Since the 1980s, America has commemorated Women’s History Month in March, and people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. These times are set aside to remember the contributions of women in history and contemporary society, as well as advocate for the rights of women. How should we, as believers, approach these observances?
The Bible says that whatever is true, noble, and praiseworthy—we should think about those things (Philippians 4:8). In the book of Hebrews, readers are encouraged to remember those who have lived by faith before them (Hebrews 11) so that they can press on and run their own races (Hebrews 12:1-3). Taking time to remember praiseworthy and noble achievements of the past can help call us forward in our own lives.
Certain aspects of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, however, have taken on a decidedly unbiblical tenor. For instance, redefining equality from a secular perspective and advocating for things which are antithetical to a biblical worldview.
Nevertheless, I think we should celebrate the rich tapestry of women in Christian history. God has used women since the beginning of the world to display His glory and advance His Kingdom. They have faced the mouths of lions under persecution, ministered to the forgotten and the outcasts, poured their energies into equipping the next generation, courageously faced the unknown as missionaries, penned works full of faithful doctrine, and so much more.
I rejoice for the countless legacies of women who have gone before us. I am reminded again just how thankful I am for Jesus who offers salvation freely to anyone who would ask Him to be his or her Lord and Savior. Jesus the God-Man has done more to raise the dignity and worth of women than any individual that has ever walked the earth. Taking time to reflect on faithful women of the past ultimately points us to Christ who these women sought to honor with their lives. Rather than seeking to make their names known, these women remind us of the importance of making His name known.
If you are interested in learning more about the achievements and contributions of Christian women, check out the resources below. While our nation has set aside time to celebrate women this month, why not spend some time getting to know some valiant women in Christian history? You won’t be disappointed!
- If you are looking for a great general resource on women from the early church to present day, Diana Severance’s book Feminine Threads is a great one: Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History (Focus for Women): Severance, Diana Lynn: 9781845506407: Amazon.com: Books
- If you are looking for some lighter reading on the subject, Diana also has a year-long devotional on women in church history called Her Story: Her-Story: 366 Devotions from 21 Centuries of the Christian Church (Focus for Women): Severance, Diana Lynn: 9781781917503: Amazon.com: Books
- If you are interested in tackling a biography this year, I would highly recommend Elisabeth Elliott’s biography of Amy Carmichael, A Chance to Die: A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael: Elliot, Elisabeth: 9780800730895: Amazon.com: Books
- Finally, if you know a young woman interested in learning more, there is a fantastic box set by Lightkeepers that is worth checking out. If you get the box set, there are five books in it. Each book looks at 10 different girls and women in church history. It is geared for ages 7 to 12, but truthfully, I really enjoyed the set as an adult. You can check out the link to see the ladies that each book discusses: Lightkeepers Girls Box Set: Ten Girls: Howat, Irene: 9781845503192: Amazon.com: Books
Dr. Candi Finch is an Associate Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Truett McConnell University. She also works for the Sandy Creek Foundation in Dallas, Texas. Her book contributions include The Study Bible for Women and The Women’s Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament and Old Testament.