Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's Okay To Be a Woman

Part I:

It's Okay To Be a Woman

Recently, I started another book study.  To this point, my studies have been about me, how to love me, how to pray strategically, how to discern the Voice of God.  This journey started a little over a year ago, and honestly, it has been one of the hardest yet most rewarding journeys I've been on to date.

When this journey began, I had no real idea where it would lead.  What I wanted was to know me, and more important than that, I wanted to know God.  Not just understand God, or understand His Work.  I wanted to have an intimate relationship with God, the kind I had when I was a child.

My favorite song as a young girl was "This Little Light of Mine".  I always felt that little light, always.  As I grew up though, that darn bushel kept hiding my light.  That little light still burned, never went out, but that bushel suddenly became a safe place for me and my light.

In March of 2015, that bushel was lifted!!  To God be the glory.  While that little light didn't burst into a giant was now free of its hiding place.  That "safe" place, that stronghold, was cracked, big time!!  My soul was on fire...and I had no idea that soon, it would be ablaze!

So finally, light burning brightly, me confident in the woman God designed me to be, I decided to branch out, find a book that takes me out of my comfort zone...and boy did I find one!!  MOTIVATING YOUR MAN GOD'S WAY:  Discovering One Work That Energizes Your Husband to Love, by Dr. Emerson & Sarah Eggerichs.  Within the first few pages of this book, I knew I needed to share this experience, this new level of understand about the woman God designed, and commanded, me to be.

I feel make a few caveats:

  • This post is specifically to Christian wives, though it's not intended only for Christian wives.
  • This post will have Biblical truths which are not my opinion or interpretation.
  • This post will have my opinion and interpretation.
  • This post will absolutely, without doubt, make a feminist not only balk, but also completely reject most of it, and very possibly become offended.
  • This post is not for husbands, of any variety.  However, it is entirely possible some of it, if not all of it, resonates and even inspires them to give me a virtual "high five".
  • This post is about my personal conviction to becoming a godly woman.
  • This post may not pertain to you.  So if I say "we" and you don't fall into that category, I ain't talking to you.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way, I am going to continue with not one thought as to how someone is going to perceive this.

Fellow wives, we are doing it wrong.  We are going at this marriage thing from the absolute wrong angle.  And, get this, we are committing a sin against God!! ~insert "oh my" face here~

Wait.  WHAT??  What did I just say???

Yep.  I said it.  We, us wives, are sinners.  We are being disobedient to God in what he commands us to do and be.

(Pause for shock and horror).

(Pause again for you to re-read what I just claimed).

(Pause, yet again, to give you time to pray and welcome the Holy Spirit into this "conversation").

So, before I get straight to the punch, I find it important to lay the ground work.  Let me give you a picture of how I (important personal pronoun there) view society as we live in it today.

Prior to August 18, 1920, women did not hold the same rights as men.  I suppose one could say we were oppressed?  I suppose it could also be seen as if we were forced to submit to men.  Several very brave women and a few male supporters held the first women's rights convention in 1848.  Two years later, in 1850, the very first National Women's Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Massachusetts.  For seventy years, 70!! years, some amazing women did some amazing things to change the face of history.  I thank them.

As most ideals do, the direction of this movement changed.  While I (see that personal pronoun again?) do see the good in change, I can also see where it becomes...misdirected.  There now seems to be a certain level of militancy towards forcing society to declare, and agree, women are equal to men.  Not only in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of pretty darn near everything.

Now, here is my first line of thought that could easily be rejected and dismissed.  While, I do agree, that women deserve every right under the law that is (was) freely given to men.  I do not, however, agree that we are equal to men.  Hold on, hold on, don't get your panties in a bunch!  There will be plenty of time for that.  What I mean is, pound for pound, women are not created to be like men, therefore what we do equal will never be equal to what a man equals.  It's very similar to comparing flowers to car parts.  Their basic functions are just different.  If you have an issue with that, I suggest you take it up with God.  I'll also point out, in case you've forgotten in the moment, God loves us all equally.  He views our sin equally.

There seems to be, in my observation, a desperate need for some women to feel they are equal to men.  Honestly, I don't understand that need in the least.  I mean, why??  In my logic, I'm not a man, doesn't even occur to me to compare myself with a man.  Outside of the incredibly obvious outward differences, there are some pretty vast differences in our inner workings as well.  Not only do I acknowledge that my physical attributes are completely different, my very nature is completely different!!

