By: Grace Valentine
For the longest time I thought the Bible was just stories about men walking with Jesus. I thought the Bible taught women to be quiet, polite sidekicks. Some Christians led me to believe this, and maybe you’ve been led to believe this too. One day, I got a message that said, “I just hate that the Bible hates women.” I remember my jaw dropping. Hate? What a strong word. But here’s the truth: if you believe the lie that women are afterthoughts in Scripture, you’ll likely also believe the lie that God hates women.
At first, I thought this message was dramatic, but then I realized I was on the path to believing this also. And yet I didn’t think my God truly felt this way, so I read Scripture and looked for the women. Here is what I found:
- Jesus listens to women.
- Jesus calls women to be on His team.
- Jesus doesn’t ask for “perfect” women; He calls for bold women.
- Jesus hears our frustrations.
- Jesus listens to our tired and restless hearts.
- Jesus calls us to be kind and loving, not likeable. Jesus wants us to stop trying to meet everyone’s expectations.
Women were never afterthoughts. In fact, the Bible was written during a time when the culture made women even more of an afterthought than they are now. But women were included in Scripture and placed there by our God so you and I could have examples of bold women. We aren’t perfect, we may get nervous, and we may try to manipulate our situations like some women in the Bible did, but we aren’t merely sidekicks. Women in the Bible were offered moments of boldness and given lessons to learn, and their stories are woven into Scripture.
If you know me personally, you know I have always advocated for women’s empowerment. I am all for breaking glass ceilings. I used to think that if I wanted to take my faith seriously, I would have to discard my desire for women to feel empowered. I thought I couldn’t break glass ceilings if I was following Christ. But we can’t have true women empowerment without first acknowledging the most powerful being in this world. If we don’t know our Creator, how can we know why we were created? If I have a daughter someday, I want her to wait on the Lord but not wait to live life boldly in Christ’s name. I want her to see in Scripture that Jesus listened to women and that Jesus listens to her. I want her to realize that her purpose is not to be liked but to be bold.
I want us to learn from these women in the Bible. But let me be clear: they weren’t perfect. They did some great things, but they weren’t the dream team. Thankfully, the beautiful thing is that our God isn’t looking for perfection. He isn’t looking to use only the ones with the best stats and the most experience. He is looking for you. Yes, you. We serve a God who wants to use us right where we are. He knows that through faith and boldness we can do great things. When we know who our big God is, we can do big things. These big things aren’t necessarily going to make us likeable, give us financial success, or win us worldly affirmation, but they will give us something better: God. His peace and courage will enable us to walk boldly in His purpose for us.
God wants you to be bold, starting now.
Taken from What Will They Think? Nine Women in the Bible Who Can Help You Live Your Life Boldly by Grace Valentine. Copyright 2022 by Grace Valentine. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com
Grace Valentine is a popular twentysomething author and social media influencer; her reason for writing her second book, Is It Just Me? Learning to Trust God in the Middle of Hurts, Doubts and Fears is quite simple: “I wrote this book because I was tired of reading books written by ‘perfect’ Christians. I searched the bookstore shelves for someone I could relate to. I wanted honesty. I wanted relatability. I wanted to believe I wasn’t the only one dealing with crap. I wanted to stop thinking, Is it just me? So I wrote this book for regular girls like me, who sometimes feel alone.”