A Thought Revisited…

ContemplatingHopefulness

A piece from about a year ago, The Apology I Didn’t Know That I Needed, has come to mind today.  It began when I read Beth Moore’s open letter.   It brought back a lot of thoughts and emotions I’ve had in recent years.  Moore’s letter has been a reverberating conversation among women on and offline.  Some are still afraid to speak up because they fear the repercussions.  The fact that women are even hesitant to speak openly about their feelings should be an indicator of how much work we have to do in this area.

Then, when I read a response from Thabiti Anyabwile that took me right back to that moment last year when two men who had never personally slighted me apologized…

… and how that apology did and still brings me to sobbing tears.

I’m going to step out in a level of open transparency here, that I’ve never done.  Let the consequences be what they may.  If my “official days” in ministry end here, so be it.  The Lord has not fired me yet, and I cling to His promises that whatever may come my way is just another storm that I will have to lean into Him.

Before I entered into ministry, I had a secular job.  In my company, some of my greatest assets and supporters were men.  They recognized my natural gifting for leadership, my gifts of administration, and they appreciated how my mind worked.  They took me through the ranks, taught me what they had learned over years of experience, and set me loose in our corporate world.  To this day, I still think back fondly of these men who fashioned me into a better leader than I could have ever imagined.

These guys, they didn’t need me to get a certain number of years of experience under my belt.  They recognized my potential and developed it, intentionally.  To this day, I remain the youngest person to ever be promoted to level in which I achieved (before leaving work to raise my daughters) and the fastest to promote through these levels.  My last promotion came when one of our Vice Presidents came into our location and decided to hold his conference call in my managers office.  He called in everyone of us who had promoted into middle management to sit in on the call.  When it was over, he asked for feedback on what we heard in the call.  He welcomed our ideas and criticisms.  I was one two women in the office among about 10 men.

When I spoke, he listened.  Not that he agreed with everything I had to say, but I could tell that this was more than just obligatory hearing of words.  He truly listened to what I had to say.  The meeting was concluded and we all went back to our departments. Thirty minutes later, I was called into the office.  I was offered an immediate promotion, significant salary increase, benefits, annual bonus, and so on.  I was only twenty years old.

In two weeks time, I moved to a new location for training.  By the end of my training, they asked me to stay on at that location and be responsible for training new managers coming into the position.  I was responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory, daily sales, and a team of over 150 people under my management.  I’ve hired people, fired people, and developed future leaders in the company.  I’ve written training manuals for positions I have held with them.  In a field dominated by men, I could have never reached the level I did without their support, encouragement, and their investment in me.  I learned and gained more from my time there than I probably ever could repay.

The Lord took me on a new journey.  After having our children, I began to invest my time and gifts into ministry.  Over the years my involvement with ministry grew deeper and resulted in my returning to school for a Divinity degree.  I’m thankful that the Lord has always pressed me forward in ministry, made a path for me to take, and walked alongside me when the road was rough.

And ministry has been rough.

In twenty years of ministry service, I have never been paid a dime.  I’ve never been “on staff”, nor even invited to a ministry staff meeting despite leading a ministry in the church.  I’ve never led in a ministry that has significant financial support, and quite often had zero financial support.  If you have attended an event that I have planned, more than likely the money came out of my own pocket to cover the costs.  I counted it as an offering to the church, and gave gladly.  I’m not complaining, I’m just stating the facts.

What ministries have I led in, you might wonder?

The majority of the last twenty years has been serving in Women’s Ministry.  A ministry that aims to serve at least half (if not more) of the church.  If you know me, you’ll know that despite being a “volunteer” leader… I’m giving full time hours to the cause.  I’m reading articles, researching trends.  I attend conferences, buy books, invest in resources… all of which is at my own expense.

And despite my devotion and dedication to serving women, it has been nothing but a struggle.  A struggle for funding.  A struggle for using space.  A struggle to have the Women’s Ministry seen as equally valuable as Youth Ministry, College Ministry, Children’s Ministry, etc.   A struggle to lead without being micromanaged and mistrusted.  A struggle against worries of being accused of usurping or being a Jezebel.

I came from a place in the secular world, where as a leader I was trusted with so much… to a world of ministry where I felt like I would never be trusted with anything.  A secular world, where I could find a new job or move into new positions with ease… to a world of ministry where finding a job that would hire me as a woman was like finding a unicorn.  A secular world where those who were higher up were interested in my education, background, and experience… to a world of ministry where no one even cared to ask.

