STARTING A CONVERSATION ON Forgotten Topics
With the presents and the semester both getting wrapped up, I wandered through my dorm. This semester, a precious group of freshman moved in several doors down from me. In an attempt to avoid homework, I sat down on my hall with this group of girls, trading jokes, moping about tests, and basking in fellowship. Eventually, I asked them, as women, what faith-based lessons they wanted to learn more about?
“Not journaling!” said one girl adamantly. I laughed out loud. We girls have seen a massive push for journaling in Christian communities.
“Not dating,” stated another girl. Young women are starving for other lessons besides relationship sermons.
“Not modesty.” Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes...lipsticks, leggings, and lingerie. I’m not going to begin here.
Overall frustration was expressed, saying that the majority of faith-building materials presented to women are concerned only with these (and similar) subjects. We’ll look at topics often forgotten, look at needy areas the girls mentioned, and ways you can take action. What do you want to know more about?
“Women in theology,” Stated one student resolutely. As a woman, I find this particularly interesting (roles of women in church, ministry, missions, etc.). The most important woman in theology I can implore you to start with is yourself. Become educated as a woman who loves Jesus. Did angels ever have free will? Why was Ham cursed so severely? If you need somewhere to start, authors I’ve enjoyed in college include Wayne Grudem, Douglas Moo, Gordon Wenham, and philosopher Alvin Plantinga. Try developing your views. They might even change.
Another woman on my hall spoke up, “human trafficking.” There are a number of ways you can get involved. A long-term way to help is to develop skills in counseling and care. Moody Bible Institute has a program for Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation. Another way to be directly involved in the field is to work with organizations devoted to ministering to people trapped in various forms of human trafficking. Also, with the holidays in full swing, try buying from organizations that fight to end modern day slavery. If you don’t know of any, start with Women at Risk, International (WAR); they sell necklaces, spa items, rings, and more made by and for the benefit of those who need healing from such harsh situations.
An additional area that urgently needs our attention is ministry to individuals with special needs. Stories of abuse, ostracism, and neglect are abounding in the lives of individuals with disabilities, whether in group homes or dysfunctional families. Personally, my favorite ministry for such people is Camp Joy (with Christian Education Ministries). Most summers, I’ve been blessed to work with this radiant group. As a counselor, you’re paired one-on-one with a camper with special needs. The angels I’ve met at these camps have shown me what heaven’s joy will look like one day. Nothing compares to it.
So, as we sat under the Christmas lights in the dorms, we recognized that it was time to expand our horizons. It wasn’t that the topics above (journaling, dating, and modesty) were irrelevant; just that other vital areas on our hearts (theology and women, human trafficking, special needs ministry, and a myriad more not mentioned here) are being ignored or seldom mentioned. These girls were eager to learn more. I’m writing this blog to start the conversation in your own life and to help you remember topics and people that are forgotten. In closing, take a quiet moment to reflect on the verses below, in light of the issues we’ve discussed. Dear girl, I pray you’ll grow where the Lord has placed you, with the power of the blood of Christ pumping in the veins of your ministry.
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' - Matthew 25:40
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. - 1 Peter 3:15.
Ireland Kost // @little.island
A junior at Columbia International University, Ireland E. Kost is double majoring in Teacher Education and Bible with a minor in Music. When she isn't studying, you might catch her dancing, drawing, sipping chai tea, or writing short stories (past midnight) for everyone. Professionally, Ireland works in the admissions office at CIU, promoting her school, planning events, and recruiting students. She is thrilled to be writing as a Delight blog contributor this season while developing as an author. Additionally, Ireland choregraphs and teachers ballet for children. She's a native of sunny Columbia, South Carolina.