Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Celebrating WOMANHOOD

God created men and women with unique, distinct natures. That becomes evident to us in Genesis when God describes Adam and Eve. Both created uniquely in His image.

If you don’t believe in God, you probably won’t feel this is even applicable to you. (Although, I would love to talk to you & pray the Lord reveals Himself to you.) But if you claim to be a Christ follower, I hope you’ll take just a minute to consider this. While the majority or the commands are written in general to Christ followers, the Bible does have some Scriptures directed specifically at men and some directed specifically at women. Women of God, we need to pay special attention to those that are just for us. We need to closely examine those verses. Study them, understand them, and live them out. Study the women of the Bible who are our examples. That’s exactly what the Word is there for….to guide us!

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Side note: I absolutely loved this article that goes into more depth on our specific natures & I think it’s worth taking the time to read:

Male and Female by Design: A Perfect Reflection of God (Masculinity and Femininity)

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Yes, women CAN do many things men can do. And yes, men CAN do many things women can do. But why would we want to operate outside of our God-given nature? There is so much PEACE & JOY in ministering within the realm of how our Creator designed us.

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This is not about equality. We are equal in God’s eyes, and that is what should matter to us.  He loves us all, & women are not in any way lesser than men. But equal does not necessarily mean the same. Just as all parts of the body are equally important (think of the analogy He gives us in the Word about the head, neck, hands, feet, etc.), they all serve different (but equally important) functions within the body of Christ. God gifts us each uniquely. To me, the same is true of men & women.

I have not personally ever had any rights denied from being a woman that I can remember, so when I saw the march, I was genuinely curious as to what these ladies were marching about. I am all about supporting causes you are passionate about and being a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves, so I asked a few different acquaintances to explain their stance in hopes of gaining some insight. I truly wanted to know if there is something I am missing (that lines up with the Word of God).

I received a couple of very poetic responses (which I do respect) like “I march because…I march for…” and they’d list off some different things. (And other women would commend them on their response.) But honestly, it didn’t bring any clarity for me. I still left scratching my head and wondering what the whole thing was about.

To me, marching for someone who doesn’t have a voice would include groups like abused children, orphans, sex trafficking victims, etc. There are no gender discriminations amongst these groups, so I don’t think that’s who they were marching on behalf of, correct? And while awareness is an important step, the ACTION we are taking to battle these issues is significantly more important. I think sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves, “What am I actually accomplishing for the good by simply voicing my opinion?” and “Is there anything I can be DOING to truly make a difference?” Maybe it’s giving financially. Maybe it’s donating items. Maybe it’s serving in a specific ministry or organization. Maybe it’s being an intentional prayer warrior for a specific group. Maybe it’s fostering/adopting.

I am not bashing any women who participated. And I don’t think it’s necessary to “choose a side” or put down anyone. We can respectfully disagree. But it’s not even about that to me, and honestly, this post isn’t even meant to be about the “women’s march.” I honestly don’t even know a whole lot about it because I do not watch the news AT ALL. I think the media (overall) is wicked and corrupt, and to me, the best way to “demand better” is to stop supporting it completely. Maybe if they lost viewers (& money, as a result), they’d consider change. Anyway, that’s a different topic for a different day. Point is, I decided to write this post because I wanted to share some thoughts on womanhood from a Biblical perspective in a time when people (even Christian women) seem to be so very confused. THAT is my only standard when considering my response to something. It’s not about my feelings…it’s about the Word of God. What does the Word of God say about this issue? Based on what we know about God’s character and Jesus’ life on this earth, how would He respond?

I am so thankful for mine and my husband’s specific roles. We aren’t perfect, and there are some things we each do to lighten one another’s burden. That’s what being a TEAM and being united as ONE is all about. But to be honest, I am THANKFUL to be a woman. Jonathan has to carry a HUGE weight as our protector and provider- and those are burdens I would not and do not want to carry. That I’m not even equipped to carry.

I can, yes, but again, I’d be operating outside of my God-given nature. And ladies, there is SAFETY in being in God’s will. I picture it as an umbrella of protection and absolutely LOVE this visual.