It is hard to move from a place where you are implicitly trusted to one where you feel for every one step forward you make you get pulled two steps behind.

The truth is, I’ve been hurt in ministry.  I just hadn’t realized how much so until that day last year when Hunter from Serge apologized to me, when Pastor Sandy Willson apologized to us as a group.  It is incredibly hard to be an educated, equipped, woman gifted for leadership in the world of ministry.  When you are constantly told from the pulpit how much value you have to the Lord and His kingdom work… so long as your calling is Children’s Ministry, Coffee/Bagel Ministry, VBS, and working in the nursery.

I had thought these experiences were unique to myself.  However in the last umpteen months I’ve learned that this is not the case.  I’ve listened to women share how they were dismissed from their volunteer position because the church could finally afford to pay someone to do that job and hired a man.  Do you have any idea how that feels to be told that you are only valued for the free work you do, but not enough to get paid to do the same job?  It doesn’t feel good.

You can’t imagine how I felt when a Pastor, at my suggestion of using women in the church to share the load of responsibilities that were overwhelming him, said to me:

“The greatest gift the women in my church can give me is to serve their husbands and children.”

What about the women who don’t have children or are not married?  What about the women who are capable of managing their homes and serving in ministry?  How dismissive.  What an assumption that women can’t lead in ministry and serve the Kingdom at the same time?  This may have been the first time I was speechless in my life.

I’ve known to many women accused of having a Jezebel spirit or being divisive for standing up for themselves (their calling) and their ministry.  I’ve known too many women who have had their gifts and callings dismissed.  I’ve known too many women who have sat quietly despite their experience and education, simply because they knew better than to speak up.  I’ve watched churches hire men from other states when there were women in the body who could not only do the work, but even needed the income the job would provide.

To come from a world where I was trusted to oversee so much and into a world where I seemingly can be trusted with anything (for no other reason than my gender), it is incredibly saddening… and frustrating.  Women with strong leadership skills are seen as difficult and controlling, yet men with those same leadership qualities would be considered assertive and driven.

And, I think what hit me so hard about Beth Moore’s open letter was this…

If Beth Moore feels silenced, what hope is there for me?  If Beth Moore is still fighting against all of these things, what hope is there for me?  If Beth Moore has been afraid to speak up, what hope is there for me?

If the few women in the world of ministry that actually do have any real significant influence are speaking this way… what can ever change for me?  For my churches?  For my community?  For the Women’s Ministry leaders whom I serve?

If they are not even willing to listen to Beth Moore, what hope will I ever have of getting Pastors to hear my heart for Women’s Ministry?  My deep desire to disciple women, intentionally?  My calling to do Women’s Ministry differently than the preconceived notions they have in the mind of days past?  Can they even hear that?  Do they even want to?  Is it possible?

I realized the number of times over the years I have had to defend myself to people because I support Women’s Ministry.  The number of times I have had to caveat a point I was making on leadership with a disclaimer that I don’t desire nor feel called to the pulpit.  Why should I have to give a disclaimer about myself in order to speak about ministry leadership?

Why?  For the very reasons Moore states in her open letter.  For the very things that Anyabwile apologizes for in his response.  Because this is the every day battle of a woman in ministry leadership.  Moore’s letter reminded me that the wounds of ministry leadership for women are still pretty raw (even if there is healing happening).  Anyabwile’s response was another apology from someone who never slighted me… but yet I needed to hear.

And, that is the hope for me.  The hope that as more people speak up, that more change can happen.  Hope that our 30% of seminary graduates that are women will have jobs in ministry.  Hope that when jobs open at local churches that they would not only welcome but seek applications from women.  Hope that Women’s Ministry would be seen as equally valuable as other ministries in the church.  Hope that our leaders and staff would recognize the gifts of women and intentionally develop and implement those gifts into their church.

For me to have such hope, it means that I too much be willing to speak on the subject.  I can’t let Beth Moore be the only chicken willing to be fried.  We can’t let a few voices speak up and take all the heat, but instead be willing to speak up as well.  In doing so we illustrate the real scope of the problem we need to address, the hurdles we must overcome.

