There is such emptiness in many women’s lives, a barrenness that speaks of losing their place, of misunderstanding their calling. Such barrenness is present even in many of our churches.
Christianity is not a cultural thing, bending to societies rules and blending in. It is the truth that sets people free. It is also the truth that sets women free. There is distinctiveness to manhood and womanhood and, understood, it is a beautiful thing.
Sadly this truth has been misrepresented, misinterpreted, misapplied for many decades.
Much more is black or white in Christianity than we have been led to believe; indeed, more than we want to believe. The truth of our identity as women, as well as the truth of all that is godly, has been twisted beyond recognition and then painted over and sold on the open market:“truth–mine, yours, theirs, ours; it’s all good: cheap.”
Long ago women stepped on board the “American Success ride”; because of that we lost ourselves. Amid the clamour, the sights and sounds, we lost our understanding of truth, of reality, of womanhood, of God. We invited our mothers, our daughters, our sisters to come join us. Spinning round and round on the dizzying ride, as kaleidoscope colors flash in our brains, our uneasy minds are, for a time, put to rest by the sheer beauty, the excitement, the fulfillment, the fun, of it all.
“It is so beautiful, it must be right.” Well, Adam and Eve thought so, too.
Seduced by the idea that God (and our husbands, society, our families) have withheld what is good from us, American women have plunged headlong into a boiling cauldron of excess: having more, we must have more yet. More success, more money, more beauty, more clothes, more excitement, more fulfilment, more, more, more….
As the character Sabrina in the movie of the same name said,“More isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more.”
Yet we strive on, content in our discontent. Something is missing but we don’t know it. If we can only do more, be more, then, one day we’ll find the elusive ‘it” that will, at last, bring our lives fulfilment. Our lives are exhausting, our hearts aching, our spirits empty, our prayers barren. Taking everything and focusing it on us only leads to emptiness. We’ve been lied to. Women have been gullible: refusing knowledge, we’ve believed the lie.
“What do I want? need? deserve? What is good for me?”
No talk of duty to parents, husband, children, the church, the lost. All that matters is me.
What happens when, in pursuit of me and what I want, I throw away everything that could have brought me true joy?
What happens when the maddening music stops and the rollercoaster ride of our lives comes to a screeching halt? When we look around us and realize that what had appeared so bright and shiny from our brief stop at the ascent now appears as it truly is: dull, tired, in need of new paint in order to continually keep up the façade?
What happens when the façade fades? When we look around us and all are strangers? When our husbands and children are walking away from us, indifferent to our pleas to come back and be with us for one more ride? A ride, we promise, that will somehow end differently…this time.
What happens when the lights go up and the show of our lives is over and we have nothing of true value to offer to God–what then?
We’ve lived the lie long enough. We’ve listened to the world even as we were drowning in nothingness.
There is a Way and most of us have missed it. The terrible price is the destruction of our lives, our families, our souls, our churches. Husbands dishonored and disrespected. Children not had or tossed aside. Our own femininity dried up like a rose in the desert. And us women: once secure in our cultural identities, now with nothing, no one, alone at last, reaping bountifully what we’ve sown so very, very well.
What now? What can we do when we’ve done all that we’ve been told to do and the result is nothing but carnage?
For so long we’ve interpreted our lives, our womanhood, by culture rather than by God’s Word. We must repent of lies told and believed. We must rise up, one woman at a time, and reclaim our calling, our womanly heritage, as women of the Word.
It isn’t easy. Most of what is right is not easy. But right is right even if everyone believes it is wrong. Just because our mothers believed it doesn’t make it true. Just because our pastors teach it, our denomination supports it, our culture demands it, doesn’t mean we have to blindly accept it.
Proverbs 14: 12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
We can search out Truth.
A lie believed out of ignorance is still a lie believed. We must seek God’s Word in order to seek Truth–in this or anything else. What we want, if it differs from Truth, doesn’t matter. What our church, our pastor, our denomination “allows” or teaches about our place as women, if it isn’t centered in God’s Word, doesn’t matter. What our culture has to say about womanhood certainly doesn’t matter. Jesus is Lord and as such He is the supreme ruler of us–even if we ignore it or don’t know it. The Bible isn’t subject to our culture or to our whims. It doesn’t matter what we have always been taught, what has always been done, what anyone wants–if it’s wrong, it’s sin.
Men are called by God to be men and to fill the role that God Himself has laid out for them. Women, likewise, are called by Him to be women and to fill the role that God Himself has laid out for women. A woman’s place is a high and glorious calling but we’ve forgotten that. We’ve bought the lies, swallowed the poison and forgotten our place. Our place was, once, much more beautiful and holy than it is now. Like Esau of old, we women have sold our birthright. There is joy in true womanhood, in being a woman under authority (both God and her husband’s). Women have been honored by God Almighty in so many, many ways. We prostitute ourselves when we demean ourselves and sell out our calling to fulfill that of a man’s. A man’s place is wondrous and full of glory but not when it is filled by a woman.
When we find Truth we have an obligation to embrace it, obey it, teach it so that others may know. To loudly proclaim part of God’s Word (the parts we like) while ignoring the parts that are uncomfortable, or that will get us laughed at, cause us pain, persecution or death, is to sin. We must honor God by seeking to understand the full counsel of God. Anything less is dishonesty. Anything less is disobedience and not Christianity at all.
A partial lie is still a lie. A partial truth propagated as the whole Truth is as good as a lie.
True biblical womanhood is beautiful. It is a privilege given to us by God Himself. It is a high and holy calling.