A couple of weeks ago I posted on why Christian women need to be whole Bible Christians. I noted how there is a danger in some family-centered churches of women neglecting large portions of Scripture to focus on those that speak directly to their calling as wives and mothers. I have two follow up posts addressing this issue. Today I address a couple of areas where Christian women should be learning. Tomorrow, I will address how they can learn while still living in submission to their God-appointed heads.
Here are some practical suggestions for making sure Christian women are being fed upon the whole Bible and not just portions. My focus below is on learning. Romans 12:2 and II Corinthians 10:5 remind us that we are to renew our minds and take every thought captive. The main way we do that is by learning what the whole Bible teaches and applying it to our entire life. The women in our midst should be learning from God’s Word. This learning will come through the sermons on the Lord’s day, their husbands or fathers, other Christian women, and books, CDs, online teaching and magazines. Here are some of the specific areas women should be growing in.
First, wives, mothers and daughters need to understand and delight in Jesus Christ, his perfect life, his death, his resurrection and his ascension. Jesus must remain front and center of everything we do. If our wives or daughters know more about how to balance the budget or educate the children than they do about the grace of Christ there is an unbalance in our lives that needs to be corrected. I am not encouraging neglect of the home, but rather I am saying that proper love for husband, children, and home can only be achieved by staying close to Christ. The women should be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Do our women know who Jesus is, why he came, and what he did when he came?
Second, the women in our midst should learn how to pray. Men should make sure their wives are given chances to pray. It is easy as heads of our households to do all the praying. Your wife or daughter is a priest in the temple of God and therefore she should be given the training and opportunity to pray in the home. Also, our women should pray together. When women meet it should be natural to pray for each other. I Thessalonians 5:17 and Colossians 4:20 were not just addressed to men. The picture at the top of this post is of Monica, St. Augustine’s mother. Her prayers were part of what God used to bring Augustine to Himself. Are our women prayer warriors?
Third, they should learn theology. They should know about baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They should know about election. They should know about the Incarnation of Christ. They should study the Trinity. They should know about the fall of mankind and what that did to our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Men should encourage their wives to read theology and/or to read theology with them. To refuse this to our wives is to keep them from renewing their minds and understanding God better. For some reason men in more family-oriented churches can be afraid of this. I am not sure why. Of course big fat theology books make for great learning. But there many shorter theology books out there that women can benefit from, like Knowing God by J.I. Packer, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, Basic Christianity by John Stott, Truth for All Time, by John Calvin, Desiring God by John Piper, and the various reformed confessions. Some women will dig deeper than others. That is fine. But all women should be stretching their theological muscles. Are the women in our church growing theologically? Do they understand basic theology?
Fourth, they should be learning about and growing in the various areas of sanctification. They should be learning how to be patient, how to forgive one another, what is love, what is gossip, what does it mean to speak the truth in love, learning the signs of bitterness, etc. Too often in churches like ours sanctification is limited to the practical aspects of being a wife and mother. These should be learned. I am not encouraging sloppy mothering or being an unbiblical wife. But there are many areas of the Christian life that can be ignored when the focus is only on these things. When our women think of growing in holiness does the entire scope of the Christian life come to mind or is it only those areas that relate specifically to their calling as wives and mothers?