I was talking to my daughter the other day about a parenting course she is doing. She talked about the role of ‘Disney’ in propagating the lie that looks and romantic relationship define who a woman is. In their cartoons and childrens stories they have become world leaders in commercializing rejection. Every heroine is thin, beautiful, well dressed and sees her future as being realised in a relationship with a hero that rivals her in his looks and style. Yet ‘Disney’ is not alone, rejection is everywhere we look in the media, from waspishly thin and young models in fashion magazines to the weekly tabloid magazines and their obsession with so called ‘stars’ and their figures and looks.

With one hand they tell us to be unique, to be who we are and on the other hand tell us that who we are is not enough. The world commercializes and sells rejection; they tell us you need to wear this, own this or look like this to be acceptable. All the time our identity, sense of well being and even health is being stolen and destroyed because of this rejection.

But there is good news and that is this – God freely gives accceptance and value to everyone regardless of gender, age, size, looks or ability .

God’s love, acceptance and grace is central to the good news of the gospel. And it really is good news for women when we walk in his grace. We stand side by side with man, equal yet different. Paul is very clear on this although religion would tell us otherwise (for info on teaching on this see the bottom of this article). Paul, the pharisee of pharisees who, before his encounter with Christ, everyday would have said with pride that he was glad he was not born a slave, gentile or woman. Yet in coming to understand God’s love and grace Paul’s mind was renewed and he did a 180 degree turn stating that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female. And for Paul this was not mere rhetoric but heart-felt belief.

I look on amazed sometimes at the church which continues to propagate not only the worlds standards concerning women but also the ‘laws’ view of women. I have no problem with women wanting to look their best and taking pride in their appearance, I love fashion and make up and love seeing a woman hold her head up high because she knows she looks great. But I do have a problem with a Christianity that says a woman has to weigh a certain amount or look a certain way to be able to be a suitable minister of the gospel. I have seen women (and men) told they cannot minister or worship lead or do some other form of ministry because they are too old, too fat or had some other worldly standard applied to them. Rejection is in many ways just as rampant for women ( and to a lesser degree for men) in the church as it is in the world. Under the law and in religious Christianity women are all too clearly told that they are less than and not enough. Under law we are invited from one form of rejection and bondage (in the world) into yet another form of rejection and bondage (in the church).

As a woman, only as we embrace and walk in God’s grace do we truly experience and understand the freedom we have been given. When you begin to understand what Jesus did and what God’s grace gives women you realise what a glorious freedom you have come into. Accepted and loved as you are with no expectations or fear of rejection by Him ever. Oh, how your heart sings and your spirit jumps for joy when you realise this. And in your being free and being who you were created to be you call others into freedom and acceptance too. I love the grace of God and the freedom it brings me as a human and as a woman. Accepted and loved just as I am, now that is good news!

For more teaching on how God sees women get my teaching “Strong by Design” from our website here.

For some good teaching on ‘Grace’ check out these books on our website – they’ll be up on the website early next week if we don’t sell them all this weekend at our Outrageous Grace religious detox event. If we have run out of copies you can get them from here

“Living In The Grace Of God” – Rob Rufus

“Extra Virgin Grace” – Ryan Rufus

“So You Think Your Mind Is Renewed” – Cornel Marais