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"I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" Part 2

Haven't read Part 1? Click here.

"Feminism...is the cutting edge of a revolution in cultural and moral values... The objective of every feminist reform, from legal abortion ... to child-care programs, is to undermine traditional family values."
-Ellen Willis, November 14, 1981 issue of The Nation

"Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women's movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage."

-Sheila Cronan

"I am woman, hear me roar/In numbers too big to ignore/And I know too much to go back an' pretend 'cause I've heard it all before... /If I have to, I can do anything/I am strong (strong)/I am invincible (invincible)/I am woman.... /With a long long way to go/Until I make my brother understand."

-"I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" by Helen Reddy

“The utopia envisioned by ideological feminists would be a world free from any concern for gender--a world where masculinity and femininity are erased as antiquated notions, and an age in which the categories of male and female are malleable and negotiable.”
- Albert Mohler

We live in a culture that is saturated with feminism. In the name of equality, feminists demand gender neutrality, insisting that there is absolutely no difference between the sexes. Feminism's indignant cries in the name of justice are only shabbily-disguised attempts to forever do away with the “archaic notions” of manhood and womanhood. Chivalry is shunned, mistaken for chauvinism, and all submission to male authority is considered degrading and demeaning.

Sameness is the goal.

Equal, But Unique

The Bible offers a very different message. Although feminists are right when they say that men and women are created equal, they naturally assume that equal means the same. That’s where their error lies.
Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.”

God created both men and women in His own image, making us spiritually equal individuals. But He also created us with distinctly different roles. In Genesis 2:20-24, we see that God created woman to be man’s helper. In marriage especially, man was created to be the leader, and woman to be his helper.


Submit? Who, me?

"So, who do you think should be the leader in the family?" I asked.

She smiled before responding to the question. "Well, I believe in a democracy. Both the man and the woman should lead. But, you know, in many cases it depends on the man. Some men just shouldn't lead a family. Sometimes the wife is far more competent!"

My face expressed my disbelief. "But... but that's totally unbiblical!"

This view on roles within the family are very common. Many believe that submission to husbands and fathers shows weakness, but in fact, the opposite is true. Submissiveness is a beautiful virtue. Far from appearing as weakness, it shows inner strength and a spirit that trusts in God.

Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:22-24: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

Ephes. 6:1, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

The gender roles described by God in the Bible are balanced. But since we are sinful people, these roles can be twisted. Unhealthy, controlling leadership in a husband or father is devastating to the dynamics of a Christian family. A girl or woman can mistakenly allow herself to be taken advantage of physically and emotionally by her father or husband, while thinking that she is submitting. Women in these abusive situations must seek immediate, godly counsel.

The Root of the Problem
Feminism isn't really about equality, you see. It goes down to the heart: worshipping ourselves rather than the Creator. Our hearts are naturally rebellious; we have no desire to submit to any authority. Without Christ, it is utterly impossible for us to submit to our fathers, and, one day, to our future husbands. Only when our hearts are before God, broken and humble, can we accomplish this. If we cannot first joyfully submit to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, how can we expect to joyfully submit ourselves to our earthly fathers and future spouses?

You and I may not be feminists, but we still struggle with feminist attitudes. We all have the same constant challenge: to die to ourselves daily, and live for God; to kill pride by putting others above ourselves.

Questions For Discussion

  • How does submission relate to the ungodly father/husband, and the non-Christian father/husband?
  • How can we help our fathers to become better leaders?
  • What does Genesis 3:16b mean, and how does it relate to this topic?
Sources:
Photo courtesy of Peter Gustafsen

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Have you ever been a feminist?

RE: feminism
Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2006/10/five-things-feminism-has-done-for-me.html

Anonymous,
I'm not sure whether your comment was directed at Lindsey (she wrote the post) or at any of the BftH contributors, but I think I speak for Stephanie, Lindsey, and Kristin when I say that although none of us have been "feminists" in the full meaning of the word, we have all been influenced by the feminist thought in our culture.

Hi Beepbeepitsme!
It was interesting to read your account on "How feminism has helped" you. However, as Ellen Willis said, "The objective of every feminist reform, from legal abortion ... to child-care programs, is to undermine traditional family values." The main purpose of feminism is to abolish the God ordained function of the family.
Although the Bible does not supply support for the abuse of women or the chauvinism of previous generations, it does not supply support for feminism either. God's design differs from both of these extremes, in that God gives women the same value as men. In His eyes, both men and women are precious. Yet, He also gave both genders distinctions.Read here, here, and here for expositions regarding Biblical womanhood by Elisabeth Elliot and Carolyn McCulley. They help explain the Biblical design for womanhood so well.

Anonymous,
Thank you for your question. Hannah was right; although I have never called myself a "feminist", in the past, my attitudes and my very manner of thinking were strongly tainted with feminism. It took God changing my heart for me to realize my sin, and to give me a desire to embrace the role he has given me.
Lindsey

What a great post! I just recently found your blog and I have been so encouraged and blessed by it!
Though i am against the feminist movement, i often find myself struggling with feminist attitudes. Your post was a great reminder to first submit my heart and will to God and only then will i really be able to submit to my father and then hopefully one day my husband.

If you study this in scripture, the word "submit" means to respect or honor. If you check out this scripture in context, it paints a beautiful picture of a man nurturing & loving unselfishly his wife, and a woman honoring and respecting her husband. If we truly used this as a model for marriages, it would be a strong foundation for a loving marriage. Unfortunately both believers and those who don't believe try to distort this picture of unselfish love. Christ modeled it perfectly. : )

Suzie Eller
http://realteenfaith.blogspot.com

There are many ways in which to serve God. Joan of Arc won a war because she heard the voice of God speaking to her. She lead men into battle and was victorious but was ultimately killed by the king she had fought to put on the throne. Isn’t it possible that not every woman was meant to serve God by serving as a mother in the house? If a woman can better serve God by using her natural skills, such as art or writing that would cause her to work outside of the home, is this not an admirable goal?

