How May I Serve?
By Irene C. Taylor
Much is being said today about the role of women in religious service. There is a widespread cry to expand their role and open the same doors that are open to men. Does God sanction the opening of these doors for women? Just today a call came to our home asking just where in the Bible God limits a woman's role.
We are being told that women have not been allowed to fully serve. This cry is usually heard from those who equate service with a public role. This limits the sphere of our service! In any area of life much, if not most, service is done behind the scenes. This is true in the home, in business, in government and it is also true in religious matters. When we see the "up front" finished product, we can know for sure that most of the work (service) was done behind the scene.
There is a principal found in 1 Samuel 30:24 which says, "But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike." We would do well to reflect upon that standard. Milton stated it like this. "He also serves who stand and waits." In other words, the one who serves behind the scenes is just as important as the one out front — sometimes more so! We are listening to the wrong source, ladies.
In some circles we are hearing a demand for the woman to be allowed to preach. We already are! We "preach" when we give contribution to those who publicly proclaim God's Word whether here or abroad. We preach when we teach women and children God's sacred truth. We preach when we privately teach as did Priscilla (Acts 18:26). This writer preaches when she washes the clothes and irons the shirts for her preacher husband to go forth to publicly proclaim the unsearchable riches—when I perform the daily tasks which free him to go. We do not need to mount the pulpit or lead in public worship to serve. In fact, the most effective preaching is not necessarily done from the pulpit!
The wife and mother who manages the needs of her household and trains those precious children to respect and obey God is serving God in a vital capacity. It is in this role that she renders his cause her greatest service. It is an important service that can determine the future destiny of those she trains. If she trains them well, the church is strengthened. If she is careless, the church is weakened. Is there another role where a woman can serve with such a far-reaching influence?
Christian women need to be at the forefront of displaying the beauty and contentment of service as God decrees. We can perform a real service to his cause when we do this. Let us be happy filling our time with those vital, primary deeds which are the very backbone of his work. Those "menial" tasks must be done for his work to succeed. Why are we not busy with these? Why do we waste time clamoring for tasks God gave to man? Why can we not see that God has, in reality, protected us from many heartaches by placing upon man's shoulders the burden of difficult decisions pertaining to his church?
Remember the sick who need help, the bereaved who need comforting, the discouraged who need encouragement? There are many works which need our support. Much can be accomplished if we do not mind who gets the credit and if we are willing to work behind the scenes. Let me challenge every woman of God to be busy filling the role which God knew we could do best and exemplify the happiness and contentment which comes by serving according to his pattern.