Be Bold for Each Other

International Women's Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day! The organization designated #BeBoldForChange as the campaign theme of 2017. Being of strong faith and a woman of God, I understood that my value as a human being is the same of anyone in this world. It’s now ingrained in me that I was a good enough reason for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, and a recipient like everyone else of the opportunity for redemption. My task to the day I die is to help my girls embrace that truth and make my boys be champion advocates of that innate universality. And hope that when it’s their turn to do so, they’ll pass on that legacy to their children, too. #BetheChange

My local church is celebrating the Women’s Day this month via a breakfast gathering of women. The event’s theme touches the basic psychological need of belongingness. The organizers are highlighting the affair with an invite that says, “Every woman needs to feel she belongs.” As a volunteer and participant, I expect a stronger response to the theme at the end of the gathering.

Although part of the beautiful graphic art for the event’s advertisement includes a puzzle piece, the message is much bigger than just fitting in. The illustration is a small component of an impactfully significant affirmative. We’re not just pieces to a puzzle that fit together to form a bigger picture. That’s too easy and somewhat incomplete. What’s crucial is our ability as a group to connect the shared individual stories, lesson-learned, triumphs, and personal quiet times and turned these into breathing parts of a purposeful, collaborative, unifying life where everybody doesn’t just feel accepted in God’s family, but also celebrated for their uniqueness. First things first, we each begin with the individuals in us.

In my personal reflection, I purposely connected to the original theme, the subthemes of intentional and attitudinal acceptance, unity in diversity, and belonging to the family of Christ. Hence, I’m envisioning a take away that boldly declares, #EveryWomanBelongs. Consequently, I’m continuing a life-long mission that’s not just centered on gender parity, but more rightly towards a parity on human value.

The photo invite included in this short video was beautifully created by one of the church members.

Intentional and Attitudinal Acceptance
The difference between tolerance and acceptance is huge. Tolerance does not require acceptance, but acceptance cannot exist without tolerance. Acceptance, however, is beyond just tolerating. And in the virtue of intentional and attitudinal acceptance, there’s an involved complexity of expectations. For instance, acceptance in a deeply invested relationship requires a commitment to get to know the other person very well and in the process provides a willingness to recognize that person’s equal value as a human being.

Unity in Diversity
A diverse group that’s unified understands and accepts it’s individual differences. And in the process, the members had successfully utilized their unique gifts to bring the team together. A truly diverse community is composed of effectively cross-interacting, multi-homogeneous groups. It does not only recognize individual differences; it also exemplifies synergism. While it acknowledges that there are areas for improvement, a genuinely diverse community will capitalize on the strengths within all its subgroups. It is not so much about understanding, but accepting that there are views and customs that not all of us share.

Belonging to the Family of Christ
Ephesians 2:19-22 best explains the heart of belonging to the family of Christ, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” In a previous blog I published, The Tangram Puzzle of Love and Belongingness, I described how I understood God’s leadership over His people and the unity and sense of belongingness He desires for the body of Christ. The amazing gift of uniqueness that God bestowed on His people gives confidence that we’re not just individual pieces to a whole puzzle. We are a creative link to a variety of possibilities. Ephesians 4:16 says, “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

Bottomline, to attain a genuine unity and lasting peace and to make this world a better place for everyone, we have to be bold in our intentions and deliberate actions. We need to be bold for each other. We have to make bold connections and accept that we all share a common need of belonging and that it’s in our hands to make every woman belongs.


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