3 Reasons Why Women Are Valuable to the Church

This week, as our Tuesday morning moms Bible study gathered around the couches in our church’s loft to discuss our video session, the Lord spoke to my heart in a way that I wasn’t expecting. As I listened to my friends share how God was working in their life, I was so encouraged. Many of them play an active role in their churches and our community and I thought to myself:

Women are valuable to the church. All women – wives, young moms, moms of teens, moms of grown adults, single women, working women, working moms, elderly women, widowed women, young women, tweens, teens, and college-aged women. Each of us has a distinct role to play in ministering to the church body, all of which are different, none of which are better than another.

We all know the woman who can make Butterfinger cookie dough cheesecake bars like nobody’s business, the woman who’d come to your aid within minutes to offer a helping hand, the woman who eloquently speaks the truth in love, the woman who has rockstar teaching abilities, the woman who makes the cutest crafts for kids church, and the woman who brews the coffee every Sunday morning (because you know without some caffeine, there will be grumpy church goers).

We’ve all been given gifts for the building up of each other. And without each body part functioning together, we’d be missing an eye, an ear, a nose, a toe, and it would be quite dysfunctional. There are many reasons women are valuable and precious to the church, but here are three ways:

1.) Women are valuable to the church because God says so.

God created male and female and he blessed them (Genesis 5:2.). God saw all that he had made and it was very good. He sees us as his beautiful masterpiece. In fact, we were created in his image. We are equal in value to men, but are distinct in our roles and responsibilities.

God has specific jobs for you and without your service the work would be incomplete and insufficient. He knew what he was doing when he created you! When you serve, you serve unto the Lord, and what you bring to the table is unique and necessary for God’s kingdom to be built. You are valuable to God and he sees your work as worthy.

Jeremiah 31:3 says, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” You are of great worth in Jesus’ sight and that was proven through his shed blood on the cross. You were bought at a high price.

2.) Women are valuable to the church for the training and encouragement of younger women.

These verses have always been an encouragement to me because I don’t know about you, but I feel like I often need guidance and training on how to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. God knows what he’s doing when he commands older women to teach the younger women on how to live in the four corners of their homes. I also recognize the value I bring to younger women through my life experiences and shortcomings.

Older women are valuable for mentoring younger women in the ways of God. They’ve traveled the journey of life longer and can provide much-needed wisdom and insight that no one else can. They encourage, edify, rebuke, and counsel other women away from sin and into a life that is pleasing to God. I honor the relationships with older women in my life. They have “been there and done that!” which helps me persevere.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  – Titus 2:3-5

3.) Women are valuable to the church in building relationships with those far from God. 

Within the church, we should always be thinking about the next ten people that walk through our doors that have yet to find the hope that is in Jesus. Because women are typically natural at connecting and building relationships, we have amazing opportunities to reach those far from God.

I have one mom friend who can connect you with whatever person you need to get the job done. Financial planner? She knows one. Plumber? She’s got one. Photographer? Yep. Pediatrician? Of course. Best massage? Indeed. A certain kind of church you’re looking for? She can describe it and get you plugged in with a friend already there. If you’re moving to a new city, she knows someone there who’d probably become your best friend. She is gifted in connecting people to their real needs.

Sometimes we overlook the beauty of how God has hard-wired us for relationships. In fact, relationships are really where it all begins in ministering to others. A simple call, text, or invite of “Would you like to come to church with me? Would you like to meet for coffee?” can have a significant impact on someone eventually coming to know Jesus as their Savior.

The work you’re doing in the daily grind is not in vain: Scheduling nursery volunteers, serving in AWANA, counseling a friend in crisis, preparing meals, leading music from the stage, visitations, facilitating a small group, teaching children God’s Word, working with youth, writing devotionals, designing powerpoint slides, organizing outreach events, greeting others at the door, getting the prayer chain going, marketing activities through social media, and more are all significant ministries that keep the church moving forward and touching lives.

