Aiming to free women
Across the Middle East, negative attitudes deliberately or unconsciously restrict the opportunities given to women and their ability to experience the fulness of life God wants for them. A new talk show from Bethlehem aims to free women from views that would diminish them, and help them make wise biblical choices about their lives. You are Beautifully Made is produced by New Vision Media Centre, a ministry of Bethlehem Bible College in the West Bank.
In each twenty-minute episode, presenter Matilda Khoury is joined by psychologist and education specialist Madeline Sara. Madeline shares from her own experience and that of the young women she helps bring positive change to their lives and communities through the organisation, Vessels in His Hands, which she founded.
Madeline speaks with empathy about the many challenges Arab women face and offers ways forward drawn from biblical teaching and examples. “We must create awareness and break mental stereotypes that favour men over women,” she says. “These stereotypes have controlled us and affected women’s development in comparison to men. I have two daughters and a son but I try to raise them equally without any favouritism.”
From the creation stories, she stresses that in calling Eve a “helper” to Adam, the Lord did not give women a subservient role, but a privileged one: the “helper” is the special name that refers to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
Spiritual and practical
Covering a spectrum of issues, You are Beautifully Made is both spiritual and practical. Presenter Khoury and counsellor Sara discuss topics such as the glass ceiling affecting women even in democratic societies, changing from the inside, different personality types, finding one’s purpose in life, choosing a life partner, healing, harassment and so on.
In an episode on change, Sara explains: “The Lord loves us despite our weaknesses. He understands the wounds that caused our hurt. We have value in Him.” She continues: “We can’t change if we keep hiding things. We must learn to repent and forgive others to be able to hear God’s voice.”
Another episode takes viewers a step further and uses the example of the Samaritan woman, who was “transformed from a shameful person to a bold one witnessing to the Lord Jesus”.
“Change begins when I realise that my thinking pattern and lifestyle are not healthy,” Sara encourages. “You must break the wall of fear and turn to the Lord who can and will heal you. He has a great plan for your life. He promised it. Don’t let your past experiences have the final say in your life!”
The programme starts by seeing the God-given potential women have but recognises the reality of sin and the obstacles they face in male-dominated societies. The skilful and sensitive presenters then show how women can be beautifully remade as new creations in Christ.
- Pray for Matilda Khoury and Madeline Sara as they plan and research topics for each episode. Ask that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide Madeline as she brings encouragement to women week by week.
- Pray for the women who watch these programmes – that they would find their worth in Christ, and that men that watch the series will recognise and affirm the potential and gifts of women in their society.
- Pray for the work of Bethlehem Bible College as it trains students in church, youth and children’s ministry, media and tourism.Give thanks for SAT-7 TV programmes that help women to find value.
- Reflect on these words: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIVUK