Why Feminism Is Never The Answer

Why do Christians fall into the trap of believing that an ideology promoting female superiority is a legitimate answer to the “gender war”? That a man-made solution will address the spiritual problems of the human heart?

 

A Cheap Substitute

Feminism can never put a stop to sex trafficking, because it cannot stop greed, loneliness, and depravity.

Feminism can never eradicate domestic violence, because it cannot instill in men a passion to love and lead their families well.

Feminism can never put an end to pornography, because it cannot satiate lust, addiction, and emptiness.

Feminism can never cut down the divorce rate and improve marriages, because marriage is not about “equality,” fairness, or sameness; and all the role reversal in the world cannot change the fact that we are daughters of Eve and sons of Adam.

Feminism can never bring women fulfillment, because true fulfillment is only found in Jesus Christ.

Feminism can never force men to genuinely respect women by removing sexual distinction, such as by fighting for legislation which places women in combat units (but such a move is guaranteed to result in combat ineffectiveness. This has been proven by history and the fact that every nation which has experimented with women in combat has abandoned the idea.)

 

The Beautiful Lie

Feminism exalts women but can never truly empower them; promotes women, but can never pacify the innate desire to control. It insults women and men alike by insisting that the only real difference between the sexes is physical.

One of the stark ironies of feminism is that by promoting one gender over the other, it is inherently sexist. Further, this sexism fuels the historical pendulum swing between chauvinism and feminism, misogyny and misandry… prompting a backlash and fueling the very kinds of inequalities it supposedly exists to correct!

Ergo: feminism isn’t beneficial to anyone, but it does a particular disservice to women.

 

The Stark Contrast

Feminism tells me to look out for MYSELF and MY gender. God says to consider everyone else as more important than myself. (Philippians 2:3)

Feminism says that you change a husband by getting him to loathe himself and be convinced that he’s somehow responsible for centuries of “oppression.” God says you change a husband by respecting– no, reverencing!– him, being Christlike, and fixing YOURSELF. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

Feminism says that I need to find myself and get out of the home in order to feel fulfilled. God says that I find my satisfaction and fulfillment in HIM, regardless of circumstances. (Philippians 4:12,13)

Feminism says that women don’t need men. God says that woman was created for man. (1 Corinthians 11:9)

 

No Such Thing As “Evangelical Feminism”

Feminism by any other name is still feminism. Wrap it up in twisted Biblical theology and tie it off with Christianese rhetoric and it’s still the same spirit of Jezebel at work: religious, proud, rebellious, destructive, and vehemently opposed to God’s designs.

Christian women… if you’re going to make anything your gospel, make it THE gospel.

If you want to fight injustice in this world, don’t side with one gender over the other; be a conscientious objector in the battle of the sexes.

If you want to consider yourself an independent thinker, realize that you ingest the world’s lies every day and they affect you, and you need our Savior and His Word, constantly, to renew your mind with truth.

Wives, be bold in the way that Scripture defines boldness– as women who are BRAVE enough to submit to their husbands rather than “giving way to fear.” (1 Peter 3:6)

My fellow women! We were designed for so much more, so much grander and greater things, than petty feminist creeds and self-exaltation.

Show this world the transforming power of God in human lives by placing yours under His love and wisdom… by embracing His perfect designs! Step into the glorious light of truth and grace and love, and be FREE!

_____________

If you’re interested in learning the lesser-known origins and aims of feminism, you may enjoy my YouTube videos on the topic. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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Wives of Witchcraft and Idolatry?

Is it really that big of a deal when wives don’t submit to their husbands?

Why don’t you get off the topic and quit harping away at it, Christiana? Isn’t this majoring in the minors?

Women should all just study comforting devotionals and gender-neutral passages of Scripture and not focus so much on the ones written directly to them, after all. Sure, no wife is perfect… but all is grace, right?

God commands husbands to love their wives. He commands wives to submit to their husbands. Both are repeated unmistakably, indisputably, in Scripture.

And in our culture, including church culture, we see an unloving husband as a jerk.

But an unsubmissive wife? Meh. Even the word “submissive” itself is controversial; we’re petrified to merely utter it.

(We’re the ones who decided it’s “controversial,” by the way. God didn’t.)

Submission, as we know, is the Greek word “hupotasso,” which (quoting Strong’s) is “a Greek military term meaning ‘to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader.’ In non-military use, it was ‘a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.’”

This– out of all the words in the entire Greek language– is the God-breathed word chosen to describe the way a wife ought to relate to her husband. To arrange herself under her husband’s authority, with a yielding and cooperative attitude.

What’s the opposite of “submissive”? What words come to mind as describing the opposite of placing oneself under authority and having a heart inclined to yield?

