status quo

Lessons from esther on how purpose helps us achieve our goals

In the last few weeks, we have been studying purpose- particularly as it relates to Esther. So far we have discussed what she teaches us about:

As I've been studying and writing about her, one of the things that struck me about the story of Esther is that it's typically portrayed as a Cinderella story or fairytale. What do I mean by that, you may be wondering? I mean that, in my experience, people tend to focus on:

  • Her beauty
  • Her chastity 
  • How gracious and submissive she must have been for choosing to wear what the king liked, unlike all the other virgins (Esther 2:15)
  • The fact that she was chosen to be the king's wife (going from rags to riches)

However, as stated in one of my previous devotionals on her, she was more than just the king's trophy wife. Esther was fierce! Think about it. She knew that going before the king without permission could get her killed, but she was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for her people (death) if it meant that they might live (Esther 4:11).

In just focusing on her afore-mentioned attributes, without any mention of her bravery, willingness to break protocol and fight, we do both Esther and modern women a disservice (particularly little girls). This is because that version of her story:

  • Exacerbates the problem of limited female representation (in terms of how little we are spoken of generally and in what contexts we are spoken about when we are discussed, particularly where the matriarchs of the faith are concerned)
  • Objectification of women's bodies (either as weapons for "tempting godly men" or for the sole purpose of pleasing them) 
  • Depreciation of women's roles and identity 

Also, we miss yet another lesson that Esther teaches us about purpose- how essential it can be in helping us achieve our goals. For example:

Lessons from 30 amazing Women of the Bible

Lessons from 30 amazing Women of the Bible

This week (October 3rd to be exact) was my birthday and- it wasn't just any birthday- it was my 30th! Also, although I didn't actually make it public until late November, this month will mark a year since I started this blog with a view to:

  • Raise the profile of the contributions of the women of the Bible and how the lessons contained in these can be practically applied in our modern spiritual walks
  • Empower Christian women to fully embrace their unique identities and purpose in Christ, free of the stereotypes and traditions that can "so easily best" us

To celebrate, I am going to share my top 30 women of the Bible along with what they taught me either about Christian womanhood/femininity or life in general. So, in alphabetical order, here goes!

An Interview with Felicity Dale on Deborah

An Interview with Felicity Dale on Deborah

Today's interview feature comes from Felicity Dale of Simplychurch.com, where she writes about house churches and the role of women within the Kingdom of God. May her insights on Deborah and what we, as modern women of God, can learn from her bless you as you read.

Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

This blog post was originally featured on Rising Tswana.

 

Recently I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came across a video from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (of Rebelgirls.co) called “If Cinderella were a Guy”. Through this video, they highlight the fact that women are impacted by misogyny as early as childhood for the following reasons:  

which then give way to confidence issues by the time most girls reach primary or elementary school- more so than boys. In answer to the question of why this is so, Favilli and Cavallo pose one of their own: 

“They say that ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’ But what happens if you never see someone like you making the headlines? What happens when all that you see around you is movies, cartoons, books and TV shows dominated by men?” 

To counteract this, they created a book called “Goodnight Stories of Rebel Girls”- a collection of: 

“100 stories of real women who have achieved incredible things, despite all odds [because] every girl… deserves to grow up thinking that she can be anything she wants.” 

When I saw this video it instantly resonated with me. This, I noted, is definitely a problem in the secular world but it is also a problem within the church. Christian women therefore not only have to navigate systemic sexism such as gender pay gaps, mansplaining and rape culture, they also have  the added baggage of the misogyny that occurs within church, which includes the:  

  • Exacerbation of the problem of limited female representation (in terms of how little we are spoken of generally and in what contexts we are spoken about when we are discussed, particularly where the matriarchs of the faith are concerned)
  • Objectification of women's bodies (either as weapons for "tempting godly men" or for the sole purpose of pleasuring our husbands and having their babies) 
  • Depreciation of women's roles and identity (hence the continued debates around female leadership and preachers, and the idea that being a wife and mother is the "ultimate stamp of womanhood")  

All of these issues were highlighted via this recent article. Issues which I am personally acquainted with and served as both the frustration and inspiration behind launching this website last year.  

This website has allowed me the pleasure of challenging these stereotypes by interviewing a diverse range of Christian women from all walks of life (globally). I also continue to achieve this by discussing the “rebel girls” of the Bible through my weekly devotionals- women who shift traditional paradigms surrounding (Christian) femininity, such as: 

An Interview with Maggz Edefah on Hannah

An Interview with Maggz Edefah on Hannah

Today;s interview comes from a very close; personal friend of mine- Margaret (Maggz) Okiemute Edefah. In her own words:

"I am a:

  • Blessed woman of God on a beautiful journey of self discovery. I am loving it! The lord has been good.
  • Into the ministry of being faithful and passing on wisdom to women from great mentors I look up to, to build their God given purposes.
  • Currently working in the food industry in quality assurance. However I am making strides to work for myself and prove that, with the faith of a mustard seed, it is possible to have the life that I dream of everyday.
  • I live by the principle, with GOD all things are possible.
  • My fave scripture right now is: prov 5:15-23."

Now that you have been properly introduced, read as she explains why Hannah is her favourite woman of the Bible and what we, as modern women, can learn from her.

Lessons from The Woman with the Issue of Blood on Being Unorthodox and Upsetting the Status Quo

Lessons from The Woman with the Issue of Blood on Being Unorthodox and Upsetting the Status Quo

One of the things that I really love most about this blog are the new friendships and relationships that it has allowed me to build with like-minded women such as Ellen Chauvin, Lesego Barona and Chloelle Bond. They are all beautiful women of God who continue to inspire me with their talent and encourage me with their support. One such lady is the amazing Rebekah Nwokonkor, who wrote about the woman with the issue of blood a few months back.

One of the things that really struck me about Rebekah’s account of the woman with the issue of blood is the way it highlighted the fact that she was willing to both think and act outside of the box in order to obtain her blessing. Therefore, today we will be taking lessons from the woman with the issue of blood on being unorthodox and upsetting the status quo. If you prefer, you can listen to this devotional rather than reading it. You also have my full permission to download and share it too: