“When we have a correct overview of how God uses women for His kingdom purposes, we can aspire to be women who live and lead from a God-focused perspective.”
One of the things that most surprises me as I teach college women and we study key women in scripture is this comment: “I have never read about Deborah, Abigail, Anna, Joanna, Phoebe, Lydia …” and other women mentioned throughout the books of the Old and New Testaments. What I have come to recommend for any woman who seeks to better grasp how God views women, is to begin in Genesis and read in context the passages on key women He has used throughout Scripture to accomplish His purposes. The world tells girls and young women to seek empowerment and self-fulfillment in their own strength. It is vital for us to point them to God’s Word and what He says about women in the metanarrative of Scripture. As we read these accounts we see a consistent thread of obedience, courage, humility and faithfulness to God in their lives.
Among the stories of women spread throughout the pages of Scripture, it is in the account of the Resurrection where we see how Jesus valued women in His redemption story and entrusted them to spread the first tidings of the good news of the Resurrection. Here we can also find some notable truths of biblical leadership principles for women.
Women who lead biblically are committed to walk, stay, watch, and wait. All of the Gospels consistently mention specific women and others who remain nameless, who had been following Jesus throughout his ministry. Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of James and Joseph, Salome, mother of James and John, and Joanna, a Jewish woman of means, are all mentioned in varying Gospel accounts of women who stuck with Jesus. They had walked along with Jesus and heard His teaching, they stayed and watched as the tomb was covered. They went out after Sabbath was over and purchased burial spices so he would be properly anointed for burial. They were always thinking about how to serve this Savior. Their hearts never left Him and while they waited, their devotion never wavered.
Women who lead biblically are entrusted to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ victory over death to a world that desperately needs to hear it. The beloved disciple John records this account in chapter 20: “Mary!” Jesus said, “… go find my brothers and tell them…” Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them His message. Can you imagine if you were Mary and you heard the resurrected Jesus call you by name? Not only that, but He entrusted her and the other women we see mentioned in the Gospels to complete the task of going and telling this news to the disciples. We don’t see these women trying to make a name for themselves – we see them making much of Jesus’ name.
Women who lead biblically stay faithful to God’s purpose for their part in His story. What if these women had stayed afraid? What if they hadn’t done exactly what Jesus told them to do? “And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. They ran to him and worshiped him. Jesus said in Matthew 28, “Do not be afraid; Go and tell my brothers…”
Like Mary, Salome, Joanna, and the women who followed wholeheartedly after Christ, we must be committed to walk, to stay, to watch, and to wait. We must receive the entrusting of His message of Good News and proclaim it boldly! And we mustn’t relinquish our part in God’s redemption story. Jesus has called us by name. He has given us a mission and a message. And He has charged us with completing His mission for the sake of His name in all the earth.