If you give a girl a Bible, she’s going to ask her Father what it means. When he begins to explain it to her in the quiet of her soul, she’s going to know she has a gift and know she’s made for more. When the gift becomes his glory, she’s going to use it all the time. So she will sing or plan or teach or write. When she’s done she’ll share those gifts with you and she’ll want to read some more.
She might do something unrefined or something strange indeed, but she is more than mommy, sister, wife, and matcher of the socks. She is the very image of a God who lives outside the box.
If you give a girl a label, though, and strip away her clothes, Her Almighty Father will run right back to her and tell you where to keep your nose. The girl was made to be like Him and not what you expect. She will be what God designed and ask him what is next.
Never tell that girl to stop. She is not yours to guide. She does not need to fit a mold; She has Jesus by her side.
If you give a girl a Bible, do not be surprised, if God does not make out of her a fellow image bearer who asks, with you, o man, to be coequally wise.
Ok, so I stole that idea from Hannah Anderson who stole it from Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” The truth is, if you write a book, people are going to adopt your thinking. Eureka! You’ve accomplished your goal. When you write about the Bible – whether it is a book, a blog, a column, or an article, you’ve got to expect to questions, too. When you’re a guy those questions are often, “What do you mean by…?” or “How does that apply?” or “Are there any cross references?” When you’re a girl they go more like this, “Who do you think you are?” ” How do you know?” or “Where did you copy and paste that from?”
Hannah Anderson, a native of our very own Fayette County, Pennsylvania, wrote a book entitled “Made for More” wherein she explains the place women hold in God’s design, and, more importantly, in his heart. It is not a book about roles or rules or relegation. It is a book about who we are, our value, our place, and the mistaken security we draw from our long-held good girl proving positions.
The book, which was published by Moody in April 2014, has already topped many prestigious must-read charts (bloggingtheologically.com, monergism.com) and been recommended by many influential voices including the Gospel Coalition.
Hannah writes about Imago Dei (the image of God) and how “Imago Dei knowledge means searching for him (God) with childlike curiosity, wide-eyed and eager to discover who He is and the world he has made.” For some of us, that means offering musical talent or mothering or CEOing or teaching or debating or preaching or writing. It can mean a million things because when we live in his image, everything we do is in him – not just the church resume filling, important sounding, women’s work kind of things. Still, when your gender is female, sometimes God given gifts are viewed sorely – especially when the cookie cutters have stopped being made by the we-always-did-it-this-wayers.
When I was a little girl, my mom used to wear a t-shirt which read, “General know it all.” Maybe it was because she acted like she knew it all and didn’t think it was a bad thing. Or, maybe it was because she was educated, intelligent, opinionated, and…female – in a time and place where the first three were not allowed to cohabitate with the last. Often, we learn to adopt the labels people place upon us when we cannot crawl out from underneath of them. Redemptively, Hannah writes, “When you commit yourself to Christ, he will make you the purest, most authentic version of yourself.”
And he does. He puts desires, gifts, talents, and motivations into our hearts in order to draw us and others into his very presence. The more we explore Him, the more we find ourselves.
Therefore, when I write about theology, I do not want people to ask who I think I am. I want them to ask who God is. I don’t want them to say I’m that Mrs. know it all girl who’s fighting for a man’s place in the world. I want them to say God knows all and because he says I have a place in the world – the place he called me to as a co-equal person in the grand scheme – what I have to say about Him is just as important and valuable as what my male counterparts have to say.
Hannah does an excellent job of bringing out the issues facing women pertaining to biblical equality, stereotypes, works mentality, and gender superiority/inferiority misconceptions. This is an as-soon-as-you-possibly-can must read for Christians – brothers and sisters alike. Bravo!