Women In Leadership Roles – Lets Get It

Women. We’ve been counted out. We’ve been thought of as less than. We’ve been told we are not smart enough, good enough, funny enough. But what is enough? The Holy Spirit works in and through all of us, men and women, making us better and more like Christ. So, if Christ is in us, we are enough.

When we talk about the roles of women in Christianity, we usually talk about women in marriage. Being a submissive wife is great, but I do not believe it means an end to our roles as leaders in society. Just look at Mrs. Proverbs 31. Boss lady! Then let’s quickly hop on over to Ephesians 5. The way it talks about how a man should love his wife is powerful. If a man loves his wife that way, and she is submitted to that man (what submission means from a Christ centered perspective is a whole other topic), she should be setup to let every gift in her flourish. Of course, submission isn’t based on a man showing love first. It also doesn’t mean a man is free to behave however or do whatever he pleases. Truthfully, I can’t really speak much about the roles of men or women in marriage, because I’m not married.

But what I do think we should talk more about in the church, are the roles of women in the workforce, business, politics, ministry, and other areas outside of marriage. With women being half the population, I think it is important that we talk about our roles as leaders in society.

There are great gifts in all of us that God wants to see used for the glorification of his name. One of my favorite women in the bible, is Prophetess Deborah (Judges 4). Boss lady! With her being a leader over Israel (Judge), the people of the nation looked to her for advice to settle arguments. One day, Deborah sent a message to a man called Barak and told him to gather soldiers to go and fight.  He said that he did not want to go to if she wouldn’t go with him. So, Deborah went with him and based on her instructions from God, Barak was successful in battle. And yes, Deborah was married, and probably a submissive wife! Out in the streets casually leading her country to victory.

As women, it is important that we cultivate the leadership skills in us and in the generations after us. God did not create half the population to not be utilized! It’s important that we are intentional about the life we live, and mindful of how we’re influencing those around us. We are all leaders in one way or another. Whether we admit it or not, someone is always influenced by what we are doing. Whether it is as a business owner, sibling, student, coworker, boss, wife, and/or mother, we are all in a position where someone is being influenced by what we do. No matter how big or small we think our positions are, we need to rise up and lead to the best of our ability.  We need to make sure that everything in us is poured out before we leave the earth. And if we let God lead us, whew! We’ll be unstoppable. There’s nothing like being a leader (male or female) and letting God lead.

Now let’s talk about those corporate and political leadership roles that men have historically occupied.  Society has often made us feel like we’re not capable of being in such roles, but we most definitely are. There’s a gift and a purpose in all of us. If we want to be leaders in a business, an organization, politics, or ministry, then we should be. There’s no doubting that it takes hard work, dedication, and a continual desire to keep learning and growing, but it’s no different for men. Of course not every woman desires to be a leader these areas. Regardless of what our roles are, we’re all leaders in one way or another. We should let our relationship with God equip us to be the best leaders we can be.

Let’s make sure that when we leave this earth, we leave it having poured out everything in us!

How’s Your Mental Health? Let’s Talk About It

Who is there to lift you up when things are tough? Who are the people that are there for you when life gets hard? Who do you talk to when God seems too distant to hear your cries?

I truly believe that there is nothing the love of God cannot overcome. But I also know that God has also given us each other. The two greatest commandments Jesus gave to us, are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It means that this life isn’t supposed to be just me and God and I’m good. It’s important that we are plugged into a community where we can support and lift each other up. But what do you do when you have that community and no one seems capable of understanding your problems? What do you do with the overwhelming and overbearing baggage? What do you do when you want to, when you NEED to seek professional help?

When we’re physically ill, we go and see a doctor. If a friend of ours has cancer, we wouldn’t let them sit on the couch and pray until they’re healed. We’d tell them to go get treated and pray all through the treatment process. Likewise, we need to do the same with our mental health. Depression and anxiety can no longer just be attacks of the enemy that need to be prayed away. It’s time we start taking our mental health more seriously and also encourage those around us to do so as well. God has given us each other to lean on as a community. We’re an interdependent specie and it can’t just be about me and God. There’s a community aspect to it as well.

This is why I love the psyndup platform. It’s a platform to discuss mental health issues and to find help for those issues, in a place where mental health isn’t taken too seriously. It’s not only in Christian circles but also in some cultural circles where the lack of seriousness surrounding mental health is a problem. But no matter what religion or culture is in place, we need to make sure that our mental health is taken as seriously as our physical health.

We also have to remember that there is another side. There’s the side when we come out of the struggle victorious. There’s the side when we’ve dealt with the issue, and are put in a better position to help others because of our experiences. Things may be tough now, and it may seem like there is no way out, but it can, and it does get better.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18   

 

Identity Crisis

I am someone that cares what other people think about me. I don’t care as much as I used to but I definitely still care. It used to be so bad that I would always make decisions based on how I thought other people would perceive me. Don’t get me wrong I still make choices based on how I will be perceived, but in a much healthier way. Like how I present myself but not to the point the opinions of other people are making the choices for me. In the past I’d be scared to do what I really wanted to, because I didn’t want to be judged. I just wanted to fit in and not step out and do anything too bold. I was scared to take people’s sides, tell my friends the hard truth and join some groups for fear of being judged. I was even scared to do little things like write a Facebook post. My identity was fully in what people thought about me and I let the possible thoughts of other people control my actions.

But then God showed me my heart. He showed me that I was so scared of being judged by others because I was so judgemental of others.

Since God revealed my heart to me, I have been able to pray about it and learn not to judge others. I still do from time to time, but now I can catch myself and let God work in me. A major part of me still puts my identity in what people think of me though. When I walk into a room I’m still scared and worried about what people are thinking. I’m still scared what people will think of me when I decide to take certain steps, like starting a blog :).  But I’m learning everyday to put my identity fully in Christ and not in others. It’s a process but I’ve definitely come a long way in a short time. That’s the power of God. I still have a lot of growing to do but I thank God I’m not where I used to be. I thank God for the person I’ve become, and I thank God for the person I’m becoming. A person who fully identifies in Christ.

Learning To Let Go And Let God

You know how people always say we shouldn’t worry and trust God to take care of our worries? I’ve always felt like it was so easy to say, but so much harder to do. But you know what?

I’m finally learning to let go and let God. Things I used to worry about so often don’t even get the time of day in my thoughts anymore. I’m finally learning to take the things that are bothering me to God and leave them at the altar. My whole life I’ve been hearing that’s what I need to do, and I’ve always been like how??? Do you realize how hard it is to just forget about what’s bothering you?

But somehow I’m managing to do so.

How? By spending time with God. All this time I thought I had to will myself to give the burdens on my heart to God. But me learning to leave the burdens at the altar has been happening without me even trying. I’ve furthered my relationship with God by spending time praying and studying the word. I invite God into my daily activities and talk to God throughout the day. I’ve become much less stressed about my life. I don’t have to will myself to take the burdens on my heart to God. God kinda just sneaks them away from me while I stand in awe of Him.

More than just learning to give God my worries, my behavior and my desires are changing too.  My heart’s desires are being filled with His and it’s pretty awesome!

But it’s definitely been a process for me to get to this point. It used to be a chore for me to set aside quiet time to study my bible and pray. I had to force myself to do it. Then over time it became something I looked forward to. Then there came a peace that fell over me during my quiet time. Then I started praying and quoting scripture throughout my day. Then the peace that fell over me in my quiet time started staying with me all day long.

Stress and anxiety are being pushed out. Not because I try to force them out, but because I have become so filled with the things of the Lord, that stress and anxiety no longer have a place to call home in my heart and mind!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7