We don't tell the women what to think; rather, we challenge them to ask why. We ask a lot of questions and provide them with the resources to find their way. If they seek guidance and counsel, we gently nudge them in the right direction. If they are headed down the wrong path, like a good shepherd, we bring them back. It has been interesting for me to see women discover that the pursuit of God can be a challenge and that is okay (better than okay actually).
As one mentee said, "From the start of my group, there was a sense of bonding, being real, and soul searching. We immediately begin to bare our hearts by praying for each other. Even after the first group gathering, there was excitement to hear how God was working to answer prayers in each person's life."
When women approach me and tell me they are struggling through the reading, I often smile and say, "Good." Then I remind them that Jacob received his blessing after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night long (Genesis 32:22-32). Much of what we find in the Bible and in life is quite difficult, and sometimes we need to wrestle with God.
5. When you don't serve fluff on a platter, women start to discover who they are in Christ Jesus. They start to depend less on their emotions and stand on the Word of God, believe what God says about who they are, and see themselves as God sees them. When I questioned women concerning feedback from one of the reading resources, I started hearing responses like "I am a theologian! I didn't know that before." They have also discovered that they are God's image bearers (Genesis 1:26-27), a reflection of God's glory on earth, and they have a responsibility to actively take care of all the earth and its inhabitants by partnering with our brothers. Not only that, they have discovered that we are ezer-warriors (Genesis 2:18), the Greek word for strong "helpers"—God's answer to the problem of man's aloneness and an agent of change to advance his kingdom forward.
They start to see themselves as friends of God (John 15:15), daughters of the King of the universe, and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:15-17a). Knowing and believing the truth changes everything! It is my hope that as a result of this ministry, women will no longer be suppressed by who the world says we are, who the church sometimes traditionally says we have to be, or how we measure up against another sister or brother. Imparting women with the truth of God's Word has provided love, freedom, and validation because of the work that Christ has already done on our account!