The more I look into the broad picture of leadership in the Scriptures, the less exclusive it appears to be.   The deeper I dig, the more I learn about the women that God trusted … that Jesus taught… the disciples co-labored with.  We can’t toss aside the gifting and anointing of half the body, or try to force those gifts into a small segment of volunteer positions in the church that we have decided are “ok” for women.

There is so much work to be done, so many people to reach, so many to serve, why are we handicapping ourselves?

So, I write this fully expecting to be added to the list of heretics and false teachers by the critics.  If you would have asked me twenty years ago if I expected this moment, I would tell you there was no way.  Yet, here I am.  Sharing the truth of my experiences (really a fraction of it), and a willingness to be part of change and growth.  For years I was in the camp of stay and pray.  I’ve prayed for change, I served outside of my calling in order to be supportive, and truly thought that this was the right pathway.

But today, after conversations and reflections… it’s a time to speak up.

We, the women who have been hurt, still love the church… local and global.  We still love our church leaders and church family.  We have been praying a long time.  We are still praying.  We will not stop praying.  Our hearts have not been bent from our mission and calling, we await the opportunity to use it in it’s fullness.

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Chronicling 40: Day 157 of 365

skeptic

This spring we said goodbye to our elderly dog.  She had been with us for seventeen years and it was incredibly hard.  We learned very quickly that our younger dog had never been taught to alert us to go outside to use the restroom.  Because he was brought into our home with an existing, experienced dog… and one that was aging and using the restroom more often…

He had become dependent on our routine for going outside. 

He never learned to alert us because he never needed to.  She would bark, or we would let her out on our normal schedules… and he would follow. The first day after she passed, he went to the bathroom in the house.  It was nearly 8pm.  The poor thing hadn’t been out since early that morning.  It wasn’t that we forgot about him.  We interacted with him throughout the day.  He never alerted to needing to go, and we too had become dependent on her routine.

Once we realized that he had never learned, we realized we needed a new routine.  It’s about five months and he has just finally begun to let us know that he needs to use the restroom.  If I am sitting near the door, he will walk over and paw at the door.  He still doesn’t alert, but this is a huge deal.  I’m thankful my desk space is near the back door.

This experience with our dog has made realize how easy it is to just go with the flow of things, to get into habits (good or bad), and how long it can take to change those habits.  We have extended this little dog so much grace, as he is learning.  I wonder if I extend that same amount of grace to others who are faced with new circumstances…

… learning a new trade, skill, talent…

… breaking an old habit …

I also wonder if I am extending the same grace to myself, as I am trying to learn and grow.

Chronicling 40: Day 116 of 365

Sonset

Do you have ever those days where you are just begging for Jesus to come already.  You are weary.  You are tired of the fight.  You are ready for peace.  You just want the King to come and restore everything to how it should be.

That is how it was before Jesus came.  They were watching for a Messiah who was going to come and establish His kingdom.  They would be out of bondage, restored.  However, their vision of what their King would look like and what arrived was very different.  They were awaiting on conquering King not a swaddled baby.  Not a man nailed to a cross.

They were watching for the Son, but couldn’t see Him… even when He stood right in front of their faces.

In the last 40 years, I have learned through hindsight how present God was in every step of the way.  In the days where I didn’t know Him yet, unable to recognize His face.  He was there.  In the days where I longed to feel His presence because He felt so far.  He was there.  In the days when He doesn’t show up in the ways I expect, but none the less He is there.

All of this has brought me to a place where now even when I can’t… I know.  I know He is there, present, listening, watching, working, moving, guiding.  I seek Him differently, because I am so confidence of His presence in the first place.  Like a child looking for her father’s hand in a dark room… when the days are long and weary, I watch for Him.  I reach for him.

While I may still yearn for Jesus to return and put an end to the turmoil on this earth, I also find comfort in knowing that He dwells within me and the hearts of those whom He calls His own.  And in the struggle… I find peace.  My King has already come, victory is already His.

Chronicling 40: Day 102 of 365

listenvshear

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.”  ~Stephen R Covey

The other day, I was having a discussion with a friend.  I was attempting to make a point, but first I needed to establish the context of my point.  Before I could even get to the actual point I was trying to make, she interrupted me and began to dissect the context.

This is a classic example of listening to reply versus to understand.  It was as if she was scanning every word I said looking for the opportunity to respond, instead of listening to my full point before responding.  Before I knew it, we were off on a tangent and I never even got to my initial point.

