‘The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive”- Betty Friedan
“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.” – Gloria Steinem
The feminist movement in American successfully convinced generations of women that they have to fight for their rights. You’ve got to stand up for yourself if you want to be liberated. If you want to break the chains of oppression, women must assert themselves.
I was raised by mother who was the product of all the radical mantras of the 60’s. I get what feminism did. “Submission” was a dirty word. Showing your strength was it’s replacement.
I fear many Christian women have been deeply impacted, yet they approach their feminism is more subtly. In most churches I don’t see women burning their bras or parishioners crossing picket lines.
But I do see a lot of women in turmoil over their role in the home. I hear them complain that their husbands don’t help enough with the kids or they have to do all the housework. I hear women publicly chastise their husbands for their shortcomings. I have heard statements like “I just couldn’t be home with my kids all day.” Or “Being at home just isn’t for me.” They replace a mother’s touch with corporate day care, home cooked meals for fast food, and family time with “me” time.
So does our liberation come from trashing our aprons for a portfolio? Should we abandon the shackles of marriage to discover our true selves? How do can we be truly liberated?
I have lived the internal struggle. I have worked outside the home and tried to balance being a wife and mother with my job (a task that got harder the larger my tribe grew). I have felt bound to the home, chained by my duties as a mother, and defeated because my educational pursuits and career didn’t go as I planned.
In light of passages like 1 Tim. 5:14-15 and Titus 2:4-5, you many find yourself in the struggle today. You may be unsure of your direction or conflicted about your role.
So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them. For I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan.
These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
I want to leave you with these thoughts from Paul’s writings to the church in Rome.
Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit…And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death…Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Let yourself live in the Spirit. Bask in the power of the freedom that He gives. Turn your will and your decisions over to Him and then… THEN be ready for a life of peace.
*Another addition: I think the scriptures show that there is a huge different between having a job outside the home and abandoning the home. Some women seek outside employment to benefit the family, while other women to fulfill a selfish need. There is certainly a balance that can be reached when our priorities put the home first.
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates,where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. Prov. 31:10-31