Last week, the “SBC this Week” podcast interviewed J.D. Greear, the current President of the Southern Baptist Convention. During the interview, he listed his goals for the convention of churches, one of which was to ‘get women off the sidelines‘. While President Greear sounds genuinely committed to helping women, this goal really bothered me as a biblically-faithful mama. What was he trying to say? When I am ministering in my home, am I not a good ‘partner in the Gospel’ and serving where God wants me to be? Is the work done outside the home the only Gospel work that matters?
Here is the segment that irked me:
“One of the fall outs of some versions of complementarianism is basically a church where men do all the important work and women just sit on the sidelines and support and those kinds of things…They have a lot that they are to contribute not just to sit on the sidelines.” (SBC Weekly Interview, appx. times 45:00-45:45)
I agree that women are called to contribute to the church in very meaningful ways–especially older “Titus 2” women. However, in many ways, his improvised word selections just echoed the sentiments that many other people hold (knowingly or not) about what God has called most women to do.
For instance, wives are commended by Proverbs 31 to manage their households:
“She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed” (21); “She watches over the activities of her household, and is never idle” (27).
Yes, women are called to take diligent care of those in their households. And yes, completing these duties in addition to ‘extending your hands to the needy’ (26) can be quite time consuming–especially when you have small children. However, shirking these duties in order to run off to the church would not be a godly maneuver. Remember: You will never be “called by God” to violate His own word.
So what do we do with comments like Greear’s?
First of all, we do not let our pride stir within us and cause us to do ungodly things. It doesn’t matter if others call the work of home management and family discipleship unimportant/less important than the Gospel work performed in the church context. The work that women do privately is essential for human flourishing and one of the primary means of Gospel evangelism to children (and unsaved spouses).
Secondly, guess what? Others do not have to understand God’s high calling for women. God understands and He will hold us ladies accountable on Judgement Day. So, even when everyone is throwing shade on you (even the SBC president!), remain diligent and joyful on “the sidelines” or, as I like to refer to them, “the trenches”. God will reward you in Heaven someday 🙂
What are your thoughts/reactions? Share your feedback in the comments section below!