Wise up Christian girls of all ages!
One of the many encouraging features of twenty-first-century British evangelicalism has been the growth of women’s conventions. These conventions have been promoting models of biblical womanhood. They have also been demonstrations of evangelical unity as organising committees and speakers have been representative of a number of evangelical church groupings. But the most encouraging feature of these conventions, in my view, is the span of the age groups represented among those attending – a real Titus 2 cameo.
We have a long way to go before we can emulate the women’s conferences in the USA, such as the Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference and we are grateful for the papers, blogs and books that come out of these gatherings.
One well-known speaker and author at this conference in Florida earlier this year was Mary Kassian, professor of women’s studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mary Kassian is a complementarian (believing that men and women are created equal but have complementary roles in home and church). She writes for the academic person in her book The Feminist Mistake, but also engages the popular market in Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild.
Rooted in the book of Proverbs, Kassian’s book appeals to those in their twenties and thirties and challenges features of contemporary culture that are influencing young women today. She assumes that godly older women who ‘love the Word and have figured out how to get life right’ are mentoring the younger women in their churches, in Titus 2 fashion, and so her book is useful across the ages. Whether our church structures, with our predilection to segregate age groups, enable this cross-fertilisation of ideas from one generation of women to another begs another question!
Mary Kassian longs for women to be on the receiving end of godly counsel from wiser older women. She is so keen for this to happen that in partnership with Nancy Leigh De Moss (a single woman) she has produced a workbook on these issues. This is a glossy production, packed with information and study material that would keep a study group or book group occupied for many a month, far beyond the eight week aim. True Woman 101 is published by Moody Publishers.
If you are still reading this article, whatever your age group, how about buying one or both of these books? Or put them on your birthday list, or purchase them for your daughters, grand-daughters or nieces?
Why not embrace Mary Kassian’s vision of the older women and the younger women getting together over a coffee and talking about the things of God? And when you get together, either in twos or in small groups, how about sharing your thoughts on the following issues? (The questions have been inspired by reading Kassian’s work.)
- How do you ensure that Jesus occupies the first place in your heart?
- What female role models in Scripture inspire you and why?
- What female role models in Christian history challenge you, and how?
- Share your top tip for being ‘in the world but not of it’?
- What do you think about Mary Kassian’s view that Christian women’s dress should ‘fit in’ with being a child of God? What does this mean in practice?
- How do you seek to be a positive influence on the women in your family and church fellowship?
- What do you think 1 Peter 3:4-6 is saying to Christian women today?
- How can we pray for each other?
A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov. 31:30).
Sheila Stephen is part-time lecturer in Women’s Studies at WEST, Bridgend. This resource may be photocopied.
 Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010), p.43.