2. Tries to impress
3. Is controlled by an agenda
4. Her self worth is found in her accomplishment
5. Her peace is found in a perfect environment
6. She is discouraged by failure
7. She expects perfection from herself and others
8. Teaches her kids to be good.
9. She is frustrated with her lack of spiritual fruit
10. She does things with her children
11. Her perspective is based on what is seen
12. She chooses quantity of activities
2. Pleases the Lord
3. Is controlled by the Holy Spirit
4. Herself worth is found in an accurate view of who she is in Christ Jesus
5. Her peaces is found in Jesus in the midst of any storm
6. Failure reminds her that faith is made perfect in weakness.
7. She practices grace with herself and others
8. She teaches her kids to be Godly
9. She abides in Christ and bears much fruit
10. She builds a relationship with her children
11. Her perspective is based on what is unseen
12. She chooses the most excellent way.
Friday, August 16, 2013
THE CONUNDRUM OF WOMANHOOD
After two years of deep Bible Study, I had a realization that a lot of my knowledge was going to waste because I was not also grasping a lot of realities of life. Application is important and I had narrowed my application to gaining knowledge without wisdom. You may not believe where I went to gain some insight on wisdom: Christian fiction. I believe that the people who write these books do it as a tribute to God and an outreach to people who might not otherwise see what Christian thinking looks like under pressure. I have previously actually quoted from some of these books. They are a balm for my tension ridden body and a sweet tea for my mind.
The one I am thinking about right now, having just finished it, deals with women caught up in the Civil War. It is not for the faint at heart because it takes place right in the middle of the action. One sees herself as an ugly woman raised by three older brothers and confident in male skills like fist fighting and sharp shooting. She joins the war as a man and we follow her through some pretty horrible situations.
The other woman is a single Southern Belle raised in the society of the rich and proper in Virginia where some went north to fight and others went south. They were split on that. But they were not split on the proper behavior and goals for a Belle. Finding a good husband was the number one priority for every proper society woman in the south. She ran away and became a nurse during the war and what she saw and did is also not for the faint of heart.
But the story is exceptionally inspirational in very real ways to the faint of heart. And I have been just that lately so I have chosen to share a change of mind that I have had because of reading this book:
I will continue writing this blog and I will go ahead with my political blog, but it will be with a much different tone than I was planning. It will be a more humble plea for sanity, than the scorching tirade that I had in mind. God is good and God will show us the way when we actually let Him!
Through everything that these women did right and did wrong we find them growing in their love for Him and working constantly in His love for them. We also see the web of lies that got them into the war come between them and their hopes and then turn around to prove that God can make all things right for those who love Him. The book was well worth reading.
It is the plight of the Belle that intrigued me most. Each woman was expected to “find” a good husband and settle down into life as his property and his porcelain doll, looking great and doing mostly nothing, not even dressing herself let alone raising her own children. I was shocked to realize how far this is from what God wants a marriage to be. It does not even come under that shadow of Proverbs 31. But history was full of this: Consider Solomon and his 300 wives and 700 concubines, none of whom got any husbandly attention after the first glow. Or Esther who could not even approach her husband to ask a question without fearing being put to death. Our Belle actually attempted to discuss her feelings with her fiancé and was reprimanded angrily for doing so.
Today we celebrate that we have come a long way, but the truth in most homes is that nothing has really changed except the right to argue and scream day and night in front of the children and the neighbors. Many men, not just the rich, still see women as a prize that must be shown off as an extension of themselves, and kept at their beck and call.
Having the right to be a person aside from a husband or even without a husband can be a good gain and has been for many, many women. But winning the right to kill children is not. Being able to work outside the home is deemed good, but is questionable since it was part of the driving force that now makes that a necessary part of life. And, once again, women are leaving the raising of their children to others, giving the children a few minutes of their time in the evening, often running them around to activities rather than actually being with them, and a bit more serious time on the weekends if they are not off visiting their father.
All I am trying to say here is that being a woman is a balancing act of keeping our personhood and our promises to God in following Him, and performing our duties to husband and family. Women today have a challenge to be submissive to their husbands in their faith and obedience and still keep their personal relationship with God first in their lives.
Does that shock you when I say “God first?” The Belle was shocked, too, when she realized that marriage might not be God’s first choice for her if it would remove her from God’s will for her to serve Him as a nurse. When she surrendered to God’s will, she was in for a beautiful surprise. But she could have ruined it all with the wrong choice.
May we all be choosing God’s will for us first, over every other choice that comes our way, no matter how confused we may become about the consequences of making that choice. And may we be patient as God works out the details of getting us to where He wants us, not running ahead but not staying behind either. May we find great Joy in the fact that God loves us enough to see us as individuals in His family and guides us individually through life, even as our lives are intricately tied up with other lives. And, may we thank God that we are women of great value to Him.
An email tid-bit: