As a pastor, a husband and a father, I have a dread of burying someone else's talents, particularly those bestowed on women. Accordingly, I have tried to scrutinize my views, the place of tradition, the thrust of theology and the force of my prejudices. Repeatedly, I have come back to this fact: If the Lord has given gifts, I had better be careful about denying freedom for their exercise. More than that, I need to ensure that the women in my life have every encouragement from me to be what He called and gifted them to be. A major part of my life must be spent as a man caring for, nurturing, encouraging and developing gifted women because they aren't the only ones who will give account for their stewardship. As a man in a male-oriented church, I may one day be asked about their gifts, too. I would like to be able to say I did considerably more than burying. A talent is a terrible thing to waste.