A phenomenal woman has three powers – she’s industrious, feminine and submissive – and such women were encouraged to understand the power they possess and to be fearless with it.
The advice by Bahamas Harvest Church (BHC) pastor Mario Moxey during Sunday service was the perfect set up for the women of the church, ahead of their Women’s Conference which will be held under the theme “Graced for All Seasons: She’s Fashioned by God”, designed to empower women with strategies and skills to victoriously conquer all seasons of their lives, according to organizers, realizing that all women are phenomenal – fashioned by God, and graced for all seasons.
The conference will be held May 17-19 with sessions at both the west and east campuses.
During the upcoming conference, the church senior pastor will address the topic “Grace by all seasons: she’s fashioned by God”, while Michelle McKinney Hammond will speak to the power of being a woman during Friday’s opening session at the west campus beginning at 7 p.m.
Pastor Erika Moxey takes over on Saturday with sessions again at the west campus, speaking to the topic “Step back, it’s a bigger picture”; followed by Apostle Fanchon Braynen, who will tackle the topic “Stir up the gifts within”; with McKinney Hammond returning to speak woman-to-woman; and Keshelle Davis speaking on “Vision board planning 101”, all in the general session which starts at 9 a.m.
Breakout sessions will feature topics such as “Balancing all facets of life” by Simmone Bowe; “Money management 101” by Michelle Gibson; “Fit and vital at any age” by Shantalasha Knowles; “What to do until love finds you” by McKinney Hammond; “The praying wife” by Ursula Rolle; and “Divorcees and widows mending their broken hearts” by Reverend Angela Palacious.
The conference will culminate on Sunday with a worship experience at the east and west campuses, with McKinney Hammond speaking to the topic “I went right, but he went left”.
But Moxey set up the conference perfectly as he spoke to the phenomenal women in his congregation and their powers, which he said include: industry, which he said speaks to their workload; femininity, which he said speaks to their womanhood; and submission, which he said speaks to their wife life.
The power of industry
“Genesis 2: says, ‘And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.’’ The power of industry speaks to her workload. The word helper means the support, someone to come alongside you to help you through a particular situation or project, to support you with strength that you don’t have on your own at that particular moment, so you lean on their strength, you lean on their wisdom.”
Moxey said women were fashioned to see a problem and then step into the problem and help bring about a long-term solution. He said they were designed by God to be temporary helpers and not long-term dependency. But he says from Genesis 2 when God says he will make Adam a helper, and then looking to Proverbs 31 he said somehow the temporary situation became a full-time occupation.
“In Proverbs 31:15 it says, and I love this particular passage – it says, ‘She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.’ So, she’s doing two things – she’s getting up really early before everyone else, and she’s preparing for her household and she’s preparing for her business.”
With the female doing all that work, Moxey said that brought up the idea of life balance for him. He told the congregation that balance is a myth, and there is no such thing as balance. And that in life people do and will always have tensions, which they have to learn to manage.
“We can’t resolve tension, so the tensions exist – not to be resolved, tensions are there so that we can manage them; and we find that we manage them. We all have tensions and we all have the same concerns, and the same issues related to work and home life – and it’s not a matter of which is important. We know that our families are important, more important than anything else, but we still have to work in order to support our families, and that’s where the tension comes in.”
The pastor reminded them that he’s a husband, father and pastor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but that he only does those things during some parts of the day and that there are times when he’s at work and a crisis emerges at home and he has to leave work to pay attention to that, and vice versa – a crisis at work which means he may have to leave home to go and deal with it. He said that’s the tension that most people have to learn to manage, but they should be wise in doing so.
He reminded them that women by nature tend to be diligent and hardworking, but that the man is supposed to lead and provide for his family, which he said many men do well, but he reminded them that Proverbs 31 speaks to the partnership that should be in place for a husband and wife. Moxey said even though a man leads and support his family, he doesn’t do it all by himself.
Using he and his wife as an example, he spoke to the house that they live in, which he said they got because of her. He said he had a plan, and knew that they were going to get a house, but he just didn’t know quite what to do. He said Erika helped him by guiding him – asking the questions that needed to be asked, and putting him on the right course. He said once she did that, he took off – and then he also got all the credit.
He encouraged the wives to not compete with their husbands, but to rather complement them, work alongside them and help them out. He said he doesn’t know everything; sometimes he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know everything, “so you (wives) got to be wise with how you do that”, he said.
“She drew it out of me, and guided me. I needed that temporary assistance. I needed that temporary light at the end of the tunnel. I needed that temporary guidance. That’s how partnership works.”
He said God fashioned women to be industrious, knowing that it would be impossible for the world to advance without both agendas working together in harmony.
The power of femininity
Referencing the Song of Solomon and in no way meant to objectify women, he reminded them that the power of femininity speaks to womanhood. Noting the differences between a male and female, and contrary to the feminist movement, he said women should be treated differently than men.
“I will not give up my seat for another man. I won’t go out of my way to open a door for another man, but I do that all the time for women. So, I’m definitely going to be treating women differently than I treat men.”
Looking at the waves of feminism in the western world over the years, he spoke to the first wave that took place in the 1840s through 1920s during the Suffrage Movement and political equality for white women; the second wave, he said, was the 1960s through 1980s which addressed the advancement of social and cultural inequalities, addressing sexual, family and workplace issues, and drawing attention to things such as domestic violence and marital rape and further established crisis centers for rape and domestic violence; the third wave of feminism he addressed was from the 1990s up to present day, which he said addresses financial, social and cultural inequalities but is also focused on reproductive rights, in particular the right for abortion, as well as the redefining of gender roles in society – both of which he said he does not agree with.
“I do not believe in abortion, and I don’t believe that gender roles should be redefined,” said the BHC pastor.
