When I was growing up, women didn't have careers. They stayed home, kept house, had babies, and stood behind their husbands. So I thought I was going to marry somebody who would send me to the kitchen.
But God sent me Frank, who grew up with a single parent. That changed his view of women. After we married he said to me, "When you come to the end of your life, wouldn't you like to say that you did something more interesting than keep a great kitchen?"
I never expected to hear that.
But he kept pushing me to think outside the traditional roles the church had placed on women. He said, "What are your gifts and how do you need to develop them? You need to ask God what he wants you to do with your gifts and with your life. You have responsibility for these gifts, and I'm not the answer to those questions."
That was a surprise because I wasn't raised to think about those things. I was raised to build my life around my husband.
Not every woman has someone like Frank. But I found there's power in surrounding myself with people who understand that God created me with specific talents and wisdom that are apart from my roles as wife, mother, and daughter.
The beauty about the Christian faith is that God works through ordinary people to accomplish his purposes in the world, and we're everywhere. If it's dependent upon those who are crowned as leaders in the evangelical world, then we're not going to get far building God's kingdom.
I read an article written by a nonChristian who said one of the most brilliant things about Christianity is the idea of ordinary people penetrating everywhere in society as each individual lives out God's purposes. It isn't just a core team of men; it's all of us—from children to the elderly. I have a friend in an extended care facility who realized she's living in a mission field, that God is calling her to that battlefront. It's all of us everywhere. It's me. It's you. So who did God create you to be and what are you doing with your gifts?