Perhaps “rebellious:” defying authority and being your own boss. Or, “stubborn:” being stiff-necked and difficult to move.

So many wives admit to being stubborn almost as if they’re proud of it, as though it somehow signifies strength. To be a rebel is considered equally admirable. Yes, from girlhood through womanhood, we seem to think that stubbornness is cute and rebellion is nothing more than a little sass.

Or, at best, we recognize these as being less-than-ideal wifely qualities, but hardly anything severe.

Such words have lost all meaning. We have watered them down in much the same way that we’ve weakened the meaning of sin in general; we’ve lost sight of just how egregious it really is: perverse and cosmic enough that God’s only Son had to be slaughtered like an animal to atone for even the smallest of transgressions…

It’s time we looked at what the Bible says about rebellion and stubbornness, which I believe will reinculcate them with the significance and seriousness that they are truly meant to communicate.

Let’s look at 1 Samuel 15:23 to see how God views all of this:

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

This smacked me right between the eyes the first time I remember reading it as a young adult.

Witchcraft. (Hebrew word kesem, meaning “divination.”) Rebellion is occultic, demonic, Satanic. Anti-God. This makes complete sense when we consider that rebellion began with Satan, the first rebel in existence. It was rooted in pride: an inaccurate, inflated view of himself which led him to defy his direct authority (God Himself) and go his own way in rejection of God’s established order.

In Scripture we repeatedly see submission portrayed as protection, especially of a spiritual nature. And when we step out from under that protection, we open ourselves up to the “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Iniquity. (Hebrew word aven, meaning “wickedness.”)

Idolatry. (Hebrew teraphim, meaning “a kind of idol, such as a household idol.”) A violation of God’s first of the ten commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

What is the idol here? What are we worshipping in our stubbornness? Self. When rather than yielding we behave in a stiff-necked manner toward the authorities God has placed in our lives, we’ve clearly decided it is we who know better. We will not follow, will not bend to another; we are seated firmly on the throne of our own lives. We have created an idol in our own image.

It seems that part of the reason so many women don’t take submission seriously is that they simply do not see unsubmissiveness as actually being sin. For some bizarre reason, we see the topic of wifely submission as peripheral (even though we know it mirrors a picture of Christ and the church to a watching world–Ephesians 5) and inconsequential (even though this submission is the one hope wives are given of winning an unsaved husband to the Lord–1 Peter 3).

I’ve been told even by supposed complementarians, “Oh, you and I agree on headship and submission. We just interpret it differently…”, as if these God-breathed words are so unclear and ill-chosen as to warrant many different definitions and applications.

No, there’s actually no confusion as to what these particularly explicit words communicate. There’s no wide range of meaning, much less conflicting uses. There are such instances in Scripture, but this is certainly not one of them. We simply very often choose, en masse, to follow in the footsteps of our feminist culture and respond to God’s blueprint with indifference, rebellion, or stubbornness.

Obedience is not always easy. But it is very, very simple.

Are we going to be women who gullibly believe the messages all around us? Or are we going to be women who stand with faith of steel and believe our God?

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38)

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

“When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love Him.”

~ Elisabeth Elliot

Is Feminism Without, Or Within?

The impact feminism has had on our understanding and interpretation of Biblical womanhood has been devastating.

Our perspectives are flipped upside-down, rather than merely skewed– and that has affected our marriages, families, the church, and our nation. Years of deep historical research and learning has only shown me that its fundamental aims are far worse than we know.

Feminism is a shape-shifter, and is frequently re-packaged, relabeled, and mixed syncretistically so as to be palatable to those who would never accept the feminist label. We have become desensitized and clinically blind to it. We don’t see it when it’s right in front of our eyes— and why would we, when it’s all we’ve ever seen and known?

It has infiltrated nearly every corner of Christianity and it has done so subtly, as false teaching and error always does. As such, it needs to be called out at every turn. We have not done this well, for the most part, and it has been our demise.

But where did feminism come from?

It’s an ideology, yes… and we could get into a whole lot of history on the topic, for sure.

But let’s acknowledge the root: feminism began in the human heart.

And that’s the part we don’t like to talk about, women. Because it’s a whole lot easier to solely point the finger at an ideology than to turn that finger and point it straight at our own hearts. It’s a whole lot easier to say, “I struggle to submit to my husband because of the feminist influences all around me” than it is to say, “You know what? God’s Word says that, at the fall, womankind was cursed with the desire to control. Yep, specifically us women. Sometimes that manifests itself as blatant, loud rebellion, and sometimes it’s a quiet or manipulative stubbornness masked by sweet words, but it’s all ugly to God… and it’s a poisonous fact of our female sin nature.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like that fact. I believe God that it’s true— one hundred percent, absolutely— but I hate that it’s true and I’d cut that part right out of my own heart, if I could.

