After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Joanna was the wife of Cuza the manager of Herod’s household. She had social rank, influence, and great wealth. Most importantly, she believed in Jesus with her whole heart. She loved Him and wanted to help His ministry in every way that she could.
She recognized that Jesus and His disciples had financial needs while they traveled around ministering. So she and other women like her decided to provide those financial needs. The best part is, Jesus accepted their offer. He allowed them to serve God in the capacities they had.
He didn’t become insecure about taking help from women.
He didn’t point out that finances weren’t really a women’s issue.
And He didn’t let His ego inflate and remind them that He miraculously got money out a fish when He needed to pay His taxes. He didn’t really need their help.
Jesus knew Who He was, so He allowed them to be themselves and minister to Him.
Isn’t He awesome?
I wish more men shared Jesus’ attitude toward women.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where many men don’t follow Jesus’ example, but instead they respond to women out of their insecurities and delicate egos. Instead of supporting women as they grow and fulfill their God given capabilities, they try to squash the women in their lives by making fun of them, being overcritical, and controlling them.
My Dad is like this.
My Dad is an insecure man who chooses not to deal with the issues in his soul. Throughout my life our relationship has been dominated by his insecurity. When I was in 2nd grade I transferred from public school to Christian school. I loved the environment and thrived on the curriculum. I quickly excelled.
Instead of being proud and encouraging me to keep up the good work, his insecurities arose. He became hypercritical of everything I did. It was like he always had to point out that he was smarter by criticizing me.
When I became a teenager, he always told me I wanted too much out of life. He told me my standards were too high. Instead of supporting my dreams, he wanted to keep me in reality.
When I went to college and became Class President, he hated it. I had stepped over the line of what a woman should do. I couldn’t do anything to please him. My personality was too strong. I talked too much and too loudly.
My Dad’s attitude toward me left me with a lot of confused ideas.
Is this how God felt about women?
Did God really want women to squelch their personalities and capabilities to make men feel better?
Did all men feel the way my Dad did?
By the time I graduated from college these questions were tying me up in knots. To a point, I had lost myself, trying to be the kind of woman a man would want. The original me was all locked up in a box, while I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I wasn’t happy and God wasn’t pleased.
That’s when God opened my eyes to see that my Dad was wrong. The problem wasn’t my outspoken personality or my high dreams and goals–the problem was my Dad’s insecurities. It took awhile to work through the lies and the pain of my dad’s rejection, but I am so happy that God set me free to be who He created me to be.
Today, I know the answers to my questions. God does not share my Dad’s attitude toward women. In fact, God has the exact opposite feelings about women.
God loves women. He created each one of us with a unique personality and individual capabilities and gifts. He wants to develop what He placed in us to the fullest potential. He wants us to be constantly learning and growing, developing our character and becoming all He intended for us to be.
In fact, I have learned over the years that rather than crushing my growth, God is pushing me to grow. He thinks I am stronger, more capable and able to do more things than I ever thought I would do. He has expanded my abilities in areas I never dreamed or even wanted to learn about. He is constantly stretching my knowledge and skills.
He doesn’t say, “You shouldn’t try that” .
God says, ‘Let’s try something new.”
It is my job to follow God in the paths that He chooses.
The Bible says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
God has given each of us abilities, dreams, and talents. It is our job to follow Him.
Don’t let anyone squash you or tell you not to be who God made you. Your job is to follow God and if that makes someone else insecure or intimidated, then they need to deal with their heart with God.
Don’t let their problem become your problem. You follow God.
Be like Joanna. Love God and be the strong, capable woman that He created. Jesus will accept you with open arms.