in office. We see this in scripture where Christ is subordinate to God and in other areas of hierarchy. We are spiritually equal in Christ, but men and women are different because we were created differently and have different roles.
  • Evangelical and feminine liberation. It does not submit to scripture. It recognizes the cultural conditioning of the text and seeks to remove it in lieu of the world’s truth instead of God’s truth. The argument raised is that the text was written in a male-dominant society. This is predominantly used in an effort to justify the presence of gays and women in ministry leadership.

The moment we attempt to adapt scripture to our modern culture, we are effectively rewriting or changing scripture.

In today’s culture, we are all equal, yet there is still a value of submitting to others. There is a trust and a willingness to submit when one feels safe and secure coming under that person. While all are equal in God’s eyes, there is still a necessity for structure in order for society to function in an optimal manner.

There has been, over many years, the evolution and development has taken place over the centuries in social structures. Note that the attitudes of man have had to evolve with slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. When people view others with the proper godly perspective in treating others with respect, there is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ to those who are being respected as well as those who witness these behaviors.

We must compare the social world to our social world and, in particular, compare the role women had in ancient times to the role they have in their world. The modern world differs considerably.

Galatians 3:26-29 states that our social status is irrelevant in salvation. All have the same in Christ; therefore, we need to acknowledge what is truth in 1 Corinthians 11:3:

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

If Christ is subordinate to the Father and humbles Himself to carry out the will of the Father, is it not best for man to submit to Christ, and for his wife to submit to him as husband?

God, we pray that we will not be tossed to and fro with societal dictates but submit to Your Word, for you honor Your Word and act according to Your Word. We need to be a people that act on Your Word and trust in You. Our goal, we pray, Father, is to accomplish Your will and Your way, for we want to be obedient to You, and in this, You will be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


A Woman’s Role In the Church

In the study of 1 Timothy, Paul gives Timothy guidance in his instruction to both men and women as to how they are to come to church and prepare for worship. At that time, the church of Ephesus was heavily influenced by the existing culture, which was involved in idol worship, prostitution, and false teaching with meaningless “myths and endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4). To counter the existing culture, Paul discusses that the women of the church have an important role in maintaining the structure and unity of the church. A woman is to be modest, decent and under self-control (1 Timothy 2:9a). Modesty does not mean that a woman has to cover herself up or go out of her way to look ordinary, but in such a way where she is not to attract attention in a wrongful way. Paul also mentioned to avoid the use of “elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9b), so as to not cause a disruption within the church. He had to give these guidelines to those women coming in because some of the women did not know any better or were involved in prostitution. The women were asked to act with decency, which is living with the proper behavior, in good taste, and with the socially appropriate manner of dress. This is important not just in their appearance, but also in how the women were to value themselves in their own self-esteem and their own self-respect. While many women today may not see it from this viewpoint, how they dress, whether they are modest or not, can be a reflection of how they value themselves before others. A woman’s real identity is in their “good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God” (1 Timothy 2:10). It is not in her beauty but in her good works and in where her heart is for God (Acts 9:36-39; 1 Peter 3:3-4). The woman’s beauty was in how they submitted to the authority of God and their husbands (1 Peter 3:5). It does not mean that a woman should not make herself beautiful, but not to overdo it. The woman who is truly following Christ will have self-control through the presence of the Holy Spirit working in her life.

An equally controversial subject is how a woman is instructed to learn within the church. “A woman should learn in silence with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). Anyone who is willing to learn must quiet themselves in order to gain knowledge and instruction–they must be silent (Acts 22:1-2; Luke 10:38-39, 14:2-5). The submission of the woman referenced in 1 Timothy is not so much to the teacher or to man himself, but to hear the knowledge of the truth (Acts 11:1-18). A woman is to submit to God’s authority, just as a man must do the same. If you study the culture in Paul and Timothy’s day, the woman’s education was not valued. Here, we see that there is value to a woman learning the truth and knowing God’s Word, but now with the proper emphasis on the woman’s role.

Paul expands this instruction on gaining knowledge to a woman not having authority or teaching a man. He refers to the natural order of man (Adam) being created first, then the woman (Eve). Eve had not yet been created when God gave Adam the instruction that was necessary to teach Eve (Genesis 2:15-17). God established the natural order for instruction, yet Adam relinquished his authority to Eve when he followed Eve’s desire for knowledge of the forbidden fruit, knowing full well that it was against God’s command. The consequences were significant (Genesis 3:16-19). God never states, however, that a woman does not have the ability, intelligence or knowledge to lead or teach a man. She does, however, need to respect God’s authority from a spiritual perspective. Man must come under God’s authority through Jesus Christ, and the woman comes under the man’s authority. It is the faith, love and holiness of a woman’s relationship with God that makes the difference in her life and how she serves him. She can help the man shoulder the responsibility that God has given to him. Paul speaks under the authority of Christ and the church. “To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).