But we can’t. We can’t cut out or erase this or any other part of our sin nature, or what God’s Word calls our “flesh.”

And that’s why we need Jesus.

We need His Spirit.  Jesus’ disciples were grieved when He told them He would be returning to His Father in Heaven but He said, “It is GOOD for you if I go.” Because when He left, He sent His very Spirit to live inside of those who believe, literally changing them from the inside out, day by day.

That had never happened before in all of human history. None of the other great heroes of the faith, prior, had the Spirit of God permanently living within them to enable them to walk in His Spirit. “But we have the mind of Christ…!” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

So let me encourage you, dear sisters, not to downplay our sin. Not to cringe when we read those damning words in Genesis, and not to skim over the part about how we literally have a bent to control. Own it, boldly. Acknowledge the ugliness that makes the beauty of Christ’s finished work shine so brightly in contrast. “No, I am not particularly saintly because I am female. I am a saint in God’s eyes only because of my Savior, Who atoned for my rottenness.”

That’s one reason we ought to be glad to own up to the sourness of our sin: because of how much sweeter it shows the gospel to be.

Another is this: how can we actively, openly fight a tendency we don’t even acknowledge, much less talk about?

Feminism is a fact. We live in a feminist culture. Its tentacles are far-teaching and undeniably have a massive influence, no matter how unwanted, on our hearts, marriages, and lives. We’ve got to be women with backbones, who stand up and call it out when we see it, and stop worrying about what fickle friends or family might think.

But simultaneously, we must also constantly bear in mind that if every single thread of feminist dogma miraculously disappeared overnight— from our legislation, our media, our educational system, our minds, and every institution in existence— we would still be daughters of Eve, with a penchant for control.

WE ARE FEMINISTS BY BIRTH. AT HEART.

But God, Who was rich in mercy…” (Ephesians 2:4) We are not hopeless victims of sin— we died to that sin when it was placed upon Christ and nailed to the cross! We are now “seated with Christ in the heavenlies” (Ephesians 2:6), with a new and perfect identity. We will never be experientially perfect until glorified in eternity, but as we KNOW HIM, LISTEN TO HIS SPIRIT, and OBEY HIS WORD we become conformed to His image.

We cannot produce good fruit on our own, but we can see to it that we, the branches, remain attached to that Vine, and the Vine will produce the fruit. The “basics” of the gospel and our identity are in fact what will mature us to completion.

Sin enslaved us, and the Law showed that to us in painful detail. But “where the Spirit is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17)— freedom to live the way God has called us to live. And how thankful I am for how much His Word has devoted to showing us what a beautiful role He has for His daughters.

Abide in Him!

Parents, We Influence Our Children’s Future Marriages Today

If truly Biblical marriage roles were being better taught from the pulpits and in homes, I cannot help but wonder if Christian women would take much more seriously the decision of whom they marry.

So many parents understandably lament that their young daughters choose men who are lazy, addicted, morally bankrupt, exceptionally immature, or don’t genuinely love the Lord.  But isn’t part of that on you, parents? Sometimes?

Why do so many young women think they can “rescue” a man?

More to the point: why was she under the impression that she could control or change him?

Did her understanding of marriage come from Scripture, or did you allow her to get much of that from unbelieving classmates, unbiblical church culture, chick flicks, and the world at large?

Was your daughter brought up to understand that the man she marries will indeed be her authority— not a peer who she can wrangle, manipulate, or “disciple” into seeing things her way? (1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:23, 1 Peter 3:1-6)

That when they disagree in decision-making, she is to joyfully defer to him “in everything” as long as he’s not asking her to sin— so she’d better make sure he’s a man who wants a godly home? (Ephesians 5:22-24)

That even if he turns out to be an unbeliever, Scripture says that her best hope of winning him to the Lord is in the command to treat him with such reverence that he wonders why? (1 Peter 3)

That “reverence” (not mere “respect”) is what all wives are called to give their husbands— whether his behavior deserves it or not? (Ephesians 5:33)

That each spouse is accountable to the Lord for their own actions, which means she is to live out her role even if he isn’t living out his?

Was this dynamic both taught and modeled for her at home?

Did she even know?

To be clear, at times a young person may make an unwise marriage choice despite being diligently taught and biblically modeled for at home. But can we honestly say that’s the case? That the norm in the church today is to both teach and model truly biblical marriage? For that matter, do most even seriously study what the Word actually says about marriage– not some recommended book or marriage study or biblically-derived principles, but the exact, God-breathed words of Scripture itself– to know it well enough to teach it?

In no way am I trying to heap blame… only to warn the next generation.

