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Wife, Mother, Pastor

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I’M NOT EQUAL TO OTHER WOMEN PART 2- Get out of the Jell-O mold

MjAxNC0zMzVjMWE0YjI1NTE0ZGVi[1]Today I looked back on my journal that I started keeping during my time in ministry.  This was what I wrote back in April:

“Tonight we had a women’s ministry event.  I’m on the ministry team yet didn’t want to go.  Being almost 9 months pregnant, I was just moody.  However, the message that was given was such a great reminder.  My friend, Janet, shared that when she was real young, her mother would always bring a Jell-O mold to parties.  The mold made the Jell-O so perfect. But as Janet looked at that mold, the Holy Spirit reminded her that we are not all called to be a mold.  God has made us all different with different callings.  Sometimes we put other women in a mold or we think we are supposed to fit into a specific mold. I know this, but am always battling the thoughts of the enemy.  Just a few minutes prior, they had a couple mothers go up to be honored for the evening. One of them, a pastor’s wife, honoring her for her sacrifice of being a stay at home mom and supporting her pastor husband.  I, again, compared myself to the stay at home mom and that I wasn’t valuable as a mother because I worked.  Because I was a pastor instead of a pastor’s wife.  And let’s face it, how crazy is it that I am a pastor and about ready to have a baby???  What am I thinking?  How in the world am I going to do this???”

But you know?  I did.  And I am.  I’m not your typical mom.  I love my babies and they were given to me by God.  They were placed in the Jenneman household for a purpose.  God knew what He was calling me to, and knew the children He would give me.  I have not found domestication fun or satisfying.  Yes, I need to keep my home and my husband and children come first.   However, you won’t see me volunteering to coordinate the next potluck.  My children’s birthday cakes will most likely be from a box and it will not be in the form of a cake pop.  Yet why is it I struggle with what the “Christian Mainstream” expects from women?

When did we decide, and where is it in the Bible, where women can and cannot serve?  Where does it say that our jobs are to strictly intercede, cook, teach Sunday school, and clean the church?  I’m honestly asking.  I mean if we really want to take Paul literally in 1 Timothy about women not being able to speak in church, then the men should be teaching Sunday school.  Sunday school is in the church isn’t it? And where is it in the bible that woman can only teach children?  I don’t say all these things in angst or to argue a point.  I’m not one for that.  I know that through my obedience and humility God will pave the way, but I am bothered by being put into a box that was never meant to be.

In her book, The Confident Woman, Joyce Meyers alludes to a time when a former pastor told her and her husband Dave that he, as the husband, should be teaching their small group, not Joyce.   After a few weeks they realized it was not going so well.  It was because God had called and anointed Joyce to teach, not her husband.  She says this, “Surely if God had not wanted me to teach, He would not have gifted me to do it- and given me the desire to do it. As far as I can discern from Scripture, God is not in the business of frustrating and confusing people.”

Well put.  I have often wondered this myself.  If I am gifted at speaking God’s Word, and am anointed every time I get on stage to share His Word, why would God say that women should not preach and teach?  I love my husband, but he can’t preach a sermon to save his life, but he loves listening to mine 🙂

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:

I say all this for a reason.  As a female minister, you not only need to know your security in Christ  (that you’re accepted, loved, and safe in Him), but you need to know your security as a minister of the Gospel.   We know these biblical principles but sometimes we just need encouragement.  Maybe you’re just starting out, maybe you feel a call to ministry yet are wondering if God has really called you since you are female.  To be honest, I was hoping to give you some deep theological insight.  However, as I did my research I was overwhelmed- in a good way.  There was so much biblical information on women in ministry that there was no way I could narrow it all down into this blog.  It would have to be a million part series.   If you are just starting out in ministry, these verses are almost as important as the scriptures on who you are in Christ.

1.)  God anoints you and pours out His spirit on men and women.                                                                                                             Joel 2:29 “….. both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”  Meaning the last days, and these ARE the last days.

2.)  All are given spiritual gifts in order to fulfill spiritual needs as well as being part of the body of Christ.                                                    1 Cor. 12:13 (though the whole chapter refers to this) “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some free.  But we have all been baptized into one body, by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit”

3.) Motivational gifts are also given to men and women.                                                                                                             In Romans 12:8, Paul lists seven giftings that he commands us to use.  These gifts are what we are born with and strengthen in over time.  These gifts are perceiving, serving, exhorting, teaching, administration, giving, and showing of mercy. Perceiving, exhorting, teaching, and administration are all leadership and speaking gifts.  I have three out of four of those.  If Paul is commanding us to operate in them, then I would be disobedient not to.

Seriously, I could have 50 bullet points here because there is so much in scripture to study.  I just listed three to get you started.  The biggest debates come from 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians.  Below are links that will help you better understand the context, because I’ll be honest, I would not be able to explain as well as these authors have done.

Questions about 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians                                                                          http://ag.org/wim/roleofwim/0306_wim_questions.cfm

http://ag.org/wim/roleofwim/0306_WhoDeniedChurch.cfm

http://ag.org/wim/roleofwim/0306_MinistryofWomen.cfm

And also Part 2 of Jeremiah Gibb’s blog. He has several in depth posts of women in ministry. http://jeremiahgibbs.com/2014/01/14/the-bible-says-women-should-lead-part-2-1-corinthians/

I believe there is a reason God does not call as many women as men to be pastors or leaders in ministry; because it’s HARD.  Being a wife and mom is hard enough, adding the demands and stresses of ministry is another story. We have many great examples of biblical women sharing in the joys of ministry, but they were still rare. You and I are not in the women in ministry mold, or the mommy and wife mold. For whatever reason I have to keep reminding myself that I am right where I am supposed to be.  This goes to show that God has a sense of humor.

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS:

“God, we are blessed and humbled that you would call us your daughters.  That you have adopted us into your family.  Not only are we your children, but you want to partner with us to help save the lost.  Thank you for choosing us to be leaders of the Gospel, that you give us the joy and honor of sharing your Word.  Help us to not compare ourselves with the women that are around us.  Help us to remember we are called to follow you, not the Christian Mainstream. Please continue to give us strength to endure the race we are running.  Never let us stray off the path, that we would keep our focus on what is important- knowing You and making You known.”

 

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Comments (2)

  1. Rachael, Thanks for including my posts among these others. As you know, it is humbling to know that others find your writing helpful.

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