There is much confusion today regarding the roles of men and women. As a Southern Baptist pastor, I hold to a complementarian view. Meaning that men and women are equal in worth, and value and their various God-given roles complement one another. As you study scripture, it is clear that both men and women are of equal value and worth in the eyes of God, yet they are also given distinct and different roles. Trouble comes when the roles of men and women are blurred. When men fail to be men and women fail to be women they no longer complement one another. Many marriages have failed, many churches have crumpled, many homes have been destroyed, all because of role reversals that are not of God. When it comes to the mission of the church it is imperative that we do not allow are God-given roles to be skewed. It is imperative that we stay true to the scriptures, understanding that men and women have equal value and worth, yet they have different specific responsibilities in the home and in the church. It is clear that men have the responsibility of leadership. They are to hold the position of leadership in the home and in the church. Women are to serve faithfully as they support their husband in the leadership of the home and the church. Both men and women are called to be missional. We are to use the roles that God has given us to fulfill the mission of the church. Both men and women play an equally important part in fulfilling the mission that God has given His church.
There are many examples of women in the Bible that lived a missional lifestyle. One of those women is found in 2 Kings 5:1-14. There was a young maid that was instrumental in the healing of the right-hand man of the King of Syria. Without her actions this man would not have been able to carry out his duties. There are several things about this little maid that we can glean from today.
She walked with the Lord. Have you ever met someone that it was obvious that they walked with the Lord? This young maid was from Israel and was taken captive by Syria. She was a part of God’s chosen people. It is obvious by her actions that she was not an Israelite just by name. She truly walked with the Lord. She was a true believer. There are many people today that are Christians just by name. They grew up in the south and have been a part of a Christian culture all their lives. They grew up in a Christian home where the Bible was read and prayers were voiced. Yet, that is as far as it goes. Many claim to be Christian, yet they do not walk with God daily. How can you claim to be a Christian if you never read your Bible? How can you claim to be a Christian if you never pray? How can you claim to be a Christian and you are unfaithful to the church? How can you claim to be a Christian and never tell others about Him? How can you claim to be a Christian and live in continuous unrepentive sin? This young maid was not just a believer by name. She was one that walked with the Lord. What about you? Are you one that walks with God?
She accepted her circumstances. There are some things in life that you can do nothing about. The young maid was taken captive by a foreign leader. The circumstance she found herself in was beyond her control. No doubt there was a period of time when she was in despair and protested her captivity. Yet, she came to a place of realization that she was where she was for a reason and she had to accept her circumstance in that moment in her life. There are some circumstances we find ourselves in that was done by our own doing. There are other circumstances that just happen and we have no control over our situation. This young maid had no control over her situation. She accepted the reality of the situation and made the most of it. You may find yourself in a place where you don’t want to be. Maybe your stuck in a job that you hate. Maybe you are in a mid-life crisis and your tired of being a responsible adult. Maybe your unhappy in your marriage. Maybe you see your future in despair. God has you where you are for a reason. Every moment and season of our lives is not going to be exactly the way we want it to be. We must learn to accept where God has us in this season of our lives and live with determination to make the most of it by living with purpose for the glory of God.
She had a servant heart. Verse five says that she “waited on Naaman’s wife.” Though her circumstance was not what she would have chosen, she faithfully served where she was. Women are natural servants. They were created to serve. Their whole God-given purpose is all about servitude. Down through the years women have faithfully given of themselves in service to others. What an example! Think about the women in your life that perhaps were not in the most desired circumstance, yet they faithfully served. Does your mom enjoy cleaning your dirty clothes and washing your dishes and cooking your food? Perhaps. But I guarantee there are days when she would rather do something else, but she does those things anyways because she has a servant heart. A true servant is one who does the jobs that no one else wants to do. A true servant does not seek recognition or a high position, they just focus on caring for the needs of others. A true servant is concerned not with their own comfort but with bringing God glory through the mundane responsibilities of being a servant. Being a servant is the essence of living a missional life. If you are not willing to serve even in the smallest of tasks, you will never have a missional impact. I remember talking with a prominent nationally know pastor who shared with me this story: He said he hired a new staff member who was on his first day on the job. At the end of a staff meeting he told everyone to meet him in one of their multi-purpose rooms to move some chairs in preparation for an upcoming event. As everyone worked hard to move the chairs the pastor noticed that the new staff member was not there. He went to the staff member’s office and found him sitting at his desk. The pastor asked him why he was not with the others moving the chairs. The new staff member replied, “I don’t do chairs.” The pastor responded by telling him to pack his things and leave, he was fired. He was on staff at a mega church and lost his job the first day on the job because he did not have a servant’s heart. My friend, you can never be used of God if your not willing to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Being missional is all about being a servant. Ask the Lord today to give you a servant’s heart.
She had compassion. The young maid was genuinely concerned for Naaman. She saw him suffering with leprosy and she had compassion on him. This is another trait that is prominent in godly women. Men have a tendency to not care about the sufferings of others. Men will often just say to get over it or rub some dirt on it. Except when it is they who are suffering and they are the biggest babies you’ve ever seen! But women tend to be more caring and loving and sensitive to the needs of others. This is how God made them. The young maid was filled with compassion. Having a heart of compassion is key to living a missional life. You cannot be active in pointing others to Jesus if you do not care about them. There are over 6 billion people in the world that have spiritual leprosy. They are lost in their sin and will be eternally separated from God. Does that not bother us? Does that not break our hearts? Does that not move us to do something about it? Living a missional life begins with coming to grips with the lostness around us. We need to open our eyes and see the need of those around us. This requires that we look beyond our own desires and needs and we see the world for what it is, lost and without hope. May God give us such a compassion for the lost that it moves us to take action.
She was a faithful witness. The young maid was very evangelistic. She knew of the prophet Elisha and she knew that if she could get Naaman to listen to him then he could be healed both of leprosy and his lostness. It would have been easy for the young maid to stay silent. After all she was a captive. She was in the home of her enemies. Yet, she looked past her own situation and she saw the lostness around her and did something about it. She knew that if Naaman were to be healed that he would more than likely turn to the Lord and that is exactly what happened. After Naaman was healed of his physical problem he believed in the one true God and worshipped Him alone. The young maid taken captive was soul conscience. She was looking around her, saw the need, moved with compassion, and took action. She was looking for the opportunity to bring others to faith in God. Someone living a missional lifestyle is one who is constantly looking for opportunities to be a witness. They are searching for open doors to share the Gospel. Every conversation has purpose and that is to point people to Jesus.
The young maid lived a missional life. She walked with the Lord, she accepted her circumstances, she had a servant’s heart, she had compassion, and she was a faithful witness. What about you? Are you living a missional life?