WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Many Christian women are “distracted by the world’s expectations and made to feel like a failure,” Susie Hawkins told more than 200 women at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s second Women’s Conference March 16-17.
“We as women have become so busy trying to entertain the titles we carry, we have lost who we are and why we’re here,” she said, noting that the remedy is for believers to find their identity in Christ.
Hawkins, wife of Guidestone Christian Resources’ President O.S. Hawkins, was the keynote speaker for the conference, with the theme, “Behind the Mask: Who am I?”
“We prayed that the women who attended would understand who they are in Jesus Christ and that they do not have to live behind a mask, afraid or unwilling to address issues that are unseen,” said Christina Middleton, women’s ministry coordinator at Southeastern.
In two sessions, Hawkins examined such passages as Ephesians 2:8-10 and Matthew 25:14-19, clarifying that salvation is built on grace not works.
“Each one of us is God’s masterpiece,” Hawkins said. “In verse 10 of Ephesians 2, the verb is in the present tense, ‘We are his workmanship.’ This masterpiece starts at the time of salvation. Christ takes all you are and begins to work.”
Hawkins likened modern Christians to biblical characters Jeremiah, Moses and the Apostle Paul in that God can use them despite their weaknesses.
“We are more concerned that people might think we’re not godly,” she said. “Good Christians shouldn’t place Band-Aids on their wounds and fake it. Did Job not say, ‘Though you slay me, I will hope’? We must acknowledge the deep issues.”
In addition to Hawkins’ main sessions, several smaller breakout workshops addressed such issues as contentment. The conference also included Bible studies and special tracks for women in ministry and ministers’ wives.
“We were blessed to see the many ways in which the Lord worked through the women’s conference,” Middleton said, “and grateful to hear the testimonies of lives that were changed.”