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I love being a woman. And yes, I consider myself a strong one. I’m capable, I’m educated, I’m strong. I have a voice, and it matters.

But…I LOVE my role as a nurturer, as a caretaker, and as the minister of our home. I love supporting my husband. I love preparing healthy meals for my family, snuggling babies, teaching them and playing with them, and keeping a clean house. I love being a homemaker. I love encouraging other women. I love helping my husband run our businesses & contributing to our household. I love being able to serve in different areas outside of our home & ministering to others in need. 

And because we have our home in order, we have a rock solid marriage. Not a perfect one. But man, it’s good. I respect Jonathan more than any other man that I know. (I mean that.) And guess what? He respects me IMMENSELY in return! He highly values my opinion and there are plenty of areas he is 100% comfortable with me making decisions because he trusts me that deeply. I feel loved and valued by him. And he feels loved and respected by me. We are different, we are equal, and we each celebrate and enjoy our roles within our God-given nature.

Can we start celebrating femininity instead of feminism??

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I know this post won’t be popular with the world, but we are called to be “set apart.” If we are fitting in with the world and our values are lining up with theirs, we have major problems.

GOD is our authority.

His Word is our standard.

We should work to operate within those truths. And the only way we can do that is to know what it says. That is my goal- to help women understand what we have been called to based on the Lord’s instructions for our life given in the Bible. Again, you may disagree with me, but if you’re a believer, you shouldn’t disagree with the Word of God. Look up these verses when you get a chance…

  • 1 Timothy 3:11
  • Ephesians 5:22-23
  • 1 Peter 3:1-2
  • Titus 2:3-5
  • 1 Timothy 2:9-15
  • Genesis 2: 18-24
  • Proverbs 31

11 comments:

Carrie Cochran said...

Thank you for this.

Emily J said...

Amen Danielle! I'm a female millenial young wife soon to be mother and agree with you and really the word of God about this matter.
It is a blessing to have a marriage that is God's will as me and my husband have both wholeheartedly embraced our God given roles.
I am like you, I don't WANT all the responsibilities my husband has! Shew! Lol
Anyways, a great post and always a breath of fresh air to see another young woman with the same views as me.

Jamie E said...

Danielle,
Thank you for taking the time to step into other womens’ point of view. There are many fellow Christians I know who dismissed the women’s march at first glance, and didn’t even try to connect with the marchers. This attempt at mutual understanding is always so important! For me, marching was about many things, not just fighting for women (although that is important too, in this day when our president has bragged about assaulting women, among other things!). It included trying to make sure that everyone has a safe place in our country, including immigrants and marginalized people and practicers of other religions, and that we fight to preserve God’s beautifully created Earth, and so many other things. So know that your concerns WERE represented! The march was for solidarity among women and men in all different walks of life. Thank you for your kindness!

Stacy Wilton said...

Danielle,
I do think it’s clear that men and women tend to have different strengths, and often excel at different roles in their families. That being said, I am a Christian woman who is in a wonderful marriage (never had children), and I work full-time as a scientist. I believe that I am excellent at my job, and it is extremely fulfilling for me. While I also do most of the cooking and cleaning in my home, I know that God has given me knowledge and talent to contribute to my family through my passion and income at work. While I know you’re not trying to deride women who work outside the home, it sometimes comes off that way: that women who focus all their energies at home are better Christians, more closely following God’s plan for their life. I believe our savior Jesus Christ is the one true way, but I don’t believe that my career has changed that fact, or my ability to live as a faithful Christian. Perhaps you can elaborate on how women who work outside the home (even ones with children) are also living out the Christian way of life? Thanks for your consideration! I know you don’t like negative comments, and this isn’t meant to be negative at all! Just one lady’s perspective. 

Selina said...

Sorry but a whole lot of women in this world are single mothers and don't have the luxury of playing damsel in distress. Even in a partnership, it's naive to think a man HAS to do certain things and a woman HAS to do certain things. What happens when one of the couple dies young and the other person has to manage on their own? So many impracticalities because people insist on gender roles. I absolutely disagree with you that women shouldn't be independent and it doesn't make me any less of a woman for it. Femininity and feminism is not the opposite to each other whatsoever, it's yours and so many peoples insistence on gendered characteristics that is the problem

Anonymous said...

