I heard a preacher speak once on how women should curb their behavior in order to attain “godly” woman status.
That particular church service started with a sermon on Eve giving Adam an apple and by the end of the worship time, women throughout the church were enthusiastically encouraging their husbands, “Go ahead and golf eighteen holes today, honey! Dinner will be waiting for you when you return!”
It is possible someone missed a more meaningful point.
Over the years, I have heard Bible lessons on the topic of women that didn’t exactly do the Bible justice. The most frequent “godly” woman message I have heard: women shouldn’t mouth off to men. Especially husbands.
Right. Good. Unless you’re either Esther or Abigail and your husbands are being idiots. In which case speak up! Stand up! God wants to use you to carry out His plan for His people and don’t try tossing this responsibility to your husbands because He means you!
And as for speaking up, if only Pontius Pilate had listened to his mouthy wife who warned him not to do it, no matter all the hollering going on outside.
Of course the crème de la crème is to strive for the title of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I just now read that passage and no wonder everyone aspires to be her! The woman had servants.
How did it happen that the “godly” woman message from the pulpit began pushing women to be docile and sugary sweet?
What about our salt?
Perhaps we have done it to ourselves, we women. We’re so damn competitive. Once we sink our teeth into how something is “supposed” to be, we stop reading/thinking/wondering/searching/praying and instead we’re ruthless in our pursuit to put an absolute label on those around us.
Many a righteous girl gang has cut me down to size with a look that says, “You’re not tall. You’re not rich. No one ever bids on your items at church bake sales. So let me ask you this—why are you so happy? Because your good attitude in light of your obvious low benchmark for success is really bugging us.”
It’s not as if men benefit from homogenized preaching concerning women either. No guy comes home from the aforementioned eighteen holes of golf without penalty to pay. The shiny church glow has worn off, the house is a wreck, and the kids need a bath. Just ask my husband.
Let me blaspheme here by taking liberty with a Helen Gurley Brown quote on what it takes for a woman to really be a woman. She said, “It takes guts.”
It takes guts to be an Esther. It takes guts to be an Abigail. It takes guts to approach and really know this God whom you have chosen to serve.
Yours is the God who went to the home of Lydia, who gave Rahab a place in Jesus’ lineage and who saw it through with Sarah even though she laughed at His promise.
Yours is the God who longs for you to hear His still small voice, no matter the hollering going on outside.
That’s liberation, if ever there was.