Your heavenly Father has a beautiful plan for your life—one that no one else on earth can fulfill because you are unique. You are the only one of you that God has.
However, religious tradition and Jewish custom have been relentless in their suppression of women. Even those extraordinary women who have overcome female subjugation and have launched out and done exploits in Christ’s name have had little recorded about their triumphs of faith.
Most of the world today represses female initiative, restricting women to one level or another of servitude, subordination or outright female bondage. From Muslim nations, in which women must cover their faces and bodies with long flowing robes, to uncultured tribes, in which tradition relegates them to a status little above animals, the role of women is one of subservience and inferiority, and it should not be.
In the Christian church worldwide, traditional theology has extracted two statements by the apostle Paul out of their context and used them to establish a doctrinal absolute that consistently restricts women to silence in the church and prohibits them from initiative and leadership (1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11-12). But God never intended for women to sit on the sidelines while men did all the work of the ministry. He wants every woman to know that she is His special child, equal to anyone else in the world and designed by Him with unlimited potential.
My husband, T.L. Osborn, and I have spent more than five decades proclaiming the gospel to millions, face to face, in more than 70 nations. As a woman, my role has been unlimited, and yours can be too.
It has been my privilege to organize crusades, meet heads of state and other government officials, secure permits, arrange for contracts for stadiums and grounds, install equipment, negotiate with businesses for tons of literature and purchase thousands of evangelistic tracts. I have organized the cooperating pastors, set up workers’ institutes and convert schools, and presided over the crusades. While the crusades are taking place, I alternate with my husband, teaching and preaching daily in the meetings.
In addition to all of that, as corporate president of Osborn Foundation’s international world headquarters, I oversee all our international offices with our enormous worldwide missionary outreaches.
Being a woman does not alter my status as a believer, a disciple of Jesus Christ, His follower, His servant. What He said to all believers, He says to me—and to you also. His Great Commission applies to women in the same way it applies to men, and the power of the Holy Spirit in a woman’s life to accomplish it is no different than it is in a man’s life.
Eve, the first woman God created, has inspired many a discourse that has resulted in the institution of ironclad church doctrines that put women “in their place,” silent and nonassertive in God’s No. 1 job. But if a woman’s disobedience resulted in the fall of the human race, let’s not forget it was a woman’s obedience that resulted in the redemption of humankind.
God chose a woman as His channel for redemption, forgiveness and eternal salvation. A woman was used to bring joy, peace, love, comfort and fulfillment to the human race.
And don’t forget these other biblical facts related to women:
• Women were active in the ministry of Jesus (Luke 8:1-3).
• The last person at the cross was a woman (Mark 15:47).
• The first person at the tomb was a woman (John 20:1).
• The first person to proclaim the message of the resurrection was a woman (Matt. 28:8).
• The first preacher to the Jews was a woman (Luke 2:37).
• Women were at the historic prayer meeting following Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:14).
• Women were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost and were given power to be witnesses of Christ, the same as the men (Acts 2:4; 1:8).
• The first people to greet the Christian missionaries Paul and Silas in Europe were women (Acts 16:13).
• The first European convert was a woman (Acts 16:14).
Are these facts important? Do they have a message for us? Do they relate to women today? I believe they do.
There is no better example for us than Mary of Magdala, a demon-possessed businesswoman who came to Jesus, was delivered by Him, became His follower and supporter, assisted in the business arrangements, was at the cross, helped prepare His body for burial, was there when Jesus arose and was visited by Him, received His message, delivered it to the apostles, was filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and was an anointed messenger and witness of Jesus Christ in the early church.