Year after year, I’m grief-stricken over the number of women in bad marriages who message me, and dozens more who I’ve simply observed desperately reaching out for help. Most of these women (as well as their husbands) would have been spared a lot of ugliness and heartache had they believed these things before marriage.

Too late, they must slowly learn the painful reality that you have to lie in the bed you make. That you get to choose your love, but then you need to love your choice— and submit to him, too. When you choose a husband you are choosing, among other things, your most direct human authority! This is one of the many reasons to choose well.

Marriage matters… so much.

Not only for ourselves.

Not only for the reputation of the gospel and the picture of Christ and His Church to a watching world! (Titus 2:5, Ephesians 5:22-32)

But also for our children who, by watching our marriages day in and day out, subconsciously form their standard of “normal.”

What Is God’s Love Language?

Many couples are into “love languages,” and even those who aren’t familiar with the term tend to be familiar with the concept: knowing what speaks love specifically to your spouse.

Some people feel most loved through quality time or conversation, others by acts of service, others by thoughtful gifts, others through physical touch, and still others through words of affirmation.

But, have you ever thought about what God’s love language is? God IS love, the Bible tells us. So He certainly is the One Who gets to define it, and He certainly gets to tell us how to love Him.

Scripture actually leaves no question as to what God sees as love toward Himself.

It isn’t passionate words about how much we love Him.
It isn’t singing and praising and basking in the emotional glow of worship.
It isn’t faithful church attendance and ministry.
It isn’t service and sacrifice.
It isn’t even reading the Bible, or time spent with Him in prayer.

Nope.

All of those will be the natural outpouring of a heart that loves Him, and all are necessary— yes!

But one can do all of those things and not love God. And, more importantly, they are not how He tells us He feels loved. Here’s how:

“In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands.” (1 John 5:3)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

“To obey is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22)

So, what is God’s love language?

OBEDIENCE.

Hands-down. No question.

I’ll cut right to the chase.

It is very possible to talk a great deal about loving Jesus, read your Bible, pray regularly, be nice to people, lead women’s ministries, sing at church, you name it…

…but not accept what Scripture says to women. Not accept that God has some very clear and explicit commands for us to obey. And if you don’t accept God’s commands for what they are, according to Him, you don’t actually love Him.

I’m not speaking of women who embrace and love what Scripture says on the roles of women but don’t live it perfectly because “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

No, that’s true of the most obedient and surrendered.

I’m talking about ignoring, twisting, or “interpreting” Scripture your way because you don’t really love what it has to say there. “It can’t really mean THAT,” or, “This is my interpretation/how I feel about it.” Finding a Bible teacher who agrees with you and confirms what you wish to hear.

Of course, sometimes it’s hard to know what a passage is saying— there are some which are cryptic, or even the original Greek word in question has a wide range of meaning— but many passages are very straightforward.

Sometimes, it’s hard to discern the specific will of God for our lives. But there’s a whole lot of His general will very clearly revealed to us in His Word, no doubt about it. And if we pick and choose which passages we will obey, are we truly being obedient? If my children said, “Sure, Mama, I’ll obey you in this one area, but not this one over here. You can keep that one, because I don’t like it…” would we consider them to have obedient hearts? Of course not.

So, let’s be clear:

  • God says wives are to “reverence,” not merely “respect,” their husbands. (Eph. 5:33)
  • God says a woman is not to teach nor hold authority over a man, not just, “women can’t hold the office of pastor.” (1 Tim. 2:12)
  • God says the older women are to teach the younger women to “be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God Be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:4,5)
  • God says women are to be “obedient” and “in subjection” to their own husbands (Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5)
  • God says women are to “adorn themselves with modest apparel,” as well as with “a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3,4)
  • God says that a wife does not have the right to deny her husband sex. (1 Cor 7:4)

Are these passages the sum total of what God asks (commands) of us?

No, not at all!

These are just some of the ones written specifically to us women… the ones the church seems to dislike, argue, or ignore altogether.

I mean, we seem more than willing to espouse and try to obey the commands about other, more culturally-acceptable, less controversial stuff. Commands written in the exact same letters, to the exact same churches, as these doctrines and ordinances about the role of women.

We don’t throw out passages, directly surrounding these, on baptism or the Lord’s Supper or how husbands should treat their wives. No, it’s only these passages to women that we find so “controversial.”

But who made them controversial?

God didn’t. The early church didn’t.

The world did. And we did, as we were all too happy to follow suit.

So… how have we loved (obeyed) God today? How can we love Him through obedience if we won’t even acknowledge His commands?

Food for thought.

A Call To God’s Women On Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day.

If you browse social media for a little while, it will be impossible not to observe masses of women applauding themselves with cries of, “Me! Me! Look at ME! I am awesome! I am amazing!” In the spirit of the builders of Babel: “We will build a monument to our own greatness!”

