I have been pondering the quote from the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" to which I refer in the previous post. "In women, courage is often mistaken for insanity". This poignant phrase was the response of the male actor playing the doctor who, after examining the women, defended them before the power brokers who were opposing their efforts. These women had stepped out of their prescribed roles to forcefully challenge the fact that the privileges of the Constitution (that America was promoting all over the world) was denied them. Do people you know think you are "insane" for asking that the privilege of responding to the call of the Holy Spirit (based on our "Constitution", the Bible, that we promote all over the world) be afforded women as well?
88 years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It granted women the right to vote. The struggle for Women's Suffrage lasted for more than half a century (some say it lasted for 70 years, that would mean that it began around 1850)! This week, as the Presidential election has just finished, I have been thinking about the movie "Iron Jawed Angels." It is about the American Women's Suffrage movement during the early 1900s. It was very moving and thought-provoking to watch the passion, determination and actual physical suffering these women went through to get the vote. This is a right we take for granted today. Are we women who feel called into the ministry in a parallel situation? It seems that passion, determination (I hope not physical suffering) are required to push through to answer God's call on our lives. Is it possible that someday there will be women who will enter the ministry totally unaware of those who went before them; women who blazed the trail? Wouldn't it be great if someday women just "took it for granted" that they could minister?
I have been reading a book ("Gender and Work" by Edward C. Lehman, Jr.) outlining various views on the way women and men approach ministry. Some claim that there are substantial differences in their approaches. If this is so, are the differences really based on gender differences or just differences in personality? Is it helpful to accentuate the differences (what unique characteristics and giftings women bring to ministry)? Is it more helpful to try to fit in and be like men? Is there a balance? What do you think?