Thursday, September 9, 2010

Women’s Liberation & Validation by Robert Ricciardelli

I love women. I love the gift the Lord has given to the world in His creation called woman. I am so excited about what the Lord is doing in releasing women to fulfill all He has called them to be. I am passionate to do my part in encouraging both men and women to reexamine all that we have been taught about women, and to align ourselves with what the Father says about His precious daughters. 

It was a privilege for me to be able to serve the women of South Africa. It started in East London with the Women’s Aglow National Convention and then on to Johannesburg. It was so wonderful to hear of all the various ministries that the women of Aglow have brought into their communities. They serve in senior centers and orphanages, as well as serving those who are on their death beds of aids and other diseases. They support feeding programs and shelters for those in need. Wherever they go, they bring the love of Jesus in a relevant way to the glory of God.

Sabrina Coulston of Flames of Fire Ministries and her assistant Lisa Elkins joined me on this trip to South Africa. The Lord had shown us that He had something special in mind for the Women’s Aglow. Many of the women at the conference came from a background of physical and emotional abuse. There had been verbal slayings of their destinies as they had been told their whole lives that they were second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. Misinformed religious leaders and culture have taught for generations that women were only needed for certain roles, and that ministry was not one of those roles. They never were taught that they were royalty in God’s eyes. They have been silenced and held back for too long and the Lord says, “This is a time for freedom and release, let my daughters go.” 

It is amazing to think of some of the great church leaders who had fallen into wrongful church doctrine in the midst of great revelation concerning other areas of ministry. Here is just one such man whom the Lord used, that was also deceived when it came to women: 

"Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow chests, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children."
-- Martin Luther, Table Talk
"The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes."
-- Martin Luther, Works 12.94
"Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out with child-bearing, it does not matter; let them go on bearing children till they die, that is what they are there for."
-- Martin Luther, Works 20.84
This does not take away from all of the good that Martin Luther accomplished in life, but presents to all of us how powerful and longstanding this deception has been. We can find this view of women even today in almost every culture, every context, and every nation……
Jesus Gives Freedom from the Curse
We can go all the way back to Genesis to see how sin created a pattern of oppression towards women.
Genesis 3:15-16
And I will put enmity
       between you and the woman,
       and between your offspring and hers;
       he will crush your head,
       and you will strike his heel."
 To the woman he said,
       "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
       with pain you will give birth to children.
       Your desire will be for your husband,
       and he will rule over you."

Although verse 15 speaks about the ultimate offspring of woman being Christ our Savior, women are very much are a target for Satan because He knows what it means to His demonic kingdom when women of God rise up in the authority the Lord has given them. Before sin opened the door for the assault on women, God’s plan has always been for male and female to partner together in co-ruling and stewarding the earthly realm.

Genesis 1:26-29
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image,
       in the image of God he created him;
       male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
It has always been the Lord’s desire for “them” to partner with Him in completing who He is. “Them”, being man and woman, are to both fully represent His nature and His ways upon the earth.

Genesis 5:1-2
This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.

God’s image is complete in man and woman. The ambassadors of His Kingdom are fully represented by man and woman. The transformation of our communities, regions and nations will only be realized by the released potential of both man and woman.

We need to see man and woman as different but equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Galatians 3:26-29
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Whenever God presents His way, the enemy presents a perverted version to bring confusion and dilute the efforts of His people. The liberal feminist movement is one of those tactics the enemy has used to pervert the freedom the Lord demands in His women. The way to look at the difference is in how that freedom is applied.

In God’s Kingdom, women are free to move in His authority to bring about His will upon the earth. In the feminist movement, women are demanding rights to enforce selfish desires in the guise of freedom. Abortion, rebellion, and self serving ways follow the feminist trend. Unity, peace, life, and servant leadership, follow women who are free and empowered to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.   

Twisted Scriptures, Twisted Doctrine

When we look for sound doctrine, we must look to the full counsel of God, the full Word of God that transcends circumstance, culture, and generations. Here are just a few examples of what many have been taught, as well as what the Lord actually says about His daughters.

Ephesians 5:21-22
21And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

We have all heard the scripture in Ephesians 5:22 about wives submitting to their husbands, but we forget the scripture just before it in verse 21 that we are to submit one to another. The rest of the context gives examples of loving and serving one another. That is God’s way.

1Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Matthew 20:25-26
25But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,

You want to lead your family, become a servant to your spouse and come under the mission the Lord has for them. Submission cannot be extracted, required or manipulated from another. Submission comes from within the heart of those willing to give of their lives to another. This is the Lord’s way and we must be obedient to His word if we are to engage in loving, honoring, and empowering relationships.

Many of us men have learned much from women in our lives. Throughout the Word of God women have been used to bring “Good News” to men. Women were empowered at Pentecost along with men so that they could go forth and disciple all nations, both men and women alike. It is evident that Timothy was greatly influenced and taught by his mother and grandmother the ways of the Lord.

2 Timothy 1:5
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

This is one of many scriptures that disprove the doctrine that women must not teach or have influence over a man. Women have taught and influenced men throughout history and throughout the word of God. We must therefore look at 1Timothy 2:12 that instructs women to not teach men in light of the full Word of God. We must see it with a pair of eyes that look at when, what, and why, Paul asked this of Timothy while he was in Ephesus. Remember that this is one letter to one city and we must know what was going on during that time as this one scripture does not make a doctrine in light of the full counsel of God.  