God sees your efforts, sacrifices, and even the messiness that comes with the territory in working with people. He’s using you to reach others in ways you may not even realize and without you, a critical part of the body would be missing.

Never forget how valuable you are to Christ’s bride, whom he loves and gave himself up for. Now, go and live like it!

There are many other reasons why women are valuable to the church. How has the life of another woman made a difference in your life? How does she add value to the ministry?

* Feel free to share this post and tag her in it! *

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mama to 4. She is the author of the new devotional for moms: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches.

 

 

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Giveaway: Win a Copy of Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner

This week I’m really excited that Moody Publishers has given me a copy of the new book Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner to give away.

Fierce Women is one of the most honest, refreshing, and engaging books I’ve ever read on the marriage relationship when it comes to how wives relate to their husbands. Within our inherited sin nature and living in a culture where women have the tendency to dominate, manipulate, and take charge over men, I appreciate that author Kimberly Wagner has unashamedly called out this kind of behavior, or shall we say heart issue, as sin.

Not only that, Kimberly shares her personal stories and struggles of how her own behavior and treatment of her husband almost led to the destruction of her marriage. She gives women hope that they can change too. But rest assured, this is not a self-help book designed to repair marital problems.

Kimberly makes it clear that real change didn’t occur until she realized that what she calls her “emasculation” of her husband was tied to God’s glory. God opened her eyes and helped her see how damaging her selfishness was to their oneness. Humility, grace, and dying to self is what led to the restoration of her marriage.

Every woman has a type of fierceness within her and God desires to use that fierceness for good. Kimberly describes a  “soft warrior” as a woman who uses her fierce strengths to encourage and inspire her husband toward greatness. A soft warrior trusts in her husband’s leadership, doesn’t try to “fix” him, accepts, admires, appreciates, affirms, and prays for him. She allows him to take the lead because that is his God-given role.

What is at stake if we fail to use our fierceness for God’s glory? Kimberly reminds us that “God designed the most intimate of all earthly relationships to serve as a real-life parable to depict his commitment to his bride. Marriage is God’s platform that displays to the watching world a physical picture of a spiritual reality.”

Fierce Women spoke volumes to me personally because I am a fierce, strong-willed woman myself (just ask my husband!) and I have seen the “bad side” fleshed out in my marriage. I felt like I was seeing myself all over the pages. I was so encouraged that my fierceness can actually be a beautiful thing God can use if I am willing to surrender.

You will want to get your hands on this book as soon as you can. There is so much more to the book that can’t fit into this blog review.

Kimberly Wagner is a frequent guest on Nancy Leigh Demoss’ Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman and Beyond Bath Time blogs.

To win a copy, simply leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Monday, Dec. 3.

* (Male readers: please feel free to enter the giveaway as you might benefit from this yourself or consider it as a gift.)

What I Wanted to Tell a Young Woman Wanting an Abortion

Yesterday my four year old John, four month old Hannah, and I waited at the doctor’s office for their check up appointments. While we waited to be called, a tall, red-headed woman in her 50s marches out of the exit door and into the waiting room where her husband is sitting.

This woman isn’t happy with the news she’s received. The elderly couple sitting in front of me is looking at her as well. She storms over to her husband and plops down next to him. She’s mouthing off words to him and I can’t help but listen. They’re sitting just a few feet away from us.

“I told you!” she quietly yells. “I knew it and you didn’t listen!”

His eyes grow wide and he looks distraught.

“She’s 20 weeks along. She’s measuring 20 weeks! This must have happened right after her miscarriage. She had talked about how she’s been feeling so bloated!”

My eyes grew wide and I listened intently. Hannah is fussy so I stand up and bounce her around.

The young woman who is most likely her daughter had been pregnant before, I thought.

“She wants to have an abortion but she can’t at 20 weeks! No doctor will allow for that. She’s in there crying and I told her we’d be out here waiting.”

The husband says a bunch of words back but they are muffled and I can’t understand him.