Aside from coming off as immature, cringe-worthy, self-glorifying, and deeply insecure, it’s hard not to notice that this behavior stands in glaring contrast to the woman in Proverbs 31, who cheerfully, humbly, and industriously goes about her God-ordained, home-oriented role and is instead praised by her husband and children. (Proverbs 31:28)

It’s also in direct opposition to the Biblical command, “Let another praise you, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2)

Today I would like to call us to something different.

For the last number of years, God has stirred in my soul a deep, urgent, aching desire to search my own heart and to call my fellow sisters to search theirs.

To confess… to repent… to, yes, weep and mourn and fall on our faces… over the stubborn hearts and the rampant rebellion that has come to typify Christian womanhood.

Yes: CHRISTIAN womanhood.

We have NOT been amazing, nor excellent.

We have NOT loved, embraced, and sincerely pursued lives of willing and joyful submission to our husbands, walking that out in the fear of the Lord.

We have NOT loved our children the way they need to be loved, without complaining about how they naturally make it hard to focus on “self-love.”

We have NOT been thankful for who God made us to be, either running from femininity altogether or looking to the world for its definition.

We have NOT pursued the development of “gentle and quiet spirit(s),” which, according to Scripture, “in God’s eyes is very precious.” (1 Peter 3)

We have NOT lived in humility and embraced the priceless, unspeakably beautiful role of serving and supporting behind the scenes, and we have failed to see and believe the COLOSSAL, ETERNAL RAMIFICATIONS of that.

This is mostly because we don’t know or don’t believe what Scripture has to say to us as women.

We have had the arrogance and the audacity to not only set ourselves up as judge enough to know how our husbands need to change, but also to take it upon ourselves to set out to change them. All while not doing the one thing Scripture tells us wives that we can use to influence our husbands for God: changing our own behavior, and being obedient to them. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

We have acted as our husbands’ mother, teacher, armchair psychologist, ball-and-chain, policeman, guy friend, nuisance, cold shower, third member of the Godhead– everything except his help-meet, lover, and true friend.

We have had the presumptive gall to put ourselves in the place of God and of men: to obsess and speculate loudly over male behavior, to make ourselves judge of what is acceptable masculinity and what is not, to condemn them with labels such as “toxic” rather than focusing on our own areas of shameful shortcoming, and to run our unbridled tongues on subjects about which we are truly not even qualified to speak.

We have grasped for control, power, prestige, comfort, pleasure, egalitarianism, to be heard, and to do things our way. We have chased applause, acceptance, popularity, flattery, and a name for ourselves.

We have been gossipy, cliquish, busybodies, lazy, self-righteous, hypocritical, immodest, gluttonous, disobedient to our husbands… and by some miracle, we have managed to spiritualize all of this behavior in our own minds.

We have become brazen, without fear of God or His ordained order of authority, and then have had the gall to call it “strength.”

We have been blasphemously self-exalting. We have been so very proud of ourselves— and for what, exactly?

We have followed our hearts— and they have led us astray.

When I say “we,” I mean professing Christian women as a whole and in general, with exceptions. We have become hopelessly, tragically, indistinguishable from the Godless world around us.

Some of you are going to sneer at this. Some will justify their dismissal by calling it unloving or an exaggeration, or will criticize and pick it apart. Some will simply not be able to see the vision I’m painting. Many will go back to living life as they always have. I accept this.

But some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m speaking to you– those of you with tender hearts, in whom God is stirring this same vision. Maybe tears are filling your eyes at this very moment because it’s resonating with you as truth.

Some of you are sick of fighting your husbands, sick of faking your life, sick of the struggle, sick of holding in resentments, sick of the energy it takes to be stubborn and proud and defensive, sick of trying to explain away passages of Scripture directed toward women, sick of trying to live with one foot in your Biblical role and the other squarely in the world’s way of doing things, sick and exhausted from acting like your husband’s Holy Spirit.

Are you longing to be honest, craving truth that will set you free, wishing for a clean slate, desiring more more holiness and wanting to press on to higher things? Wanting to start building your home rather than tearing it down? Aching for a glorious marriage? Done with the excuses, the winking at sin, the mediocrity?

Our men are not likely to become bold, strong warriors for Christ who lead their families, change their communities, inspire other men, and charge the gates of Hell if at home they are disrespected, disobeyed, unappreciated, nagged, emasculated, belittled, interrupted, usurped, gossiped about, and their every other decision questioned, disagreed with, or challenged.

Our sons will probably not grow up to cherish, respect, and protect women if their mother was anything but respectable and lovable.

