Monday, November 24, 2008

A Challenging Reminder for Women

A friend reminded me by email this morning of something I read a while ago - John Piper's Challenge to Women. Read it, better still, print it off and stick it in a place where you'll continually be able to revisit and be challenged by it. Here are Piper's 16 challenges:
  1. That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.
  2. That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.
  3. That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.
  4. That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching. That meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith. And that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.
  5. That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God would open to you; and the power of faith and holiness would descend upon you; and your spiritual influence would increase at home and at church and in the world.
  6. That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God undergirding all these spiritual processes, that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers and believers of these things.
  7. That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.
  8. That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.
  9. That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.
  10. That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children who hope in the triumph of God, sharing with him the teaching and discipline of the children, and giving to the children that special nurturing touch and care that you are uniquely fitted to give.
  11. That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God's free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God's business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.
  12. That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life's ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God's will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else's chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.
  13. That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people's needs.
  14. That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.
  15. That you see Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women in relation to each other not as arbitrary constraints on freedom but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God's ideal of complementarity. That you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld but by the countless roles offered. That you turn off the TV and Radio and think about...
  • The awesome significance of motherhood
  • Complementing a man's life as his wife
  • Ministries to the handicapped
    • hearing impaired
    • blind
    • lame
    • retarded
  • Ministries to the sick:
    • nursing
    • physician
    • hospice care—cancer, AIDS, etc.
    • community health
  • Ministries to the socially estranged:
    • emotionally impaired
    • recovering alcoholics
    • recovering drug users
    • escaping prostitutes
    • abused children, women
    • runaways, problem children
    • orphans
  • Prison ministries:
    • women's prisons!
    • families of prisoners
    • rehabilitation to society
  • Ministries to youth:
    • teaching
    • sponsoring
    • open houses and recreation
    • outings and trips
    • counseling
    • academic assistance
  • Sports ministries:
    • neighborhood teams
    • church teams
  • Therapeutic counseling:
    • independent
    • church based
    • institutional
  • Audio visual ministries:
    • composition
    • design
    • production
    • distribution
  • Writing ministries:
    • free lance
    • curriculum development
    • fiction
    • non-fiction
    • editing
    • institutional communications
    • journalistic skills for publications
  • Teaching ministries:
    • Sunday school: children, youth, students, women
    • grade school
    • high school
    • college
  • Music ministries:
    • composition
    • training
    • performance
    • voice
    • choir
    • instrumentalist
  • Evangelistic ministries:
    • personal witnessing
    • Inter Varsity
    • Campus Crusade
    • Navigators
    • Home Bible Studies
    • outreach to children
    • Visitation teams
    • Counseling at meetings
    • Billy Graham phone bank
  • Radio and TV ministries:
    • technical assistance
    • writing
    • announcing
    • producing
  • Theater and drama ministries:
    • acting
    • directing
    • writing
    • scheduling
  • Social ministries:
    • literacy
    • pro-life
    • pro-decency
    • housing
    • safety
    • beautification
  • Pastoral care assistance:
    • visitation
    • newcomer welcoming and assistance
    • hospitality
    • food and clothing and transportation
  • Prayer ministries:
    • praying!!!
    • mobilizing for major Concerts of Prayer
    • helping with small groups of prayer
    • coordinating prayer chains
    • promoting prayer days and weeks and vigils
  • Missions:
    • all of the above across cultures
  • Support ministries:
    • countless jobs that undergird major ministries

1 comment:

Mary Moss said...

Wow! This is some great information and I am going to spend some time reading the entire post over the holiday weekend. I would love to get on your blogroll. Please check out my blog at http://divinelydesigned.us/