From a very young age, I remember having a strong connection to my dad. I remember being sick with a fever and he would hold me in his lap while spoon-feeding me ice water. I remember hearing him tell me stories of kids who could fly and princesses who lost their slippers and thinking that he was the best story-teller in the whole world. I remember feeling a bit more understood when telling him my struggles. I remember getting so riled up in debates over who knows what…because only he knew how to bring out my passion for a cause.
I looked up to my dad. I wanted to solve all of the world’s problems with my dad. And in many ways, I wanted to be just like him. I still do.
I look at my own kids now. I have different relationships with each of them. I still haven’t figured out who the pondering dreamer will be. Who will want to debate me? Who will want to solve the world’s problems with me?
I was taught to think. I was taught basic skills of reason. I remember listening to my dad reason through issues and thinking he had to be the smartest person on the planet. (He just might be.)
And I imagine that as we follow God, we find ourselves in a similar story with Him. He heals, feeds, loves, teaches, leads. Jesus knew just what to say and just when to say it. He was wise and made people think. He was gentle, but truthful. He was mysterious. He caused many to question and He caused millions to follow… And we find ourselves saying, “I want to be just like Him.” I want to share His story and see Him transform lives. I want to partner with Him and be apart of this bigger work going on.
Going back to my dad. It’s funny. What parent doesn’t want their child to admire them? What parent doesn’t want to see their influence brought to life in their own child?
The problem is that I am a girl. I am told that I can’t be just like my dad. Why? Because my dad is a leader. My dad is a pastor. My dad teaches men and women. And in the Bible, there is this one verse…
1 Tim 2:11-15
11 Women should listen and learn quietly and submissively. 12 I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. 13 For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. 14 And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing and by continuing to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.
Look around. Women are contributing as leaders in every area of life. Women vote. Women are in politics. Women are doctors. They teach in the secular world. Women compete in the Olympics. They run companies. Women are contributing to our world in BIG ways… in much-needed ways. Why is there a need for women in our modern society, but not when it comes to church leadership? Could there be some things behind Paul’s words that maybe we are missing? Could Paul be wrong? Could this be his opinion? I am not going to answer these questions for you, but I think they are worth asking. I think they are worth wrestling over.
And what about our daughters? What about those gifts they possess? What about the girl who looks up to her daddy so much? She thinks he is brilliant and wants to be just like him. Can we really look her in the face and say, “I’m sorry. You can’t.”
We build them up only to shut them down. We teach them that the sky is the limit. We encourage them to dream and to go after those dreams. We want them to follow Jesus. We want them to allow Jesus to transform them and to do amazing things… until they grow up that is. Once they are grown, the dreaming no longer reaches the sky. Once they are grown, we tell them to trade in their dreams for an apron.
17′In the last days, God said,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams .
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
upon all my servants, men and women alike,
and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below —
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon will turn bloodred,
before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 And anyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.’
Let’s not be afraid of being called “men and women alike”. Let’s not tell our daughters that they cannot prophesy because no man should ever submit to a prophecy given by a woman. Let’s allow the Spirit to move. Open our hearts and our ears… because our sons and daughters are dreaming dreams, seeing visions, and have something amazing to say. And if we aren’t careful, we might not hear it.
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