I've been to eight women's conferences in the last three months. I've got the t-shirts to prove it. As a Bible teacher, I have the privilege of attending lots of these events to speak. I meet beautiful women with hearts full to the brim with a desire to serve Jesus at every single one. But can I be honest? I'm a little sick of women's conferences.
Tired of the Message
It's not that I'm tired of being with other women (I'm a mom of three boys, I'll take all of the estrogen I can get!).
I'm not sure I could ever grow weary worshiping in a sanctuary full of women. I love to hear the testimonies of how God has worked in the lives of others. And usually, the food's great too!
But there's a message I hear at most women's conferences (and young women's conferences) that needs revisited. I heard it spoken from almost every stage I sat near this spring.
It sounds something like this . . .You're beautiful. You're valuable. You matter.
What's my beef with a message that warm and fuzzy? It's a good message. But it's not the message that women most need to hear.
The Message We Really Need
I understand how we got here. We live in a culture that pillages women's self-esteem by screaming at us that we must be thinner, tanner, and more organized. It's hard to stand tall when the pressures of our culture force our collective shoulders to sag and our heads to drop. And a woman who does not understand her value is guaranteed to cause some collateral damage in her relationships. Yes, women need to be told they matter.
We don't need messages that turn our focus toward ourselves. We need messages that pry our eyes away from our needs, our wants, our desires . . . and toward Jesus and His calling that we serve others.
But we don't matter because we're beautiful. We don't matter because we have what it takes. It's not our self-esteem that needs attended to. It's our spirits.
We need to be reminded that Jesus is the source of Living Water. The headwaters of everything we need are found in Him.
Instead of hearing that we matter, we need to hear how much the God of the Universe matters. We are small and insignificant compared to his vast glory. We need to hear that He treasures us anyway (Mal. 3:17).
Instead of hearing that we are beautiful, we need to be reminded that God's Word is beautiful. It is a treasure trove full of riches beyond measure. If we study it and apply it, we can have "imperishable beauty" (1 Pet. 3:4). The fountain of youth is only found in God's Word.
Instead of hearing that we have what it takes to make it in this world, we need to be reminded that we are poor (Ps. 86:1), needy (Ps. 109:22), and sinful (Eccl. 7:20). The message we need to hear over and over is the life-giving Gospel, that Christ died to set us free from sin and death; that because of His sacrifice we can have victory. We cannot do it without Him, but through Him and because of Him we can do all things (Phil. 4:13).
When we allow women to walk out of our conferences and churches feeling better about themselves but less dependent on Christ, we are doing them a disservice. Women don't need fluff. We need the meaty Truth of the Gospel straight from the Word of God. We don't need messages that turn our focus toward ourselves. We need messages that pry our eyes away from our needs, our wants, our desires . . . and toward Jesus and His calling that we serve others.
Simply put, the message that every woman needs is the Gospel.
Without it, we are just spinning our wheels.
How about you? Will you join me in pointing women toward messages that matter?
Erin Davis loves young women. She founded Graffiti Ministries in response to her exposure to teen girls struggling in the areas of identity, self-esteem, and true beauty. Erin is the author of several books that apply God's Truth to big issues like beauty, purity, and motherhood.
www.TrueWoman.com. Used with permission.