Tony and I were enjoying a weekend lie in when
his cell phone rang. It soon
became apparent from his end of the conversation that the person the other end
was interested in publishing a book called An
Army of Ordinary People that I wrote some time ago.
“Put it on speaker,” I whispered to Tony, eager to hear what
was being offered.
The conversation continued. Then the person the other end said, “Of course, we’ll put
both your names on the front cover.
This book is far too important to have been written by a woman!”
It was at this point that I lost my sanctification. It wasn’t that I minded Tony’s name on
the book—we’ve written together before.
It was the insinuation that a woman could not write anything of
significance that frustrated me.
Sadly, even in these days when our society generally
recognizes women as equals, the attitude towards women in the church is often
medieval. Over the years, I
remember being told:
A woman can lead—she just does it through her
A woman is equal to a man. It’s just that her role is different and,
by implication, not as important.
Kind of like George Orwell’s “All animals are created equal but some animals are more equal than others (Animal Farm).
God will use a woman—but only when there is no
man available to do the job (my personal favorite!)
has long been patriarchal in nature.
For the most part, I don’t believe this is deliberate misogyny. A patriarchal interpretation of the
Scriptures has led to the belief that women cannot hold any position of
strategic leadership within the body of Christ. For some women (as for some men), this does not matter to
them. However, God has placed in
the hearts of many of us women a longing to hear His voice, to think
strategically and to lead out—not in any lording it over sense, but in humble
service to His body—to be of significance.