In the past twenty years or so I’ve been to several different events for Christian men: retreats, meetings, workshops, etc. They’ve been a blessing in various ways. However, sometimes someone will comment on how great it is to hear men singing together in a Christian setting. Yes! It is! However, my thought is always this: “But it’s an incomplete choir! We’re missing a vital part: the women’s voices!” Maybe it’s not the best example as an intro, but it is important to note how Scripture describes women as being an essential and important part of Christ’s body. Christian women and their Spirit-given gifts are a major blessing to Christ’s church! It’s always been this way.
One example in Scripture is Romans 16:3-5a, 6, & 12: “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house. …Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. …Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord...” (NASB)
I appreciate how Aimee Byrd commented on these verses in chapter 5 of her book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:
As Paul further demonstrated the fruit of reciprocity in his following greetings, we continue to see women laboring with him under the ministry. He first greeted Prisca (Priscilla in some versions) and Aquila, whom he called ‘coworkers in Christ Jesus,’ noting how all the Gentile churches are grateful for this wife-and-husband team. Paul said they risked their own necks for his life. Then he greeted the whole church whom they hosted in their home…. I want to note the significance of Paul calling them coworkers or fellow workers…it’s a special term he used to describe specific people who were working synergetically with him to advance the gospel [Rom 16:9, 21; 1 Cor. 3:9].
Paul continued to show the fruit of Christ’s gifts in the early church’s life by showing coed labor, even giving special status to women. He used a special commendation for Mary, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis as women who worked hard in the Lord (Rom. 16:6, 12). Paul often used the words ‘work hard’ to describe his own ministry, as well as to characterize the labor of other preachers and teachers of the word. …They were equipped with the gospel and knew how to handle its truth in serving others.
Indeed, the Lord Jesus has gifted men and women in various ways so they might together be a blessing to his body, the church!
The above quote is found on page 149 of Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Hammond, WI, 54002