Home christian living John Piper: A Challenge to Women

John Piper: A Challenge to Women

by Kelly Crawford

John Piper posted a 15-point “Challenge to Women” (as well as a list of potential ministry opportunities) that was truly challenging to me.  Oh that we would have a vast army of women realize their potential for the Kingdom! Very powerful.  Here are two of them, and I would encourage you to go and read the rest.  This is refrigerator worthy.

Don’t forget to come back and share your thoughts!

#11.  “That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God’s business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.”

#13.  “That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.”

Read the rest…

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I Live in an Antbed February 8, 2011 - 10:05 am

That is such a beautiful list and casts a powerful vision. It is so very helpful for women to truly understand their choices. When they read that list, they can see that to “settle” for a career (if the Lord has called them elsewhere) is a “step down” from the fullness offered them through the design of God for their ministry.

Jen P. February 8, 2011 - 6:32 pm

I remember reading and printing out this list quite a while ago. Thank you, Kelly, for reminding me of its existence.

Rebekah February 9, 2011 - 1:26 pm

I don’t entirely agree. It is just as wrong to assume that it is better not to have a career as it is to assume it’s better to have one. I am not a feminist by far, but I am resolutely against the opinion that women solely belong in the home and local community. God has just as many places for us to live in His Spirit at the workplace as he does as home, just as many ‘children’ for us to lead as we have blood-children.

I myself feel called to be a therapist, to use my career as a stepping point to go to india or europe and help with Freedom Firm, an organization bent of stopping the sex slave trade. Eventually, I want to use my experience to begin something very similar to that in the US. I don’t see that as settling for a career, nor as an obstacle to the work I can do in my home, through my children, and in my local community.

Word Warrior February 9, 2011 - 3:37 pm


Be aware that Piper wasn’t making a blanket statement of, “a woman can never, should never, do anything outside the home and community”. He WAS however, emphasizing a Scriptural mandate that too many believers have dismissed. You said:

“It is just as wrong to assume that it is better not to have a career as it is to assume it’s better to have one.”

By this statement, you must dismiss the biblical admonitions of Scripture. That is, Scripture is clear that a woman’s first and most important job is her home–her husband and her children. And after that her next important job is caring for the saints and the needy.

Now that’s a tall order to fill. So while the Bible doesn’t say “thou shalt not have a career”, there is no mistake that the Bible doesn’t condone any other work UNTIL she has first filled her prescribed profession.

In fact, it was so important that in the NT church, a widow was not to be considered for assistance by the church unless she had, “brought up children, if she had lodged strangers, if she had washed the saints’ feet, if she had relieved the afflicted, if she had diligently followed every good work.”

So, by default, it’s a pretty hefty argument. Can she do all these things first and still have a full-time career? I don’t know. Are there different seasons where she may have more time to devote to work outside her home and community? I think so. But she must be careful–very careful not to neglect the first things for other good things that aren’t hers in her season.

Hope that makes sense.

Mrs. S February 9, 2011 - 2:02 pm

I really like number 11. I have been feeling down about being a very pregnant mama/homemaker….like there were better things I could be doing with my time and not really seeing how I am useful in God’s kingdom. God showed me last night that humble service is His best for my life and I woke up so happy today.

Kelly L February 9, 2011 - 7:32 pm

I really enjoyed these. Thanks.

Jenny S February 11, 2011 - 3:16 pm

In my true, sometimes painful search for God’s desire for my family, I sought the advice of a pastor on the subject of birth control. He referred me to Piper’s Desiring God website, in particular the article “Does the Bible Permit Birth Control?” from 2006. That pastor’s flippancy, that website, and another I was referred to, made me physically shaky and ill for days. The arguments for birth control ran along the lines of, “If you want to minister in a ‘more important’ way, feel free to use birth control”, and “If God really wants you to have kids, He’ll work through the birth control”. They compared not using birth control to a farmer not planting, but trusting blindly that God would use the wind and seeds to give the farmer the crop He wanted the farmer to have, or a family waiting for food to drop from the sky, or not cutting our hair. He charges families not using BC “as “going beyond our means” and being irresponsible and not using wisdom to “regulate and direct creation”.
I do not mean to take away from your post, or some beautiful thoughts on what we as women, or Christians, should strive for, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of other views put forth on that site, that have been hurtful and confusing to me.
I am so excited for your family and upcoming birth, and am inspired by your model of motherhood and feminine strength. Thank you for all your encouragement and faith!

Tracy February 11, 2011 - 6:51 pm

Kelly, Could you follow up on this? I am always curious on how to approach people/websites who/that can say truth in one breath and then in another breath have said other things that are so against God’s word. We highly respect Piper. Was this a mistake? I have not seen the article…

Word Warrior February 11, 2011 - 6:57 pm

This is the article I’m most familiar with by Piper…I will post the link for now and then follow up when I have time, with my thoughts on it.

Does the Bible Permit Birth Control

Jennifer February 12, 2011 - 7:30 pm

I wish Piper wouldn’t imply that women need to act as though men are their leaders in every relationship-sounds too much like one of the many subordinate roles promoted for women last “Woman” conference. A lot of the other advice is cool.


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