Kingdom Women Are Diverse
We are kingdom women, and we are diverse. We have short hair and we have long hair; dirt is under our fingernails from toiling under the sun, and our fingernails are nicely manicured with pink nail polish; we stay at home with the children, care for our husbands, and support their careers, but we also choose to wear blue pantsuits and pastor churches. We wear yoga pants, leggings, mom jeans, cargo shorts, long skirts, and daisy dukes. You see, our femininity is not rooted in ideology or cultural norms but in our humanity, which is firmly rooted in the humanity of Christ. The life, death, resurrection, and ascension of King Jesus informs our identities. We sometimes bear children and sometimes don’t, but childbearing isn’t our identity; instead, our identities are ordered in the saving and transforming activity of the triune God.
Our lives are firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, and we are emboldened by the empowering presence of the Spirit. The Spirit informs our decisions in the office, at home, behind a cashier’s counter, and in our relationships; by the Spirit we are shaped into the women we were created to be—biblical women, holy women, and daughters of the resurrection. We are beautiful, strong, courageous, quiet, submissive, outspoken, tender, fierce, and emboldened.
We are kingdom women, and we are in Christ. When we gather together every week for prayer, praise, and Eucharist, the empowering presence of the Spirit is among us, and that is when we shine. Imagine the introverted church planter Ming-An, who although introverted is deeply relational and has the ability to meet the unchurched where they are. Imagine Jameelah, the gospel-singing and extroverted theologian. Imagine Dana, the women’s director who is happily single and would rather be at a Cubs game than a craft party. Imagine Rosa, the nonprofit director who loves numbers and spreadsheets, and thereby attempts to help further the cause of social justice.
Kingdom women are diverse, you see. We have gifts to teach, preach, prophesy, serve, lead, and build. We are church planters, we are kitchen ladies, we are number crunchers, we are directors, and we are worship leaders. We are nurturing, we are assertive, we are maternal, and we are fierce. We are full of wisdom, and we are also new Christians. Many have tried to box us in or tell us who we should be, but when we look to Christ, we see cruciformity, love, grace, courage, and presence. Sure, try to box us in, but we are kingdom women, and we are diverse.
Tara Beth Leach is the senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena in California, and the author of Emboldened. You can follow her on Twitter @TaraBeth82. Taken from Emboldened by Tara Beth Leach. ©2017 by Tara Beth Leach. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426. www.ivpress.com