Here are some snippets that have helped me see the value and state of gender roles and created differences between men and women.
The state of men in many places:
In Seattle, the young men are, generally, pathetic. They are unlikely to go to church, get married, have children, or do much of anything else that smacks of being responsible. But they are known to be highly skilled at smoking pot, masturbating, playing video games, playing air guitar, free-loading, and having sex with their significant others… If there is any hope for a kingdom culture to be built in Seattle, getting the young men to undergo a complete cranial-rectal extraction is priority number one.
P.T. Forsyth says that hierarchy- the placing of one above another-not was meant not for privilege, prerogative, favoritism, or dominion, but for leadership. And leadership means service, sacrifice, help, uplifting, redemption, and a cross. Leadership is not meant to exploit, but to lift; not to exterminate, but to rescue; not to rend, but redeem; not to devour, but to carry; not for primacy, but for priority. It means, in the last analysis, obedience, service, even death, for the sake of others.
Can women still influence men for Christ in areas of deep passion and conviction?
It is obvious that we cannot and should not prohibit women from influencing men. For example, prayer is certainly a God-appointed means women should use to get men to where God wants them to be. Praying women exert far more power in this world than all political leaders put together. This kind of powerful influence is compounded immensely when one considers the degree to which the world is shaped and guided by the effects of how men and women are formed by their mothers. This influence is perhaps more effective than all the leadership of men put together
Women, then, have engaged in significant ministries, even if those ministries were unofficial. One thinks of Abigail in I Samuel 25. Abigail was not a prophetess and had no other official ministry that we know of. Nevertheless, her humble and gentle advice to David persuaded him not to kill Nabal. How many unrecorded events there must be of women persuading men, humbly and gently, to pursue a more righteous course! What a good model this story is for traditionalists who think being a leader means they must always know the truth and that their opinion is always right. David was certainly the leader in this account, but his humility is evident in that he listened to Abigail and was persuaded. For women, Abigail is a model of gentle and humble persuasion. There was no stridency or imperiousness about her manner. She was winsome, yet bold.
The unofficial ministries of women, therefore, are of great importance, and some men, by desiring leadership for its status and power as the Gentiles do (Mark 10:42ff.), have contributed to the idea that these ministries are insignificant. Such a secular concept of ministry has done great damage in Christ’s church.
– pg 210
There are so many ministries today in which a woman can advance the cause of Christ and righteousness! I will list a few here so that one can get some idea of the wide scope available: engaging in personal witnessing and joining campus organizations committed to spreading the gospel, ministering to the sick and elderly, fighting against abortion, fighting against pornography, helping with literacy, writing to government leaders to support the cause of righteousness, helping with disabled, aiding the poor, ministering in prisons, counseling and praying with the troubled and confused, supporting missionaries and the church financially, visiting newcomers to the church, extending hospitality to the lonely, using artistic gifts by ministering in music, the visual arts, drama, and theater, helping in youth ministry, etc.
Pg 61, John Piper. What is the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible
Thomas Schreiner. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Pg 223