Sunday, April 12, 2009


Whenever I hear a speaker broach the topic of "the woman's role" in marriage, my chest usually involuntarily tightens up a bit. It's nowhere close to the way it used to be, when I would actually become physically ill in a matter of seconds. Blame it on being reared in a church club that preached female subservience or just the fact that I resented being a woman for most of my adolescence and young adult life; convinced for the most part that God had given me the short end of the stick, so to speak.

Eventually, He did enough work in me that I was able to embrace my femininity but it wasn't until He hit me with a particular revelation that I was able to sit through any kind of Ephesians 5 sermon without having a mild panic attack.

A good friend of mine thought Easter time might be a great time to post this tiny and yet profound bit of revelation. And I think she's right. (You're so quick, Shawna =)

It was one fateful summer day, as I wrestled with this whole concept of women being the "weaker sex" and the injustice of it all, when my Jesus offered an interesting observation to me. "Have you considered that I'm only asking you to do exactly what I have done?"

He reminded me of Paul's letter to the Philippian church, when he says that Christ "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped." (Chapter 2 in Philippians is, by the way, quite a wonderful section to read if you're wrestling through any of these issues.)

You see, Jesus, our example of exactly how incredible and powerful and effective and intimate our lives could be, shows us that the way to get there from here is to let go of all our rights. Every last one. Do not grasp onto your right to anything. He, the King of all Kings, bowed down low and submitted to US. Does that make you twitch a little? Do you remember Him donning a servant's towel and washing the dirt and dung from his disciples' feet?

Jesus let go of everything He "deserved" to have. He leaned down low and lifted us up, pushed us forward into our destiny as children of God. This is the pure definition of "submission" ~ from a place of lowliness, to raise another above yourself; raise him or her up and establish them in all their potential and promise and destiny.

Forget about squabbling over who is weaker or who has more authority or who has more of a voice. This is all a waste of time. This high calling to which we have been called is to be like the One who was, in fact, obedient to the point of death, even the humiliating death on a cross.

Do you see? This is the upside down Kingdom of God, here on earth. In order to walk in the fullness of your authority and destiny as an anointed child of God, you must follow Christ's example. This involves submission and humility and surrendering all of your rights to anything.

I am convinced that, the degree to which we have surrendered is the degree to which we will experience intimacy with God and authority and power from on High to accomplish His good purposes in our lives. From this place of submission, there will be no question as to the authority that operates in our lives. It will not be contrived or announced or forced on anyone! It will be obvious.

I said to a friend once, who was incensed at the idea of women in ministry, preaching to men, "I don't know the answer to whether the Lord has called me to minister to men and women alike, or to clean toilet bowls. Of one thing I am certain, my life is submitted to Him, and whatever it is He will have me do, I will do it, because my life is not my own. I was bought with a price. By His grace, wherever He leads me I will go."


  1. The 'strong' could choose to give up their rights so that the 'weak' could be blessed as a result. But for the weak to 'give up' their rights? That is usually demanded or implied rather than voluntary. The strong should bear the weak and in that sense, the strong should speak up for the weak whenever their rights are abused.

  2. "By His grace, wherever He leads me I will go."

    The corresponding actions (faith without works is dead) are all part of that reality GRACE!

    Is the Father wanting to awaken in us much more than an ability to pontificate on the word grace, perhaps our being introduced to His grace over and over releases into this physical world we are in but not of, the glories of Him in us as us, the Life Giver?!

  3. Ravi, I agree wholeheartedly, this should be the view of the 'strong'. What an amazing thing, wouldn't you agree, when the 'weak' declares, "I am strong!" because of the power of Christ within, the hope of Glory!!

  4. Yes, Richard! Just as you wrote some time ago, the testimony of Christ is the spirit of prophecy! Rather than debate and contemplate the concepts of the renewed life, we become the renewed lives and reveal His glory by our reflection of the one true source.

    My point here (above), in my reference to grace, is that Jesus has been showing me the strength of His grace and setting me free from a dutiful mindset that believes "it is all up to me."

  5. Amen, Sista! (Tongue in cheek)

    If we are all clothed in Jesus - taking on His offered love covenant with Him ... wearing His Holy robes, as He takes on our sin and beggar clothes - why do we not see only Jesus, when we look at each other?

    He is the perfect lover of us all. Those who aspire to be a delight to Papa and reach for His heart, must be ones who see all people as equal, shouldn't they?

    After all, didn't Jesus walk with all types of humans?

    Let us stand together as a body, walking together as a body. All needing the other to support the other and accomplish tasks together.


  6. #1 - i love this! thanks for sharing your struggle and wisdom.

    #2 - i’m an associate of mary anne radmacher’s and saw you’ve enjoyed her quote, “courage doesn't always roar.” i know mary anne is so happy when people find inspiration from her words in the context of their daily lives. for more work from mary anne’s hand visit her website mary anne has written several books and shares her work in many forms including conferences and classes. If you’d like more information feel free to e-mail me at thanks for sharing her words!

  7. Shawna, I think one of the reasons we don't just see Jesus is that we've been raised in a society that promotes the idea that "competition" is healthy. When we have been trained that our value comes from our having surpassed those around us, it is difficult to see others as equals!

  8. Are you implying that competition is unhealthy? Ooh! I think you are! Ha ha. Well, this only asks the question which standards are we living by? Dare I suggest that perhaps the standards which we are applying to our lives to abide by, may not be the most sound ones. As for competition being unhealthy, well, it is unhealthy as a measure of success, as a way of achieving self-worth etc. But I still think a little competition is a good thing.

  9. How can competition be a "good thing"? Perhaps it feels like a good thing if you are a "winner" (LOL)

  10. well being competitive for me personally means i am always working towards a goal, and you are ALWAYS the winner if you keep going. so yes i am very competitive in nature... but really only with myself, after all the only comparison i have is myself... and not joe shmoo next to me. i understand your perspective... but i think often this competitiveness drives us to excellence - it can go either way depending on the person... and of course failure for a competitive person is a very unfortunate experience.

    i admit it i am competitive. my boss would tell you that... but that is more of a challenge/games thing. oh i will win... and if i don't i will find a way to win next time.

    i am not at all concerned about competing to keep up with the jones' or my siblings, or whatever the status quo is.

  11. A bit more on topic here, as I had it explained to me in bible college, that a woman can teach and preach and what not but according to God's divine order a woman is not supposed to govern a church. But the truth is, you Janna, are not in a traditional church context by any stretch of the imagination, and lots of people teach lots of different things - at the end of the day we go with what Papa tells us, and we pass that onto our children, not what someone's interpretation is of the bible - after all, His word is final. And if Papa says to you as a woman, I have called you to teach, then you teach.

    As for competition, I think it is good to compete against whatever we have previously accomplished and do all we can to surpass that. In my work we have something called a 'standard' and we are judged according to how we meet our standards as a team, and individually. So we monitor our standards, and then we can see why we didnt do so well, and can then improve upon them. Or you can ignore them. I personally used to keep a database of all of these standards - and I would always try to beat my previous results.

  12. So, Laurie, what does all this winning have to do with surrender?

  13. All of this winning serves to shows our inability to desire to surrender - otherwise winning would not interest us at all. OUCH!