For example:
  • While I've often thought I'd like the convenience of writing my name in the snow, or not have to, in desperation, find a tree and triple check there is NO ONE even remotely able to see behind said tree...I would be completely unwilling to give up my ability to carry and birth children.
  • Without hesitation or doubt, I do.not.ever. want, nor desire, the ability to fart and analyze the smell.  Even more, I never want my friends to be OK with sharing their farts with me!  Ever.
  • I love and embrace that, by nature, I am peaceful.  While I will, and can, protect and defend, I'm most happy when I can just love and laugh.  I don't perceive things by level of threat.
  • It is a blessing that I do not feel pressed to perform, pursue, provide, or protect.  Do I want to do those things?  Of course.  But the feeling of it being my soul obligation is lacking.
These are just a few things I think of when I consider being "equal" to a man.  I don't want to be a man!  I like being a woman!!  I am thankful I am a woman because men don't make sense (to me, as a woman)!!

Genesis 2:18  "The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him".

So, here God had created Adam, then realized "Hmm...maybe it's not good for him to be alone".  Now, let me tell you, as a mother of three boys...It is NEVER good for them to be alone!!  Not alone by themselves, and certainly not alone together!  I've been privy to watching grown men be alone..."Hey y'all!!  Watch this!!".  It almost never ends well.

Adam went through all the creatures God had created, and not one of them fit the bill.  (Genesis 2:19-20).

Genesis 2:22-23  "Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said,  “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man".

Out of all the other creatures, Adam chose this one to call woman.  Taken from his own flesh, created to be his helper.  You catch that??  Doesn't say to be his says helper.  If we focus on this word, helper, and stop applying our own feelings of inadequacy, it may make the pill I am about to share with you a bit easier to swallow.

Before we get to the pill, let me take a moment to address something I find important in what I just said.  "Stop applying our own feelings of inadequacy...", this is something I struggle with.  Something I've always struggled with.  There is a social "norm", a worldly definition of what makes us "good", acceptable women.  I had, and have, some pretty amazing women as role models...Women that raised me, influenced me, gave me a picture of what I wanted to be.  Then, of course, there's societies model.  In my esteem the societal model is of much less value, but really can have a bigger impact because we see it  This fictitious model is so utterly unrealistic sometimes it makes me angry.  If anything should be banned, it should be this unattainable image of what makes a "good" woman.  The negative impact it has on women, starting as young girls following us on into adulthood, is staggering.  As if we aren't hard enough on ourselves, we now have lies coming from every direction that support our own feelings of inadequacy!

That's exactly what they are, lies from the pit of hell.  It wasn't until I decided to reject these lies, and start seeking the woman God created me to be, that I began to see things from a different light.  First, I had to learn about the woman God created me to be...positive and negative qualities which make me who I am.  Once I saw who I was, I began to love that who!...not only celebrating the positive, but embracing the negative.  I highly recommend a book, Meet the New You:  A 21-Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change, by Elisa Pulliam.  It took me way more than 21 days!!  But the impact of this book really was life changing.  Not only did this book show me, in fact, that God designed me with purpose, but it motivated me to start liking that woman.  To find and claim that purpose.  To stop looking outwardly for acceptance, and stand fully in the grace of God.

1 Corinthians 15:10  "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.  No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me".

Wives, it is of utmost importance that we discover the woman God created us to be.  This woman absolutely will.not. look like any other woman you know, have see, or have heard of.  It is not "one size fits all" kind of thing.  It is unique and specific to you, just like your fingerprint.

If you don't know that woman, find her.  When you meet that woman, embrace her, love her.  Know that she is a daughter of the One True King!  Then, submit that woman to Christ.  Let HIS Holy Spirit consume you.  Trust me, believe me, when I say:  If you do this, what I'm about to share with you will flow out of you so easily and readily.  You may even look forward to the challenge (because yes, it will be a challenge).

Above all the things I've discovered on my journey so far, it's that when I seek God first, when my trust is in Him, I can pretty much do anything.  The journey is not always easy "for the gate is narrow and the way is hard" (Matthew 7:14), but I guarantee you, it will bring you closer to God, to knowing God.  And really, is there a greater reward than that?