Godly Women, Godly Emotions
28 May 2021
Womanhood with a Renewed Heart
Women Encouraging Women (WEW) began with the same vision as CERC – to encourage women to be God-glorifying and Christ-centred. Given God’s good design and complementarian role of women, this women’s ministry seeks to faithfully work alongside our brothers in Christ to build God’s church.
It all started in 2009, when a small group of women gathered in Joy Gan’s home to read and study Titus 2 and 1 Peter 3 together. The following year, the group grew as more women came together with the desire to learn to read the bible with each other. 12 years later today, WEW is now an annual women’s conference which brings hundreds of ladies together to sit under the authority of Scripture and learn how to be Christian women – by raising godly families, being good helpers to their husbands, discipling others, evangelising and using every gift God has given to the praise of His glorious grace.
With the desire to live out Titus 2:3-5, WEW strives to teach and encourage Christian women to fear the Lord as they learn to love Him and love His people.
In March, over 400 women from 135 churches in Malaysia and other countries like Singapore and Indonesia gathered online for a conference which was one of its kind in Malaysia – WEW: More Than Just Emotions – to learn from Scripture what it means to desire a heart that truly delights God, and how to deal with the emotions that come with the many aspects of life in a godly manner.
Run by a dedicated team of women with the aid of a virtual space and no geographical limitations, WEW has come a long way, since its humble beginnings, with the highest number of participants to date! Although it was a unique challenge to organize a conference amidst a pandemic, the word teachers and operations team were nonetheless grateful to God for the opportunity and privilege to serve their fellow sisters in Christ.
“It was a privilege for me to serve God with my gifts as part of the operations team in this virtual women’s conference. Being a part of this event hits close to home for me because it reminds me of the first time I attended WEW which was about “Your Words and You” back in 2018, and that truly changed my life as a woman, helping me to think about how to use my words in a godly manner. This time I got to be part of the operations team that planned and ran WEW to change the lives of other Christian women!”
– Samantha Robless, Sales & Marketing Operations team member
“I learnt a lot about my emotions through organizing the event itself! Working with various people and being pressed for time was a difficult yet sanctifying experience for me. As part of the organizing team, I was involved in planning how to communicate the theme of “being more than just emotions”; what it means to have hearts that delight in God; and how emotions can be relatable and challenging for women at the same time. Emotions surely encompass every part of our lives, as seen in the 12 different electives that we had!”
– Clarrise Ng, Social Media Operations team member
Some of the group photos taken of the hundreds of women who joined WEW 2021
Day 1 kicked off on a Friday evening, with Christine Chong, a Church Ministers’ Apprentices (CMA)*, delivering the opening talk titled, “Know God. Know Your Emotions”, teaching and showing participants how to think about their emotions theologically. During her talk, she showed participants how the core of human emotions comes from the heart, which has been ravaged by sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and hence, is in need of God’s transformation work because only He can give His people new hearts to think, speak, emote, and act to the praise of His glory.
The truth of the matter is, feelings are not only from God, but also for God. When Christians are born again and regenerated, freed from being under sin’s power, they can now strive to conform their feelings to Scripture. So, instead of letting emotions rule their thoughts and actions, Christians should ask: “What does the Bible say?” or “What does God think and feel about this?”
“If you do not know your Bible, you will conform yourself to what others (or even you yourself) desire to be. So, love what God loves; hate what God hates.”
