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Embracing Idols

We can and should do better than ministry that pampers women.

"This letter is from John the Elder. It is written to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth, as does everyone else who knows God's truth—the truth that lives in us and will be in our hearts forever. May grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God our Father and from Jesus Christ his Son, be with us who live in truth and love" (2 John 1–3).

As you may know, these verses inspired our name, Kyria. In Greek it means "honored woman." The epistle of 2 John is addressed to one such "kyria," translated here in verse 1 as "chosen lady." You may recognize the similarity of this word to kyrie, which is the masculine form of the same word, usually translated lord. We chose this name because, just like the biblical kyria, we feel it conveys something about the place of women in the life and ministry of the body of Christ, his church. We are chosen, called, and gifted for life in service to him.

Recently, after seeing an advertisement for a typical women's ministry resource, I thought, I wonder what this verse would say if I reworked it to reflect what this advertisement says about the way Christian women should live. Here's what I came up with:

"This letter is from John the Elder. It is written to the godly girlfriend and her BFFs, whom I love in the truth, as does everyone else who knows God's truth—the truth that you're too silly to handle and will remain shallowly planted in our hearts forever. May shopping, manicures, and shoes, which come from God our Father and from Jesus Christ his Son, be with us who live in fun and giggles" (2 John 1-3, Revised Pampered Women's Version).

Sound blasphemous? Sound like something written for preteen girls? So do many resources for women. Believe me, I'm not against having fun. And I enjoy a therapeutic massage as much as the next gal with an aching back. There's nothing wrong with a getaway, a night with friends, or a shopping trip. If ministry to women can relieve stress in healthy ways, build meaningful friendships, and help us enjoy the life God has given us, I'm all for that.

But for many women life is all about the pursuit of pleasure. Shopping, spa days, and adolescent behavior are outlets for habitual self-indulgence, which we sinful people all struggle to resist. Through the pleasures and comforts of life women try to fill the "God-shaped hole" in their lives and thus stunt their ability to grow in the faith and joy only he can provide. We should not be excusing—let alone reinforcing—this kind of self-indulgence in our ministry to women. Somehow we seem to have adopted the idea that this pursuit of pleasure is just part of being a woman. So we excuse it and use it as a basis for our ministries.

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From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2011, March
Posted March 21, 2011

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