Women come to our churches in different stages of mental and emotional development. Our ministry to them must consider these aspects of their development also.
We will minister to women with many different educational backgrounds. According to a 2017 U.S. Census Bureau Release, “More than one-third of the adult population in the United States has a bachelor’s degree or higher marking the first time in decades of data.” Most likely, a woman’s education will shape her career. Education may also determine her socioeconomic status, because college graduates typically earn more money than high school graduates.
The women in our churches may be high school or college graduates, or school dropouts. They may currently be full-time students or pursuing education while holding a full-time job and raising a family. They may be enrolled in traditional educational institutions, in online educational programs, or in independent self-study endeavors for professional or personal development.
But mental development involves more than the level of academic achievement. We also need to be aware of how women think—their perception and insight into life’s many challenges. We might ask these questions about every woman:
• Has she learned good social and communication skills?
• Does she maintain a positive mental approach to life?
• Does she project an appropriate understanding of herself, embracing both her strengths and weaknesses?
• Are scriptural principles incorporated into her everyday thought patterns?
We also need to understand where a woman is emotionally, as her emotional condition will affect her mentally as well. Some women come from loving Christian families with healthy childhoods and family relationships. Others come from dysfunctional families, either in their present environment or in their backgrounds. Work pressures, health issues, and family problems may present emotional stress at any life stage, affecting mental and emotional well-being.
To minister to women, we have to be aware of the emotional dimension of their lives:
• How has her childhood affected her emotional stability?
• What current pressures does she face that might affect her emotional well-being?
• Does she show her emotions easily or try to hide her feelings?
• Is she carrying some private hurt?
By being aware of the mental and emotional development of the women in your church, you can plan ministries according to the level of their needs.
Does the academic demographic of women in your church reflect the national demographic?
What specific areas of training should your ministry provide?
In what ways are you ministering to the emotional needs of women?
 https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2017/cb17-51.html. Accessed November 4, 2020.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®.
“Stages of a Woman’s Life” is published by the National Women’s Department at www.women.ag.org, 2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.