That comment upset a lot of the women in that place, but you know, she had probably seen a class that did do those things. I have heard of classes like that from others. I have also visited in places where the cotton candy fluff being touted as serious Bible study was enough to turn me off as well. Then I recently sat in a gathering of women where we were told that we probably had more interest in the teacher’s choice of makeup brand than in her qualifications to teach us. Shame on us if that is true, and double shame for perpetuating it.
Some shallow-minded women probably do sit on the pews in every meetinghouse—right beside men who spend more time talking sports, cars, and tools than they do Bible. Trivial pursuit has nothing to do with gender; it is just that each gender considers the others’ more trivial than theirs. Why we think that women are incapable of deep study and deep thought is a mystery. I can bear witness to more deep discussions on a Tuesday morning than I have ever heard on Sundays or Wednesdays in a class dominated by male conversation. It may be true that women are the practical ones who get things done, but that does not mean they cannot think!
There have always been Marys, willing to sit at the Lord’s feet. But just because Martha was busy serving—especially in John 12 where she was not chided by the Lord—does not mean she was not listening. If women couldn’t cook supper and hear what was going on across the room at the same time, the family would fall apart. At the death of her brother, Martha met Jesus with exactly the same words her sister did, Lord if you had been here, he would not have died, but she went on to add, and even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you, 11:21,22. She then discussed the final resurrection with him. Don’t tell me this woman was shallow because she knew how to cook.
When Paul says to Timothy, From a babe you have known the sacred scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Jesus Christ, 2 Tim 3:15, it wasn’t his Greek father who taught him that. It was his mother and grandmother, and they taught him about Christ from the Old Testament in such a way that all of them could recognize him when he came along, something most of the scribes, priests, rabbis, and Pharisees, learned men that they were, could not do.
In every place I have been, I have found a group of women who will spend hours studying the scriptures, who will dig deeply into subjects that confound even the great Biblical scholars. They not only do it, they eat it up. Once or twice, the growth of the women has finally inspired their men to study more, just so they wouldn’t be embarrassed.
Today, ladies, I challenge you to study—to dig deeply into subjects you may have never even heard of. Open your minds to ideas that may seem new and show God that you do care about Him and what He says, and not just the daily running of your homes. If people think we cannot handle the depth, it is up to us to show them otherwise. Don’t just get angry at the stereotypes, prove them false.
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38.