He noted to the congregation the biblical definition of femininity, which he said sometimes conflicts with what society thinks. And he said what society thinks has been shaped by the third wave feminist movement.
“Being feminine is not about wearing nail extensions or high heels or dresses or makeup or not liking sporting activities or outdoor activities or having a disinterest in cars or sports and having a fear of insects – that has nothing to do with femininity – those are stereotypes. Femininity, from a biblical perspective, is rooted in how God created a woman – outwardly physical and biological composition.”
He reminded them that their breasts serve several functions – that they’re attractive to men and functional because they also feed their babies. And that another unique feature of a woman’s anatomy is her womb which is on the inside and that women were gifted the responsibility of childbirth, an assignment that he said was way too important for a man to be trusted with. Moxey said women were also created inwardly spiritual with a maternal constitution that is different than that of a man.
“Peter says, don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes – you should clothe yourself instead with beauty that comes from within – the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God and so precious to men. It’s what’s on the inside. Peter didn’t say that a woman shouldn’t be outwardly beautiful. The point he’s making is more focus and tension should be placed on what’s on the inside.”
He noted that femininity is innate in women early on and spoke to the maternal instincts exhibited by five and six-year-olds when they play with their dolls.
“It’s something on the inside of a woman – that femininity. She is a nurturer by nature. Wherever you are, your presence is meant to make people feel at home.”
Speaking to a three-week trip to China he and his wife recently returned from, he informed his members that he “wasn’t missing them like that” because his wife was with him. And that wherever she is, he’s okay, because for him, she’s home.
“Wherever she lays her head, I’m good. Now if you see she didn’t go on that trip – dog eat my lunch. That would have been the most miserable… I wouldn’t have liked y’all…y’all send me down to China and I had to go.”
He told the female members that home is where they are, and not a place, or a house, or the settlement they came from. And that their innate femininity is the glue that holds things together, and anchors their family.
For those women that may have had mastectomies or hysterectomies, he told them that the removal of their breasts, or the taking out of their womb in no way diminished their womanhood or their femininity. He reminded them that breasts do not make the woman and that the woman makes the breasts.
“You don’t need breasts and you don’t need a womb to be feminine, or to be a phenomenal woman – because that’s who you are. Don’t allow the absence of either of those or both of those to make you feel less than a woman because you’re not less than a woman. You are not less feminine if you’re single. You’re not less feminine if you’re married and don’t have any children or are unable to bear children. You’re just as much woman in form and in spirit as the woman who has been married for 20 years and has 20 children. You are hard-wired by design to be nurturing. You are fashioned by God to be feminine whether you have a husband or don’t have a husband, whether you have biological children or don’t have biological children – you are a phenomenal woman, so understand the power of your femininity.”
The power of submission
Moxey also encouraged the wives to submit to their husbands in everything. He said in Ephesians that Paul says submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, he said this meant submitting to their husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He said the power of submission speaks to her wife life.
His urging of wives to submit was met by a few cringes, which he said could be attributed to pervasive feminist philosophy which has crept into the hearts and minds of today’s women. And he said he expected that to happen when he mentioned the word submission, and that he fully understood why they did – and that they find the idea of submission to be repulsive because they may have had a bad experience in their past with a man who abused his authority over their life; or they may have had an experience with a father who may not have abused them, but did not set a great example and was not the right kind of role model. But he said they should not let the negative experiences turn them off from the position of power that they possess in submitting. And he told the women that they possess a power in submission.
“Peter says you can be made beautiful. He said they put their trust in God, and they accepted the authority of their husbands. You are daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. Peter isn’t teaching that women are subservient, or that they are lesser than men in any way. God fashioned a woman to be responsive to male headship – first to their fathers and then to their spouses,” he said.
He cautioned the men as fathers to be careful of how they live their life because they weren’t just living for themselves, but for their children, and their daughters were watching them.
“Your daughters first learn submission by their fathers and then second by their spouse,” said Moxey.
“James says this, ‘And he gives grace generously to the humble.’ You are grace for all seasons, because you are humble. James says humble yourselves before God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. God gives grace to the humble and he gives you the courage to resist the devil. By submitting to God, we demonstrate that God is our head, that we belong to God. Women, when you submit, you’re showing that you belong to God; when you don’t submit, you’re showing that you belong to the devil.”
The BHC pastor said submission is a difficult idea for many mainly because they think it means humiliation and defeat, and that it certainly does when submission is forced and under duress. He said that’s not what submission is about.
“When submission is voluntarily done and it’s an act of service, there’s a willingness to submit, it is a beautiful, strong, and joyful experience. Submission means you’re choosing to agree that a higher authority has the right to tell you what to do – and this happens every day. For every one of you that has a job, you’re choosing to submit. If you’ve ever had surgery then you’re choosing to submit yourself under a surgeon. If you’ve ever made marriage vows, you’re choosing to submit.”
Moxey said submission should be a two-way matter and should be mutual. He spoke to his wife submitting to him, and the fact that he also submits to his wife.
He said God modeled submission for his people.
“God the son submits to the father, the Holy Spirit honors the Son, the father says the Son has everything – so we see this mutual submission. In the same way wives should submit to their husbands and in turn, the husbands should love their wives sacrificially just as Christ loves the church and be willing to give himself for the church – that’s submission.”
Moxey said godly submission is all about being fearless in the way people love each other. He said a wife, when she submits, does not fear what her husband might do, and in a romantic relationship with a husband and wife she can be pursued, wooed, loved and treasured. He said being loved – wooed and treasured – is something that most women yearn to feel, and he said that’s also part of submission.
He encouraged women to understand the power that they possess when they submit and to be fearless with it.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.