WOMAN TO WOMAN
By: Judy E.Denby
When you hear those words, what are your thoughts? Typically our first response is to leave it for someone else. We can find many excuses; women with families are too busy, and after all, it's easier for single woman to get involved with that. Single woman are now stressed out members of the work force, working to support themselves, while pushing ahead in corporations. In the Bible, Paul talks about keeping women from positions of authority in the church (1 Timothy 2:11-15). Its too dangerous for a woman to go to some of the places where Christian workers are most needed. Then there are more personal reasons. "I can't go out and talk to just anyone like that. I get nervous. I don't know what to say..."
I would like to challenge all women to begin to focus on what they can do. Spreading the Gospel doesn't have to mean expounding from the pulpit on Sunday, or going to a foreign country to convert the natives. Our tendency is to fail to recognize the importance of a woman's home-based ministry. Sometimes we forget that those who need to know Christ's love exist in our own cities and in our own neighborhoods, and the simplest of actions on our part can have a profound effect on others (Matthew 5:46). Sometimes we can feel so intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman that we complicate our lives by trying to do too much.
Let us focus, then, on the three basics in a woman's ministry.
1) Prayer is often talked about as if it were a last resort. - "all I can do is pray" - when in fact it is THE most important part of any ministry. We need to be constantly seeking God's direction and assistance (Philippians 4:13) If we can not find time for one other thing in our lives, we must make time for prayer. (Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
2) Attitude plays a large role in your actions. Christian women must demonstrate a loving, joyful heart! (1 John 4:7; Philippians 4:4; Isaiah 49:13) It is impossible to fully appreciate the effect it has on those around us (I think particularly of our children) when the fruits of the spirit are cultivated and displayed in our lives. (Galatians 5:22-23) Even unbelievers are affected by seeing us handle the most frustrating of people and situations with patience and love. (Philippians 2:14-15)
3) When our prayer lives and attitudes are right, they pave the way to actions which are meaningful and a blessing to others. (Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16) How can you let your light shine? Some suggestions (don't forget to involve your husband and children!):
Donate (money, clothing, food, time) to a Christian organization that can use it to further its work. Volunteer to teach a Sunday school class (or, if you feel time constraints, arrange to share the teaching duties with one or two others). Write a letter of encouragement to a struggling friend, or how about to your preacher? (A few words can make a big difference). Smile and be polite to the cashier, even when her slowness is causing you to fall way behind in your schedule. Compliment someone who's doing a good job, or talk to that person's manager. Volunteer once a month at a food bank. Visit a neighbor who spends too many hours alone, and take a batch of cookies. Whatever you do, by showing people that you care, you'll be teaching them that God cares.
For some of us, I'm sure the suggestions seem trivial. For others, no doubt, they represent a veritable mountain. Challenge yourself to find a way that your ministry can make a difference in this month. The importance lies not in how much we can accomplish, but how we can do one or two things well, with the right heart, for the glory of God.