Tryphaena and Tryphosa

In Study the Women of the Bible by revealadmin1 Comment

When describing beautiful pieces of art, breakable, kiln figurines, or precious gifts of gold, we may use the words delicate or dainty. Pictures of flower bouquets or ribbons of fine silk remind me of something that is elegant and tasteful. When imagining these intricate pieces, I would not think of delicate and dainty as people. But, two women in the Bible whose names mean delicate or dainty one, are described as hard working and vigorous for the Gospel.

Romans 16:12 reads, ‘Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet my beloved Persis, who worked hard in the Lord.”   The Apostle Paul is addressing two Roman women, presumably twin sisters, whose hard work and character are worth sending his greeting. If not twin sisters, they probably were very near relatives belonging to the same noble Roman family. “They must have been conspicuous in the service of the church in Roman – perhaps deaconesses – otherwise Paul would not have singled them out for his expression of gratitude for their devoted labor in the Lord.” [1]

I love the irony of these two hard working women and the meaning of their names, Delicate and Dainty One. “Having a similar resemblance in appearance and constitution, if twins, they were given names having a like meaning. Being of noble birth, they lived delicately, ‘that is, in plenty and pleasure and luxury’. Delicate may have referred to physical weakness, and as tender and delicate women, Tryphaena and Tryphosa stand out as early examples of incessant and arduous labors in the service of the church.”

We all have gifts given us to use in the church. “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God as apportioned to each a degree of faith. For just as in one body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually, we are parts of one another, mutually dependent on each other. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if someone has the gift of prophecy, let him speak a new message from God to His people in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8, Amplified Bible)

In my heart, I believe my gifts are to encourage, pray, and strengthen women in their faith. I desire to see my sisters in Christ reach their full potential. I desire women to achieve their goals and strive higher in their faith. I want to encourage and exhort Christians to grow in their conviction, stepping out and faithfully seeking God for their own plan and purpose. I want to use my own gifts for the service of the Lord.

I also have a desire to service. Each Sunday for two services, I usher patrons, greet them at the sanctuary doors, and stand next to the “Family Section” prepared to help mom and dads with their little ones. Tommy and I also service communion both services, a true joy to service my family in Christ the Lord’s supper.

I also write, blog, pray with the Facebook group, mentor several women in the church, and lead one of the small groups in our Women’s Ministry. I am involved in our Women’s Ministry events with registration, set up, and tear down. I absolutely love to service in the church, but I want to stress service. We are to serve the Lord as Tryphaena and Tryphosa. “Whatever you do, work from the soul, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the inheritance which is your reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Just as these two twins, we are called to serve the Lord.  We are to cast down selfish ambition, works of the flesh, and pride. Our service needs to whole-hearted for Christ and not our own gain. We are not called to impress the elders, run ourselves ragged till we drop, stress our schedules to the point of breaking, and cause spiritual burn out from OVER service.

I have been in those situations. I remember trying to impress leaders, signing up for every class or helps needed, and feeling mentally exhausted. The Lord pressed on my heart to not be “used”, to not impress man, and not serve in my own strength. How many Christians do you think are serving to be noticed, serving where they are NOT gifted, and stressing themselves out? When these feelings begin to rise, red flags should be going off in your head. This is “works of the flesh” and not works of the Spirit.

When I serve, I feel God’s Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. When anger, annoyance, frustration, bitterness, sadness, or oppression set in, we need to stop and pray. Lord, am I working for you or for me? Father, am I doing too much or am I right where I need to be? Jesus often went to lonely, desolate places to pray while it was still dark (Mark 1:35). There was and is “work” to be done in the kingdom, but we have to be serving the Lord where He wants us. Jesus Christ is our example. We are Christ followers. He worked hard and was exhausted (John 4:6), even to the point of sleeping during a fierce storm (Mark 4:35-41)!

Serving is a joy, but serving for the Lord is amazing. My heart’s desire is you know your calling (2 Peter 1:10). You know what you are chosen to do for the Lord and you are working vigorously for Him as Tryphaena and Tryphosa.

These two women were mentioned in God’s Word for a reason. The Lord loves His daughters and wants them to work hard for Him. We are not to work hard for man, but for the Lord. God used His daughters to serve in the foundations of His churches during the spreading of the Gospel as He is using them now to serve. Jesus needs your hands and feet. He needs your heart to love those in your care, where He has placed you to serve, and work hard for His kingdom. I pray you are serving with joy!


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