Our daughters will probably not grow up to have happy marriages, enjoy running their homes, find deep fulfillment in loving and shaping the next generation, and joyfully submit themselves to male authority in the church if we don’t.

And our children are most definitely not going to have a healthy relationship with authority in life if we mutilate the image God chose as their closest and single most visible example: our marriages.

That’s because we hold massive power in the form of influence. Feminism sold us Satan’s brainchild lie from the pit of Hell when it said, “You were born a powerless victim. You need to be empowered.” The church swallowed that lie almost as quickly as the world did.

Women… it’s not too late. You can change. We all can.

The thing is, we can’t just resolve to “do better.” We can’t just muscle up and buckle down and try harder. We all know that’s how we land on our faces.

We cannot do this apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, and we will not be living with the reality of that power as long as we are grieving His voice in our hearts. We will not be availing ourselves of all He has to offer as long as we’re denying our sin, ignoring passages that speak directly to us rather than taking them for exactly what they say, digging in our heels about our roles in the home, church, and toward our husbands. The Bible says that in God’s eyes, rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Samuel 15:23)

Ever opposed your husband? Despised having to do things his way? Been uncooperative… stubborn? “Witchcraft, iniquity, and idolatry.” God said it… don’t look at me.

I want to call us all to a time of serious Scripture reading, prayer, and fasting for the rest of the month of March (fasting however you wish, not necessarily for the rest of the month). I’m pregnant and highly sick and wouldn’t be able to participate in fasting right now, and didn’t want to call any of you to something I’m not doing with you— so I’ll just suggest the idea for any who are able, willing, or feel led to do so. 

This is my vision for us. Will you commit to do this with me?

1.) Confession and repentance. This means getting alone and serious with God, and getting right with Him. Asking Him to break and grieve your heart if you’re not at that place already. Pouring it all out. Confessing all of the sin that’s been weighing you down… He knows anyway! You’re not going to scare Him off.

Consider also confessing to a trusted friend or two. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, that you may be healed.” The old saying that “Confession is good for the soul” is really just adapted from Scripture. There is great healing in confession.

Then go to your children and apologize for any way you’ve wronged them, as well as for sinful behavior and attitudes toward their dad. Tell them that God has put their daddy in charge, as the head of your home, and that you have been wrong to argue, contradict, nag, make irreverent faces, sigh, roll eyes, not act as his helper, be judgmental about his spiritual state, be dismissive of what you know his wishes to be… whatever it is in your particular case.

And, finally, go humbly to your husband, confessing and asking forgiveness for the same things. Ask him for specific examples of how you make him feel disrespected, and how you can better respect him… and really listen. Don’t get defensive. Don’t argue. Ask him what you could be doing (or not doing) to better support him in whatever God has called him to– whether that’s his job, ministry, or developing his skills and talents. Ask him for his top three specific ways you can make him feel like your true priority. You may think you already know, but you might not. And the very act of asking and listening to him shows respect.

Then, change: turn around and start going in the opposite direction. That’s the actual meaning of the word “repentance.”

2.) Prayer and fasting. Let’s commit to a special and significant daily time of prayer this month. This will look different for each of us because we’re all in different seasons and have different schedules– with four very young children myself, I totally understand– but my challenge to you is to make it happen, no matter what.

If you have to get up before the children, stay up for a little while after they and your husband have gone to bed, or use their naptimes as your prayer time… DO IT. You can do anything for just a few weeks. It can be as long or as short a time as you decide. But let me encourage you not to put a time limit on it, if you can help it.

Pray for God to change you, to make you sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to completely erase any wrong and preconceived notions about what femininity or marriage or childrearing should look like, to help you to live in thankfulness rather than resentment, to teach you what it truly means to “reverence” and respect your husband, to help you believe the truths that would help you delight in your role… the list goes on. You know what’s on your own heart– make your own list!

If you are fasting, you can use times you would normally be eating or preparing food to pray. When you feel hungry, you could even treat this as a personal prompt to pray throughout the day, as well.

3.) Studying all that Scripture says specifically to us. The Bible actually has much to say to women, wives, and mothers, and the fact that God goes out of His way to address us is more than enough reason to pay attention. Yet it seems that we currently prefer to ignore such passages, and concentrate on gender-neutral passages. Why would we do this?

Women teachers of the Bible primarily teach anything except the one thing God says older women should be teaching the younger women (which is outlined in Titus chapter 2)! I call this “the lie of omission in women’s ministry,” because by not exploring and embracing these passages, we paint an incomplete or even false picture of God’s intent for womanhood.

So at least for this month, let’s forget what this book said or that teacher said. Go to Scripture as if it’s all you have and all you are familiar with. Ask the Holy Spirit to silence your flesh, quell your pride, destroy your assumptions, and open your eyes to what God’s heart is saying.

