Introduction: The role of a female believer has been a topic on my mind lately, even though I’m just a year into being a teenager. Despite my youth, I wanted to essentially condense a few of my thoughts on the topic. Because a lot of what I’ll be talking about is my understanding from my point of view, this post could be a little irrelevant to women in completely different situations than my own–like mothering, running a house, working, and the tons of other amazing things women do that I am currently oblivious to and probably don’t appreciate as much as I should. But my hopes and prayers are that this post will affect young women and teens, and that this message can even touch the believing females who are nearing the end of their race.
First off, I’d like to clarify a point of conflict–women in ministry. I’d like to summarize my point of view on this topic in this post: females of each and every age have a precious, unique, and indescribable position in ministry.
I think females really need to step up to the calling and commission that is set before us. It is special, and trying to defend ourselves through acts of “feminism,” as though we’re trying to prove we can do everything a man can, is actually belittling the joy of being female.
That’s not to say females should be belittled or looked down upon–no, quite the opposite! Women ought to be treasured for who they are, encouraged to minister in the Biblical ways that women should, and loved–not because they are less than men, and not because they try to be equal to men … but for who they uniquely are as a woman.
So how are the ministries of men and women different? In what ways are they the same? These are really good questions that are often considered in the modern-day Bride. Let’s consider a few verses that show us the roles of the two genders. First, let’s examine 1 Timothy 2:11-12, 1 Corinthians 11:3, and Ephesians 5:23.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
For the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior.
Now, I used to resent these verses, but I have since (and very recently) come to my senses about this–these are in the Bible, not something to resent or dread. Let’s discuss them.
These verses indicate a hierarchy in the Kingdom of Heaven: Christ is the head of the Bride. The Bride should not try to usurp the authority of Christ, her head. She shouldn’t try to tell Christ what to do, and neither should she refuse to do something he asks. The same goes for marriage: the man is the head of the woman. She should not try to usurp his authority, and neither should she refuse to do something he asks.
Even outside of a marriage setting, the woman submitting to the man and not taking authority over him is representative of the Kingdom of Heaven. As you probably know, we should try to line our lives up as much with the Kingdom of Heaven as possible–that could be lining our lives up with the character of God, or manifesting Heaven in a tangible, representative way.
If a marriage is healthy with the woman submissive to the man and the man taking on his Biblical role, then that is a sign to others around that this marriage is a representation of a relationship with Jesus. When a woman is controlling, seductive, and/or in a spiritually head-like position over her husband or other men, this is bad news and not representative of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is otherwise known as a spirit of Jezebel. The spirit of Jezebel is somewhat rampant today, even in those who say they know God. In some cultures, this is very evident. In others, it is present and yet not as blatant. This spirit operates like Jezebel herself did: it causes a woman to rise up over the man, exercise a false authority, and seduce men. It often operates in conjunction with an Ahab spirit in a man: this involves passivity and succumbing to the woman’s seductive spirit.
While the combination between control and seduction may not make sense, it does when you see it in action. I never understood it until we went to a culture in which both the Jezebel and Ahab spirits are commonplace. It was then I realized that women always initiate a relationship in this culture, while in North American culture, it is generally the man that initiates major steps in a romantic relationship. The men, in this culture, are trained to wait for the women. This causes the women to be extremely flirtatious and seductive–after all, their future marriage is up to them. The men eventually succumb to this, and they end up never rising to the position that God has for them.
Jesus had something to say about this spirit when He was addressing the ekklesia of Thyatira. Let’s see what He had to say in Revelation 2:
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 “ ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come.
As you can see, the rebuke to those who tolerate the spirit of Jezebel is strong, and this is not to be taken lightly. Believers need deliverance of this spirit. (If you need help getting free from this spirit, my parents and I would love to help you get free. My contact form is a great way to get in touch with us)
As I stated earlier, I used to have a much more mild view of women in ministry…but I also ignored these verses. Now, I believe women have a special role in ministry which should never be belittled or looked down upon, but it should also be representative of the Kingdom of God and in alignment with the Word of God. As far as I believe now, this means women shouldn’t come over men or try to exercise authority over them. Rather, they should intercede for them–the Lord will deal with them.
