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!