“The F Word”

Okay everyone, I know you don’t want to say it, but say it right now, out loud. Move away from children if you must.

Fuh.. Fuh… Feminism.

Whew. I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

When I was a freshman/sophomore, and I was trying to find myself, I really truly thought I was a feminist. And there are multiple factors in this. I used to have to train with the boys on my team, which made me have the “just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean you can swim faster than me” mentality. I grew up in the girl-power, be-your-own-prince, I-am-a-fierce-she-lion age, that told me I could do whatever I wanted to as a girl. Don’t get me wrong, these are all still relatively true, but as a freshman and sophomore in high school just starting to understand bits and pieces of the world around her, that’s where I wanted to find myself. I was struggling with figuring out where I belong.

But that’s another blog post. 😉

I really truly thought that was where I could find myself. I did some “research” on feminism and what it is. If I was to simplify what I learned, feminism is the thought that men and women are equal in all standards. They should have all the same rights and ranks and pay checks and sexuality and votes and blah blah. I don’t know what exactly brought me to think how great that was, but I sure did. And I went around on my little soap box and every time a boy would treat me in a way that was different I would make sure to make a mental note of his sexism.

*eye roll at younger self inserted here*

I came across this section of scripture one day when I was in a coffee shop waiting for my date to come:

(1 Timothy 2:8-15) I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

And honestly, I was pretty pissed off. I made my own obnoxious mental note about having a sexist religion, and that is so, so wrong! Why did God want me to be a mother, but not a Social Worker like I want to be? Why can men worship how they want but women need to stay modest and not ask questions in church? Why must we bow before our husband because he is male? Why don’t we women get to “wear the pants”?

Honestly, it really bothered me. I still don’t think I have it entirely resolved yet. But here are some thoughts that I’ve had since then.

First of all, our biological makeup is made for motherhood. Men naturally are made with more muscles for working, women naturally are made with wide hips and breasts for babies. It just what it is. And one of the things that come along with motherhood is the responsibility of your child(ren). You can’t neglect that job. We are called to be fruitful and multiply and teach others about the Gospel. Of course that includes our own children!

Second, this doesn’t mean you can’t get a job. One of my things that I “believed” is that women shouldn’t have to be stay at home moms. Or that they shouldn’t be at all. My views are still similar, they shouldn’t have to be stay at home moms,  but they should put their family first as God calls them to do. They should always be mother first, then their job. Therefore, maybe women shouldn’t have jobs that they can’t be mom first. I want to be a social worker and counsel children. Later in life if my plans go accordingly, I want to have my own private practice. I could work my hours around my kids, and make them my first priority.

Third, women shouldn’t necessarily be in a place of authority. It bugs me sometimes, though, because I see that some men can be lazy, and women have to step up in that place. (That isn’t an always, by the way! You know that there are plenty of people out there that are like that. Just chillax and here me out). But with the current election, I don’t think as a Christian I can support Hilary and not feel like I’m supporting something that I probably shouldn’t (NOTE: I don’t want to discuss politics, I’m sorry, but I’m a moron when it comes to this kind of thing). Our president shouldn’t be decided upon because of their gender. Okay, anyways, back to my point. We need a man to be the head of “the house” like God called them to do. We need a man to be the leader of our country, our schools, our churches. I’m sorry, but it’s in there. You can’t argue with the book.

Fourth, I still don’t think men>women is a true statement. That’s like comparing apples and oranges. We have totally different skills and are built for entirely different jobs. Ladies, we just cannot lift as much weight as they can. We cannot bulk up the same way. We don’t think the same exact way that they do. We were made with lady parts. We were made to be caring and nurturing. Its just how it is! So why would we compare the person who provides for the family out of the home with the person who is caring for her family inside of the home? It’s pointless. Men aren’t greater than women, and women aren’t greater than men.

I took a Bible class where we had a study on this topic. Paraphrasing, a classmate said that as women, we should be honored to be under the authority of men, because Jesus was under the authority of his Father and lived the life of a servant. It really struck  me when she said this. Wanting to live like Jesus- which is my goal in life- means I have to have a servant’s heart. This includes to my husband. Does this mean I have to allow boyfriends and husbands to walk all over me? Of course not. I am to follow my Heavenly Father’s wants, and live under what he has planned for me. I want to get married. I want to have a family. I want to have a job. And I am going to do what God has called me to do.

For a while, I thought that I was useless because I am a female. That God created me for babies and that’s all the substance to me. But I forgot about all of the other things he gave me. He has given me my healthy body which allows me to be strong, my caring nature that allows me to reach out to others, my desire to travel which means I can spread the Gospel, my love for writing so I can use this little blog space to touch others people’s lives. I was viewing God as oppressive, when he is complete opposite of that. He has given me so much, one thing is the ability to make a baby, and I can use all of it in my life. I can be everything He has planned for me to be.

Today is International Women’s Day. It is probably being used as a day to promote feminism. But I want to take today to thank the influential women in my life.

  • my Mom
  • my Sister
  • all of my Aunts
  • my former coach, Junia
  • my Granny
  • my Nonna
  • Coach Angie
  • my wonderful friends: Sydney, Bethany, McKenzie, McKayla, Molly, Julia, Lexy, Rebecca, Lauren, Jessica, Elea, Megan, Sarah, Hannah, Savannah, Jamie, Caitlyn, Caitlynn, Makayla, Alayna, Esther, Kristen, Sara, and anybody else I am forgetting
  • the little swimmers on the team

Thank you, very much, for helping mold me into the woman of Christ I am today. I am forever grateful to you and I love you so dearly.

I want to encourage all of you who are confused about this topic to research it. But ALWAYS go back to the Bible. Talk to strong Christian women in your life. This post may get mixed results, but I hope that this can help clarify to you who are in the same position I am and I was in. I would LOVE to hear your feedback or your questions! Feel free to email me or comment on this post.

Happy International Women’s Day! Go celebrate the wonderful, feminine, beautiful creature that God made you to be. You are so loved by a wonderful God.

Lucia

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3 thoughts on ““The F Word”

  1. Hey Lucie,
    I love that you’re writing a blog. Yay writing! And I love that you’re working through and articulating your thoughts on this and other big questions. So, so important.

    But you know I have to comment on this, right? 😉

    You’ve quoted a passage from 1 Timothy that a lot of people see as clear evidence that God intends men and women to stay “in their place.” But I think there are other places in Scripture that really question that notion. Mary didn’t stay in the kitchen with Martha, yet Jesus praised her seeking higher things. In Galations 3, Paul talks about our tendency to imprison ourselves the law when Christ has made us free to serve him. He ends with that wonderful declaration: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Why include “male and female” there, unless there is some way that we use the “law” to imprison ourselves according to our gender?

    There are a lot more things to talk and think about regarding the Bible and women, but I just want to urge you that the answer is not as clear cut as it might seem. Context matters. Culture matters. We have to read these passages with an understanding of all that stuff. (I mean, you do still braid your hair, right? Because the Bible clearly says…)

    The second thing I want to respond to is your argument that God made women primarily to be mothers. The problem is that world has no room in it for people like me. I’m 33 years old. I will very likely never get married. It’s okay–I’m not terribly sad about that because I’ve realized that not having children means that I can do a whole lot of things that my friends (who have a houseful of little ones) can never do.

    I can volunteer twice a week at my church. I can be politically active–go to rallies and march for justice. I can pursue education and help educate others. I can be a leader in my workplace. I devoutly believe that these are all great things that God has called me to–not consolation prizes for not being a mommy. My other single female friends in their 30s here in Nampa are: a Bible professor, a pastor, a missionary/nurse, a research librarian, a career center director, and a campus chaplain. They’re all following God’s call on their lives too–I have no doubt about that.

    I wonder if these are the kinds of things Paul was talking about when he encouraged young women NOT to get married, to be “free from concern” so they could serve the Lord. (1 Cor. 7) He gives the exact same advice to men and women there, notice.

    All that to say, you are exactly right that God is not oppressive. God created women (like all humans) for freedom and flourishing. It is not God who seeks to limit us to specific roles–it’s the world that does that.

    Can I give you a couple book recommendations?
    Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton
    Women in the Church by Stanley J. Grenz – These are two really excellent discussions of some of those passages like the one in I Timothy. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but take a look at the way many Biblical scholars have come to understand the role of women in leadership.

    Thanks for opening the conversation! Happy International Women’s Day!

    Like

    1. Hi Ms. Van Essen!
      I totally agree with you and what you have to say on many levels. I was questioning whether or not I should have put something in there about single women, and now I so wish I would have. I completely agree with what you said! I for sure am not promoting to force marriage or that you have to be a mother. I think you still have a place in society and in the church without a husband. You are still a child of God and you have roles in this world and in the church. I admire you for that.
      I do agree on context, also. I talked with Mr. Mac about that and he was telling me that the “head covering” part is relevant to the time of the early Christians. I feel like I wasn’t taught context early enough, so to this day I still struggle with context. Thank you for pointing that out.
      I think I still have so much more to share about this. I still have so much to learn! Thank you for your encouragement and book recommendations and your comment!
      Lucia

      Like

      1. Hey Lucia,
        Thanks again for the conversation. I love how eager you are to learn about this stuff–that’s how I feel too, so much more to learn. I was thinking that it might be hard for you to get ahold of those books I mentioned, but there’s a great blogger who hosts some of the same discussions on her blog. Have you heard of Rachel Held Evans? I bet you would love her. Here’s one of her posts about the Greco-Roman household codes: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/four-interpretive-pitfalls-around-the-new-testament-household-codes . The other posts of hers about submission and mutuality are really interesting too… follow the links.

        I’d love to know what you think… if you feel like continuing the conversation. (But if not, that’s ok too.) Have a great spring!

        Like

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