I am sure that each one of us hate it when we read about the atrocities and crimes committed against women. It has almost become routine to hear the news of a rape, an abortion of a girl child or a murder soon after birth, dowry killings, acid attacks by self-proclaimed heartbroken ‘Romeos’ and the list goes on. Hearing about these incidents has become so common that some of us have become oblivious to the fact that something is really wrong somewhere. Sadly, it has even stopped affecting us to some extent.
Let me make it clear that I am not writing this to start a campaign against such heinous acts. Neither am I trying to propagate the need of better laws for the protection of women. Yes, these are important and have to be looked into. But I want to do today is talk to the church, more specifically, the men in the church to understand and see if we are in some way responsible for what is happening around us.
You would ask me about how the church is or how the men in church are responsible. I would like to reply by first quoting a scripture used much but out of context sometimes. “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel”. 1 Peter 3:7a. We, the men in the church, have used abused this scripture. We have looked at women and have called them weaker vessels while overlooking the reasons why Peter said what he said. We have restricted women to being intercessors or worship leaders, at the most. We have killed the anointing that our wives and sisters have carried under the pretext of them being submissive. We have deprived them of the honour that they deserve and have hurt them in more than one way. What we have not realised is that the vessel (body) might be weaker (physical strength) but what it contains is just as powerful as what we, the men, possess if not more.
Recently, my wife and I heard of an incident where a woman’s husband misquoted the Bible saying that the wife’s place is at the husband’s feet. I was really upset and angry when I heard this because the Bible actually states that male and female were both made in His image.
I wonder why, when and how has our idea about women, their social and spiritual standing changed. The Bible lets us know that it was at the request of a woman that the first miracle occurred and it did not stop there. It was a Samaritan woman who first evangelised to a whole village even before any of His disciples had begun their own ministries. It was a woman who first preached the resurrected Christ. Sadly, we have restricted women to being the ‘request makers’. Where are the Evangelists? Where are the Revivalists? Where are the Pastors? The answer is that we, the men, have killed them. We have forced them to believe that they really are ‘weaker vessels’.
Revival is the overflow of the presence of God in the church which goes out into society. It is a change that occurs in an individual by the power of the Spirit of God and flows into the community. Likewise, the change we desire to see in the way women are treated in the world has to be an overflow of the way women are treated in the church.
We take pride in calling ourselves sons of Abraham and heirs to the covenant made between God and Abraham. We forget that Abraham may have had the seed but Sarah was needed to carry, nourish and release that seed in God’s appointed time for His purposes to be established. It is not only about the sons of Abraham, it is also about the daughters of Sarah. It is not just sons who are heirs of the covenant alone. In fact in 1 Peter 3:17b it says, “…and as being heirs together of the grace of life that your prayers may not be hindered” (emphasis added). Daughters are heirs too.
I want to encourage all my sisters, reading this post, that you are called for much more than intercession. I have known women to be the fiercest of prayer warriors but God has chosen you for much more. Pursue the call of God over your life. There is greatness hidden inside of you waiting to be birthed. I would also like to request all my brothers to sow honour into the lives, anointing and call of our sisters/mothers/wives in the Lord. In doing so, we will see them like how God sees them.
I know a lot of sisters would like to comment on this and you are more than welcome to speak your heart here. I would also like my brothers to share their thoughts with us in the comment section below. God bless!