In 2015, Barna Group did research on factors changing women’s relationship with churches. One of the factors researched was the amount of support women felt they received at church. Sixty percent of women felt no support or not much support at church. The lack of support women feel at church is a sad fact. I think we can increase the percent of women that feel support.
One way to increase support for women is to become more attentive to emotions—our emotions and other’s emotions. Emotions can create commotion deep within. Because we are embodied souls, God uses our emotions to let us know what is going on in our souls. God wants to sanctify us completely—spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess 5:23-24). Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is well known. There is such a thing as Emotional Quotient (EQ). IQ is fixed, but thankfully EQ is not fixed. There is hope because we can develop our EQ through God’s grace.
Elements of EQ are my emotions (being aware of my own emotions and managing them well through the Triune God) and other’s emotions (being aware of other’s emotions and interacting with them well through the Triune God). Over the past 5 years, I have been on a journey of becoming more aware of emotions and what God is speaking to me about through them. Being more aware of what the Triune God is trying to point out in my soul by being attentive to emotions has become a part of my life.
For example, one day my husband came home delighted that he was unexpectedly off from work for the weekend. I sensed my heart sinking because I had planned my own intensive to-do list while he was at work. As I inquired about his to-do list, butchering one of our goats was on his list. That was fine with me as I just help when it is time to package for the freezer. Later he announced his intent to make goat sausage. He found a YouTube of someone making sausage using goat intestine as the casing. I thought I could continue working on my to-do list, but then he called me to hold the chopstick in the intestine as he pulled the intestine inside out. Ugh! I am standing at the kitchen sink sensing anger (which sometimes comes from blocked goals) begin to rise. So I begin a conversation with the Lord. “Why am I feeling angry? Oh, it’s because I planned to do something else today. Hmmm…I see Lord. I am being selfish. You’re right Lord, my husband is wired to do new things and thrives doing them. Help me to enjoy this and how you have made my husband.” A great peace engulfed me as I continued holding the chopstick followed by getting my fingers involved in turning the intestine inside out. A few days later we were enjoying the fruit of our labor. But the real fruit was how God used my emotion of anger to show me my selfishness which led to His transforming work in my heart (2 Cor 3:18). He gave me peace and an enjoyment of helping my husband be who he is in Christ. My anger is really an indicator of lack of trust in God to provide for my to-do list to get done. WOW! To think the Triune God used making goat sausage from goat intestine to show me how desperately I need Him!
Our homes provide a place to grow in handling our emotions in a transforming way by God’s grace. As we become healthier in emotional aspects at home, we will grow in our ability to be more supportive of women.
How supported do those around you feel? Much? None? A little? How much attention do you give to emotions? Yours? Others? Today is a great day to start noticing emotions and engaging with the Triune God on how to handle the commotion in emotions. Through the process we are developing our EQs for the purpose of being transformed more into the image of Christ and building others up in Christ.
For your consideration: “Five Factors Changing Women’s Relationship with Churches,” Barna Group, June 25, 2015, https://www.barna.com/research/five-factors-changing-womens-relationship-with-churches/#.
Travis Bradberry’s and Jean Greaves’ book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, San Diego, CA: TalentSmart, 2009.
Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, New York: Bantam Dell, 1995.
 “Five Factors Changing Women’s Relationship with Churches,” Barna Group, June 25, 2015, accessed December 3, 2016, https://www.barna.com/research/five-factors-changing-womens-relationship-with-churches/#.