Monday, June 4, 2012

Christian Feminism: Believing the Lie

My excuses for not writing this post:
  • I really don't have time to do this today.  
  • I will surely hurt someone's feelings.
  • I will make people angry and this could end up hurting my family. 
  • I have a headache.   
  • In fact, I wrote this post a week and a half ago and I'm just now putting it up.  I almost chickened out.
But some things are too important to keep quiet about, and in my heart, I know that this is one of those things.  Please hear my heart and learn from my blind and sinful attitude in times past.

I have always been a bit of a dreamer, an idealist, a visionary.  From the time I was a child, I was fed a lie:
"You can do anything you set your mind to do.  You can have it all."
So I took that lie and ran with it.  I was strongly deluded.  I was a Christian feminist with a drive for success - a career woman.  I, of course, did not think I was a Christian feminist, and would have been offended had someone called me one.  But that is what I was.  My heart pursued the vain glory that this world has to offer.  And I thought I was just fine because I had obeyed the gospel and thought I was serving God.  But God did not truly have my heart... my whole heart.  And my dear sisters, I know that I am not the only woman that has been so deluded.  It has taken me years to come around and to find God's path for me again, and as I searched for His truth, I thought to myself, "Why did no one tell me?  Why did no one warn me?"

But there were moments where people DID try to tell me and warn me.  I remember a huge blow up with my parents over paying for college.  They had agreed to pay for half of my schooling, imagining that I would just spend two years at a Christian school.  I was so angry and upset when I realized this because I had great plans for a four year degree and perhaps even beyond, with a career after that.  Oh I had originally planned a degree that could be useful as a stay at home mother, but hearing voices all through college, "You have such talent, you must use it..."  "Don't waste your God-given gifts..."  Those were the voices I was listening to.  I believed I could have it all.  And I had great plans.
Proverbs 16:9 - The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
I remember when I was engaged to my husband and nearly lost him because of my own foolish plans.  I really don't know why he put up with me back then.  I showed all the signs of being a pain-in-the-neck, unsubmissive wife.  (And I was for several years.)  I remember when we had been married a few years and my Granny gently warned me that if I waited too long to have children, things might not work out in the way I was hoping.  But I did not listen to these words of caution.  I was riding a train taking me to places where I thought I would "make a difference", trying to drag the Lord along with me.  And I am thankful that He helped me realize my great sin.  There were moments where it was as though God Himself was gently saying to me, "Is it hard for you to kick against the goads?"

Perhaps you once rode that same train.  Many Christian women do.  Perhaps you still are.  One of these days, like me, you may come to yourself and realize that it is time to jump off because that train is going the way of our mainstream culture, not the way of Christ.   

It will be a a leap.  A BIG leap.

It means more than just staying at home.  It means having your heart in the home and being happy to be there.  It means making a slow investment each and every day in the souls of the people around you and not seeing a return on your investment for many, many years.  It means sacrificing all of yourself, laying down your life to be a servant - a servant of Christ, your husband, and your children.  It means dying to self.  It is not a glamorous life.  But is is a life filled with blessings from the Lord and FREEDOM, (Romans 8:21) the freedom that only comes from being in the center of God's will. 

It would be better if you have the wisdom to never get on that train in the first place.  It would be better to have a vision for God's will for your life all along.  I do hope that you can search the scriptures and find God's way so you can become a LIBERATED woman... liberated in Christ.
Galatians 5:1 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 
Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Because this is THE thing... the ONLY thing:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 - The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  
Nothing else matters.

This post is my way-too-long commentary on a series Serena has been running on her blog.  I highly recommend reading it because she just says what is in the scriptures.  
Help Wanted:  Mothers Needed
What Does the Bible Say About Having Kids?
Life Is Short, Discover What Really Matters
So Many Choices, So Little Time
What Does the Bible Say About the Assault on Women?
Does Feminism Really Lead to Freedom?

I also highly recommend Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacey McDonald.  

