Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Being a woman in the church...

This morning Patrick had sent me a link to the desiring God blog. Certainly a place to learn and grow and be convicted. The post Patrick sent was called, "Confessions of a Conflicted Complementarian", written by Wendy Alsup. Now I know nothing about Wendy, but her post was so right on that I have to share it. {so click the link and check it out!}

I was so encouraged by her perspective, by her convictions. Basically, she talks about how women had been mislead in the church by the teaching of scripture based on the law and not the Gospel. I can absolutely relate to this! I became a Christian and started going to church when I was 16, and I've been there since. What a pivotal time to teach and encourage young women.

Instead, so often, we're taught unrealistic expectations based on scripture taken out of context or so highly pushed that we don't see the Gospel. We only see what we're doing wrong. How can women thrive and find their worth in Jesus if we're constantly told that we're not doing/being/giving/trying enough? Doesn't that take away from the gospel and lend itself to the law? It's, also, no wonder men have incredibly high and unrealistic expectations of their women for this same reason.

I, too, felt such freedom to learn and know the beauty in God's word surrounded by the blood of Jesus. What joy to know that the Proverbs 31 woman is just another woman who lived her life in godliness and isn't something I need to attain before I'm 30. My goal isn't to be life the Proverbs 31 woman, although she's really great. My goal is to be like Jesus. Whew! Thank You, Lord, for grace!

As a woman, I'm so easily deceived by what I'm "suppose" to be. I try so hard to be perfect and get it all right. I want terribly to be the best and the most and the godliest. But this all turns out so disgustingly {is that a word, even?}. I cannot, not even a tiny bit, be a godly woman without Jesus. There is no freedom, no righteousness, no joy without the risen King covering ALL of me.

I've spent so much of my life trying to be this or that, according to what I've been taught. I've tried and I've failed. Sometimes, I've succeeded. Certainly not by my own means, though. I never asked questions. I took instructions from authority with a nod of the head and off I went. But that can't be right.

As a believer, it's my job to seek truth, to find the answers, to ask questions, to stand up and find God's way. I'm so grateful that God doesn't want all of my striving and perfection. I love that He wants my brokenness and confusion and concern and my weary heart. I love even more that He uses that to make me closer to and more like my Savior.

"How marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior's love for me!"

I don't know about you, but that is a breath of fresh air. It's a lifted weight. A profound freedom that only Christ can give. "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!" {Romans 8:1} The law is dead, my friends! We live by the Gospel - God's love, perfect and sinless, sent to this world to live, die and concur death for us. The blood of Jesus washes away all our sin so we can be right before God!!!

"For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." {Romans 6:14}

"But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." {Romans 7:6}

May God open the eyes of your heart. May He refresh and encourage you. You don't need to strive for perfection, you only need to walk with Jesus! He is more than enough.

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