It sounds harsh, but several years ago, I wanted nothing to do with women’s ministry. I thought how I felt was okay and understandable. Why did I feel this way? Because I got hurt. I felt forgotten. I felt disconnected. Looking back, I allowed circumstances to take my joy. I made excuses and told myself, “It’s okay, I still like some women,” and “I still love my church.”
It took some time for me to realize I was blaming others for my lack of commitment to His Bride. When someone said something hurtful, I did nothing and held it in. When I wasn’t a part of an event, I did nothing and began to get frustrated. When opportunities to connect with other women came, I did nothing and told myself, “I don’t like women.” Do you see the common theme? I did nothing. I didn’t act. I didn’t reach out. I certainly didn’t pray about my heart towards women. I justified my feelings and made excuses.
My dislike towards women continued for 2 years. For 2 years I didn’t connect with other women and so I slowly disconnected from the church. Remember how I made the excuse, it’s okay, I still love my church? Well, it wasn’t okay because women are a part of the church. I couldn’t hate one part of the body and say I loved the whole. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to be vulnerable that my heart changed.
I was invited to attend a Sisterhood Retreat. I made excuses on why I couldn’t go, but the women were persistent in including me. I spent every minute at the retreat with women for 3 days. I was scared. I didn’t want my walls to come down. I didn’t realize how my feelings toward women was affecting my heart towards Christ and His Church. My heart changed as I listened. I listened to what His Word said…
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:1-6
I was not eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit. In fact, I felt it was someone else’s responsibility and not mine. My mind had to change before my heart did. I wasn’t maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace when I closed my heart towards women. During our final night, instead of doing nothing, I confessed. I confessed I did not like women. I confessed that I no longer had a love for the Church.
God began to work and restore my heart. He revealed through the Word “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:5. Though we are many women, many backgrounds, many strengths and weaknesses, we are one body in Christ.
Jesus spilled His blood for the Church. How could I turn away from what He gave His life for? How could I call irrelevant what He established and desires to use to display His grace? He loves the Church, and calls me to do the same. I cannot serve Him without serving His Church. That means, I cannot serve Him without serving women.
God has restored my love for women’s ministry. By loving Him more, I am able to love women more. Don’t do what I did. Don’t harden your heart, and tell yourself it is okay. Don’t waste 2 years of ministry. Instead do this:
- Pray. Pray for a deeper love of Him. Pray for an eagerness to maintain unity.
- Confess. Talk to a mature woman of faith. Ask this woman to hold you accountable. To pray for you, and to challenge you to reconnect with women.
- Connect. Be vulnerable. Reach out. Start with one person. Talk to them, schedule coffee or lunch. This will require effort, but is worth the reward.