June 23rd, 2014 | By admin
By Paul Holland
World magazine (6/14/2014, pg. 12) reports that Saira Blair – who happens to be 17-years-old – won in the West Virginia Republican primary, defeating an incumbent, for a seat in the state house. Saira’s father is a state senator so politics apparently runs in the blood. She won even while spending less than $5,000. She can’t vote – yet. She turns 18 in July. She is favored to win in November, as a pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment candidate.
Saira’s example brings a few thoughts to mind. A young person can accomplish a lot of good. One does not have to be 30 or 40 or 50 years old to make an impact. The Bible shows us regularly that youth ought not to be despised. King Jehoash was 7 years old when he became king and he instituted a restoration movement in Israel (2 Kings 12). King Hezekiah was 25 years old at coronation and he, too, made efforts at restoration (2 Kings 18-20). The most notable example, perhaps, is King Josiah, coronated at 8 years old and instituting a major restoration movement at age 18 (2 Kings 22). Isaiah even pictures the leader of the restored Kingdom of Israel as a young child (Isa. 9:6). Saira’s example inspires us to what youth can do.
Saira’s example also inspires us to what a girl can do. While she needs to keep God and family first regardless of her career goals and aspirations, she is showing what her skills and abilities can perform. The Bible is also replete with examples of strong women: Noah’s wife, Miriam, Deborah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, Phoebe, and others. To the degree that God has endowed a young lady with qualities that lead to prosperity for one’s family, community, church, and country, to that degree she needs to utilize her gifts. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
At the same time – and we have spoken to this point recently – Saira’s example also reminds us that while she might lead her state or her country to prosperity, she still would not have any right or permission from the God of heaven to become a leader in Christ’s church. Humility would lead her to accept the limitations God has place on women in leadership roles in the church.
In a conversation with a Baptist not long ago, he (while apparently still “studying the issue”) suggested that if a woman had a gift to lead, God would expect her to lead (in the church). After directing him to the appropriate New Testament passages, I reminded him that Miriam wanted to have more authority than what God had allowed and God struck her with leprosy (Numbers 12). In that context, to speak against God’s duly-appointed leaders is to speak against God Himself (12:8).
For women (or men, for that matter) to set aside 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as somehow limited by culture is to ignore the context and the reasons for Paul’s injunctions. It is – to speak against God’s duly-appointed leadership in the church, which must be male (1 Tim. 3:2, 12).
May we teach our daughters to be strong and humble.