“I told her she has two options. Keep the baby or give it away!” the wife said. “She’s too far along.”

The conversation was getting more heated. I wanted so badly to make my way over to them and offer some counsel and I was just about ready to.

The husband kept shaking his head and looking down at the floor.

“She needs to know she has support all around her,” the wife said. “Alright, Let’s take this outside. We don’t need to be talking about this in here.”

They headed outside and I was still trying to gather all that I was hearing.

Their daughter would eventually make her way out the exit door. I formulated a plan in my head as to the words of encouragement I wanted to to tell this young woman. My heart was racing and everything in the room felt like it was in slow motion.

I imagined what she looked like and if I’d be able to see her baby bump. I waited and watched the door swing open as people walked out and the assistant called in new patients.

I was ready to speak truth into her heart. What if God had placed me there in that exact moment for a reason? Legally she had to keep the baby but she seemed so insistent and you just never know.

A nurse opened the door to the office: “Hannah?” She called out. “Hannah?”

I stood up and picked up our belongings and we headed through the door and down the hallway to our room. Time had run out and I didn’t get to see her. My heart was still racing thinking about what happened.

Most likely the parents of this young woman were okay with an abortion up to a certain point. They were outraged that their daughter was further along than expected. Of course the mom claimed she knew all along.

In addition to the anger and sadness I felt, my heart broke for this family and young woman. I had never witnessed a conversation like that. Obviously I didn’t know the whole story- only what I heard in the dialogue. The opportunity didn’t exist for me to reach out to her and even if it did, there’s no guarantee the young woman would’ve been willing to listen.

But if I had the chance to pull her aside and whisper a few words to her, I would have said:

God knows all about this. And he cares. He really, really does.

If abortions have been in your past, God knows about those too. There is no sin too great for God to forgive. He still loves you and is calling you to do what is best for the baby and for you. And what is best is allowing your unborn baby the chance to live. 

The act of an abortion will not heal or fix any hurt or pain or problems. From women I know personally who’ve had abortions, they’ve said the emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain is devastating and something you never forget.

You’re not alone. Other women have been in your shoes and are in the same situation. Even Christian women.

If inconvenience or fear is the reason, God has a way of working out things for the good. Trust him. Go beyond your personal desires and wishes and think about God’s plan for your baby. Think about your baby’s dreams. 

If finances, your career, the responsibility of raising a child on your own are all concerns, don’t allow your fears and worries cast a shadow on the present reality and the joys and blessings that the future could hold. God has a way of providing when we trust him.

If you fear shame among your friends and family and what people will think, don’t live to please other people. Do what is right and true.

There is no feeling in the world like holding your newborn baby for the very first time. The love you’ll have for him is indescribable. You won’t understand it until he is here. Looking into his beautiful eyes, smelling and touching his soft skin, kissing his cheeks, rocking and cuddling him, singing to him, nursing him on your breasts, and watching him grow up to be the man God created him to be brings no greater joy.

When you choose to give your baby life, I promise you there will be challenges and hardships but you’ll be okay. God will give you the strength to endure and carry on. 

If you still feel you cannot handle the responsibility, you can always give your baby up for adoption. There are plenty of wonderful families who can raise your child and give them a loving home. 

Your Creator God, who created you, values and treasures all human life. He loves you so much that he died on the cross and rose again so that you could have life. Remember that He has a way of redeeming and healing the most difficult situations. He turns ashes into beauty if you will only ask him. 

Choose life. I beg you. Choose Life.

Well during the remaining time at the doctor’s office I never ran into the young woman. But God used the experience to teach me a lot. As a woman who follows Jesus Christ, I’ve been encouraged to speak up for the innocent and vulnerable, who cannot speak for themselves. I’ve become more aware of the beauty and life around me and the precious lives of my own children and family and friends. And I will not be silent or negligent to pray for those women at such a crossroad in life.

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. – Isaiah 49:1

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.  – Psalm 139-13-18

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