In the ten years since I committed my life to Jesus Christ, I have often wondered about my purpose. What are the most important things for me to be doing in life? Gradually, my focus has shifted from the question “what do I want?” to “what does God want?” I have sought God’s will when it comes to family and church, and what it means to be a woman living out the timeless truths of the Bible in a confusing world. In the first chapter of Voices of the True Woman Movement John Piper contributes his answer to the question of what a woman’s purpose is.
John Piper starts with the assumption that “wimpy theology makes wimpy women.” He then briefly recounts many inspirational stories of women whose understanding of God enabled them to be courageous in the face of life’s challenges. I was particularly touched as I read of Gladys Staines, whose husband was burned alive by those he was seeking to minister amongst. Her response was one of desire to continue spreading the gospel in India. Would I be able to respond in that way? These women displayed determination and thankfulness. Why? How? Piper’s answer is that they could respond with courage because their God is “big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough.”
To avoid being wimpy women, Piper encourages us to embrace the truth that “The ultimate purpose of creation and redemption is to put the glory of Christ on display in purchasing and purifying His bride, the church.” As creations of God, we can choose to display God’s glory in all kinds of circumstances. The meaning of womanhood is to display the glory of Jesus Christ in ways that could not be displayed if there were no distinctions between men and women. Womanhood is indispensable to God’s plan to display the full glory of His Son. Piper explains some of what this may mean if you are married or unmarried. As a married woman, I was challenged to prioritize submission to my husband in the challenges of daily life at home. Why? Affirming my husband’s leadership mirrors the way the church is to adore and reverence Christ. This brings glory to God, and that (not the achievement of my personal to-do list) gives meaning to each day as a woman.