In years past, I had always considered this idea of listening to respond as something that only reared up in unhealthy relationships without boundaries.  My belief was that for a person to behave in such a way meant that they thought themselves better than me, superior in some way (experience, intelligence, etc.) or that the person was controlling (interrupting to control the flow of conversation back toward themselves).

This particular instance set that notion into a full stop, as this was a person I have a great relationship with.  I began to wonder if this behavior is more prevalent than I thought… and even question if I was also culpable.  Do I listen to respond when I should be listening to understand?

It can be said that listening is an automatic thing that happens, unless you are hearing impaired.  It is simply the picking up of sound being made.  Hearing is where we actually pay attention to what the sound is.  If you’ve ever zoned out when someone is talking to you, or fallen asleep watching television, you’ll understand what simply listening is.  I can hear the sounds, I know that noise is being made, but I can’t tell you any details about the sound.  I may know someone is speaking to me, but unable to recall what they said.  I may know that I am in a noisy room, but couldn’t tell you who or what the noises are originating from.

Hearing is a conscious decision to listen to the details, so that I know who is speaking, what is being said, what the noises are.

If you are planning your response while the other person is talking, you can’t actually hear the other person.  Why?  Because at some point you cut off hearing the other person and instead focused on the argument or comment you want to make.  As you are formulating your response, you can’t hear what else is being said.  In the situation with my friend, I believe this to be true.  The reason she couldn’t hear my main point was because she was hung up on the detail that she wanted to respond to.

If we start day dreaming or doing other tasks, it means we are disinterested.  If we don’t want to hear what the person is saying we can literally shut down our reception of the information, or we can lean into selective listening/hearing… where we only hear what we want to hear.  Management consultant Bryan Golden says:  “To make it yet more challenging, even when listening intently, you tend to filter what someone is saying through your own biases. You may assume you know what someone means because you jump to conclusions before they finish talking.”

All of these come down to the same bottom line, bad or poor communication skills.

The more I looked into the topic, the more I realized that we are all complicit in poor communication in some way, shape, or form.  Perhaps we would all do well to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), then we’d be less apt to be angry.

Chronicling 40: Day 96 of 365

 

roadtrip.png

I’m still in vacation mode, coming back from our trip to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.  I wanted to make just a quick comment about the trip side of things.  I’m a planner by nature.  Even the shortest trip will have months of planning, budgeting, and arranging.  This trip was spur of the moment, a suggestion of a friend, and I just went for it.  I had such a good time.  No agenda of things we have to do, places we have to see.  After the festival, the next day we went to Disney Springs (previously called Down Town Disney) and just walked around.  We left when we were ready to leave.  No rush to be home.  No deadlines.

I think my first personal lesson of 40, is to be more spontaneous.  Not everything needs to be planned to the minute.

Chronicling 40: Day 78 of 365

MBA

I don’t know if it is just because I turned forty, or rather a life time of built up situations that has just finally come to head… but I am so over having others project their insecurities on me.  I guess it is one of those moments in life we start drawing lines and setting boundaries.

That is not to say that we can just go around cutting people out of our life, or that there isn’t a measure of responsibility that we have.  If I know a person is highly sensitive, I could do a better job of softening my words to them or approach them differently.  There are things we can all improve or do better at.

What I have noticed though, is that within the Christian circles, projection of insecurities happens most when we dare to correct or rebuke someone.  In my experience I have learned that defensiveness is almost always a sign of conviction in the heart.  But rather than be willing to consider it, and potentially have to deal with it, instead it is easier to project it on to others as their problem.

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

I think it can also be trying to down play our own sin by accusing someone else.  One of my children is a pro at this.  The second she gets in trouble for anything, she tries to deflect our attention on to her sister.  Her goal is to distract us from holding her accountable, and instead focus on the wrongs of her sister.  We can do this when instead of considering our own sin, we instead try to make the person who brought it to our attention look or feel bad about themselves.  When we cast blame on them.  The goal is to make ourselves less guilty, or at least equally guilty so we are not alone.

Adam did this with Eve.  Instead of saying, “Yes, I ate the fruit”… Adam instead said “That woman you made deceived me”.  He blamed Eve.  He even blamed God indirectly.  But he wasn’t owning his actions.  He became defensive and tried to pass the buck.  Human sin nature propels us to try and deflect from correction, because if we accept correction we have to take full ownership and potentially have to admit this wrong or make amends.  So much easier to justify how we were right and the other person was in the wrong.

