I've often been baffled by what it means to be “a woman of God”. It can seem like such an abstract idea. Based on some women's events I've been to, it could mean drinking lots of tea and coffee and eating cake, which I wouldn't be complaining about!
However at the same events, I've often left feeling like being a woman of God means being quiet and peaceful, being really good at praying and baking, and maybe even carrying my favourite teacup around so I can tell people the story behind it!
I'm not one of those women. In fact, I'll be honest; I often avoid women's ministry events. I am passionate, I am loud, and I am not very peaceful. I like to question authority, and buck the status quo. I am not a good pray-er, and the only nice teacups I have are for decorative purposes.
I usually find it easier to talk to men than women, and even though I love coffee and cake, I get frustrated at being invited to yet another high tea, with yet another speaker who is undoubtedly “an awesome woman of God”, because I don't really know what that means.
Please don't think this article is really just my excuse to rant about women's ministry, it is not. What it is, is an attempt for someone like me, a woman who loves God, to understand how I can best be a woman who loves God.
I googled the phrase “being a woman of God”, and these are some of the key words I found: strong, world changer, embracing femininity, graceful, speaks truth, submissive, hopes in God, fearless.
Of course, there are many, many more. In a culture where feminism is once again peaking, submission is a dirty word, and women often bring down other women, what does being a woman of God even mean, and how can I be one?
Real women of God
When we look at scripture, we see a far greater (volume wise) example of what it means to be a “man after God's own heart” (1 Samuel chapter 13 verse 14), as opposed to a woman of God. Yet there are some wonderful women throughout the Bible (maybe it's a matter of quality over quantity? Just kidding!) Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Mary, and Lydia are just some of those women.
When I look at their lives, these are the characteristics that stand out to me: boldness, passion, respect for the men in their lives, respect for the other women in their lives, trust in God, and yes, submission to their husbands and ultimately to God. These women aren't passive or boring; they are a vital and exciting part of the story of God.
Esther was obviously more than just outwardly beautiful, as she won the favour of all those around her (Esther chapter 2 verse 15), and by doing so changed the course of history for her people.
Lydia was business savvy, hospitable, and generous (Acts chapter 16 verses 13-15).
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was humble, ridiculously brave, and completely submitted to God's will in spite of the risks (Luke chapter 1 verses 29-38). She showed grace, trust, courage, and obedience in submitting to God's plan.
These women came from very different backgrounds, different families, religions, places. They would have had different personalities, different hopes and dreams. But they are all remembered as “awesome women of God” primarily because of their trust in God, and their submission to his will in their lives.
What does being a woman of God even mean? It means embracing whatever kind of woman you are (loud or quiet, peaceful or hectic) and allowing God to develop and use those qualities.
It means following the examples in scripture of powerful, humble, loving, kind, courageous women, who unapologetically put God in first place in their lives, submitting to his will, and being part of his story.
Jess is a young woman who loves God, and wants to seek and submit to his will in her life. She is married to Colin and they have an eight month old daughter. Jess is serving God by serving her family. She is also a recent college graduate who has no idea what she will do with her ministry degree, but is passionate about following Jesus wherever he may lead.
Jess Currie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jessica-currie.html