Christians for Biblical Equality will be celebrating Women’s History Month this March by telling the stories of women in the church. Many people believe that women have had little impact on the church, sitting silently as men directed their lives, both physically and spiritually. They think that while some women did rise up from their place, they were few in number and of little significance in the narrative of history. Before I began my research for Women’s History Month, I was one of those people who naively believed that there are not many noteworthy women in church history. I was so wrong!
What I discovered through this process was that women have always played an important role in the church. They have served as leaders, theologians, preachers, and reformers. Only when I took a closer look at the stories did I see how women fit into the picture. Often women served alongside men, but they are not discussed in traditional histories. Clare worked with Francis of Assisi leading monastic orders and writing instructions on how to live a simple life of prayer and poverty. But she is rarely mentioned. We all know about Martin Luther, a renowned theologian of the Reformation, but much less is known about his wife, Katherine von Bora, who stood beside him managing his estate and organizing care for the sick and for refugees. She helped define what clerical marriage looked like, yet she is never discussed. The tragedy is there are so many stories like these which go untold.
The purpose of Women’s History Month is to right this wrong, and to tell the stories that have been silenced for so long. For the month of March, we are dedicating Arise to sharing the amazing stories of women in the church. Each week you will read the story of an exceptional woman who dedicated her life to serving the Lord. These women are our spiritual mothers, and they inspire us to keep working for the justice of the Lord.
Also, each weekday in March, starting on the 5th, CBE’s website will celebrate the life of an extraordinary woman. They have come from many different cultures and have lived in different eras, but they have one thing in common: each of them heard the call from God to be leaders, and they each obediently answered that call. Every week will have a theme: week one focuses on powerful women, week two features reforming women, week three celebrates women who worked for justice, and week four honors women of exceptional faith. We hope these women’s stories will resonate with you and inspire your call in Christ.
To finish our celebration of Women’s History Month, we are hosting a worldwide prayer walk on March 28 in honor of Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We will be praying that the injustices against women will be relieved and praying for the people who are making historical steps in that direction. If you would like more information on hosting a walk or are looking for a walk in your area, please contact us.
I have been truly honored to be able to tell the stories of these women of Christ. My heart feels heavy because there are so many untold stories, and so little time to tell them. I encourage you to take the time to learn the history of women in the church, because I am a testament to the life-changing power these stories have.