Submission, I agree, has a very negative meaning in modern times. I can see the two halves that you discuss, the “feminist” part of me, and the part that does want to submit, not in a derogatory or weak manor, but in a manner that is acceptable and appropriate that I find hard to describe exactly with words. However, there seem to be two very opposite view on this issue. There is your view, and the view of the feminists. Polar opposites. Isn’t it possible that the truth lies somewhere in the middle between your two views?

Did God forever mean for women to remain in the house, or did he expect the family dynamics to evolve? We must remember that God is Omniscient, the veil of the future is lifted for him. He saw that this is where we would end up. It could be a test of will, or it could be natural progression. Does the word of God remain constant? Maybe it was before that we were not ready for this new truth. Like a child, we have slowly been taught, and now that we have grown the rules have changed, we are able to do more as we gain responsibility and understanding of God.

could you please answer that question before my post? I would really like to know the answer. I am encouraged by you what you wrote. I am a Christian girl in highschool at a public school and I am sick of having to listen to feminist viewpoints and I want to stand up and tell them they are wrong, but I also don't want to do it in an ungodly manner. Do you any advice for me? for example: my teacher is a feminist, because she told us about how she yelled at a bishop for saying that women were made for marriage and submission. She told him that she was not a baby machine that she wanted to be a scientist and that is perfectly fine. I looked at her with wonder as she was describing this, because she was so angry. I wanted to say something. like well, what's wrong with getting married and having kids? What is wrong with motherhood? Why did God give me a brain then? Should I just be a wife and housekeeper or can I pursue a career? anways. I would really appreciate it if you would help me in this area and pray for me too.

a sister in Christ,
amy

amy said...

could you please answer that question before my post? I would really like to know the answer. I am encouraged by you what you wrote. I am a Christian girl in highschool at a public school and I am sick of having to listen to feminist viewpoints and I want to stand up and tell them they are wrong, but I also don't want to do it in an ungodly manner. Do you any advice for me? for example: my teacher is a feminist, because she told us about how she yelled at a bishop for saying that women were made for marriage and submission. She told him that she was not a baby machine that she wanted to be a scientist and that is perfectly fine. I looked at her with wonder as she was describing this, because she was so angry. I wanted to say something. like well, what's wrong with getting married and having kids? What is wrong with motherhood? Why did God give me a brain then? Should I just be a wife and housekeeper or can I pursue a career? anways. I would really appreciate it if you would help me in this area and pray for me too.

a sister in Christ,
amy

March 29, 2007 1:36 PM

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for the comment. It must have taken a while to write, so I'll do my best to write a thorough comment in response. :-) You wrote that it may be possible that God's Word changes, or that we have evolved beyond the point of obeying them. However, the Bible does not indicate this. We are only commanded to obey His Word, not be the judge of whether God's Word has become outdated.

Yes, we are to use our talents for God's glory. Yet being a keeper at home or being submissive does not necessarily mean we cannot use our talents, but we may not be able to use our talents as we may wish. For instance, I love to write. But I try to obey God's Word concerning how I should spend my time as a woman. Does this mean that I cannot write? No. It means that I may never become a full-time Lois Lane, but I can still use my desire to write for His glory.

If we begin to disregard bits and pieces of God's Word, we approach a slippery slope. If we think one passage is old-fashioned and no longer relevant, then we may find reason to disregard even more passages. One must either accept all of the Bible or none of it. You mentioned that God is Omniscient. Could it be that in His Omniscience, His Word contains truth that is truth for all time?

Again, thank you for the comment.

Dear Amy,

I'm not sure whether you should speak to your feminist teacher or not. I recommend going to your parents (or a godly older woman) for guidance in this area, since they know the situation better.
You wrote: "What is wrong with motherhood? Why did God give me a brain then?" Here is a post that was written to answer that question.
I hope it helps!

Eh, writing long comments; it’s what I do. But thank you for taking the time to answer.

I do not say that we have evolved beyond the point of obeying God’s word, I merely point out that God’s word my not be forever unchanging. We are God’s children, and like children we must be raised slowly and what may apply to a three year old will not apply to a six year old. God is hear to take humanity out of infancy and raise it to be all it can be. As a three year old is not ready for the increasingly complex and in-depth rules presented to an older child, we may not have been ready for more complex revelations on virtue and goodness. Of course like an impatient child we cannot decide when it is right for us to rise to a knew level, we must wait for God to determine that. That does not mean that there are not more levels, however. It does not mean that God has expanded beyond the initial things set before us. Humanity, as a whole, is not on one level. God sees us as individuals, and like a mother with children of different ages, He may have different levels of expectations, rules, and explanations for us as individual people. On that individual level, it is you and God. Others may disagree with what you say, but God has shown you the path and like Noah, despite ridicule and scorn you will complete it. God is too great for us to ever claim to understand, and even the Bible cannot define His glory. Of course it is the first step, without it where would we be? I’m suggesting, however, that God is beyond even that. At the end of all things, who can say where a personal relationship with God will go? Like a tree, we all grow along the same trunk, but as we grow and develop, will we not be like branches in God’s plan? Despite that we are different branches, we are all part of the same tree. Does that make sense? I look forewords to reading your reply ;)

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