My life took a sudden turn when I became a girl mom. Hard and fast. Kicking and screaming and digging deep. Truly, I wanted boys. Two boys and a little girl, to be exact. But somebody didn’t get my order.
Or had a better plan.
I’ve come to see it differently now. I GET to be a girl mom. I get to influence three little girls who will, in turn, influence three separate families who will influence three different communities. I GET to teach them to bear their birthright of influence well.
As it turns out, girls hold all of the forgotten and intentionally-overlooked potential in the world.
Educate the girls, elevate the country.
Teach the women, raise the health standard.
Let women connect, improve the community.
Allow women to walk in their natural callings, change the trajectory of history.
Plato recognized the potential of women 2500 years ago, and wrote such in The Republic. He saw that allowing females to be educated would better the empire. But as women in Ancient Athens were considered property with fewer rights than slaves – even slaves could move up in the social hierarchy – that his intellectual experiment was laughable to him. And he moved on to explore more thought about men in exclusive leadership.
He missed it. He missed what each and every woman on this planet feels in their core. The untapped, unseen, omitted potential. The grandiose dreams. Vision for the future. Hopes for their children, their friends, their communities. And the tenacity and valour it takes to bear even one of these gifts.
When we stop struggling against the glass ceiling, we feel it.
When we step out from under the weight of concrete chores of home, we feel it.
We feel it because it is our birthright.
Courage. Connection. Leadership. Change.
Like Xena or WonderWoman or Dr Quinn.
Not all women have the desire to make cupcakes, though we all have the desire to make change, to make better.
This God knows.
This God sees.
This God orchestrates.
Jesus has always been a feminist. Each and every woman has a purpose. A plan. A calling. An influence. A voice. And it is not less-than the voices of men.
Women – ignored and repressed by most of history – are laughably, irrevocably, at the center of all God’s redemption’s plan.
The bible only has two books named after women. But even the men in the context of their culture couldn’t omit women’s central place in God’s story.
Jochebed chose to ignore government law and hide her son from slaughter. Pharaoh’s daughter chose to save this baby in a basket and raise him as her own. Moses grew to be the man who led 1 million Hebrews from slavery. A picture of the freedom Jesus offers.
Rachel listened to her pregnant dream that the older will serve the younger. She made it so between her twin boys. Jacob received Isaac’s blessing instead of his older brother, Esau. And running away from this impossible family conflict, Jacob received the promise of God stepping down into humanity to connect with our brokenness.
Hannah prayed for the desire in her heart to come to fruition. All she wanted was to be a mom. God heard and her son, Samuel, was the prophet who anointed a shepherd boy named David as future king of Israel. The namesake for the town Jesus was born in.
Bathsheba’s husband was murdered so she could be taken as wife. Instead of giving in to bitterness and a need for control, she complied to the new marriage to the King David. She raised her boy, Solomon to be wise. Looking up beyond pleasure. For true wisdom and fulfillment come from above. And God’s Spirit tabernacle there.
Mary said ‘yes’ to God’s plan and went through with giving birth to a king within an already-established kingdom. She committed treason by raising Jesus.
Mary Magdalene stuck around at Jesus’ tomb and became the first person to see the Risen Lord. And even though her account had to be corroborated by men – Jesus is alive! – she was seen and called by name by the God-Man Jesus first. The apostle to the apostles. Chosen. Speaking truth unashamed.
Martha and Lois and Lydia and Priscilla and Tabitha and countless others who opened their homes, influenced their families and communities toward the love and freedom of Jesus’ redemption story in its infancy. Without their leadership and vision, the gospel would have died at their doorsteps. Connection. Adherence to heavenly truth.
All these stories don’t have to be ABOUT women; they are changing the story from within just by BEING women. Having courage. Using connection. Displaying leadership.
Subverting culture because the birthright they feel burning inside is a larger force than the all the man-centered norms in place around them.
Inequality of male and female is a human construct. A construct that is convenient to be perpetuated.
But women, rise up. Allow yourself to see your dreams. Train to run after them. Encourage each other in your capabilities.
The brave women in the bible needed courage and wisdom and shrewdness to walk in their birthright. They stood up to governments, armies, husbands, crowds, cultural norms. And they couldn’t be written out of history because they are central to God’s story.
Women are not powerless.
Women are, in fact, central. We embody redemption and life and wisdom and courage and direction and leadership in the context of connection.
Let’s live in that truth. Raise our families within it. Encourage our friends in it.
We are not victims of a patriarchy. We are powerful members of the matriarchy that enacts its guidance on history whether or not we are ever acknowledged.
Women are designed to be influential. Subversive or overt. Dangerous.
Let’s make change. Let’s live for better. Let’s teach our little girls to bear their birthright well, and wait to see how history folds to usher redemption under their God-ordained influence.