Women: Zero-Sum Game


“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message

It’s funny to me to think about the zero-sum game when it comes to men and women, let’s say in the Church.

Right at the outset, let me inform or remind you that I have a very strong husband and two alpha-male sons. I adore and celebrate all three of these extraordinary men.

Now, back to the matter.

The idea that there’s a finite amount of pie to go around is absurd!

That if you have some said portion of pie it leaves only so much for me.

Now, if we’re talking actual dessert pie, this is true:

“Hey, you have more pie! That leaves less for me!”

But not in God’s world of infinite pie. Think about the kingdom of God. Only so much pie to go around when it comes to work, impact and influence? Impossible!

A friend of mine, a male leader in the Church, told me:

“My mother always said, ‘If the women lead, the men leave.’”

To which I responded, “Well, your mother was wrong.”

I said it as lovingly and respectfully as I could, though I’m sure there was a glint in my eye.

Genuine leadership (and let’s just use leadership as a euphemism for confident, impact-playing individual) sees the riches in people and calls them out. We give space for people to flourish. Being threatened, and so protective of turf or jealous for fear of losing, alerts you that you’ve bought into the zero-sum game.

There is room for all in the space appointed us by God. There’s a freedom and effervescence that exudes from anyone who understands, as you are called up, we are all the better for it.

Men rise. Women rise.

We all rise.


I’m real because God is so real.


If you’re a man, what woman can you strengthen in a practical way? Ask her if something doesn’t come to mind.

If you’re a woman, remember: the zero-sum game can be worse among women. Go easy, women.

Nancy Hicks