What are some lies out in the world (secular views) today about women that contradict what God says in His word about how women should be/act? Diving a little deeper…What are some lies that are still out there in our Christian circles about women? (Feel free to talk from a single woman’s point of view or a married woman’s point of view)
Jesus was the world’s first feminist. But even in 2008, many people mistakenly believe that Christian women must strive to be married, stay-at-home mothers who are completely dependent upon their husband for financial support. Worse, they believe that Christian women are subservient doormats who constantly defer to their husband’s wishes, suppressing their own opinions and beliefs in favor of pleasing a man. They refuse to accept that Christian women can be successful professionals who thrive in egalitarian relationships, setting an example of equality and partnership for their children.
Those same lies are still perpetuated within Christian circles.
Many Christian women proudly and vehemently declare that they are not feminists. In fact, they shun any of the remaining vestiges of the Women’s Movement that many of them are too young to remember. What they either don’t realize or refuse to acknowledge is that they are reaping the benefits of that Movement, enjoying the ability to make choices that were not available to their mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers only because of the sacrifices made and benefits secured for them by those very women.
Feminism is a simple concept that has been perverted over the years. All that true feminists desire is equality for both genders in all aspects of life. It is an indisputably Biblical idea, as evidenced by the number of times that Jesus is quoted as addressing matters of social justice and his unconventional behavior.
After all, Jesus spoke directly to women and children, recognizing their inherent worth and validating their importance to the social structure of the time. In those days, women and children were chattel (property) and his conduct not only caught the attention of the leaders of the day, but eventually culminated in his death. Women dishonor him when they deny and misrepresent his teaching on the subject. The Bible directs men to love their wives in the same way that Jesus loves his church, i.e., his followers. That is a radical directive, demonstrating that women are to be elevated to the same level of importance as Christ’s church.
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
That passage is actually a statement about the inherent worth of each and every human being, commanding that all be afforded dignity, respect, and equal opportunities. No person is ever again to be relegated to the societal role women and children occupied in Jesus’ time. Slavery cannot exist.
Yet Christian women are sometimes their own worst enemies because they allow themselves to become polarized, believing that a particular way of living is the only “right” way. A woman who feels called to remain out of the workforce in order to raise her children and focus upon her home makes an honorable choice. But so does a woman who feels a different calling and voluntarily decides to balance her home responsibilities and professional pursuits.
Too often I see Christian women judging and criticizing each other because they chose different paths when they should instead be empowering and supporting each other, understanding that there are as many different kinds of Christian as there are . . . well, Christian women! We are all one-of-a-kind creatures molded in the image of the Divine Creator. Rather than trying to impose limitations upon each other, we should be encouraging each other to embrace our unique identities.
If we did a better job of uplifting each other, the world would see and understand that Christians are not all the same and that feminism, egalitarianism, and overriding principles of social justice are all decidedly Christian concepts.