“Speak to Us”: Pastors, Opinions, Women and the Church

Happy International Women’s Day!
andy celebrating
If you’re a lady or a girl, I hope you know that you were created that way on purpose.
You — uniquely in your own “woman-li-ness” — reflect God’s image to the world around you and have been given specific gifts/talents/skills that can greatly impact it for good (yes, technically the same is true of men in their own way, but today isn’t international men’s day).
Around this time last year, there was a bit of a kerfuffle going on. A famous male pastor responded to a question online which asked if women should be “allowed” to teach in seminaries since some Biblical passages allude to women remaining silent during church services.
Long story short, the pastor said women shouldn’t be allowed to teach in seminaries and soon after came a firestorm of responses.
This all came to mind today as I was thinking about #InternationalWomensDay . I remembered sitting there that night with this sort of “If that’s true, then…” line of thinking weighing heavily upon me, and something wouldn’t let me fall asleep until I got (basically) these words (this is the abridged version) down on “paper” (aka a note in my phone).

Speak to Us

These are just a few realities of American women:

  • We make up a little more than 50% of the church.
  • 30% or more of that same church is single (a majority that number includes us).
  • 10 to 20% of us will have pregnancies that end in miscarriages.
  • 1 in 4 of us will be sexually abused before we are old enough to vote.
  • 1 in 5 of us be raped in our lifetime.
“If only men are called to be pastors — and teachers at seminary — then you have an enormous privilege, a heavy burden and a big responsibility to become learners of and advocates for the needs and issues of the women in your church as well as the surrounding community.
You cannot leave it up to Beth Moore or a yearly women’s retreat to speak directly to the hearts and wounds of the daughters God has placed in your care. We are here. We take up more than half the seats in the the room.
Speak to us.
We need sermons about how the church is going to support the fatherless sons, daughters and single mothers.
We are here. Speak to us.
We need God’s word for the victims of sexual violence and spousal abuse. What does our Father in Heaven have to say to us about the pain of our past — or present — suffering so we can experience and live for Him today?
This is part of our reality. Speak to us.
We need your words for the perpetrators (both male and female) of the #metoo generation — and the generations before that? Call them to bring their sin into the light, to get help and to repent.
They are here too. Speak for us, speak to them. 
Do you realize the affect it has on some of us in the room, if the only time you talk about beauty is when you are referring to how “hot” your wife is?
We have been told most of our lives that our worth comes from how sexually desirable a man finds us. The God we worship says something different.
We all need to hear that too. So, speak to us.
If feeding His sheep is what you are called to do, and more than half of us are women — widows, wives, singles, mothers, daughters and sisters — then,
speak to us!
The women of minority cultures — both in your church and community — need to hear God’s words spoken over our hearts. So, rise up and say them.
Tell us our lives matter. Tell us where God is when we experience racism and injustice. Teach us what to do with the anger, brokenness and pain.
Petition the Lord on our behalf — whether you look like us or not —  and speak to us.
As women, we stand before you with certain common experiences, needs, hurts, thought patterns and addictions. 
Speak to directly to our pain, our sin and our brokenness — and not just on mother’s day.
We have been abused, belittled, paid less for the same work, ignored, written off and taken advantage of — both inside and outside the church.
Acknowledge our pain. Tell us how the Gospel applies to these heartaches. Remind us who we are. Beckon us to respond in love and forgiveness. Remind us what the hope of Jesus means for us and the world around us.
The world is watching. We are waiting. So, speak to us.

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