Uncommon female leadership in the bible
Welcome back to another exciting episode of the Milk and Honey podcast. I am so excited today because today I wanna talk about female leadership in the Bible that we’re not normally discussing, right? So I feel like people talk a lot about Esther, Deborah, and Mary Magdalene.
We covered those women in the last episode, but I wanna talk about some women that you could miss very easily if you just skim through your Bible, or even if you’ve read your Bible cover to cover, it’s really easy to miss them because they’re only in, two or three verses and they don’t get a whole big section dedicated to them. However, their impact is far-reaching and I think we can pull a lot from them.
Joanna and Susana
And so if you’ve got your Bible, get it out. If you’re on your phone, flip to a Bible app, and pull up some verses with me because I wanna dive in. The first group of women I wanna talk about is Joanna and Susanna. So Luke mentions them in Luke chapter eight versus two to three. And so this whole section is about the parable of the sower this first section of Luke.
And I’ll preface this in the beginning, right? So I’m reading from the NIV for you. Verse one says, after this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. The 12 were with him, right? So you got Jesus in the 12 disciples and also some women.
So I’m in verse two, who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases, right? So we’ve got a group of women who have already been cured. Evil spirits into Jesus. Then we have Mary Ma called Magdalene, from whom? 17 Inside come out. Joanna the manager of Harris’s household, Susanna, and many others. Okay, so there’s a whole group of women with Jesus on his mission.
I just wanna point that out because way too often I hear that women don’t belong in any sort of leadership capability. But Jesus was traveling with women, which is so radical for that time, right? Women were not encouraged to study the scriptures at all, and so for Jesus to be out traveling with a large group of women is radical.
Now, the last part of this first, and I think this is really important, says, these women were helping to support them out of their own means. Sister, did you hear what I just said? They said these women were helping to support them out of their own means. These women were supporting Jesus and the 12 disciples out of their own means, which means they had money, which means they took their money and they poured it into the kingdom with it.
I think this is such an easy line to miss is that these women were able to pour into Jesus’ ministry with their own means. And I think way too often we are told, especially as women, to be really quiet and to stay meek and to only serve in our homes. And we can serve at home, but also be a woman of means.
Because look at what these women did with means. They supported Jesus, they supported the 12 disciples, and it didn’t say that it was a group of men out supporting this ministry. It was women. And we know the impact of Jesus’ ministry and those 12 disciples. And so I just sit here and I think about what would the kingdom look like.
What would the world look like if there were more Christian women of means? Like I want you to ask yourself that. What would you do with means? What would you do? What charities would you support? I know exactly where I go for me personally I volunteered at a crisis Christian Pregnancy Center and I’m right in a college town.
And when you go onto the website, like things. A hundred dollars donation takes care of some of the services that they need for weeks, months, and so I have big dreams. I think about what it looks like to tie my church, 10% if I’m if I have more means to give. What does that do for my church community?
What does that do for the community as a whole? What does that do for the ministry efforts? What does that do for the missionary efforts? What does that do for the kingdom? if I’m tithing bigger, but then what does that do for the charities that I care about? So this charity they’re, I mean they’re local, right?
They’re new, they’ve been up maybe a year. What does that look like to pour into them in this capacity? What does that look like for me to, we do a mentorship dinner, right? And everybody donates and cooks and all these things every single month. Cuz I mentor in this community and What does it look like to be able to cut them a check for $10,000?
What does that look like? And so I really want you to ask yourself like, what would you donate to, what would you support, what charity could you pour into fully? If. You had more income. If you had, what’s the impact you would make? Because that’s exactly what Joanna and Su, Susanna did, right? They were women of means and they’ve had a global kingdom impact.
I want you to sit with that for a second and think about what it is that you would do with income like that. All right. I want you to gouge your Bible again cuz we’re gonna switch gears here and we’re gonna switch over to first Timothy or second Timothy. And I wanna talk about Lois and Eunice.
Lois and Eunice
Okay. Second Timothy one. Paul’s writing two Timothy, right? He first identifies himself in verse one. Paul as an a. Christ Jesus by the will of God in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus. To Timothy, my dear son, so I really like this, right? So first, Paul establishes his authority here and then he addresses Timothy, my dear son, and he says, grace, mercy, and peace from the God, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Great, beautiful introduction. Verse three, I thank God whom I serve as my ancestors did with a clear conscience as night and day. I constantly remember you and my prayers. Beautiful. We love that about Paul. He’s re-remembering Timothy in his prayers. Then he says, recalling your tears. I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.
Verse five, I’m reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded now. In you also, did you hear that my friend?