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  1. Thank you for posting this, Heather. I especially appreciate the part about "it is more than just staying at home." I think too often I think of that as being the only gauge, but it is not. There is much food for thought here, and I appreciate your willingness to post it. I, too often, do not have my WHOLE heart in the things I should. I shelter too much selfishness, too much "vain glory". And I can delude myself into pointing out to myself the good I can do with what I am doing ... but it's not just about my actions, it's about my heart. It is scary how much feminism seeps into our lives without us even noticing it. I remember hearing someone say that when I was younger and I was very puzzled, because it was so obvious to me - I was of a more pure mind at that time. But little by little, as we are inundated with it everyday, our guards slip, and we start believing lies. Thank you for this post, I want to seriously consider these words and take a closer look at myself, because I think this is something I hadn't really struggled with in the past, but face more so now, so I appreciate your boldness to post. :)

    1. Thanks April! I appreciate your sincere and honest heart.

  2. Great thoughts! Thanks for posting this. My husband was recently talking to a lady at our bank who asked how big our family was. He told them that we have a large family, and that I stayed home. She replied, "Some people are just built for that, just not ME." It bothered us immensely. It takes courage and faith to be Godly wife and Christian, but it must be done.

  3. Church Mouse, thank you SO MUCH for writing this post. This is an issue I really struggle with and it is so refreshing to read such honest thoughts about your own challenges. I feel really guilty reading this, but I also feel really curious. I have a lot of personal issues and personal decisions and personal sins regarding the "why I am a single Christian woman" question. I often feel guilty, judged, and confused, but also comforted in my current place in my life. I realize that God is still preparing, maturing, and discipling me, if marriage is in His plan for me at all. But I need to be as honest as you've been in this post, and I can't thank you enough for your honesty. I feel like I've been starving for some honesty from a slightly older Christian married woman, and I feel that I've found it here...thank you. Thank you so much.

    1. Sending you hugs, Leah. You are beautiful, and I truly believe that if you "Seek first the kingdom of God, all these things will be added to you." I hope and pray that will mean marriage and children for you because you say that is what you desire, but if not, I have confidence that God will fill your life with exactly what you need and that you will find opportunities to serve the people around you. I really hope that doesn't sound trite. Compassion does not pour out very well on the computer, but believe me, it is there.

      And if you ever need to hear more stark honesty from a deeply flawed Christian woman... I'm your girl! :P I hope I never sound like I have it all together. I don't. I'm still working every day on bringing my heart into subjection. I can only thank God for His grace and mercy to give me the opportunity to do so. Oh that we would have God's vision. Praying for that for both of us.

  4. Dear Churchmouse,

    Thank you so much for this beautiful, humble post. I very much agree with you on so many levels! Christians of either gender must submit all their ways to the Lord; they must die to themselves to find their identity and calling in the Lord. The recent years have opened the opportunity for women to enter the workforce and with this many have stepped forward into that pathway without ever giving God's calling on their life a second thought. Many women have the potential to be pioneers, whether that be in mothering, singlehood, or missions. One of my heroes is Amy Carmichael. She was told that single women could not be missionaries, and she proceeded to serve as a missionary to the most dangerous portions of India all the while meekly seeking the Lord and leading thousands of people to the saving knowledge of Christ. Imagine if she had submitted to the pressure of her peers to become a career woman or a wife and mother. God called her to neither and both, and only through denying herself and walking humbly with him was she able to reach her God given potential.

    I especially appreciate your words: "My heart pursued the vain glory that this world has to offer." They speak volumes about your own journey towards humility. I am grateful that you focused, not on careers for women as "un-Godly", but rather the self-centered life as un-Godly. As someone who believes that raising children is the most difficult and beautiful responsibility a woman can have it can be a challenge for me to focus instead on what God has called me to do and be NOW. Right now, his timing is not right for me to be a wife or mother (though I believe he will lead me to right man in his timing which can be difficult to wait on). Rather he has asked me to study and learn about the people he wants me to serve, now and in the future. I rejoice in walking with him and trusting in his path and timing for my life. And I am grateful for sisters like you who are also seeking him, his wisdom, his plan, and his blessing.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comment, Prisca! You brought out some excellent angles for me to ponder that really seemed to make my point crystal clear. It is true that when you get down to the heart of the matter, it really isn't about God's plan or design for women or feminism, but rather diligently seeking God's will. The Bible says, "Seek and ye shall find..." and "seek ye first the Kingdom of God..." and I believe if we search His written Word and devote ourselves to prayer, He WILL direct our paths. How wonderful that you are diligently seeking NOW! May God bless you as you faithfully serve Him!


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