The world today would have us believe that the order of authority set forth in the Bible sets us lower than men. How untrue! Galatians 3:28-29 (KJV) tells us “...there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” God established the order of things for our protection as the weaker vessel and we are not to covet a man’s position. Paul says in Philippians 4:11 that he has learned to be content in whatsoever state he is in, presenting an excellent goal for every Christian, which can also be applied to accepting our placement in God’s order of things. God makes no mistakes, therefore, for anyone to refuse the position He has given and to covet another’s, is sin.
We are not lower than men but we do have different callings. This seems to be difficult for modern Christians to understand in this day of women pastors and deacons. God did not assign us the role of leaders in the church, but he did give us other responsibilities, equally as important. We who are older, are to “teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4-5 (KJV) Obviously, in order to teach someone else, it would be necessary that we have already learned it thoroughly ourselves. In addition to this call of duty, we are to have cultivated the characteristics of a godly woman, i.e. “behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things,” Titus 2:3 (KJV)
I was a “stay-at-home mom” with three kids and I seriously questioned my value to everyone, especially God. My husband was earning the living and supporting the family sufficiently and was usually the adult Sunday school teacher and sometimes preacher in the churches we went to. What did I do? I cooked, cleaned, did laundry, found ways to pinch pennies so I could be at home with the kids, sewed, harvested the veggies from the garden and canned them, etc. I thought, “Big deal. I must not be much of a Christian if God can’t use me for anything substantial.” I stayed busy all day and didn’t spend my days watching game shows and soap operas but as I look back at it, I wish I had spent more time meditating on God and studying His word when I had the time and didn’t have to go to work every day.
One day I was feeling particularly useless and taken for granted by the family – you know what I mean – “Of course my clothes will all be clean and ironed, that’s mom’s job,”- when I beseeched our Heavenly Father for help with my state of mind and sad heart. Thus began the most fruitful learning time in my Christian walk.
The first scripture God led me to was Luke 12:42-43. “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. (KJV)
I read it over again...and again…and again, and my heart became as light as the biscuits I tried to perfect the recipe for! I had read that passage many times and never related it to being a homemaker but as I look at it now I see that it can easily refer to any vocation God has given us. I may have thought I could do any number of “more important” things but He knew where I really belonged. I was suddenly very hungry for God’s word and spent more time studying as He led me. If I were to go into detail about all He taught me this would become a whole book so to be brief, my question of my own usefulness led to eye-opening study concerning abiding in Christ, the Proverbs 31 woman, conditions for blessing in the land, real worship, faith, discipleship, serving Christ, being “yielded” to Christ, real prayer, and lots more.
Now, back to my original quest. The next thing I recall was hearing our Father speak to me saying, “I have given you the most important job a woman can have.” And He directed me to Genesis 2:18 (KJV) “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” and to Matthew 24:45-46 (KJV) “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” I guess He wanted to make sure I got that concept firmly in my mind and heart to avoid more of those spells of feeling useless. I scratched down a multitude of notes in a notebook as I read and studied, cross-referencing and meditating. As I look back at some of those notes all these years later the joy is renewed in my heart when I remember those peaceful times of fellowship with our Heavenly Father and how much I learned.
At one time we were going to a church where the adult men and the adult women had separate Sunday school classes and I was elected to teach the women’s class. I loved it! I would begin on Monday to prepare for the next week’s class and was able to teach whatever God led me to teach, since they didn’t use a quarterly lesson book. That is, until I taught on I Corinthians 5, attempting to show these women that we should not accept the adultery that was taking place openly within the congregation. Anyway that is another story but while I was teaching and preparing for classes, God gave me a reminder one day with these words, “I have given you a home and family. It is here you are to work for me. You have many responsibilities here. Do not forget your first duty – to be a helpmeet to your husband.” Sure enough, soon after that I taught the fateful lesson on adultery and that was the end of my teaching days in that church. (as well as the end of our membership, of course!) While it was disappointing to not be able to teach the class anymore, I had learned to study and enjoy the fellowship with God like never before.