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Bossy Older Sisters in the Church

Cultivating and wielding female strength
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Moving beyond my "hypothesis," we see plenty of examples of female power in Scripture. The Bible provides us with countless examples of both the good uses and horrible abuses of female strength: Rebekah cunningly manipulated her sons and deceived her husband to acquire Jacob's blessing; Esther courageously used her influence to save the Jewish people; Delilah exploited her marriage to bring about the downfall of Samson and his people; and Joanna, manager of Herod's household, financially supported Jesus and the disciples.

Although journalists like Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have shed light on the powerlessness of many women throughout the world, and we must continue to advocate for those women loudly, it is also worth remembering that women are strong. God has granted us unique strengths that we can use either to build up God's Kingdom or in selfish rebellion.

Whether or not my hypothesis about little girls is true, women undoubtedly have strengths that need to be cultivated correctly. The more common conversation among women in the church concerns hardship and overcoming struggle, but that narrative needs to be supplemented. In addition to helping women overcome, the church should also help women identify their gifts and their strengths. If we fail to do this, the strengths of Christian women are not only likely to go unused, but might even be misused.

Sharon Hodde Miller is a blogger, freelance writer, and PhD candidate who lives in the Chicago area. You can find her at her blog, She Worships.

September27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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