It is so much easier to be the corrector than the one corrected, to rebuke than to be rebuked.

Relationships between believers should be ones where we spur one another on to good things, iron sharpens iron, accountability of one another.  We shouldn’t take it as a personal attack when someone catches something less than stellar about ourselves, but instead consider their words or observation.  Perhaps they are right, and they could also be wrong. If we immediately act in defensiveness, then we haven’t given it any consideration.

If we take some time to reflect on their words we may realize they were correct, they misunderstood our intentions and we can clarify them, or that the person is entirely wrong & disregard their words completely (or confront if appropriate).  Another thing to consider, is that when we respond in defensiveness we are reacting on our emotions.  Emotions are not always a trustworthy thermometer of a situation, whereas giving some space to consider it can bring clarity.  A friend of mine always advises people dealing with conflict to “sleep on it” because it’s creating space to process before we react, and then we can respond with our hearts in a better place.

If we feel wounded (whether it was the persons intention or not) we enter a vacuum inside our own minds.  We are not capable of seeing or hearing the other person accurately, nor are we capable of sharing our thoughts clearly either.  Everything becomes a jumble of emotions, assumptions, accusations, and we can even be tempted to wound in return.

The Scriptures tell us that wise counsel is a good thing, we shouldn’t withdraw from it but embrace it.  Test it to see if it is true, is this person seeing something that I am not?  It is entirely possible that the other person is missing information or doesn’t know you well enough, and then we know it’s safe to dismiss their correction.  Even that becomes an opportunity to learn, so that in the future we may choose to be more considerate about how our actions or words will be received by those whom were are new in relationship with.

Recently, I had two examples of this situation… with two varying responses.

The Teachable One:

I was meeting with a woman who was interested in writing and speaking, and looking for some pointers.  As we were talking through her testimony, she began to include specific details about another person.  I stopped her, and pointed out that she was sharing information that wasn’t hers to share.  She was startled by my abruptness, but she didn’t say anything and continued to listen.  I shared with her that she has to remember that her job is only to share her story, her details.  I continued on by pointing out you never know who is in the audience that may know you or that person, and you may be sharing information that was entrusted to you but not meant for public knowledge.  As writers and speakers, we have a responsibility to the information we are entrusted with.  Which means before we share anyone’s details we must get their permission.  Otherwise we leave it out. 

She was a woman who is teachable.  Teachable people are ones where you can bring these things to light, and even if at first they are a bit taken back, instead of reacting they consider the information and weigh it.  At this point, the woman could have said “I have already asked permission to share this”, and I would have leaned back and continued to listen to her.  In this case, she sat for a moment and considered my words.  She responded that she hadn’t considered that, would be more mindful, and thanked me for drawing her attention to it.  I told her that if I ever caught her doing it, I was going to stop her.  This was not about me being right, but rather about me helping draw her attention to it so that she was aware of it.  The more aware we are, the better.  My pointing out this moment didn’t tarnish our relationship but added value to it.  She knew that I was helping her, trying to support her, and guide her with wisdom.

We have to remember that leaders (Pastors, Speakers, Writers, Ministry Leaders, Teachers, etc) are held to a higher standard.  We must be careful with our words, actions, and behaviors.  We should be thankful that someone brings it to our attention and provides wise counsel.  That does not mean we can’t have personal conversations about our preferences on how that counsel is given.  In the above example, she could have told me that I was rude for interrupting her and the next time I should wait until she is done and then include it in my feedback.  Totally acceptable response, and one that I would have honored.

The Defensive Ones:

In another recent situation, I drew attention to something I found problematic.  This was with another believer and particularly about how certain information was being handled.  My intentions were to make her (and those involved) consider their words/actions & how they could be perceived.  One person immediately met it with defensiveness, and instead of addressing the topic & continuing the conversation… the response was to hurl accusations at me behind closed doors.

Instead of asking me why I felt the way I did, or how I came to that conclusion… my character was put into question.  A direct comment for consideration was responded to with a personal attack.  Unwillingness to even consider my words and instead an assault on character.  What is so difficult is that once we find ourselves in that defensive posture, we become incapable of clarity and discernment.  We don’t like how we feel about ourselves in that moment, so we project it onto the other person and make it their problem not ours. 

