Overlooking the Women in the Church

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Many a wife has complained about her husband, "He takes care of himself first, and I am at the bottom of his priority list." When a husband overlooks the needs of his wife, there is unrest in the home. In Acts 6 there was unrest in the church because the women were being overlooked. Today, many have overlooked the great potential that women possess in the service to God.

The NT is filled with examples of women being actively involved in many aspects of the gospel. Have you considered the significance of the fact that Jesus entrusted a woman, Mary, with the very first preaching of the gospel of His resurrection Jn 20:17,18? When she reported the news to the men, they didn't believe her! (Perhaps Jesus deliberately chose Mary as the first because He knew the male disciples needed to learn a lesson about listening and respecting the opinions of women). In Jn 4:27-30, Jesus used a woman to bring out an entire village to hear the gospel. In Lk 8:3 Joanna, Susanna, Mary and many others were contributing to the financial support of Jesus' ministry. Eunice and Lois were commended for teaching their children the gospel. In Col 4:15, Nympha allowed the church to meet in her house every Lord's day. Pheobe was called a "servant of the church...worthy of all respect" Rom 16:1-2. We have Philip's four daughters who prophesied in Acts 21:9. In Acts 18:26 Priscilla and Aquila taught the details of baptism to a powerful evangelist as a husband-wife team. Euodia and Syntyche were two women who Paul described as his fellow-workers Phil 4:3. About the only two things we do not find women doing in the New Testament is preaching before the whole church and functioning as elders, pastors & overseers. 1 Ti 2:12. The Bible does, however, command the women to teach other women and children the gospel in Tit 2:4.

The Christian women of the first century were involved in a wide variety of works ranging from financial support to standing beside apostle Paul in his soul-winning efforts to break new soil for the kingdom. All these ladies were actively involved in preaching the gospel! There can be no doubt that many of the women of the first century were "soldiers in active service" 1 Ti 2:4, teaching the gospel. The Bible commended these outstanding women, not because they were excellent wives, mothers and keepers of the home, for that is the least God expects of them, but for their direct involvement in the gospel.

Yes, the men certainly have overlooked the incredible potential women inherently possess to "lead the many to righteousness" Dan 12! But, the current problem can only be resolved when women stop overlooking themselves and develop their own God given skills as active servants of the Lord.

Steve Rudd

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