Welfare Ministry


Chapter 18—Qualifications of Women for Service

The Kind of Women Called to Service—God calls for earnest women workers, workers who are prudent, warmhearted, tender, and true to principle. He calls for persevering women who will take their minds from self and their personal convenience, and will center them on Christ.... Will our sisters arise to the emergency? Will they work for the Master?—Testimonies for the Church 6:118. WM 149.1

Learning in the School of Christ—The Lord has a work for women as well as men to do. They may accomplish a good work for God, if they will first learn in the school of Christ the precious, all-important lesson of meekness. They must not only bear the name of Christ but possess His Spirit. They must walk even as He walked, purifying their souls from everything that defiles. Then they will be able to benefit others by presenting the all-sufficiency of Jesus.—Manuscript 119, 1907. WM 149.2

With Firm Principle and Decided Character—Women of firm principle and decided character are needed, women who believe that we are indeed living in the last days, and that we have the last solemn message of warning to be given to the world. They should feel that they are engaged in an important work in spreading the rays of light which Heaven has shed upon them. When the love of God and His truth is an abiding principle, they will let nothing deter them from duty or discourage them in their work. They will fear God and will not be diverted from their labors in His cause by the temptation of lucrative situations and attractive prospects. They will preserve their integrity at any cost to themselves. These are the ones who will correctly represent the religion of Christ, whose words will be fitly spoken, like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Such persons can in many ways do a precious work for God. He calls upon them to go out into the harvest field and help gather in the sheaves.—The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1886. WM 149.3

Tact, Perception, Ability—Christian women are called for. There is a wide field in which they may do good service for the Master. There are noble women who have had moral courage to decide in favor of the truth from the weight of evidence. They have tact, perception, and good ability, and could make successful Christian workers.—Ibid. WM 150.1

The Martha and Mary Attributes Blended—All who work for God should have the Martha and the Mary attributes blended—a willingness to minister and a sincere love of the truth. Self and selfishness must be put out of sight.—Testimonies for the Church 6:118. WM 150.2

Gentlewomen Needed—Women are needed who are not self-important, but gentle in manners and lowly of heart, who will work with the meekness of Christ wherever they can find anything to do for the salvation of souls. All who have been made partakers of the heavenly benefits should be earnest and anxious that others who do not have the privileges which they have enjoyed, should have the evidences of the truth presented before them. And they will not merely desire that others should have this benefit, but will see that they do have it, and will do their part toward the accomplishment of this object. WM 150.3

Those who become colaborers with God will increase in moral and spiritual power, while those who devote their time and energies to serving themselves will dwarf, and wither, and die.—The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1886. WM 151.1

Improvement of Talents—Our sisters ... are not deficient in ability, and if they would put to a right use the talents they already have, their efficiency would be greatly increased.—Testimonies for the Church 4:629, 630. WM 151.2

Courageous and Self-reliant—Many a home is made very unhappy by the useless repining of its mistress, who turns with distaste from the simple, homely tasks of her unpretending domestic life. She looks upon the cares and duties of her lot as hardships, and that which through cheerfulness might be made not only pleasant and interesting but profitable, becomes the merest drudgery. She looks upon the slavery of her life with repugnance, and imagines herself a martyr. WM 151.3

It is true that the wheels of domestic machinery will not always run smoothly; there is much to try the patience and tax the strength. But while mothers are not responsible for circumstances over which they have no control, it is useless to deny that circumstances make a great difference with mothers in their lifework. But their condemnation is when circumstances are allowed to rule and to subvert their principle, when they grow tired and unfaithful to their high trust, and neglect their known duty. WM 151.4

The wife and mother who nobly overcomes difficulties under which others sink for want of patience and fortitude to persevere, not only becomes strong herself in doing her duty, but her experience in overcoming temptations and obstacles qualifies her to be an efficient help to others, both by words and example. Many who do well under favorable circumstances seem to undergo a transformation of character under adversity and trial; they deteriorate in proportion to their troubles. God never designed that we should be the sport of circumstances.—The Health Reformer, August, 1877. WM 151.5

The Elements of Christian Character—Mothers, you are developing character. Your compassionate Redeemer is watching you in love and sympathy, ready to hear your prayers, and render you the assistance which you need in your lifework. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, and charity are the elements of the Christian character. These precious graces are the fruits of the Spirit. They are the Christian's crown and shield. The highest daydreaming and most exalted aspirations can aim at nothing higher. Nothing can give more perfect content and satisfaction. These heavenly attainments are not dependent upon circumstances, nor the will or imperfect judgment of man. The precious Saviour, who understands our heart struggles and the weakness of our natures, pities, and forgives us our errors and bestows upon us the graces which we earnestly desire.—Ibid. WM 152.1

A True Gentlewoman—Do you make mistakes? Do not let this discourage you. The Lord may permit you to make small mistakes in order to save you from making larger mistakes. Go to Jesus, and ask Him to forgive you, and then believe that He does. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” WM 152.2

