by Anita Miles
A gracious woman retaineth honour...
If you were to open your Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media feed at any point this month, there would be a barrage of promotions and advertisements to celebrate the success of women throughout the world. March is dedicated internationally to honor strong women.
In the eyes of the world, strong and successful women are those who have dedicated all of their time and efforts to advancing the rights and agendas of women throughout history. Be it the right to vote, the right to work, the right to have their own designated bathroom, or the right to abort babies, there has never been a shortage of activists for these rights! And that list could go on and on…
While I abhor some of the beliefs they promote and their liberal world view, there are some rights that I’m thankful for - such as the right to vote. In some of their efforts, there has been a deliberate attempt to blur the lines in our society between the roles of women and men. That attempt has shifted the fundamental elements that kept the order of the family and the home as God intended it to be. We can see the devastation that some of these ideas have created in some of the social woes that we are now forced to deal and cope with.
Since this is a blog for women - it’s essential to address the obvious! As Christian women, we must be very aware of the underlying effort of the feminist agenda, so that we do not become intertwined in a campaign that de-legitimizes the place of the woman in the chain of command that God has established from the very beginning of creation! In making that statement, let me be very clear that having an order in creation does not make us inferior to anyone. When God made Eve the “helpmeet” for Adam, it was not an attempt to create an individual of lesser value. It was an intentional design to enhance the life of man by creating a partner - not a clone!
While I have no intentions to highlight all of the successes and my opinion of the failures in the Feminist movement, I do want to take a moment to give a shoutout to the women who hear it the least and deserve it the most! They are the strong Christian women who have shaped our lives and our Christian culture. The lead quietly but steadily. They have diligently sought to pattern their lives after the women so elegantly pictured throughout Proverbs 31. They know their role in the home and in the family and there is peace that doesn’t leave them constantly feeling the need to override and overcome their God ordained place by constantly insisting upon equality with their husband.
So to the women who have prayed over your husband and your children - the world may not care, but God has His eyes on you! His ears are open to those prayers!! You have taught your children Biblical values and been faithful in getting your family to church year after year - even when it wasn’t easy. Here’s a shout out to you!
To the Godly women who have been there every Sunday morning faithfully teaching countless children Bible stories and Scripture - be it Sunday School or Children’s church - here’s a shout out to you! My younger years are FILLED with wonderful women who were there every Sunday - year after year. They made huge impacts in my life and imprints in my heart. Thank you ALL for being dependable and faithful to serve and speak into our lives!!
To the pastor’s wife who has given her adult life to a cause and calling that really wasn’t hers to begin with! You’ve served faithfully as a counselor, hostess, shoulder to cry on, prayer warrior, teacher, and SO much more! You carry burdens that people never know of. This is a shout out to your faithfulness!
Do you remember those Homecoming services with dinner on the grounds and all of the women scurrying around like little hens with their heads cut off to make it as special of a day as possible. They would cook their best dishes and line them up for the masses to enjoy with a healthy dose of fellowship. Here’s a shout out to all of the wonderful women who got up at the crack of dawn on Homecoming Sunday - before the rest of the family to cook up those dishes. We have the wonderful memories of those times this many years later and they still make us smile.
For those of us who grew up in the Conservative Holiness churches, there have been campmeetings and fellowship meetings for as long as we can think back. Can you imagine what those meetings would be without the faithful women who sacrificed day after day cooking meals for the visitors? In case no one has ever celebrated you and your service, this post is a shout out for you!
Can you imagine church services where women did not lend their talent in the singing, piano playing, or their stamina in their prayers at the altars? To the women who have sung the Glory down and those who gave their all in the altars pushing the younger generations to seek after God until He was found - this is a shout out to you! Your role in our Christian experience is absolutely priceless!!
To the women who have dedicated their lives to teaching in our Christian schools, your sacrifice is celebrated! We know it’s not easy! This is a shout out to you!!
To the women who have been faithful to clean the church year after year and create and change out the flower arrangements to make our churches presentable - this is a shout out to you! Thank you for your service!
To the women who have cooked meals for the sick and grieving families to allow them to feel the love of a church community…this is a shout out to you!
I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface of the roles that women play in the structure of the church and its progression forward. These are just a few places that women serve. So the next time you feel like there’s not a place for you as a woman, think again!
There are generations of strong women who have gone before us who are waving us on, believing in our calling where we are placed to serve God. Hebrews 12:1 - “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us!”
We are surrounded by women who exemplify the Proverbs 31 woman who are being encouraged by the generation that lived before them! She works hard and gives her all to live the message of Christ out in her life! We must follow in their footsteps! Be strong! Be faithful! Be diligent! We only get one lifetime. Let’s make it count!!
With that being said, I would love to hear from you - the reader! Who are some strong women that deserve a shout out in your life? How do they serve and what impact have they had on your life? It’s Biblical to give honor where it is due!