Originally published September 26, 2014
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. Jude 3
What does the Bible say is the role of women in the church?
Is Jesus the only way to Heaven? Why?
Why is a literal, historical Adam and Eve crucial to the gospel?
What does God say about homosexuality?
Ladies, do you know the answers to these questions? Do you know and understand the Bible well enough to provide accurate scriptural support for your answers?
If not, you are not alone. Sadly, many Christian women are lacking in fundamental apologetics skills, the ability to defend even the basics of what they believe.
And part of the problem is that we often settle for being little girls in the faith instead of striving to become strong Christian women.
We pick churches where the pastor spends most of his time telling jokes or regaling us with personal stories because it makes us feel good instead of finding a pastor who is dedicated to rightly handling God’s word, sticking closely to Scripture, and feeding us copious amounts of it.
We pick women’s devotional books and Bible study groups that center around our emotions and building up our self esteem instead of building our esteem for Christ by leading us deeper into His word.
We build women’s ministries that focus on fluff instead of the Father, fun instead of faith, and where older women are left out instead of taking the lead and becoming spiritual mentors to younger women (Titus 2:3-5).
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a little joke from the pastor from time to time, or an occasional feel-good story, or fun ladies’ activity. It’s when these things make up the bulk of what we call “church,” “Bible study,” or “edification” that our sanctification can be stunted and we can end up as spiritual Peter Pans, refusing to grow up in Christ and remaining children in the faith perpetually.
And when we’re children in the faith, we fight for the faith like children.
When someone challenges our beliefs, emotional outbursts, name calling, unsubstantiated opinions, and personal preferences can take center stage because we don’t know our Bibles well enough to plant our feet firmly on the word and confidently and correctly declare, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Can you imagine Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) going like this:
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
“What?! How dare you question who I am! You’re just a divisive hater!”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
“Well, that’s your interpretation. That’s not what those verses mean to me.”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
Hmmm, I know God wants me to be happy and successful. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt, just this once…
No, time and again, here and throughout the gospels, Jesus answered, “It is written.” No ruffled feathers, no indignation. He calmly and firmly appealed to Scripture when God and His word were being maligned.
Jesus fought like the God-man, and we must follow in His footsteps and fight temptation and false doctrine like godly women. How?
- We recognize and embrace the fact that, as Christians, the Bible -not our preferences, what’s convenient, or the world’s mores- is the final authority for our every thought, word, and deed.
- We compare all things -even things that carry the label “Christian”- to God’s word and reject anything that conflicts with it.
- We study our Bibles to learn about God- His nature and character, His plan of redemption, His requirements for us- not as a self-help book.
- We learn from Scripture- not from our own or others’ opinions- what the role of godly women is, inside and outside the church.
- We stand firm on God’s word when “the faith once for all handed down to the saints” is challenged, understanding that this will take humility, meekness, love, and boldness.
- We warn and help our friends and loved ones who are being seduced by unbiblical teachings and personalities.
Every strong, godly Christian woman starts off as a little girl in Christ. There’s no shame in being there. There’s only shame in staying there.