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DO THE DUTIES OF CHRISTIAN WOMEN CONFLICT?
AS BECOMETH WOMEN PROFESSING
GODLINESS. NO. 2.
DO THE DUTIES OF CHRISTIAN WOMEN
Our next question, as to whether the
duties of Christian women as probationary
members of the church of Christ,
conflict with their duties in the various
natural relationships in which they find
themselves--as wives, mothers, daughters,
sisters, neighbors and friends--is one of
very great importance. But let us first
notice what our duties and responsibilities
are, in the anointed body.
Like our brethren, we are told that "we
are all called in one hope of our calling;"
that we are "new creatures in Christ
Jesus;" that we are "all one in Christ;"
and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor
Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there
is neither male nor female." (Gal. 3:28.)
And the Prophet Isaiah (61:1,2; 2 Cor. 6:1)
shows, that all the anointed ones are
anointed to preach the gospel--the good
tidings of redemption and restitution, and
the special high calling and privilege of the
Gospel age, to all who have an ear to hear.
Our commission is plain, therefore, and
is the very same under which our brethren
go forth. And if we ignore it and excuse
ourselves, we are certainly slothful
servants, proving our unworthiness of the
high position to which we are called.
The harvest field and the harvest work are
before us; and lo, the fields are white,
the harvest is great, and the laborers are
few, comparatively, though many precious
saints are devoting themselves to the
The harvest work is not the training of
and caring for our families, nor the instructing
of the worldly, but it is to seek
out the saints already consecrated to God
and of meek and lowly spirit, and to acquaint
them with the plan of God more
perfectly; that as they study it in outline
and detail they may discover the blessed
truth, that it is now time to lift up their
heads and rejoice, knowing that their deliverance
draweth nigh; and that as they
more freely receive the truth and partake
of its spirit, they may make ready to receive
the King in his beauty, and to be
united to him as his glorious bride.
This is a work in which every consecrated
one should be engaged to the extent
of ability. And to do so, if we
have the spirit of the Master, that is if
we have the work at heart as he has it,
we will be willing to sacrifice other engagements
to accomplish it, and will learn
to so bend and turn and manage our earthly
affairs as to make them hinder this first
and most important work, as little as possible.
This effort to so manage the earthly
affairs, and take full cognizance of
our talents and apply them to the best
advantage in the interests of the great
harvest work, is part of the privilege and
duty of every steward in the Lord's service.
And it is because the Lord desired
us to do this that he called us his
stewards. He would have us as wise and
faithful stewards study to show ourselves
approved unto him--study our abilities,
circumstances and opportunities after we
have learned his will, that to the extent
of our ability, we may accomplish it.
The duties of the earthly and the
heavenly relationships, do not however,
conflict. Duties never conflict, though
sometimes in our perplexity to discover
the exact line of duty, they may seem to.
The Scriptures clearly explain, that no
matter what may be the circumstances in
which we are placed, when called to be the
bride of Christ, it will be possible to
make our calling and election sure. The
straight and narrow path will be made
very plain no matter how rugged. If you
are called being a servant, you need not
ignore the duties and responsibilities of a
servant, or esteem yourself too highly to
meet a servants obligations. Fulfill them
with dignity and grace; not with eye-service
as men-pleasers, but with singleness
of heart as unto the Lord.--Eph. 6:5-8.
So also, art thou called being a mother,
do not count yourself released from the
duties and obligations already incurred,
or perform them with the least carelessness
or indifference. Study God's methods,
plans and precepts, and do your best in
applying them to the training of your
children, with the single object of glorifying
God by training them up to honor
and serve and praise him.
Beyond your own family extend your
influence for the truth as far as your talents
and opportunities will permit, among
neighbors and friends and relatives--by
word and deed and example, by letters or
by printed matter, and by training your
children in the love and service of God,
to co-operate with you in his work, and
to look forward to the good time coming
[R1083 : page 6] when full grown, they can engage in it
Yet, in consideration of the great harvest
work, and of the fact that the time
is short for its accomplishment (See 1 Cor. 7:29;
also TOWER of Feb. '87), earthly
cares and responsibilities not yet incurred should be regarded as so many hindrances
to the great work to which time and talent
are already consecrated. And no entanglements
of an earthly character which
are likely to hinder or retard our usefulness
in the great special work of the hour
should be entered into.
The Apostle says, "Let every man [or
woman] abide in the same calling wherein
he was called," whether the position be that
of husband, or wife, or mother, or servant.
And though we serve our families or our
fellowmen, even more faithfully than before,
yet we may remember that "he that is
called in the Lord, being a servant, is the
Lord's freeman, and likewise also he that
is called, being free, is Christ's servant."
All service, in whatever capacity should
be rendered unto the Lord--that is with
the single desire and effort to please him.
Ye are brought with a price; be not ye
the servants of men--serving with eye-service
as men-pleasers.--1 Cor. 7:20-24.
However, the Apostle shows (verse 21),
that to remain in the very same position
in which we were called, is not always obligatory.
If the nature of the contract
be such that it can be broken, or in some
degree compromised, and that to the
advantage of the Lord's work, then it
should be done.--"If thou mayest be
made free, use it rather." The marriage
contract being one of peculiar sanctity,
and solemnly entered upon for life, may
never be broken because you see better
opportunities for service in other directions
--"Art thou bound unto a wife [or
a husband]? seek not to be loosed."
(verse 27) Yet the Christian husband or
wife should not be distressed if, because
of his or her fidelity to the Lord, the unchristian
partner depart:--"Let not the
wife depart from her husband. But if she
depart [if it must necessarily be so] let
her remain unmarried, or be reconciled
to her husband: and let not the husband
put away his wife....If any brother
hath a wife that believeth not, and she be
pleased to dwell with him, let him not
put her away. And the woman which
hath a husband that believeth not, and if
he be pleased to dwell with her, let her
not leave him....But if the unbelieving
depart, let him depart. A brother or
sister is not under bondage in such cases:
but God hath called us to peace."--
1 Cor. 7:10-15.
How very plainly the course of the
called ones who are already entangled,
by what sometimes proves to be one of
the most detrimental hindrances, is thus
mapped out, while those not so entangled,
are warned not to be unequally yoked together
with unbelievers. In other words,
we are taught to do the best we can in
whatever circumstances we find ourselves
when called, unless the circumstances are
such as we can control and improve. And
we are assured that not the measure of our
actual service, but of our faithfulness in
the little or great opportunities afforded
us, will be the measure of our acceptableness,
and worthiness of the Lord's
The parental tie is another which can
never be broken, nor its duties and obligations
disregarded until the children
[R1084 : page 6] have reached maturity. And even then
parental interest, counsel, etc., should
not be deemed unnecessary. These duties,
therefore, the Lord would have us
do--not as unto them, to please them, or
their friends, or your friends, or the world
in general--but as unto him.
We conclude, therefore, that the real duties
of Christian women in the various
relationships wherein they find themselves
when called, do not conflict with other
duties of the higher work. God does
not expect impossibilities of any, but he
does expect great and studious faithfulness
on the part of all, especially of those
called to be joint-heirs with Christ.
MRS. C. T. R.