The Place of Women
Some bumper stickers make me want to pull off the road and reflect. Such was the one that read, “Keep Women in Their Place.” So where exactly is their place? Many and diverse are the way today’s culture answers that question. But where was the place of women according to Jesus? Any sincere student of the New Testament soon realizes Jesus never did or said anything to disgrace, belittle, reproach, or stereotype women. Understanding the culture of the time, it is interesting to note that Jesus did just the opposite in His relationship with women. Jesus showed respect to women, even those of apparent low estate such as the woman with the alabaster box or the woman at the well. The ones who felt they could approach Jesus and be heard, were women. Two women, with their brother Lazarus, were his best friends. In the parables of Jesus, often the lesson was delivered by a woman, and women were Jesus’ most faithful followers. Women were at the foot of the cross, and at the opening of the tomb. The first person to whom heaven revealed the resurrection was a female, and this same woman, was the first commissioned by heaven to proclaim the good news of the resurrection. Nor did it stop with Jesus. Traditionally, the missionaries we honor the most, are women missionaries. During my time serving in China, I realized that most of the churches were pastored by women, and most of the congregations consisted of women. It seemed to me that God called His special servants from among His most faithful followers. The person who guided me through my teen-age years was a woman, my church’s Youth Minister. From Kindergarten to Doctoral degree, the most influential encouragement was provided by a woman, my sixth-grade teacher. The person who taught me to drive, took me fishing, and encouraged me in my early dating experiences, was a woman, my aunt. The greatest prayer warrior I ever knew was a woman, my own mother. Some of those I love the most today, and who love me the most, are women, my wife, my daughter, my granddaughter. “All the things you may desire cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 3:15). Keep women in their place – Indeed!