The Role of Women in Ministry
Generations of traditions of men have given women a wrong perspective of themselves and that has caused them to occupy a minor role in the Church. Nevertheless, the accounts of the Bible show us that women had a major role to play in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ and Paul our Apostle. In Luke 8:1-3, we see women who were ministering of their substance unto the Lord Jesus. It is also important to notice that the affirmation of the resurrection of our Lord was first given to a woman. In Romans 16, Apostle Paul tells us that he entrusted his epistle to Phebe.
In the Jewish culture, women were relegated to the back; they were considered impure and second-class, unable to stand in the same category as men. An example of this is seen in the gospels of the disciples of our Lord. Saint Luke, who was a Gentile, is the only one who was not ashamed of speaking of women ministering to Jesus. The other Hebrew disciples do not mention them due to their cultural background. It is rather unfortunate to see that this erroneous Jewish perception of women has invaded the Church.
A major problem men have in entrusting women with ministerial tasks is that whenever it has happened, women have relied on their self-sufficiency, trying to be wise in the flesh as Apostle Paul would say. When women receive ministerial responsibilities, there are damages, because they rely on their emotions and feminist tendencies while ministering to add to what the Holy Spirit can do.
In reality, there has never been any competition between men and women. We compliment each other. And there is such a beauty when one finds that their weakness can be completed by the other.
In marriage, when a man discovers that he can be vulnerable with a woman, without any risk, he will entrust her with everything. In ministerial couples, if the woman does not know the weaknesses of her husband or what she can bring as a helper to her husband, she cannot work out anything. You are not to first of all look for a role to play in the Church rather, you are to seek to know the one you got married to, so as to discern what you are called to complete. Our knowledge of God cannot be exhausted. Since we are in God’s image, our knowledge of one another cannot be exhausted either. It can take many years to know another human being. The danger in marriage is to think you know your husband after the flesh. It will hinder him from opening up completely and you will never know where you are to complete him. When I got married to my husband, I realized he is a whole world I would have to discover and he said the same about me. For a man to find in you his complement you need to discern a space that has been revealed to you. This cannot be done by the flesh; it is a miracle that is worked out by God.
To be a helper, it is important you understand the ministry of a Helper. God has to bring you to the reality of who He is; you must receive and experience what He is. And this will come by you understanding the placement of the Holy Spirit in you. He is the One who brings us into the inner realities of who the Lord Jesus Christ is in His person. He brings to us the real experience of the Father, the understanding of the things pertaining to Christ; it’s only through Him that we can experience the personhood of God.
It is interesting to note that the Holy Spirit is referred to as “she”. It is not that you are to be the Holy Spirit to your husband. By understanding perfectly how the Holy Spirit functions and having that real experience of Him, it will be easier for you, through this same Spirit, to commune and fellowship with your husband who is a spirit. This is a work of commitment and submission to God. It will require you to submit to the understanding of the Holy Spirit without which, no matter how willing you are, you’ll always find yourself being a rebellious woman. There is no possibility of transformation of your mind with regards to your relationship with your husband who is a minister without the transformation of your mind in your understanding of what the Holy Spirit Himself has to bring to you. It will require a paradigm shift in your mind with regards to who you are and how you are to collaborate together with God.
Being in the school of the Spirit requires total agreement and total commitment. The school begins with your thoughts. How much do you allow the Spirit to bring to you the real experiences of God? In the tenderness of the voice of the Spirit, there lies the power of agreement with your husband. Get into the school of the Spirit, into the experience and the actuality of God through the Spirit, and learn how to rely on Christ’s sufficiency. This is the core of the ministerial life of every beautiful marriage.