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Kassian to conference attendees: be wise, not weak-willed women

February 24, 2005

Christian women must be wise and not ‘weak-willed,’ CBMW council member Mary Kassian recently told more than 200 attendees of the Women’s Leadership Consultation Feb. 10-12 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS).

Christian women must be wise and not ‘weak-willed,’ CBMW council member Mary Kassian recently told more than 200 attendees of the Women’s Leadership Consultation Feb. 10-12 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS).

Drawing on 2 Tim 3:6-7, Kassian unpacked five weaknesses which often beset women, pointing out that the antidote is being a woman who is wise according to holy Scripture.

A noted author, theologian, and speaker, Kassian has written a number of books on women’s issues and biblical gender roles including The Feminist Gospel: The Movement to Unite Feminism with the Church and Women, Creation, and the Fall.

The Women’s Leadership Consultation is an annual event that alternates among the six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention. It seeks to equip women for greater service in the ministry of the local church. The conference began in 1990 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. It was last held at SBTS in 1999 and will move to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City next year.

The first weakness that often entraps a weak-willed woman is allowing access to worldly thoughts, ideas, philosophies, or people that have a corrosive affect on their lives.

Like the serpent in Eden, Kassian pointed out that evil seeks to slither into the lives of women in a number of ways. A Christian woman must watch vigilantly for those influences and keep them out, she said.

“[The apostle] Paul says a woman is [to be] alert, watchful,” Kassian said. “A wise woman stands guard and watches those access points in her life and keeps them closed off.

“A wise woman doesn’t allow ungodliness into her home. A wise woman stands guard and takes care to make sure that there aren’t those access points. Maybe it is exposure in terms of what’s coming into her home [through] movies or magazines or the Internet. Evil wants to worm its way in. A wise woman must keep it out.”

A second characteristic Kassian said typifies a weak-willed woman is vulnerability to ungodly emotional, relational, and spiritual influences.

Such a woman must replace things that threaten to exert a diabolical influence over her with those that will spur her toward godliness, she said.

“If you don’t start dealing with that negative influence and bring a positive influence into your life, a godly influence, then it is going to chip away long enough and it is going to do really significant damage,” Kassian said. “A wise woman understands that.”

A third attribute of weak-willed women is a propensity to carry baggage of guilt, shame, anger, and despair that weighs them down spiritually and emotionally. A wise woman realizes that God must deal with her baggage, Kassian said.

“We are just packed down and overwhelmed with so much baggage and the Lord says to women in this passage (2 Tim. 3:6-7) that, to be wise, you’ve got to start dealing with that baggage,” she said.

“Weak-willed women have lots of baggage and a wise woman takes it before the Lord and starts dealing with it.”

The fourth weakness that confronts such women is that they are easily swayed by evil desires. To women, Kassian said, worldly affections are like the Sirens of Greek mythology–women are often drawn irresistibly by the seemingly beautiful music of the world’s notions of beauty, power, and romantic relationships.

Once a woman becomes entranced by the world’s harmonies, her affections become misplaced, Kassian said. The wise woman finds genuine beauty, power and relational fulfillment by looking away from the world and locking her gaze upon the supreme perfections found in Christ alone, she said.

“Most of our problem with sin is the problem with desire, the problem with the heart,” she said.

“The way that you are going to be able to deal with sin in your life is by replacing what you see as the beauty of sin…with a greater beauty and that is the beauty of Christ. We are drawn toward beauty as women. We are drawn toward that sweet song, and Jesus wants us to be drawn towards Him and to listen to His Holy Spirit.”

Finally, Kassian said weak-willed women don’t often follow through on what they know to be right and true. These women are weak in their convictions, she said. To be a wise women, one must pray that God will apply the truths of Scripture to their hearts in such a way that both their minds and emotions are transformed to walk in lock-step with the wisdom of God.

“Wise women allow the truth of God to change them,” Kassian said. “They are able to grab hold of it (Scripture) and say ‘I don’t totally understand it, but Jesus use it to change my heart and to change my life. I want to be different tomorrow than I am today. Change me. Help me apply this truth to my life.’ That’s what a woman of wisdom does.”

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