International Women’s Day:
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28
To be honest, International Women’s Day hadn’t even been on my radar this week. Sure, I’m a huge fan of equal rights, and of women in general, but I don’t live in a milieu where – for the most part – gender-based oppression is systemic, systematic, “in your face” blatant. And so, as it often tends to go with me, the issue slips off my radar.
Then, opening Google for the first time this morning, the search bar subtitle grabbed my attention: “Celebrate the women who inspire us every day. #HerVoiceIsMyVoice”
So, and in response to that prompt – BTW, thanks, Google – here’s a short post doing exactly that.
MY International Women’s Day woman:
Interestingly, Rebekah and I had a related conversation after church Sunday. I teach an adult education class, and she preaches. “It’s amazing how much we’re on the same page,” I said. “It’s not as if we share notes, talk strategy, or agree to plug a particular theme; but – time and again – we seem to be headed in the same direction in our teaching.”
In many ways, her voice really is my voice.
The daily notes that we do share, of course, are the constant, challenging, encouraging, insightful, open-ended faith-based conversations that are always in play around our house.
So Google really did nail it today with the hashtag #HerVoiceIsMyVoice. You see, from the very beginning, back when we were first dating and Rebekah had this clarion clear calling into ministry, she has always helped me find my voice.
And, while I may let gender bias and discrimination against women slip out of my consciousness too much of the time, it’s also been a case of Her Struggle is My Struggle, and Her Justice is My Justice, and Her Opportunity is My Opportunity, and Her Success is My Joy.
But here’s the most important thing about my International Women’s Day woman; Rebekah Maul has never been defined by the inequities, she has always been defined by the possibilities. Now that is a huge distinction, and it – she – inspires me every day!
Rebekah has never been defined by the inequities, she has always been defined by the possibilities!
My experience has taught me (and continues to teach me) that the best response to inequality and injustice is to live into the truth that God created us all equal, and to move forward from that anchor of affirmation and promise. Most bridges are not conceded unless they are first taken.
My wife – my International Women’s Day woman – had to make her way as a woman in The Church, an institution that too often stands as the last stronghold of gender discrimination. But she did not complain, she did not get angry, and she did not rant; instead, she has always served God with passion, and with confidence, and with joy.
No woman occupies a position of leadership, responsibility, and influence because a man first let her. The truth is that women occupy such positions because God created us all equal – sometimes we just need to get out of the way, ditch the male chauvinism, and let God’s purposes play out.
No woman occupies a position of leadership, responsibility, and influence because a man first let her…
So my word for this International Women’s Day is this: Get out of the way! and let women be all that God has intended from the very beginning – DEREK
(these photos are included as an encouragement for women to follow their calling)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.