The First Day Without a Woman

Six Ways the Church Can Stand with Us

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Guest Contributor

Around the world today, women are going on strike.

As Christians, we may be tempted to dismiss the “Day Without a Woman” and the Women’s March movement in its entirety because we don’t support some of their initiatives (mainly their unapologetic defense of abortion). But I believe to do so would be to miss an opportunity.

First “Day Without a Woman”

The very first “Day Without a Woman” was God’s idea. He first created Adam and — before creating a woman fit for him — paraded all the animals in front of him until it became glaringly clear that there was no equal, no suitable helper. Then, God created woman, and man immediately recognized God’s goodness in creating woman and rejoiced (Genesis 2:23).

Not surprisingly, Jesus rejoiced in women during his time on earth as well. In a culture and time when women were not valued, Jesus was undeniably pro-woman. He spoke with them (John 8:10–11), served them (John 2:1–11), healed them (Mark 5:21–43), and praised them (Luke 21:1–4).

“Our temptation will be to dismiss all special consideration of women, because some seek it sinfully.”

Our temptation might be to dismiss all special consideration of women, because some seek it sinfully. But the church’s response to our society is not to vilify it, but instead to salt it with the truth of God’s word. So, it is good to pause and consider how we might champion women in the church, not out of envy or rivalry or discontentment (Galatians 5:20–21), but out of the rooted security we have in Christ (Ephesians 4:12–16), who is the great champion of women.

Following Jesus’s Lead

Exalting women is attractive to the outside world. If we are celebrating and empowering women inside our walls, people are bound to ask, “Why?” And when they do, we can point them to Jesus.

How do we follow Jesus’s example? Here are some ideas to help us stand up for women in the church. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but fresh and practical. My hope is that it will serve you and your church as you seek to honor God by honoring the women he created in these ways and many more.

1. Give women God’s word.

  • Equip women to study the Bible for themselves.
  • Stock your church library or bookstore with good books, including ones specifically for women.
  • Reject the popular women’s ministry “fluff” and teach women the word of God instead.
  • Send female leaders to attend conferences where they can grow in their knowledge of Christ.

2. Support women in their callings.

“Equip women to study the Bible for themselves.”
  • Create a comfortable space for breastfeeding mothers on Sunday mornings and make changing tables available to moms and dads.
  • Pray for the women of your church.
  • Support women in business. Hire them, support their businesses, connect them to people in your network, and consider investing in their entrepreneurial endeavors. If your church would normally pay a man to provide a good or service, make sure you’re offering to pay a woman the same amount and not assuming she’ll do it for less (or for free).
  • Provide childcare so that moms can attend Bible studies and events.

3. Protect women.

  • Teach husbands to love their wives and strive to understand their needs (1 Peter 3:7).
  • Protect women and children within your church from abusive situations.
  • Partner with ministries that serve women who are facing crisis pregnancies, or are victims of sex trafficking or domestic abuse.
  • With your small group, “adopt” a widow or single mom to care for. Help her with lawn care, snow removal, and home maintenance projects.

4. Give women a place to belong.

  • Invite a single woman to join your family for dinner.
  • Host a brunch where single moms or widows can give and receive encouragement.
  • When you talk about abortion, speak with love and grace. The post-abortive woman needs to know forgiveness is possible at the cross.

5. Give women a voice.

  • If you are a small group leader, encourage women to speak up by asking for their thoughts.
  • Incorporate women into your worship service. Ask women to read Scripture, pray, share testimonies, serve on the worship team, pass the offering plate, or greet visitors, as is fitting in your context.
  • Actively seek out women to teach or lead in biblically appropriate situations.
  • When serving on committees with sisters in Christ, value their intellect, gifts, and talents as much as you value those of your brothers in Christ.

6. Praise grace at work in women.

  • Thank your pastor’s wife for her help and sacrifice.
  • Write a note encouraging a mom who is faithfully serving the church by caring for her family.
  • Give honor to women by publicly recognizing their contributions to the church.

What Women Really Need

“When Jesus returns, we will never strike or march for change again.”

Do you know what women need more than anything, though? What everyone needs. We desperately need to know, and be reminded, that Jesus came, died, and rose again so that all women might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Under his perfect reign, strikes and protests will be no more. Our only rally cry will be “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12).

When Jesus returns, we will never strike or march for change again.

(@chelseakstanley) is a wife and mother of three boys. She shares God’s heart for women and enjoys encouraging them through her writing for church events and at her personal blog. She and her family attend Crossway Community Church in Bristol, Wisconsin.