by Lindsay Li Soumar
(Member of the Mt Airy church of Christ)
When I was asked a month ago to write on this topic: “what do you want to tell women as a woman?” I thought that it is a very interesting subject, since I never thought about this until just now. What do I really want to say to people like me: a woman, a scientist, a wife, a mother, and, most importantly, a Christian? First of all, I feel so grateful for this opportunity to write my thoughts and even to share them publicly. About 100 years ago women couldn’t have imagined getting the opportunities we have today. All of these have come from many different women’s rights movements. We have fought hard to obtain those opportunities and equalities. Suddenly, this came to my mind: women are powerful, intelligent, brave, and independent. In today’s society, women have not only been identified as mothers, but as presidents, CEOs, Nobel prize winners, doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. We don’t stop showing people our talents and leaderships that influence our colleagues, friends, husbands, children, and the world at every corner. However, God has taught us to be mindful of the influences we make, for they can have significant consequences, good or bad.
In the book of Genesis, the very first woman that God created, Eve, successfully enticed her husband Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. As a result, we forever lost our place walking with God and forever gained the pain in childbirth. The book of 1 Kings 16-22 tells us about Jezebel, the wife of king Ahab, who was a princess and later a queen. She was a very powerful and intelligent woman, but she used her power and intelligence to steer her reckless husband Ahab to commit atrocities against God and man. She enticed him to murder innocent people and prophets and to worship false gods. Her intelligence and power over her useless, timid, and indecisive husband have led to both of their bitter ends and forever earned Ahab a place as one of the most wicked kings to reign over Israel. Her wickedness has arguably made the name Jezebel a common noun for evil and wickedness.
In contrast, the book of 1 Samuel tells us of Abigail, wife of Nabal, who used her words and actions powerfully and carefully. She placated David and convinced him to spare her husband Nabals life when David was ready to destroy him for the ingratitude and contempt he showed to God’s elect.
Book of Judges 4-5 records of a judge and prophetess Deborah. Deborah judged Israel at the time when the people turned from the Lord and He gave them over into the Canaanite oppression. The Israelites cried out to the Lord for deliverance and Deborah dispatched Barak to fight the Canaanites, assuring him that the Lord will deliver the Canaanite army into his hands (1 Judges 4:6-7). When Barak hesitated and declared that he won’t go unless Deborah joins him, she agreed and accompanied Barak into the battle (1 Judges 4:8-9). It took a courageous and faithful woman, grounded in the Lord and His promises, to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors and to give land rest for the next 40 years.
Eve, Jezebel, Abigail, and Deborah were very powerful, intelligent, brave, and independent women. However, their actions earned these women very different reputations, and their influences effected very different consequences on the people around them. What I really want to you tell you today is this: we ARE just as powerful, intelligent, and brave as all the famous (or infamous) women in the Bible. However, God has shown us the examples and wisdom to make the right decisions and to be positive influences on our friends, coworkers, children, husband… anyone around us. Let us wield our “powers” wisely and be the godly women our Lord would want us to be.