John 15:9 affirms that God’s love for us is identical to God’s love for Jesus. Every child of God inherits the throne of God, the Spirit of God, holiness, and eternal life. Anyone who believes, including women, will receive equal authority with Christ. Jesus said, “As for those who emerge victorious, I will allow them to sit with me on my throne” (Revelation 3:21 CEB).
As I wrote this article, I was en route to a conference for Air Force Reserve chaplains. Only three hours before, I received a call from my baby's pre-school. They informed me that my daughter was running a fever and needed to go home. I rushed to pick her up, take her to the pediatrician, and drop her and her antibiotics prescription off with my husband so I could get to the airport in time to catch my flight.
Gospel hospitality offers us a powerful experience of God’s welcome. Abraham and Sarah were both touched and changed. God has welcomed us, too, into new life, into life that is free from expectations based on cultural stereotypes and roles.
From the making of mutual decisions while planning the ceremony, to the symbol of equality we provided by having both sets of parents walk us down the aisle, to the promise we each made to love, respect, and submit to the other in our vows, we tried to put our beliefs about the equality of women and men on display.
We live in a world brimming with competition. This can be seen through the widely enjoyed form of sports, or in the competing (and not so enjoyable) cultural standards for beauty. Desire for success even leads to aggressively competitive relationships in the workplace. No matter where one turns today, the main message seems to be “Get to the top no matter the cost.”
The church of the first five centuries helped define women’s sense of self, integrating their understanding of sexuality and marriage with the redemptive work of Christ, thus encouraging them to contribute to the work of the church.