“Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born from woman. And all things are from God.” – 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (ESV)
Early in my post-secondary academic career, I had the privilege of hearing a speaker at my one of my college’s annual lectures. Though I don’t remember what the speaker actually presented (I recall something about sin), he began with a quirky introduction that I will never forget which went along the lines of: “All my life I have been on the border. I live in a border state (Kentucky), and I’ve been in the borders of faith and the academy for years.”
As a Christian woman I have noticed that I’ve lived on the border quite a bit, especially since beginning college. Some of these questions include:
What does it mean to be a Christian woman?
How do women fit into the Christian story?
What’s with all this female submission?
What does a Christian woman do?
Though I’m not the first woman in history to ask these questions about the rewarding, yet sometimes difficult walk with the Lord Jesus, I know I won’t be the last. Throughout my life as a Christian woman, I have found myself on the border of these questions, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, sometimes riding the dreaded fence.
Life with Jesus isn’t easy, and sometimes I think that being a woman makes it more difficult. As women, we are called to teach our sisters in Christ (Titus 2:4), build up our homes (Proverbs 14:1), and if we are married, submit to our husbands in order to model the relationship between Christ and “His body, the church” (Eph. 5:22-24) [Let’s not forget that men are instructed to love their wives in the same passage!] Yes, being an active Christian woman is a difficult task not for the faint of heart.
However, I believe that teaching, building, and yes, submitting are acts that reach all types of Christian women. Not all women can teach, not all women will have families, and not all women will be married. Rather, I believe that Christian women are to take their situations and use it to the spreading of the Christ’s kingdom. For a woman on the border, like myself on many beliefs (even the ones listed above), it’s important for her to look around at her surroundings and use those surroundings to help those around her.
Therefore, if you’re a teacher, teach. If you’re a businesswoman, do honest business. If you’re a mom, be a nurturer. If you’re a student, study hard. And if you’re on the fence about what it means to be a Christian woman, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone.
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