Frances E. Willard Articles

What Does Jesus Say About Women?

Most clergy and laypeople alike would agree that Christ,
not the apostle Paul, is the source of all church authority and
power. So what do we find Jesus saying about women? How did He deal
with them?

In the presence of the multitude, He drew from Martha the
same testimony He required of His apostles, and she publicly replied,
almost in Peter’s very words, “Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the
Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:27,
KJV).

He declared His commission to the woman at the well of Samaria,
with an emphasis and a particularity hardly equalled in any of His
public addresses, and the testimony she gave to her fellow Samaritans
bore much fruit. What pastor would not rejoice to hear what the
converts said to the woman: “Now we believe, not because of thy saying:
for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the
Christ, the Saviour of the world” (4:42).

Your Calling Will Find You

Let no woman dream that the question of what career to
pursue will ever be adequately answered except by her own heart. No time
is more uselessly employed than in listening to advice on this subject.
Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, “The soul’s emphasis is always right,”
and I would add that the emphasis of any soul, the decision of any mind
except one’s own is far more likely to work disaster than to bring
satisfaction or success.

Yet every girl wants a career that will bring success. The
difficulty is in determining what that means, for to scarcely two
people in the world would it be represented by the same thing.

Don’t Bury Your Gifts

I believe the present era holds great opportunity for the daughters
of America. But in order to lay hold of this opportunity and obtain
success in this wonderful battle of life, there is one thing you must
do: Keep to your specialty, to the doing of the thing that you
accomplish with the most satisfaction to yourself and the most benefit
to those about you.

Keep to this, whether it be raising turnips or tunes;
painting screens or battle-pieces; studying political economy or
domestic receipts; for, as we read in a great author who has a genius
for common sense: “There is not one thing that men ought to do, there is
not one thing that ought to be done, which a women ought not to be
encouraged to do, if she has the capacity for doing it. For wherever
there is a gift, there is a prophecy pointing to its use, and a silent
command of God to use it.”

Living in God’s Presence

The heart of your life as a Christian is contained in
God’s words to Abraham, “Walk in My presence, and you will be perfect.”
God’s presence calms your spirit, gives you restful sleep and quiets
your mind. But you must give yourself completely to Him.

It does not take much time to love God, to renew yourself
in His presence and to adore Him in the depths of your heart. The
kingdom of God is within you, and nothing can disturb it.

When outward distractions and a wayward imagination
hinder you from having a peaceful inner life, then you must, by an act
of will, bring yourself before God. Not that you can force yourself
into God’s presence, but even the desire to come into God’s presence
is, in itself, a powerful aid to your spirit. Cultivate a pure and
upright intention toward God.

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