– Christine Chong, speaker
To deal with emotions in various situations, Christine helpfully suggested a 4-step approach:
The bulk of Day 2 of WEW 2021 comprised the electives as listed below:
- Biblical Friendship Forever! (BFF) – Joy Gan and Andrea David
- Dealing with emotions related to friendship
- Embracing Family Drama – Wei Wei Yeoh and Joni Sam
- Dealing with emotions related to family drama
- GOD-glorifying Sex? – Melissa Oui and Jan Tan
- Dealing with emotions related to sex
- Help, I’m Hooked! – Gene Wong and Robyn Leng
- Dealing with emotions related to addictions
- How Long O Lord?? – Steffie Yong and Prisca Wong
- Dealing with emotions related to suffering, sickness
- Labouring with Hope – Natalie Ooi and Leong Hui Chuin
- Dealing with emotions related to pregnancy and childbirth
- Loves Me, Loves Me Not? – Jay Lyn Kek and Su Anne Lee
- Dealing with emotions related to Boyfriend-Girlfriend Relationships
- Persecution: Is This True Blessing? – Pan Jou Ee and Samantha Lim
- Dealing with emotions related to persecution
- Raising Kids for All His Worth – Melissa Johnson, Joy Gan, and Esther Lee
- Dealing with emotions related to raising children
- Serving the Church with Dutiful Delight – Elsha Leng, Erin Miller, and Hui Chin Gan
- Dealing with emotions related to the church
- When Being Single Just Feels HARD? – Ruth Voon and Penny Lai
- Dealing with emotions related to singleness
- Work for the Glory of God – Cheryl Tan, Wong May Ling, and Leong Mei Yee
- Dealing with emotions related to relationships at the workplace
All elective leaders put a great deal of hard work into ensuring that the content of each elective provided a solid Scriptural basis to help women within various contexts deal with their emotions and strive for godly emotions.
After electives, participants watched a pre-recorded medical forum with Dr. Ang Mei-Cheen, Dr. Elsha Leng, and Dr. Leong Hui Chuin on how human biology contributes to emotions. The closing talk was then delivered by Vanessa Ong, a 4th year seminarian at Moore Theological College, Sydney. Entitled “Own Your Emotions (OYE)”, Vanessa’s talk encouraged women to strive at “being more than just emotions”. In light of how the wise woman strives to conform her emotions to the will of God for her, Proverbs 26:7-9 were a point of reflection: “Are we the kind of women who love folly and hate wisdom?”
Thanks be to God that as those who have been restored and redeemed by Christ, Christians are no longer slaves to their emotions! Rather, they are empowered to own their emotions so that they may image Christ in every aspect of their lives including their emotions.
“As women who have been regenerated and renewed by God, and given new hearts, we are no longer slaves to our emotions – this is what it means to be wise women.”
– Vanessa Ong, speaker
“We either suppress or explode emotionally. As Christians, we may not know how to deal with our emotions, which can be either godly or ungodly. That’s why I found this WEW event to be very encouraging in helping us to get practical at being wise in managing our emotions, i.e. ask yourself what you are feeling, evaluate why you feel this way, and act on what you understand from the Bible about dealing with emotions as Christian women.”
– Haley Lai, Assistant Producer
What participants are saying about WEW 2021:
“WEW was an eye-opener. I was struggling with my emotions a lot. I did not understand, ‘Why am I feeling a certain way?’ and ‘Why am I merely talking about my emotions in relation to my experiences with God?’ Now, I understand that I should not depend on emotions as the sole component in relating to God. I realized I was not rooted well in the word of God to begin with. To quote Vanessa, ‘Ungodly emotions come from ungodly beliefs and godly emotions come from godly beliefs.’ That really struck me. I realized that I have been relying on my emotions rather than on God’s definition of emotions.”
– Rene Faun
“WEW 2021 was a good reminder to us as women who are often overwhelmed by our emotions. During those times, we so easily forget about how to view, think, control, and deal with our emotions in a theological and biblical way.”
– Gloria Goh
“I have been greatly encouraged by this event, just by seeing how there were so many women coming together to learn more about God’s Word — young and old alike! It was an edifying experience where the speakers and elective leaders shared their insights on how women can be moulded and transformed to respond to situations in a godly manner with godly emotions. The talks helped me think about emotions from a Biblical, theological perspective, instead of responding in an emotionally reactive way when difficult situations arise. I also learnt that our emotions are meant to glorify God as He has made us for Himself.”
– Charmaine Lee
As a church, we are thankful to God for His Scripture, that edifies and builds up, and for WEW as a platform to teach, encourage, and challenge sisters in the Lord. Our prayer is that many women were also encouraged at WEW 2021, and our hope is that many more will continue to benefit from the faithful women’s ministry here at CERC in the years to come! May these women belonging to God grow in the knowledge and love of Christ daily for He deserves nothing less than our whole beings, emotions and all.
*CMA is CERC’s church ministry apprenticeship program of 2 to 3 years to train and test the suitability of apprentices (both men and women) for the purpose of full-time paid ministry to serve God and His church.