“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!” – Sojourner Truth
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” (Genesis 3:15, NIV)
We hear a lot about Eve: the good, the bad, and the very bad. Most of it could fall in the “very bad” category. After all, Eve seemed to have it all: she had a man who was perfect, she never had to worry that he was going to look at another woman or have an affair, and they lived in paradise. And, in keeping with what we know about Adam and Eve, Eve fell hard because she spent time listening to the devil. Together, Adam and Eve wanted more. They had it all, and it still wasn’t enough because Satan planted a little bug that something else was out there. As a result, they pursued that thing unto death…all because they listened to the devil. We hear a lot about Eve’s relationship to Adam as a result, and the consequences therein. If we aren’t careful, we can begin to believe that only male/female relationships were affected by sin. If we believe that, we can also believe only male/female relationships find redemption in Christ.
All of humanity was affected by sin: men and women, men and men, and women and women. Women who walk in sin have enmity not toward the serpent, as is a part of prophecy, but toward one another. We joke about television shows like Jerry Springer where women get on there and start fighting each other over some guy with no teeth and hasn’t bathed since, oh say, Bill Clinton was in office. We all remember junior high and high school and how girls fell around one guy…that they all wanted…and then hated the girl that got him. Now as adults we fight over men as shamelessly as we did back then, continuing to go after other women, fighting, pawing over some worthless guy, treating our boys better than we treat our girls, and turning our backs on women who deal with serious problems, such as rape or sexual abuse.
In Christ, we have the healing redemptive power available to us as women, one sister in the Lord to the other. We are called to step back in love, rather than in competition. We all point fingers at the world, at shows like Jerry Springer, Maury Povitch, Steve Wilkos, and the like…but really? We’d all like to pretend we don’t act like this in church, but we all know better. Maybe our methods of sabotage, jealousy, and envy are a little more sophisticated now. Now we call ourselves “ministers” and try to defame one another’s ministries online when we know that we are clearly in the wrong, but we don’t want to deal with that. We put one another down: the woman who doesn’t have as much money and can’t dress the way we think she should. The woman who is having trouble with her teenage son. The woman whose husband doesn’t support her ministerial call from God, but she pursues that call because she knows she must obey God rather than a man. We criticize the woman who made choices in her life that were less than stellar…when we ourselves made the same decisions at some point, too. We put down the battered woman because we think she is somehow asking to be abused and judge her because she doesn’t move ‘fast enough’ for us. We make fun of other people’s styles and tastes. We gossip and backbite when nobody is looking, shredding our sister behind her back. We decide who is called and who isn’t by who tickles our ears the most, and we abhor correction, decency, and order like a group of screaming, badgering cats. We manipulate, lie, cheat, steal – anything to get what we want – and now we just do it in the Name of Christ.
One of the greatest consequences of sin is the division of God’s women, one to another. We still haven’t turned to crush the enemy’s head…we’re too busy crushing one another. The serpent knows exactly what he is doing because he has transferred the hatred we are to have for him toward one another. We’re too busy being jealous and envious to realize that if we step back, we all have that promise to crush the enemy, not each other. In Christ, God has given women a great promise that He did not give to men: He has placed enmity between us and the devil. Women, by nature, know how to fight the enemy because in the promise of enmity is the promise of the seed to come. It’s spiritual, and it’s natural: it’s the promise to carry and deliver the Word to come. But we are fighting the wrong enemy! My sister in Christ should not behave as my enemy, and I should not behave as hers. Rather, we should fight Satan together.
And ultimately, why does it matter? Because the church herself is female. The church is not spoken of as being male, and we, as the women of God, are called to prepare her for the return of Christ. There are many reasons as to why the church is female and why that is relevant, all of which we can’t discuss here. What we will look at is the fact that if the church is female, this means every woman carries within her a type of the church – a type of that beauty, that promise, that power – the holding of the Word in grace, glory, and dignity. Women in ministry are especially called to be carriers of this promise.
Tonight it was said to me that the reason why women in ministry are fought so hard – by men, by other women, by one another – is because Satan wants to keep us all a mess. So he pulls his same trick from the garden. He divided Eve from God. He divided Eve from her sense of self, understanding, and promise. He divided Eve from Adam, and Adam from God. So now he divides His women from one another so he can remain in control. If we remain in this total mess, the church won’t get its needed restoration. If women get where they need to be in God, in all callings, the world will change. The church will change. Families will change. Lives will change. Callings will come to pass and women will birth in the spiritual, bringing forth power and transformation. By the Holy Spirit, God will transform.
As long as we fight each other, we don’t fight the enemy. When God first gave me the vision for Women of Power, which is my women’s ministry, it was to see the women of God healed, whole, restored, and working together, recognizing their call. It’s not about fighting over men, trying to figure out who we should be to a man or what society wants us to be, but seeing who God has called us to be. We are here to stop the fighting over men, stop the fighting, and the cat calls, and competition one to another, and to just step up to the plate and say “Here I am, Lord.” We’re here for this transformation, this power, this empowerment that comes only through the Holy Spirit as we stand on our spiritual authority.
We are women called to turn the world back right again. We are called to do the same in our church. We must be agents who love our sister enough to help her heal, desire to see her well again. To forgive, to stand as an agent of peace, to crucify the flesh. I want to see the women of God advance, but to do that, we must be willing to help our sisters heal. So I say, stop the nonsense, stop the fighting, stop allowing the enemy to use you to cause division, animosity, hatred, and discord. Stop being manipulated by that Jezebel spirit and, instead, stomp on the head of the one who sends it forth. It’s your authority. Stop fighting your sister and fight the real powers that be so that all God has promised to you can be yours.
Whenever you read this, pray for a woman of God that you know. Pray for her strength and her success. Ask God to bless her and shower over her life. Ask the Lord to heal your heart of animosity you may have toward your sister in the Lord. Let Him show you some way you can encourage a sister on today and do it. Be an encouragement, an agent of hope and help, and an inspiration. Help her to heal: be a solution, not a complication, to her problems. Most of all, love your sister….and show her…and put on your best pair of demon-stomping shoes together and step on his head.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
– Francis of Assisi
(c) 2011 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.