Do a word study in Proverbs, looking up every verse that mentions wives or women. Or study the creation of woman in Genesis, and how that relates to New Testament passages about the role of women in the church. Or study the meaning of each of the individual qualities women are commanded to embrace in Titus 2. Ideas abound!

Curious what exactly is meant by a particular word or title? Go to BibleHub.com and click on the Greek lexicon (I’ve linked to an example– you can open up the passage in Greek and then click on any word! Try clicking on hupotassomenai— “be subject”– and see the true meaning ;)). The original Greek or Hebrew word can offer a colorful array of meaning, which may have been butchered by the translation into English. Don’t you want to know God’s exact intent and message to us?! Discovering the meaning of the actual words God Himself inspired is an exercise I find to be insanely exciting!

Women, our nation and our world have fallen apart and are in many ways a depraved, doomed, dystopian nightmare. Many people are aching for the truth, whether they recognize it or not. This is a time when the light shines ever more brightly in the darkness. We have an incredibly important role to play “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), as women who both act and intercede for our families, the lost, the hurting, the needy, the innocent, and “all who are in authority.” (Romans 13)

But Scripture says that it is the prayers of a righteous person which are “powerful and effective” (James 5:16), and I do not believe that God blesses the prayers of women who willingly reject or live in defiance of His words to them.

Now is the time to change.

To humble ourselves and become a “servant of all,” like Christ. (Mark 9:35)

To, like Jesus, “not consider equality something to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6).

To pray, as our Savior in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will– Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

To get behind our husbands and be adaptable as we support them in God’s calling on their lives– with kindness, prayer, affection, service, obedience, joy, and a helping hand.

To believe that the One Who created us, Who literally put every piece of us together, knows best how we operate and what we need, and intends all things for our good! (Romans 8:28)

To cut out of our lives any sources of false messages that feed our flesh, mimic the world, or align with the whispers of the Serpent in the Garden… no matter how tasty they may be, and no matter how much we may want to believe them.

Are you with me!? I KNOW some of you are, because you have said so— BLESS YOU. Would you also consider sharing this challenge with a woman friend? Let us be the lifter of each other’s arms when we feel beaten down by the lies all around us.

Let it begin with us.

Go with God! ❤

Talking About Things That Matter

I grew up in a Christian home, but didn’t grow up in church culture.

That statement begs explanation (we did attend church, even organized home churches at times), but would take a post of its own to fully expand upon.

All I really mean by this is that until I was an adult, I’d largely neither experienced nor been aware of nominal Christianity, “Christianese,” dead religiosity… nor the idea of a faith just compelling enough to land a person in a pew on Sunday, but not enough to change how he lived throughout the week.

My father quoted the old preacher who said, “I’d rather my children spend a day in a bar than one hour with a lukewarm believer.”  He understood the immense spiritual danger of learning to “talk the talk” without genuine heart change behind the words. Of convincing oneself of having love for God while actually becoming hardened to the Gospel.  Of feeling spiritually secure… while deeply and hopelessly estranged from God.

I’m sure his time as a teacher at a Christian school shaped some of his perspective on this.

The believers I knew still failed to walk in the Spirit and sinned— as we all do.  Of course. Some had to fight not to lean toward law, and some had to fight not to lean toward license.  In our flesh we are all prone to extremes. But there was a realness, a glowing aliveness, and a genuine love for Jesus that filled them up to overflowing, truly transformed the way they lived, and made you want what they had more than anything.

So, it was bewildering— a shock, more accurately— to first experience what I call “church culture:” the specific lingo, the unspoken idea that swearing is somehow more sinful than gossiping, the little things that become embedded in any subculture… but most of all, the discovery that there are people who say they love Jesus but feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even hostile about talking about Him.  Even with other believers. 

For some reason, I still remember the first woman I encountered who eschewed spiritual conversation.  She consistently met anyone’s excitement (not just mine) about what Jesus was doing in their lives with disinterest, silence, and a subject change.  It confused and crushed me.

We should each personally delve into the root causes of this kind of disinterest, and we’ll get into that a bit later.  There are many reasons why someone might struggle to have spiritual conversations.

But whatever the reason, the end result is that our discussions during times of Christian “fellowship” very often revolve around anything and everything except the one thing that truly unites us as brothers and sisters.  Since realizing a lot of people dislike these conversations, I’ve certainly failed to initiate them myself, at times. 

My dear husband spoke of this with Spirit-filled wisdom in a recent Facebook status:

To my Christian friends: I am hesitant to write this, knowing that I will be held to the standard that I desire to achieve, but hopefully that will just motivate me more to be consistent with God’s Word.