When unkind, discouraging words are spoken to you, do not retaliate. Do not reply unless you can return a pleasant answer. Say to yourself, “I will not disappoint my Saviour.” The Christian woman is a gentlewoman. On her lips is ever the law of kindness. She utters no hasty words. To speak gentle words when you are irritated will bring sunshine into your hearts and make your path more smooth. A schoolgirl, when asked for a definition of meekness, said, “Meek people are those who give soft answers to rough questions.” Christ says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” They will be fit subjects for the kingdom of heaven, for they are willing to be taught.—The Review and Herald, April 7, 1904. WM 153.1

Graceful and Dignified—Do not treat life as a romance but as a reality. Perform your smallest duty in the fear and love of God, with faithfulness and cheerfulness. God declares, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” WM 153.2

Study the life that Christ lived while on this earth. He did not neglect the smallest, simplest duty. Perfection marked all that He did. Look to Him for help, and you will be enabled to perform your daily duties with the grace and dignity of one who is seeking for the crown of immortal life.—Ibid. (Counsel addressed to “My Sisters Tempted by Discouragement.”) WM 153.3

Faithful in That Which Is Least—My brethren and sisters, do not pass by the little things to look for larger work. You might do successfully the small work but fail utterly in attempting a larger work, and fall into discouragement. Take hold wherever you see that there is a work to be done. It is by doing with your might what your hands find to do that you will develop talent and aptitude for large work. It is by slighting the daily opportunities, neglecting the little things, that so many become fruitless and withered.—The Review and Herald, August 26, 1902. WM 153.4

Attentive to Little Things—We dwell much on the grandeur of Christ's life. We speak of the great things that He accomplished, of the miracles He wrought, of how He spoke peace to the tempestuous waters, restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and raised the dead to life. But His attention to small things is even higher proof of His greatness. Listen to Him speaking to Martha as she comes to Him with the request that He bid her sister help her with the serving. He tells her not to allow the cares of the household to disturb the peace of her soul. “Martha, Martha,” He says, “thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”—The Review and Herald, April 7, 1904. WM 154.1

Frugal; Collect Every Fragment—“Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost.” He who had all resources at His command gives a lesson that not a fragment should be wasted. He who has plenty should not waste. Let nothing be wasted that can do good to any one. Collect every fragment, for someone will need it. These lessons in regard to spiritual blessings bestowed are to be carefully treasured.—Manuscript 60, 1897. WM 154.2

The Power of Politeness—Every woman should develop a well-balanced mind and a pure character, reflecting only the true, the good, and the beautiful. The wife and mother may bind her husband and children to her heart by unvarying love, shown in gentle words and courteous deportment. Politeness is cheap, but it has power to soften natures which would grow hard and rough without it. Christian politeness should reign in every household. The cultivation of a uniform courtesy, a willingness to do by others as we would like them to do by us, would banish half the ills of life.—The Signs of the Times, August 15, 1906. WM 154.3

Be Sure We Are Working for Jesus—Our sisters are not excused from taking a part in the work of God. Everyone who has tasted of the powers of the world to come has earnest work to do in some capacity in the Lord's vineyard. Our sisters may manage to keep busy with their fingers constantly employed in manufacturing little dainty articles to beautify their homes or to present to their friends. Great quantities of this kind of material may be brought and laid upon the foundation stone, but will Jesus look upon all this variety of dainty work as a living sacrifice to Himself? Will He pronounce the commendation upon the workers, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience,” and how thou “hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted”? WM 155.1

Let our sisters inquire, How shall I meet in the Judgment these souls with whom I have or should have become acquainted? Have I studied over their individual cases? Have I so acquainted myself with my Bible that I could open the Scriptures to them? ... WM 155.2

Is it the work God has appointed you as His hired servants, to study the intricate, delicate patterns of embroidery and the many obscure points in this class of work for the purpose of mastering what someone else has done or to show what you can do? Is this the kind of labor that God will commend you in doing, which so absorbs your interest, your God-given time and talents, that you have no taste or education or aptitude for missionary labor? All this kind of work is hay, wood, and stubble, which the fires of the last day will consume. But where are your offerings to God? Where is your patient labor, your earnest zeal, that brings you into connection with Christ, bearing His yoke, lifting His burdens? Where are the gold, the silver, and the precious stones which you have laid upon the foundation stone, which the fires of the last day cannot consume, because they are imperishable?—The Review and Herald, May 31, 1887. WM 155.3

Jesus Knows Women's Burdens—He who gave back to the widow her only son as he was being carried to the burial, is touched today by the woe of the bereaved mother. He who gave back to Mary and Martha their buried brother, who wept tears of sympathy at the grave of Lazarus, who pardoned Mary Magdalene, who remembered His mother when He was hanging in agony upon the cross, who appeared to the weeping women after His resurrection, and made them His messengers to preach a risen Saviour saying, “Go tell My disciples that I go to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God,” is woman's best friend today and ready to aid her in her need if she will trust Him.—The Health Reformer, August, 1877. WM 156.1