Because of the example set forth by first Timothy’s grandmother Lois, she then passed that faith down to her mother, her daughter, who then passed that faith down to Timothy. Think about. Here we are, right? We are talking about Timothy right now. 2000 ish years later, we are talking about Timothy and it is because first his grandmother had faith and it is because she was, she had faith. She passed that down to her child who then passed that down to her child. And there is a generational impact of her, of Lois first living out her faith and for her mother, or for, then her daughter, Eunice, to be faithful because these women were faithful.
We get first and second Timothy. We get this moment here between Paul and Timothy, and I love that. I just sit and I think about our influence, right? And that’s what I take from Lois and Eunice here is Lois had no idea. that she was gonna be mentioned in the scriptures one day. She had no idea that her daughter was gonna be mentioned in the scriptures one day.
She had no idea that her grandson would be mentioned in the scriptures one day that he would’ve whole books in the scriptures, right? These women were just faithful women, and the influence that they have is greater than anything that they could have predicted. And that’s what I wanna remind you, that you have a generational impact.
I know that. I see it. My husband and I talk about this all the time, so I wasn’t raised in a Christian household. I know I mentioned that in the first episode. My whole backstory. But I wasn’t raised in a Christian household at all. And actually, this is, oh man, I love Holy Spirit downloads, right?
While I’m talking about this. Grandmother went to Catholic school and was raised Catholic and she had a bad experience in the sixties. She and my grandfather did with the Catholic church, and they left, right? They decided they were just gonna have a relationship with God, but they weren’t going to be a part of any sort of church.
Okay, so this one thing impacted my grandmother, which then impacted my mother and that experience that my grandparents had trickled down to my mother to God is bad, and that Christians are bad. , and that’s the way I was raised. So I’m, I, can I see it? Oh my gosh, so clearly, I’m looking at the decisions that we make and how that impacts generations because of that one decision my grandmother made, and I understand why she made that decision.
I won’t tell that story now, but it was a valid reason that, that I understand why they felt the way they did. And so the one decision that my grandparents. Impacted my mother and it impacted me in the way that I was raised and the things that I thought and believed about myself for 30 years until I really fully surrendered.
I was saved at 24, but I fully surrendered at 31. It took me a little bit to release the grip that I had and fully surrender. And that’s the impact that Lois had. Lois’ one decision to be faithful and to endure that faith until the end and has that faith be lived out, impacted Eunice who made the same exact decision.
And that impacted Timothy. And so I wanna ask you what does your faith and commitment look like. What is the generational impact that it has? And you don’t even know it. You have no idea. We have no idea reading the scriptures how Lois and Eunice impacted other people in their community. We have no idea.
We just know one tiny thread of the generational impact that they had. . And so when you are, when you’re out serving in your community when you’re running your business and you’re putting God at the forefront, and you are leaving leading with biblical principles and values because that’s who you are at the core, that makes a generational impact that you will never know, but heaven knows.
Heaven knows every time you make a generational impact like that. And so I want to encourage you to listen to this to lean into the generational impact that you have. Because you do have it. You just have to accept that you have it and walk in purpose with it. The last person I wanted to talk about today was my friend Lydia.
And I know I’ve mentioned Lydia before, but I just love this whole section about Lydia. So flip over if you got your Bible or it’s in your phone, whatever you’re doing to Acts 16 versus 14 to 15. And again, still, in the NIV.
So this is where Timothy joins Paul and Silas we just talked about Timothy and then Lydia gets a whole section, right? Verses 11, 2 15 are about her conversion because it makes a difference. Okay? So verse 11, talks about their their journey to Philippi. Says a Roman colony in the leading city of that district of Macedonia, and we stayed there for several days on the Sabbath. We went outside. The first 13, went outside the city gate to the river where we expected to find a place of prayer.
We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there again, it is women who are leading a faith movement. I want you to hear that. Like they go out to a place of prayer and they find a group of women out there. One of those listening, was a woman from the city. I’m not even gonna try to say the same, so you, y’all can read it, named Lydia, a dealer in Purple Cloth.
She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message when she and the members of her household were baptized. She invited us to her home. If you consider me a believer in the Lord, she said, come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us. I just wanna go back to this whole thing here for a second.
It was women that were at the river at this place of prayer. It was Lyd. who had a business, right? She’s a dealer in purple cloth, right? This is high-end fabric here. She was a Jesus follower. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. Then she and the members of her household were baptized.
So it’s not just her conversion, it is her whole household’s conversion. And then she insisted that Timothy and Paul and Silas stay in her home.
