LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Christian women must be wise and not “weak-willed,” Mary Kassian told more than 200 attendees at this year’s Women’s Leadership Consultation.
Drawing on 2 Timothy 3:6-7 to unpack five weaknesses that often beset women, Kassian noted that the antidote is being a woman who is wise according to holy Scripture.
A noted author, theologian and speaker, Kassian has written a number of books on women’s issues and biblical gender roles, including “The Feminist Gospel: The Movement to Unite Feminism With the Church” and “Women, Creation, and the Fall.”
The Women’s Leadership Consultation, held Feb. 10-12 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., is an annual event that alternates among the Southern Baptist Convention’s six seminaries to equip women for greater service in local church ministry.
The first weakness Kassian listed that often entraps a weak-willed women involves worldly thoughts, ideas, philosophies or people that have a corrosive effect on their lives.
Like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Kassian pointed out that evil seeks to slither into the lives of women in a number of ways -– and a Christian woman must watch vigilantly for those influences and keep them out.
“[The Apostle] Paul says a woman is [to be] alert, watchful,” Kassian said. “A wise woman stands guard and watches those access points in her life and keeps them closed off.
“A wise woman doesn’t allow ungodliness into her home. A wise woman stands guard and takes care to make sure that there aren’t those access points. Maybe it is exposure in terms of what’s coming into her home [through] movies or magazines or the Internet. Evil wants to worm its way in. A wise woman must keep it out.”
A second characteristic that typifies a weak-willed woman involves vulnerability to ungodly emotional, relational and spiritual influences, Kassian said.
“If you don’t start dealing with that negative influence and bring a positive influence into your life, a godly influence, then it is going to chip away long enough and it is going to do really significant damage,” Kassian said. “A wise woman understands that.”
A third attribute of weak-willed women is a propensity to carry baggage of guilt, shame, anger and despair that weighs them down spiritually and emotionally, Kassian said, whereas a wise woman realizes that God must deal with her baggage.
“We are just packed down and overwhelmed with so much baggage, and the Lord says to women in this passage (2 Timothy 3:6-7) that, to be wise, you’ve got to start dealing with that baggage,” she said.
“Weak-willed women have lots of baggage and a wise woman takes it before the Lord and starts dealing with it.”
The fourth weakness that confronts such women is that they are easily swayed by evil desires, Kassian said. Women are often drawn irresistibly by the seemingly beautiful music of the world’s notions of beauty, power and romantic relationships, she said, but once a woman becomes entranced by the world’s harmonies, her affections become misplaced.
The wise woman finds genuine beauty, power and relational fulfillment by looking away from the world and locking her gaze upon the supreme perfections found in Christ alone, Kassian said.
“Most of our problem with sin is the problem with desire, the problem with the heart,” she said.
“The way that you are going to be able to deal with sin in your life is by replacing what you see as the beauty of sin … with a greater beauty and that is the beauty of Christ. We are drawn toward beauty as women. We are drawn toward that sweet song, and Jesus wants us to be drawn towards Him and to listen to His Holy Spirit.”
Finally, Kassian said weak-willed women are weak in their convictions and don’t often follow through on what they know to be right and true. To be a wise woman, one must pray that God will apply the truths of Scripture to her heart in such a way that both her mind and emotions are transformed to walk in step with the wisdom of God.
“Wise women allow the truth of God to change them,” Kassian said. “They are able to grab hold of [Scripture] and say, ‘I don’t totally understand it, but Jesus, use it to change my heart and to change my life. I want to be different tomorrow than I am today. Change me. Help me apply this truth to my life.’ That’s what a woman of wisdom does.”