Revelation, Blessing and Release

As The Lord began to reveal His value to each of these women in South Africa, we began to see hope rise up in them. The next step towards freedom was for each of the women to forgive every man in their life that had wounded them. Many of these women had been beaten, abused, and cursed from fathers, husbands, boyfriends, family members, as well as leaders in society including those in ministry. They were to release these men, the wounds from men to the Lord. This was a powerful first step towards freedom that had most every woman in attendance participate as the Holy Spirit moved upon them. 

The next day in worship we saw heads lifted up and a greater freedom as many were healed through their forgiveness of those who had wounded them. The Lord began to show me that many of these women had not embraced a man in many years and some had never been embraced by a man outside of a sexual  context. The Lord showed me that as men had been a source of bondage for most of these women, I was to be a conduit for them to be blessed and released into their destinies. I was to embrace and bless every woman in attendance and the Lord was going to further remove bondages and set them free in Him.

The Father’s Healing Embrace

Eddie and Fourie of the worship team helped me with the embrace, blessing and release of these women. I also thought it was prophetically significant that we were white males and 90% of the women were black women. I told the women that for some of them, this was going to be one of the most courageous things they had ever been asked to do, but if they came forward, the Lord would give them a freedom they had never known.

One by one the women came forward. Most of them trembling and as they embraced us, we gave them the Father’s blessing and spoke life into their hearts and minds. For some it was a father’s hug they never received, for others it was an embrace that in many ways brought healing to all of the ways different men had inflicted pain upon their lives.

Many of the women had just enough strength to reach me and then collapse into my arms. As I held them up and blessed them, I could sense the Father’s love extracting years of pain. Some of the women did not let go of the embrace, so I remained with them until they released the embrace, or until they could no longer stand, and I could no longer hold them up.

We received many testimonies of what the Lord did in these few days, but this testimony below is one that seems to speak for many of the women.

Dear Robert and Joyce
Joyce, thank you for allowing Robert to come and speak  “thus saith the Lord” into our lives. I have been in a place where I was waiting to being “launched” as a servant under a spiritual covering in my own church.  I have been waiting thinking that I needed to be launched at church. When Robert spoke I knew He was the one the Lord had sent. A few things became clear to me:
(1) God used Robert to heal me from fear of men, and anger towards men. The Lord healed me from “no father syndrome”, and always looking for the invisible shadow. I had always looked for affirmation from an earthly father because I always yearned to hear a father say – I love you.
(2) God used Robert to speak into my heart and launch me out – his first message – broke something in my heart and there is a renewed confidence.
(3) I have always yearned to hear Jesus’ voice saying to me I love you – this is still the results of the absent father in my life. When Robert hugged me – I felt as if it was the Father’s arms and really felt special and loved by God.
The final session with the women was an incredible celebration. The women danced, jumped, skipped, ran and played like little children before their Father. It was quite a sight to see. Some of these women in their 70’s acting like little children. It was an experience in freedom that I will never forget.

I also issued a word of caution to the women in their new found freedom and that was to operate in the fruits of the Spirit. They are to be cloaked in the spirit of love, humility, and unity, in regards to their marriages and churches. They were to remain in obedience to where the Lord had called them in their church organizations and to pray for their pastors. If the church would not recognize them as ministers on a Sunday, then praise God that is only one or two hours a week where they will not be able to minister.

For The Men

I want to encourage all of the men out there to come against culture, chauvinistic mindsets and anything that would bring limitations and bondage to the women we have the ability to influence. Men, you have an incredible power to release the women in your life. Repent for any ways that you have limited them and held them back. The Lord will not answer your prayers according to 1Peter 3:7 if you continue to put His daughters into bondage, especially your wives. The Lord has a special call for women and it is to be beside men and not behind them.

We must realize that the Lord has ordained and will continue to ordain women as senior leadership of businesses, churches, and nations. Deborah in the book of Judges is a great example of leading a nation and it’s military leaders for over 40 years in obedience to the Lord’s call upon her life. To the measure of freedom we give the women in our lives, it is the same measure we will begin to see families, communities, and nations transformed. For the most part we have been operating in ministry with half of the Lord’s army tied up and kept silent. The Lord says, “It is enough; let my daughters go in Jesus name!”


  1. Women’s Liberation & Validation by Robert Ricciardelli
    i found your heart and actions encouraging in regaurds to women in ministry. I would like to add a comment.
    If women are to grow in co-laboring, co-ministering, and co-leading with men they need more opportunity in ministry to the whole body of Christ(not limited to women and children).

    I believe a road block to this is the relationships between men and women in gerneral within the body of Christ. We (women) can have (as a general rule) relationship with male leadership if they are ministering to us, however, mentoring and pier relationships are rare.

    A case in point; For years I have read articals on your web page from many..... mostly men. I know you have no bias against women in ministry however you have little relationship with them, so, they cannot minister along side, even in an web page setting.

    By the way Women's Aglow is not the name of the Organization you were ministring in. I believe for at least 10 years, maybe closer to 20 that their name was changed to Aglow International. Within their organization women and men lead and serve in many types of group some, include men. Check out their web page.

  2. Thank-you for this article. The Lord showed me a long time ago, that things will not be right until we are right with each other.. honoring and submitting to one another, male and female in all we do. We cannot move forward until this age old travesty is set right!

  3. Thank you Robert for this article. I pray we can all put these truths into action soon. In His Love, Big Hug

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    God bless


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