So should women preach or teach? To a group with men in it, no, they shouldn’t. This violates the role of a woman. But can they preach and teach to women? Absolutely! Part of the Great Commission is “go into all the world and preach the Gospel”–that includes women. So the command to preach is definitely toward women, we just have to keep in mind what the Word says about women preaching and taking authority over men.
Should a woman give her testimony in front of a mixed group? Can she sing or do other ministry in front of a mixed group? I believe she can, so long as she retains her humble, meek, and gentle role without taking authority over the group. If she cannot, it would be best for her not to.
A woman should never see herself as a competitor with or on the same level as man–this allows her to operate in her identity as a woman, without a belittling of it. If a man and woman are on the same playing field and trying to do the same things, then a woman is not allowed to operate in her uniqueness as a woman and a male as a male.
There is a spirit of effeminacy in males and a spirit of Jezebel in females often in the Bride today. Sometimes we wonder why people are confused about their gender–it’s because Christians are confused! Men try to be like females by wearing skinny jeans, singing high-pitched, getting earrings, and other things like that, not to mention the passivity of the Ahab spirit. while women like to be on the same level as a man.
Sooo…what are women to be like? We’ve gone over what she should not do, and what she still can do, but we haven’t discussed what she should do out of her female uniqueness. Let’s go over that now 🙂
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Here in 1 Peter 3:3-4, we find instructions on how to live a godly life as a female. Let’s examine these further.
Many times we find ourselves focusing on the tangible. That’s a natural human tendency, considering we live in flesh suits in a tangible world. Is it a godly tendency? No! You see, we, as humans both male and female, often try to satisfy this “tangible tendency” in various ways, like wanting to lift up man, qualifying salvation by outward appearances, and wanting to validate our worth through looks.
Due to the tendency to gravitate toward what we can see and feel, we often try to be accepted because of various things we wear, do, or say. In that day, it might have been arranged hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothing. In this day, it could be bathing suits, body figures, and cute clothes. Or maybe social media, the latest iPhone, and painted nails. It could be makeup, guys, and food.
Not to say that any of the above things are outright sins–but rather, to say that our focus should never be on such things, and that we should use the Holy Spirit’s lead on such things.
For example, I wear bathing suits to swim. I find that, while bathing suits themselves aren’t evil, what our society says about them is absolutely wrong. For that reason, I am very careful about what kinds of bathing suits I wear. Sure, men lusting after me may not be on my head if I’m being modest, but I would never want to make it easy for my brother (or sister!) to stumble in their mind. Why would I want to lead anyone astray?
To avoid such a focus on the things I listed, some people, including myself, have personal convictions against one or two or more of them.
Rather than focusing on such outward adornments, we as females of any age should focus on our inward adornments: a gentle and quiet spirit. Instead of pushing back from this calling, I believe we should embrace it with joy! This type of beauty is incorruptible. We have the immense privilege of having an incorruptible beauty–that means it cannot be corrupted by lust or pride as outward adornments can be.
Not only that, but this type of beauty is very precious in the sight of God. If nothing else, this passage should show us the vast honor of being a female. We can relate to other females when no one else can, we can show meekness and gentleness in a world that screams loudly, and we have an incorruptible beauty that will attract righteous men in God’s timing. What an immense privilege!
This gentle and quiet spirit doesn’t mean we as females must shut up about the Gospel–quite the contrary! Rather, we are to share the Gospel to others with that gentle and quiet spirit, which will bring others, both men and women, to the Lord as we represent Him well.
I love you all, and I hope none of this came across as unloving. I want to represent God as love to everyone, but I also want to be part of a holy Bride that repents of her sins, her misconceptions, and her adultery with the things of the world. If in any way I can help prepare this Bride to be these things, I want to, and this is one of those ways.
That said, I hope and pray this post ministers to women (and even men). Please comment if you have any thoughts or questions, and always feel free to contact me directly in my contact form for anything. I mean it 🙂 . God bless you all! Have a wonderful day 🙂