What Women Want
I am writing to you this month between two significant dates in March (significant especially here in the United Kingdom!) that engages in a focus on women. 8 March was International Women's Day, a focal point for the movement of women’s rights and which was celebrated with creativity, vigour and vitality in countless countries across the world. On Sunday 31 March, the UK will celebrate Mother’s Day where families will push beyond the normal accolades to honour the women who have had the great impact and influence on their lives. I too, will celebrate the women of the past and the women of the present who have tremendously impacted my life and continue to positively influence me.
Over the past weeks, social media, contemporary magazine articles, personal stories from friends, family and colleagues, and the blessing of spending time with my 3 grand-daughters all have amazingly inspired and invigorated me. All of these things come together to encourage me personally to fully embrace and outrageously celebrate the fact that, as a woman created by God, I have a place and purpose here in this world.
So, what do women want? And what do I, personally as a woman – and now in my role as the World President of Women’s Ministries – want?
Value and respect
The issues of women’s rights and equality for all humanity are so important. But I wonder if what women want more than ‘equality’, is actually to be celebrated for our uniqueness, celebrated for the personal strengths that we each bring, that no one else can – celebrated for who God created us especially to be. After all, we all want to be valued and respected.
I am so glad that God, in his great wisdom, spoke into creation and formed a woman! And, I am proud and privileged to be one! I am excited about what God has in his plans —not only for me but for all the women who have committed their lives to follow him and to be a part of his mission in our homes and communities. Can you even imagine what God can do in and through us?
In 2000 the movie ‘What Women Want’ came out. It was a rather twisted comedy featuring a man, who because of a jolt of electricity, was given the ability to read the minds of women. While at the beginning he used this ‘gift’ to his advantage, he soon discovered the true passion and depth of a woman’s heart and mind. Women want to be recognized, respected, appreciated, valued and acknowledged. Huge strides have been made in the last decades to help raise awareness, build on the capabilities and capacities of women, and to level the playing field, but there is still so much more that can be done as we move forward into the future.
What do Women Want? They want to be engaged & empowered! And I want to do my part in facilitating these aspects in my role as a significant woman leader. But I recognise that it all goes back to who I am at the core of my being: what I believe about myself, my passion and desires, and how I go about accomplishing the tasks that will make this world a better place for those who walk beside me and will follow behind me. I am fully aware that I can do nothing without the daily touch of God on my life accompanied by the infilling of his Holy Spirit. If I think for one minute, I can do what God is asking me to do out of my own resources or strength, then I have my eyes focused inward. As a woman of God who is called and engaged in influential leadership, mission, and ministry I know what I want: I want to be Holy and I want to be like Christ. I want these things.
And I also know that the only way to be these things is to continue praying, with deep conviction. So I pray…
‘Lord, touch my heart.’
In Colossians 3:1-2 Paul reminds us to ‘set our hearts on things above’. We need God to show us what truth is, so we stop ‘loving’ the wrong things. We need God to heal us from what this world says is important, and instead bring us back to focusing on Him. He is eternal and lasting.
‘Lord, touch my mind’
Romans 12:2 ‘do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ We need God to daily transform our minds and renew our thoughts. It’s the only way we’ll ever begin to think as He would.
‘Lord, touch my mouth’
Ephesians 4:29 ‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs.’ I confess I like to talk! I am also aware that in moments of frustration or stress, there have been times when what comes out of my mouth can be hurtful or sad. Not only that, but gossip is one of the issues warned against time and time again throughout the entire bible. We all need God to touch our mouths so that our words heal and encourage, rather than distract and destroy.
‘Lord, touch my emotions’
In Colossians 3:15 ‘let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.’ I’ll even admit, there are times when I am stressed or things take a different turn than expected, and I need God’s touch. Like a warm, strong embrace —His peace descending on my heart and mind always calms my frazzled emotions and levels my blood pressure. I have experienced that when God is in full control, I am not on the edge but rather in the safety of His arms.
God wants us to recognise our power – in Him. He wants us to be women who have been transformed by the Holy Spirit and can then have a powerful influence in our homes, a powerful influence in our workplaces, a powerful influence in our churches and a powerful influence in our communities— in a godly and positive way. God has given us this gift of Influence to be used for the greater good - and it’s all about living out our transformed lives as a testimony of his grace, his power, his mercy, his passion and compassion in a world where hatred, injustice, evil and darkness seek to take control of hearts and minds. It is for this purpose that God created us. God intends for us to live as transformed women whose words, actions and attitudes impact the hearts and lives of those around us.
Would you join me in this pursuit of living as courageous women fit for purpose, so that we can make a powerful difference – not only in our lives but also in our world? It’s what this woman wants. What about you?