Why do we go to church?  By that I mean, why do we go to a building on Sunday to hear a sermon and worship God?

I pose the question as one that has come into my mind occasionally in recent years. Not because I don’t like church; I love being there!  But […], we can listen to a sermon online; in fact, even the sermons from our own church. We can sing songs of worship as a family. We can pray together. […]

[…] One of the primary defenses for why we go to a church building is found in Hebrews 10:24-25– “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

We tend to focus on that center part– “not neglecting to meet together”– and while we are aware of the parts around it, we tend to not practice them.  We need to “stir up one another to love and good works,” and “encouraging one another.”  This is not something the pastor does for us when he gives the sermon. It may stir us up to love and good works, it may be encouraging, but the exhortation in this passage is for us to be doing that with EACH OTHER.

[…] How often do I talk about the sermon with people afterwards? Pretty much never, and I could say that is true for pretty much all of us it seems. The talking with our fellow brothers and sisters about what we learned and what was convicting and what we can apply is where the Holy Spirit works in us to actually ACT on what was taught and solidify it in our hearts.

If we don’t do that, it’s usually lost before we even get home and kick our feet up for the Packer game. That’s what we seem to rather talk about after church, anyway: the Packers, the weather, our jobs, the latest gossip, our projects, our kids… pretty much anything but spiritual things or what was just taught.

It’s my encouragement to you all, and myself, that we talk about what is truly important with our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially while at church, but really any time we are around them. It’s really not Christian fellowship if we aren’t talking about anything even related to being a Christian. It’s just two people talking. And while I do think it is important to share life circumstances and realities with Christian friends, it can’t be the only thing. It should only be shared under the assumption that spiritual conversation is the first or primary part of your dialogue, and using that spiritual wisdom to inform on our life circumstances.

The Day of the Lord is approaching. While many of us may still be meeting together, lets make sure we are encouraging one another and stirring up to love and good works as well!

To apply this more specifically to us as wives, mothers, and women, I wanted to pose the question: “How can we be doing this better with each other?”

It seems to me that there are two main reasons we don’t do it.

The first reason might be fear of others perceiving us as weird, even if we ourselves absolutely love such conversations (I can identify with this one).  So many Christians think it’s cool to say or imply that “not everything has to be about Jesus, you know.”  That’s pretty disheartening.  But when this is the case, we need to remember Whose opinion matters, and ask Him to remove our “fear of man.”  I think we can also simply make a point in our minds to do it more often.  And then deliberately act on it.  Make it a habit.

Instead of talking about whatever topic we happen to drift into, we can ask real questions of our friends, such as, “What has God been teaching you?” or “How is motherhood?” or “How’s your marriage doing these days?” (speaking of our own joys and failures, not using it as an opportunity to gossip about our husbands, of course).

Or– how about this– “How’s your walk with the Lord lately?” and then opening up about our own hearts as well?

If that sounds like a strange question to ask a friend, I would just challenge you to ask yourself why.

After all, we hardly think it strange to ask similar questions in just about any other area of our friends’ lives:

“How’s your health after that checkup?”

“How’s your garden doing?”

“How are you feeling about the big move?”

These are easy to ask, because we care about one another.  So shouldn’t we also care enough to inquire about each other’s spiritual health, which is infinitely, eternally, of more importance?

We are sisters in God’s family.  Too often, we live as complete islands unto ourselves.  Single women can be experiencing grief and bitterness over their circumstances, with no one to comfort nor speak truth to them.  New mothers may experience anxious overwhelm and deep sorrow, with no one to offer helpful advice and encouragement.  Marriages unravel, and no one had any idea they were even struggling.

Casual, surface-level conversation has its place in developing a friendship, but it won’t enable us to truly know one another.  If we never ask the real, honest questions and give real, honest answers, we’ll never help one another to carry very real burdens.

The second and more important way we can make these questions happen is to simply consider and not neglect their source.

Whenever we just aren’t excited to talk about Jesus, there’s a good chance that it’s because there’s not much to talk about— because we are not close to Him.  Not taking the time to sit at His feet and talk with Him.  Not filling our minds and hearts with His Word.  Not confessing and repenting of sin.  Not listening to the Holy Spirit and daily being convicted, encouraged, and brought to our knees in awe of Who God is and what He is doing.

Or maybe even don’t truly know Him in the first place.

Have you even met someone in love?  Their conversation is preoccupied with the object of their affection.  They don’t have to force it; it simply bubbles over and somehow spills into everything else they talk about.

The truth is, we talk about whatever and whomever we’re in love with.

What are your thoughts on spiritual conversations?  How can you implement them in your own life?

May 2019 be the year that we “consider how to provoke one another to love and to good works”! (Hebrews 10:24) 🙂