Monday, February 18, 2008

value in biblical role for women

I am constantly and sadly surprised that so many women devalue their roles as wives and mothers. People are very involved in freedom and equality, and I believe the family unit suffers because of it. I have to question what Evangelical feminism does for godly families.

First, I am not referring to any family in which the husband believes he needs to lord over or completely control his wife. A godly family does not involve abuse in any way. The husband fully relies on God and His Word, and he is the spiritual leader. He follows the examples set forth in the Bible regarding treatment of his wife and children. He is willing to sacrifice as Christ did.

People want to hash out the Greek in 1 Timothy, to try and say women should hold any position of a job that they choose. They have a tendency to call any man who believes women should stay home with children chauvinistic and any woman who believes the same antiquated. If the need arises, can God use anybody He chooses to do His will? Of course; however, He gives clear instruction about the structure of a family.

We see from the beginning that woman was created for man, to be a helpmate and complete him. God first offered animals to try to fill the void, but none would work. So along came Eve. Then we have the fall, sin entering through man and not woman because Adam was responsible for Eve. We have the curse, that woman’s desire shall be for her husband and he shall be the head. Some will say that the curse was destroyed when Christ died on the cross, but we still live in a fallen world. Women still have pain in childbirth. The curse passes away when we have reached heaven.

In the Old Testament we see the dedication of men to God, and the wives’ dedication to their husbands. Proverbs 31 is always an excellent example of a woman’s priorities. She cares for her family first, and then does things in addition. I doubt there is any woman today who could accomplish so much. I also enjoy the reference to the Old Testament in 1 Peter 3. We gain insight into how a woman should act. She should be pure, reverent, have inner beauty, have a gentle and quiet spirit, and be submissive to her husband. Sarah’s dedication to Abraham is mentioned, that she obeyed him and called him master. Now, in today’s society it may seem strange to call a husband “master” but we have to see past the foreign concept and to the relevance of the term. The wife makes herself vulnerable and puts all trust in her husband by calling him master, and the husband takes this very seriously. He provides for and protects her, loving her as Christ loved.

In today’s society, where we are told that self is the most important thing, women find it difficult to submit as the women in the Bible did. We can’t imagine fully surrendering to our husbands, to trust them to do God’s will. What does this say about us? Jesus said to Peter, “Ye of little faith…” when he could not walk on water. Women often sink when they try to put their trust in their husbands. It is not just an issue of surrendering to the head of our family, but to God’s will. It is not man’s instruction but inspired writing that tells us how to act.

Too conservative, you say? Yes, by today’s standards it certainly is. The world does not understand why we would want to follow a God that puts one gender over the other in authority. Why, I ask, do we want to follow the sinful and depraved world we live in? We are transformed by the Holy Spirit when we live in Christ. We are set apart from the world. Our bodies may still be a part of it, but our minds are with Christ. We do not seek to please others, but God.

I have been attacked by women for desiring to be a stay at home wife and mother. They seem to act like I’ve lost my mind. Feminism used to fight for women to have the right to do whatever they chose, but now it only supports women who choose to take what was traditionally a man’s role in society. As a result, more and more women are leaving home and filling full-time jobs that continue to reduce the time they spend with their families.

People often assume that a mother must become bored staying at home with her children. I don’t see how. A full time job outside the home is redundant, and you are stuck in a specific role. There is not much variety in what you do. At home, a woman is a wife, lover, mother, cook, teacher, housekeeper, chauffeur, counselor, role model, decorator, etc. There is no shortage of variety in the role of a stay at home wife and mother. Contrary to common belief, there is much more variety at home than there is at an outside job.

Christian women should be concerned first with their families, second with those outside of their family, and finally themselves. God does not call us to “get yours” but to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. If submission to your husband and “limiting” yourself to caring for your children seems like an impossible sacrifice, maybe you should be rethinking your attitude. God has asked much of his daughters. When we refuse to submit and care for our families, we are not relying on God, but on ourselves. We are to set an example for our dying world in everything we do. If we believe that God values the family, we should show that in everything we do. Whether we realize it or not, people are watching every move we make, and they will know and judge the nature of God through our actions. Let us not forsake our roles as Christian women, wives, and mothers.


Amy said...

I completely agree with this! My ultimate goal is to stay at home when I have children and when people ask me what I really want to do with my life, I get kind of embarrassed to say that I want to be a stay at home mom. By the world's standards - that isn't good enough anymore!

I appreciate what you had to say. It made me feel pride for what I am going to do someday!!!

Courtney said...

I pray God blesses you and your hubby and future children. It is a pleasure to see a woman of God who is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs. There is no shame in caring for your family!