Scripture is full of examples and stories supporting egalitarian theology. One of my favorite examples is the story of a brave woman named Abigail. This particular story is found in 1 Samuel 25:2-44. To summarize, David (who was set to be King) sent out a servant to ask Nabal, Abigail’s husband, if he and his men could feast at Nabal’s home. Nabal, being the arrogant man he was, said “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?…” and sent the servant back to David to reject him. Furious with the response, David set out to kill Nabal, but a wise servant told Abigail what had happened.
Of course in modern times, a good complementarian wife would have given gentle input before simply submitting to her husband even if she disagreed with his choice. But not Abigail. No, Abigail was brave, strong, and took action, “losing no time” in correcting her husband’s wrongdoing. The Bible even says that she specifically chose not to tell her husband about her plans. Abigail approached David by apologizing and calling her own husband a “fool.” She continued by urging David not to sin by shedding innocent blood. Because of Abigail’s guidance, David snapped out of his impulsive, violent behavior. In fact, he ended up praising Abigail for preventing him from sinning. The story of Abigail doesn’t give me the impression that “women are easily deceived,” as I have heard some claim.
Because Abigail knew that her identity lay solely in God, she didn’t have to sit under her “husband’s protection.” She sat directly under God!
I hear many complementarian men and women say that the husband is supposed to lead because “Adam wasn’t deceived; Eve was.” (Eve wasn’t the only one in the wrong, but that’s another blog post). In this story from 1 Samuel 25, we see two men who were deceived and made foolish decisions. Nabal was downright arrogant and David wanted to kill a man (and possibly his entire family), because he was rejected from inviting himself over. We also see a woman who approached an intense situation and acted quickly with wisdom and grace. We see a wealthy man and a godly King both make poor, ungodly choices, but the situation is resolved when a woman takes charge.
As women, we are capable of making decisions and taking charge. Not only are we capable, but we are called by God to do so! When God calls on a woman to preach and someone gets in the way of that woman, they are actually getting in the way of God’s will.
So if you’re praying for God’s will to be done and His kingdom to come, but you’re preventing women from leading, preaching, and making decisions, you don’t actually want God’s will, you want your own.