@Selina,

I have to respectfully say, I think you are missing the point of her post. The content of this post is not what men HAVE to do and what women HAVE to do, it’s not even about “insistence on gendered characteristics.” It’s about recognizing our goal as Christian women - not the freedom to do whatever we want or victimize ourselves because of our anatomy, but the freedom to do God’s will.
It is very clear throughout Scriptures that men and women are not identical. We look to the Bible for the principles it gives us regarding women and work - to show us what it is to be a woman and how to work as one.

Judgement and superiority such as yours (from the tone of what I read above) has the power to make a woman feel everything from shame to pride to embarrassment, but among Christians this should never be the case. Single women may feel that somehow they’re missing out on the calling of motherhood and wish they didn’t have to work a job. Others may be happy to forgo husband and kids and find joy in a career. If a mom works outside the home, she may fear judgment, whether real or imagined, from the stay-at-home-mom contingent. If a mom has embraced homemaking full-time, she similarly tends to feel judgment, real or imagined, by her working counterpart. Or, real and imagined, for both women.

To elaborate on your comment about single mothers who have to manage on their own, prioritizing Christ and the home may mean doing what is necessary to provide for her kids’ needs and giving all to her work, then home, at great cost to herself - to glorify God and for the good of her children. She would have to prayerfully adjust to becoming the breadwinner, shouldering a larger proportion of responsibility than she had perhaps desired. In the instance of a married, stay-at-home mom it may look like seemingly endless physical tasks and child training and laying down the pre-motherhood feelings of proficiency as she can no longer receive a promotion for her hard work.

The everyday lives of Christian women will not all look the same. Yet our hearts will be united more deeply than any exclusive gathering of women who work, or stay at home, or work from home, or any other category, because of our clinging together to Christ.

Kelley said...

I don't know if it took you a lot of guts or not to write this, but I know it would have me. I know in this world, we have lost sight on what principles we should follow as women who follow Jesus. The Bible is always going to be there, and the world's views and ideas are always changing. We must read and acknowledge His word, because He knows what is best for us. Following to a T is never going to be easy, because we are not perfect and we have our faults. And there are cases where every family isn't the same. We have become so obsessed with being equal, but nothing in this world is equal. What a dull world it would be if everything was equal. Because it isn't equal or fair, it allows us to put that trusting faith in God; that we go through good and bad times, but He always provides for our needs. Thank you for writing this post, and then sharing it with us. I am praying for us as women who strive to follow God's guidelines for us. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! Thorough and very well written, thanks for the scripture as well!
-Nat

amanda said...

I Just wanted to say I love the example you are setting for your kids and the example you are setting for other moms. I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this bible (I read about it in a MOPS magazine) but I thought it might be something you and your boys would love. Just thought I would share.
https://www.tyndale.com/p/hidden-in-my-heart-scripture-memory-bible-nlt/9781414381671

Sandy Rudolph said...

Dear Danielle! Just wanted to thank you for sharing His TRUTH and teaching so many women this beautiful way of life ! I am a 52 year old, Titus 2 kind of woman, and it is a God -given passion of mine to "encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children , to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind and submissive to their husbands, so that God's message will not be slandered"....Titus 2:4-5, HCSB......I have been married 27 years to the love of my life and we have always been a business owning, homeschooling, Jesus serving family . It is an amazing way of life and although many of my peers have separate careers from their husbands, I have peace and joy knowing that I never missed moments with my sons and I am there for my husband. We are far from perfect but we love the Lord and are so grateful for His mercy and grace. I am so excited for you and your family as you welcome your new baby and I am cheering you on in your quest to spread His word to other women. My sweet daughter-in-love, Emily , commented above .....she is a blessing and an answer to the prayers my husband and I prayed for our son.....you have been a huge source of encouragement to her and me as well. Thank you for sharing the love you have for Our Lord and others. Blessings to y'all !!!! Much love, Sandy

Champion on a journey said...

Girl this is a great post. I think the reason it's so hard to accept traditional roles within the family is because society as a whole has gotten so far away from biblical teaching. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.