If your timeline is anything like mine, over the past few days it’s been filled with people sharing their thoughts on the topic of women teaching the Bible. Initially, I wasn’t going to comment (because I’m basically not a joiner). Then I listened to a video by one of my favorite women in ministry, Devi Titus. Her words made me think about the two women who had the biggest impact on my life and my ministry. Both were students and teachers of the Bible. The first was my Mom. She was a woman who absolutely loved the Bible. She spent hours reading it, studying it, and whenever she had an opportunity, teaching it. Some of my earliest memories are of her teaching Jamie and I about the Bible. I remember her preparing lessons to lead our family devotions. As she helped us memorize Scripture, she’d explain every portion so we’d know what it meant. She taught us there was nothing more important than having a personal relationship with Jesus and serving Him in every area of our lives. Even though we went to church and Christian school, the majority of what I learned about the Bible came from her (which made me a champ at Bible trivia). As I grew older, she taught me how to apply the Bible in practical situations. From a Biblical perspective, she taught us about sin, living an uncompromising Christian life and how to hold firm to our convictions and stand up for what we believe. After Bible college when God brought me back home for my “Joseph experience”, my Mom was my mentor. In addition to all the things she taught me, she taught me how to study the Bible. I’ll never forget the Christmas where I wanted a sweater and a purse—she bought me commentary sets and study tools. She said I was an adult and this was what I needed. She was right. As my mentor, she taught me how to live as a godly woman, how to serve Jesus wholeheartedly, and how to do whatever it takes to follow God and fulfill my calling. She taught us how to overcome generational iniquities, how to apply Biblical principals in our finances, and how to serve Jesus even in the hard times. I will always be grateful. The other woman who had a powerful influence in my life was my pastor's wife when I was a teen. I was about fourteen years old when it became apparent that the unhealthy church we’d attended throughout my life had no intention of changing. It just kept getting worse. By this time I was starting to develop a bad attitude about church thinking “I love Jesus but the church is another story.” That’s when our family changed churches. Even though the new church was over an hour from our house, I loved it—especially the pastor and his wife. Being a large church, I did not have a close relationship with this woman. Still, I studied her. I watched how she conducted herself, how she spoke, how she dressed. Everything about her was impressive. Like my Mom, she is a woman of the Word who studies the Bible and implements it into her life. She also had high moral standards and was bold about teaching them. (I’ll never forget the Wednesday night she taught against drinking—no compromise there!) She was a strong woman who worked with her husband, not against him. She had a passion for disciplining women and young girls. Her teaching has included producing a magazine, a radio show, classes, seminars, and writing books. Today, she travels all over the world teaching women how to apply the Bible to their lives, to be good wives and mothers, and follow Jesus in every area of their lives. Watching her, I knew that I wanted to follow her example. Even though I’ve matured to learn that I can’t be a carbon copy, I still look to her as an example of how I want to conduct myself as a woman and a woman in ministry. For me, she set the standard. Next to my Mom, this woman made the biggest impact on my life. On my best days, I hope I live up to their example and reflect what they taught me. On my worst days—well that’s all me (and a little PMS). In the end, the point is that I will be forever grateful for women who studied God’s Word, lived God's Word and taught it to me. One from our home—the other from a platform—each fulfilling their God-given call. As women, I believe that is what we are all called to do and be. Whether it’s around a kitchen table, in the marketplace, or behind a podium we are all called to read, study, live and teach the Word of God. We are all leaders in the place that God places us. We all have people who are watching to see what it really means to live as a woman of God. I also want to encourage every woman reading this to remember that wherever God has placed you in life, someone is watching. Who knows what impact you are making on lives all around you as you learn, live and share God's Word? Today, I am very grateful for the women in my life who accepted their calling and did whatever it took to fulfill it. They impacted my life. I hope that following their example I will impact the lives of others. That’s all I really want to say. I’m just grateful for the godly women with a love for God's Word who blessed my life.
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