Are you hearing the impact of this? Okay, so this, I feel like Lydia ties in so well to both Joanna and Susanna and Lois and Eunice, and that’s why I saved her for last year. Number one, she was already a woman who was going to find a place of prayer, right? She’s already that type of woman.
Okay? She runs a business. She is a dealer in Purple Cloth. She runs a business. So here’s the thing, she had a home then because she runs this business, she has a home that is big enough to accommodate these missionaries, these apostles. She has a home big enough, and she was well off. That she could insist that they stay.
This wasn’t like a, like when you invite somebody and you’re like, okay, like we can do it, but it’s gonna be stressful. She insists that they come and stay at her home. I just, I love this story just so much of Lydia, because here’s the thing, so if Lydia was at the river, for a place of prayer, then that means that Lydia was probably already Jewish, right?
And so the fact that there’s a whole group of women at the river to pray and hold the Sabbath, AMSA probably wasn’t enough faithful Jewish men to have a synagogue there at all. So these women were faithful without any sort of organization. Just leaning on God and trusting in the scriptures and holding true to their faith.
And because they held true to their faith, right? Lydia is able to hear what Paula is saying. She’s baptized as a follower of Christ, right? This beautiful conversion that she had. And then. . I really love this because she says this is something important to you that she says she insists that they stay, but part of what she says is that if they believe if they trust that she’s a believer, right?
If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house. It’s what she says. She’s just been baptized and so she’s if you trust that my conversion is true. and then come and stay. And so of course you know they do because they judged her conversion to be true. And so what I think is really cool about this whole story is that Lydia’s conversion is the beginning of.
Like the church in Asia Minor, so I just think that’s really special. Like it had never gone further west than that. So Lydia is the first person to have been saved in all of Europe, which I think is really incredible. , right? So if I go back to Acts 16, six through 10, it talks about how they’d been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia, right?
So they made an attempt to go to Asia, but they weren’t able to. And so Lydia being saved here in Philippi, she’s the first person to be saved in Europe, right? And so here’s the thing. . Then we learned, okay, this is so good that there’s a church there, right? Revelation two 18 talks about a church there, right?
And so in the place that Lydia’s from, right? A church makes it makes their way back to where she is from. And guys, I’m not gonna attempt to pronounce this. I took C Creek in Hebrew, but I’m afraid to butcher it. Paul never went to where Lydia was from. And It’s very possible that Lydia’s conversion spread, right?
Chances are she still has family there, and chances are she still’s friends there. I know how I am when I receive good news or when the Lord has done something for me, I can’t shut up about it, and I guarantee that’s what Lydia did. So in Lydia’s, We can see just a few things, right? Like when you’re seeking the Lord will open doors for you.
The Lord opened his heart to Lydia. For Lydia to be able to hear that because she was seeking the Lord. She was in a place where she was seeking the Lord. Lydia was extremely hospitable, right? She insisted that these apostles and missionaries came and stayed at her home. She was a missionary herself, helping convert her, the all the members of her household.
And she was a businesswoman who had enough means to support these missionaries in the work they were doing. And so I wanna ask you today, what is it that you could do if you had more means? What is the generational impact that could be felt if you were running a successful business? What would it look like?
For you to have some time freedom and a lucrative business to go out and disciple others, what does that look like for you? Where would you put your time? Where’s the Lord calling you to step up and serve and be a leader in your community if you are not already a part of a sisterhood I would love to invite you to join mine.
Come ask me. Come learn about Girl Power Alliance. We are a Christian community for women where we raise up leaders who are raising up leaders, and we offer Christ-centered personal and professional development. So if you’re like, if you’ve been listening to this, you’re like, all right, I wanna start a business.
I have the resources for you. If you are a seasoned pro in business and you wanna know how to take it to the next level, I have the resources for you. And they all put Jesus at the, for. And so I love this because I’ve, worked in the business space for five years now, and this is the first place I found that puts Jesus at the forefront of everything that we do.
And because of that, we are raising up kingdom leaders, women who have means, who are supporting ministries and missions that they care about. And if. If you’re a woman who’s I need to get plugged into something like that. I wanna support more ministries. I wanna support more missions. I wanna support my church bigger.
I wanna open, the doors of my home. Proverb 31 woman did, right? She was a woman of means, and because of that, she could open the door to the needy in her home. And so if you’re sitting here and you’re like I wanna be that woman, I feel that calling on my heart. They come and join me. Click the link in the show notes, come hang out.
You can go to Girl Power Alliance if you would just wanna go straight there to learn more, and I promise you’ll be so grateful that you did until next time.