By Elizabeth Prata
We hear so much these days about women being empowered. Needing empowerment. Wanting power. We hear from the feminists that women in today’s church have been oppressed, marginalized, and discriminated against because they do not have the same ‘opportunities’ that men do. Meaning, the feminists are saying women have been denied the equal opportunity to teach men, preach or pastor a church.
This is bunk, of course.
If we go all the way back to Genesis 1:28, we see that God made us male and female. After making humans in 2 genders, God gave both humans a job:
God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God said to THEM. Is there any additional power women need than with men as partner to jointly care for all of the creation? And to do so within clearly defined boundaries, which is a gift, not a restriction?
Along the way, as the Old Testament and New Testament progressed, we see women with amazing abilities being used by God, as well as men. Esther, the Queen who saved her people. Mary, the humble servant given opportunity to first share the Good News of the resurrection. Lydia, Asia’s first convert and host of one of the earliest home churches. The Samaritan Woman, who was discipled one-on-one by Jesus, then she shared news that helped convert a whole village.
Challies says in his book review of John MacArthur’s Twelve Extraordinary Women, that the author writes about-
-the high position given to women within Scripture. Women are never relegated to a secondary status and, unlike so many other religions, are never degraded and considered less important than men. From the beginning of the New Testament era to the close of the canon of Scripture we see God granting extraordinary privilege to women. There are countless women in the Bible who stand as examples of faithfulness, integrity, hospitality and every other admirable virtue.
What more do you want, women who demand empowering?
We see the eternal discontent of feminists as a reflection of what happened in the original Garden. God gave Adam and Eve everything, absolutely everything, except for one thing. It was that one thing satan enticed Eve to want.
So it doesn’t matter if the feminists push their way into the pulpit. Their discontent never stops, because there is always that one thing they will want. The Bible says they cannot preach? They want to. Can’t teach men? They want to. Can’t lead men in spiritual authority? They want to. Can’t be master in the home? They want to. We could capitulate and give it all to them and they’ll still want more. That is because sin is a bottomless pit.
Their discontent stems not only from wanting what is forbidden, but from a failure to be grateful for all the opportunities we women DO have. Want to teach other women? We can. Want to raise children? We can. Want to teach children? We can. Want to be hospitable and open your home to others in His name? We can. Want to minister to the brethren? We can. Want to disciple younger ladies? We can. Want to share the Good News of the Gospel? We must.
And so much more.
We have power, power that God gave us. It’s when women step outside the boundaries of that power that our lives go awry. We ladies should be content with the magnificent privileges God has given us. We should be joyful at the stately way Jesus treated women in His day. We should be busy doing ministry in His name within the bounds of the myriad opportunities He did give us.
As for empowerment itself? What IS power?
Jesus has all power. He gives it as He wills. (Luke 9:1).
The angels have power (2 Peter 2:11).
Jesus gave His two witnesses power. (Revelation 11:6).
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, (Revelation 19:1).
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3).
An entire level of angels is called powers. (Colossians 1:16).
When you hear women saying they want to be empowered, they are not pushing for power from the men who lead churches or denominations. They are making demands of God. How do I know this? John 19:11a
Jesus answered, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.
All power comes from God. So before you might be tempted to listen to women who go around clamoring for empowerment, stop and think of what they are really demanding and who they are demanding it from.
If we are content, we will be doing what Paul advised in 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-11,
But we urge you, brothers, to excel more and more 11and to aspire to live quietly, to attend to your own matters, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.
If we work hard, attend to our own business, and live quietly, we will be doing much better than the loud women who roar for empowerment and make evil claims against a holy God. After all, we have a co-charge to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. That’s power enough, don’t you think?