‘…God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Over the years, as I have considered my place in the church and in our society, I have been inspired and strengthened by these words from Scripture.
I am inspired and strengthened by the realisation and affirmation that humanity is incomplete without the contribution of women in all the various spaces which humanity occupy. Women and men together have an incredible calling upon us: we are called to rule over the earth together, to act as God’s vice-regents as those who are together bestowed with the incredible dignity of occupying and living out his image.
And so today, I want to say to the women in our families, churches, and society at large… keep going. We need you. Our world needs you.
To the stay-at-home mum who endures the whinging, bottom-wiping, endless tidying, tantrums, sickness, and sleepless nights out of love for your children, and sometimes, perhaps often, question your purpose and call… keep going. Our world needs you.
To the only woman in the boardroom who struggles to be heard and to find your way and wonders whether the hill is too sleep and the grass too thick… keep going. Our world needs you.
To the working mum who carries the self-consciousness of weekly (sometimes daily) uttering the phrase: ‘I’m sorry, that meeting time won’t work for me… I’m with the kids that morning’… keep going. Our world needs you.
To the woman who is pursuing your dream and feeling energised and happy and broke… keep going. Our world needs you.
To the woman who has suffered incredibly by the abuse of others who should have been trustworthy… keep going. Our world needs you.
To the woman serving at church who wonders what your place is and whether it is too hard… keep going. Our world needs you.
And to men… I want to say… thank you.
To the father whose love and affirmation of your daughter is constant and steadfast… thank you. Our world needs you.
To the husband who loves, serves, cares for, and empowers your wife… thank you. Our world needs you.
To the man who delights in and welcomes the company and contribution of your female friends… thank you. Our world needs you.
To the man in a position of power who uses your power to enable and celebrate the women in your workplace… thank you. Our world needs you.
To the man who is learning for the first time of the unconscious bias that sometimes impacts the way you think or treat women, and is looking into that with courage and a desire to grow… thank you. Our world needs you.
To the men in our churches who champion and celebrate the contribution and partnership of your sisters and fellow servants of Jesus… thank you. Our world needs you.
And to our Creator God who made us in his image, male and female, we praise you.