Many women I know are afraid of the mall. Of going out at night. Of living alone. Of walking in crowds. Of walking in deserted areas. They feel men’s eyes leering at them from every sector and fear that every stranger wants to rape them.
This mindset has been drilled into them: you must dress modestly to keep men from lusting and you are very vulnerable without a husband to lead you. So they have been taught.
During one Bible class discussion of helping the homeless, the girls were excused from helping if their safety was at risk.
This particular fear–this particular excuse–is not only supported but encouraged by many Christian leaders. Christian women, especially young Christian women, are shuffled away from dangerous service.
But Jesus calls every kind of person to his service. He did not give caveats. He did not give gender-specific commands. He says, “Follow me.”
Not, “Help the helpless unless you fear for your safety.”
Not, “Reach the lost unless you’re a scared woman.”
Following Jesus is the ultimate identity. Every other identity is encircled in it: Christian friend, Christian parent, Christian man. Christian woman.
And the Christian life is not one to be lived in fear. We are to be like Jesus, reaching into the darkest, dirtiest corners of humanity, where safety will undoubtedly be at risk, to spread the good news.
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
In this world we are like Jesus. This statement does not divide into one section for godly men and one section for godly women. Every believer must use his hands and feet for the sake of the gospel. We are told not to fear. We are told to be like Jesus.