In doing so we build up a wall between ourselves and that other person, keeping us from connection and thwarting reconciliation.  The worst part of this, for the defensive person, is that it will color all future interactions with that person.  You will no longer be able to see them as a good willed person, instead you will keep them at a distance in order to avoid having to deal with the issue.  Painting others as your enemy so that you don’t ever have accountability; but also making sure you don’t have to deal with your own insecurities either.

To Correct and Be Corrected:

Years ago, I wrote a series about correction.  The first half of the series was about how to Biblically correct someone; walking through the why, when, and how of it all.  The second half was about how to receive correction.  This is an area that we probably haven’t spent enough time on in the church and Bible studies, which is why so many are eager to correct others but less open to receive correction.  We teach about telling “truth in love” but forget to teach how to receive “truth in love”.

In that piece, I wrote quite a bit about hearing what the person is saying, considering it, praying to God to reveal if there is any truth to those words or not, and seeking guidance on how to move forward.

I love Psalm 26:2, where David prays:  “Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind…”

We need the Lord to come in and reveal if there is truth, if there is something I need to learn, if there is a behavior I need to correct, or if I am blameless.  But, I stand in the way of the Lord’s testing when I fly off the handle and respond versus taking a moment to let my emotions settle and then bring it to the Lord to examine.

If we are going to correct someone, we need to pray about doing so first.  If we have been corrected, we need to pray before we respond.  Sometimes that means we must first take a little time to allow the Lord’s examination of our heart to reveal His findings to us.  Then when we respond, we know we are doing so with clear vision and His guidance.

Chronicling 40: Day 73 of 365

DebVsJez

 

Deborah vs. Jezebel

Women, Women of Influence

Both Deborah and Jezebel were women.  Both, were women of influence.  Deborah was a woman who worshiped God.  Jezebel was a woman who worshipped Baal.  Deborah’s influence, was godly.  She was considered wise, she judged over disputes, and brought peace among her people.  Jezebel was harsh and manipulative, she was divisive, and sewed discord and chaos among her people.

Wives and Mothers

We know with certainty that Jezebel was both married and a mother.  Deborah, we can assume was at least married (as she is called wife of Lapidoth) and possibly a mother as well (culturally, that would make sense but she is called “mother of the sons of Israel).  Either way, both women had a responsibility to their household that would outweigh any of their own calling (Deborah) or ambitions (Jezebel).

Scripture wise, we already discussed the requirements to be a godly leader.  Which means that we know for Deborah to have been risen up as a leader over Israel, she too had to fulfill those requirements.  Deborah would have been a woman above reproach, who took care of her home (husband, children) well.  She would have been submissive to God, led by His will over her own. 

Jezebel, however, didn’t meet these leadership requirements.  Jezebel was disrespectful of her husband, she was audacious and outspoken.  She had ambitions that outweighed morals.  (Please note that one can be a godly women with ambitions, being ambitious in and of itself is not wrong… it’s the heart behind the ambition that is key).  She was vain and more concerned about herself than others. 

Prophetess and Prophet Killer

Deborah was a Prophetess, meaning that the Lord had gifted her with prophecy and she used her gift to deliver God’s word to His people who would listen.  Jezebel, she was a Prophet killer.  She didn’t deliver God’s word but instead attempted to silence it by killing off those who did.  Deborah had awe and reverence for God, where Jezebel had contempt.

Leader, Anointed & Usurped

Deborah was a leader of the sons of Israel, those who were still listening to the Word of God.  Deborah was placed into this position by God, and moved in accordance to his directions.  Jezebel, was a woman who married into Israel via Ahab… a man who was doing evil in God’s sight (and in fact considered the most evil).  A corrupted husband, married a corrupting wife.  Deborah was anointed by God, Jezebel was chosen by Ahab.  Deborah was called to lead, Jezebel controlled and manipulated into leadership.  Deborah led from a position that was given to her, Jezebel led from a position that she took.

Deborah lived a life of honor, among her people.  Jezebel instilled an environment of fear.  Deborah lived a long life of peace.  Jezebel did not, and ultimately fell to her death pushed by her own servants.  Deborah was honored.  Jezebel was consumed by the dogs to the point she was unrecognizable.  Deborah is spoke of today in high regard, Jezebel as a warning and in dishonor.