“If You Give a Woman a Bible” is a Top 3 Winner for The Junia Project’s 2017 blog contest. Author Laura Atwater cleverly uses the structure of the best-selling children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to illustrate the complexities that women in ministry must navigate.
If you give a woman a Bible, she will sit down and read scripture.
Once she reads 1 Timothy 2:8-15, she will question women’s roles.
In her questioning she will look to other scriptures.
While looking for other scriptures, she will come across the story of Phoebe and believe she is called to ministry.
When she decides that ministry is open to both men and women, she will want to speak up.
And after she speaks up, she will be offered the life-changing opportunity to be a greeter.
And after she finishes greeting, she will be extended the gracious position of working in the kitchen.
When she is done working in the kitchen, she will be asked to be the children’s pastor.
After she declines this, she will be asked to be a women’s pastor.
And when she declines that offer, she will realize that she wants to be head pastor.
When she asks to be head pastor, she will be rejected.
When she is rejected, she will decide to start her own church.
Once she starts her own church, she will need some congregants.
After she searches through thousands of Christians and finds those who believe women and men were created equal in every sense of the word, she will want to find a worship band.
And when she hears the band playing and the congregants singing, she will want to find a church building.
Once she finds a church building, she will need elders and deacons.
When she has elders and deacons, she will want to find other pastors who do not find a woman’s leadership intimidating.
After she finds youth, children’s, and women’s pastors, she will still find herself proving her validity in being a pastor.
After long years of fighting to be taken seriously in her field, she will still come home and feel ashamed.
And after she feels ashamed, she will begin to feel angry.
And while she is angry, she will yell at the One who gave her this calling.
Once she is done yelling, she will try to hide her deep wounds.
After she hides her deep wounds, she still has to go to work.
And once she gets to work, she will stand behind the pulpit and speak.
When she stands behind the pulpit and speaks, she sees her church grow.
And as her church grows, people will give their lives to Jesus.
And when people follow Jesus, she will understand that she had a role in it, but it was ultimately God’s redemptive power.
If you give a woman a Bible, she might not read it.
But if she does read it, prepare for the world to change.