Recently I’ve been challenged by a Christian author whose perspective of womanhood is a breath of fresh air. My “aha” moment is considering the “If Only’s” women entertain….
In the last 30 years, there are things I have dismissed as impossibilities or have cowered away from, fearing rejection, because of my “If Only’s” list. I wonder how much women have missed by living in boxes or shadows of expectations with binding images of “the perfect Christian woman”…..somewhere in the Twilight Zone between June Cleaver and a docile woman wearing a flowery dress with big hair. At least those were images of my socialization as a -young-bride-desiring-to-be-a-woman-of-God. Unfortunately, I didn’t fit the either image. My “If Only” list just got bigger.
Where did things go wrong for the daughters of Christ? We went from being free in Christ during His lifetime to being boxed-in. For my generation, advocating for equality in Christ has been a Christian no-no (it has traces of radical feminism). But the alternative doesn’t fit either, at least in my experience. The promise of the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world hasn’t dispelled my insecurities. It’s only added to them.
All the while I longed to hear
I am blessed in recent years to read biblical, Christian teachers who don’t pile on more lists or interpretations of submission or help-mates, but present the Lord’s Word as truth of a woman’s value instead of traditional roles or society’s interpretations. While I am still learning what being a woman of the Word means, I am encouraged to embrace biblical truths that God loves me as a person first, then a woman.
I don’t remember hearing this much as a young woman in the Church. Unwritten rules of Christian womanhood are enmeshed in roles, expectations, conformity, and dependency. For those not fitting that mold, the Christian walk in womanhood can be suffocating. I’m half-Sicilian, independent, built like a Sumo wrestler, and I embrace conformity like a turkey embraces Thanksgiving Day. My “If Only’s” list has always included being quieter, smaller, plainer, and a barrage of other things you could care-less-about.
While our experiences in womanhood are diverse and vast, I share my own experience to challenge myself and anyone else with “If Only’s” to see beyond traditions, expectations, and insecurities,
then for roles we take on in our human experience.
male and female,
plant or animal,
was designed to honor Him and declare His glory.
God saw all that He made, and it was very good. (Ge 1:31)”