Daughters, Rise Up

by Charlie Olivia Grantham | January 05, 2016

This one is for the daughters whose parents taught them, above all else, to submit to their husbands. For the wives whose husbands call them equals, but who are excluded from the decision-making table. For the women who work hard and raise up godly men, only to be placed beneath them in the body of Christ. For the women with advanced degrees whom God has called to pastor and lead deemed “unqualified” for the pastoral office. This one is for you, my friends.

You are enough. You are worthy. You are a great warrior for the kingdom of God.

I often read comments on the internet claiming that females are not qualified to be pastors or co-lead in a marriage. Some say that women should not hold any authoritative positions over men, either in the church, workplace, or home. Some take an even more extreme position, refusing to let women speak at church meetings or Bible studies.

These beliefs implicitly tell women, “you’re not good enough” and “you aren’t worthy.” Sometimes, they even state it outright— “There is no way God called you to teach men, why don’t you go teach children or something?”

Did I miss the sign posted on the door reading, “Men only! Women keep out!”?

It makes me wonder, where would Jesus stand in all of this?

Luke 8 is the story of a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years. She spent all her money on the best doctors, but none of them could help her. In those days, the law said that when a woman was bleeding, she was unclean. She wasn’t allowed to touch anyone, and others couldn’t touch anything she had come into contact with, because it would make them unclean too. The woman wasn’t even allowed to enter the temple!

Imagine twelve years without physical touch. Twelve years of feeling dirty, unworthy, and unloved, all because of something that was beyond her control.

Women today are made to feel the same way. Women are told that they are naturally unworthy to teach or lead, not because of any choice or sin of their own. It is only because they were created female.

The woman was desperate. She had heard that a man named Jesus was coming. She had heard that he had powers from God. She ran through the crowds in search of him, finally catching sight. She pushed towards him and, unable to control herself, touched his clothing.

The woman was healed immediately. Realizing what she had done, she fell down in fear. Any other man would have been furious at her for touching his garments with her unclean hands.

But Jesus didn’t yell at her, nor did he look down on her. Instead, he looked her in the eyes and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Daughter.

What people say about you doesn’t determine who you are. What Jesus says about you determines who you are.

Daughter.

When people say, “you can’t lead, you’re a woman,” don’t listen. Listen to Jesus who says, “My child, my warrior, rise up!”

Daughter.

When people call you “incapable and unqualified,” tell them that you don’t find your identity in misconstrued gender roles, but rather in the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

People tell women that they aren’t called to preach. They say that women aren’t capable leaders.

My sister, they will try to tell you that God hasn’t called you, when in fact he has.

Don’t listen to those lies. Those lies come from the enemy, the one that seeks to destroy you. The one that wants to see you back down.

Listen to the light. Listen to love. Listen to him tell you that you are enough. Let him empower you to lead and teach. Know that he has equipped you to fight. Let the truth set you free.

You are enough. You are worthy. You are a great warrior for the kingdom of God.

It can be hard, I know, to have believed something for so long and then have someone come in and challenge that belief.

It’s hard to change those ideas, especially when your parents taught them to you. Maybe they’re a big part of how you understand God.

It’s hard to fight, but can I make you a promise?

It’s worth it. All of those hateful comments and mean text messages are worth it. All of the long theological debates are worth it.

This is the good fight, friends.

Standing up for the light. Speaking up for the voiceless. Making his name known. This is what Paul was talking about.

So daughter, warrior, Jesus is calling you. Will you rise up?