Posted On 23 Feb 2019
… for my strength is made perfect in weakness …
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Whereas, it is clear from the previous lesson that the woman is referred to as the weaker vessel, perhaps it will be necessary for every woman to realize that a times, what is considered weakness is actually what is needed to thrive in the midst of all of life’s circumstances.
Generally speaking, to be weak means to have little strength or energy. It means to likely break or easy to influence (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary). However, from a Scriptural point of view, weakness means to be delicate, precious and indispensable. This kind of weakness is not necessarily talking about spiritual, intellectual, social, economic and physical weakness; this can be implied because both in Scriptures and in contemporary times, we find many women who have proven to be physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially, economically and physically stronger than some men. Example of such women include Deborah, the Prophetess who led Israel as a judge for forty years and went to the battle front with Barak, the commanding officer of the army of Israel, when the later was very much afraid of going to that battle alone.
Another of such women considered weak but strong is Jael who used a hammer and tent peg to kill an Army Commander. Another example we can find is in the New Testament when Mary Magdalene exhibited physical and emotional strength as she requested for the body of Jesus Christ with the intention of carrying Him away, whereas great Apostles like Peter and John had become spiritually and emotionally weak and fearful after the death of Christ that they could not tarry at the tomb to see the Lord; it was Mary Magdalene who stood fearlessly with perseverance until she was able to see the Lord after His resurrection and became the first to preach the resurrection message.
Mary Slessor, Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa are other classic examples of women in the history of the church who went into the mission field in which they were called and faced physical, emotional and spiritual rigors of ministerial and humanitarian labours and emerged victorious, conquering territories for Christ and Humanity. Though all these were considered ordinary weak women, yet through their weakness, strength manifested to serve God’s purposes for their lives and they fulfilled their destinies. It can therefore be rightly said that when the Scripture describes the woman as being a weaker vessel, that weakness is not due to her sin or sinfulness as many wrongfully presuppose. The woman is not weaker than the man in terms of sin and sinfulness because Scriptures clarify that both the man and woman have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Moreover, what the Scripture refers to as the woman being a weaker vessel simply means that the man is equally a weak vessel, but the woman is a weaker vessel. In other words, both man and woman are weak as far as God is concerned; but a woman who connects to Christ will definitely be strengthened supernaturally by the Lord to be and do what may not be possible or in most cases, extremely difficult for ordinary folk without Christ to accomplish. This can be proven in the fact that intellectually and professionally too, women though considered weak are not left behind at all, as we have seen many women arising and emerging as Lawyers, Judges, Doctors, Engineers, Pilots, Professors, Political and Business Leaders, Inventors and Innovators – these fields were hitherto considered the exclusive preserve of the men folk.
A woman’s weakness, when surrendered to God therefore becomes a covenant leverage for thriving in life’s circumstances. . It is her submissive attitude to God, her husband and constituted authority in spite of who she is, what she has and what she can do or has done. Her submissiveness though considered by the world’s standard as a position of weakness will bring her honour from God and from men. That is the attitude that will endear her to all she comes in contact with.
Prayer Focus: Lord, let your strength be made perfect in every of my weaknesses in Jesus Name.
Quotes: Submission to God is no weakness, it’s the beginning of your strength, you are not weak, trust Him and follow Him.
Judith Sargent Murray