Women like to be in control of everything around them and when they are in the home they can do this. But when they are out in the world they cannot do this. His example was that only a woman can control a man (her husband) who has been out doing business all day, hiring and firing, and being oh so mighty and powerful. She says, “take off your shoes” and he does.
I disagreed with so many things he said, but I really tried to listen to his heart. He said he had been divorced twice and that no matter what he said and did he couldn’t seem to please women.
I determined that this man has a perspective and his perspective is gleaned from his experience. He deems women to be unhappy creatures. Actually I think he has a point to some degree. Women are often displeased with life, but it is not necessarily because we are not at home in our place, so to speak.
Perhaps for some women, this nice man was correct. I have close friends who dream of being stay-at-home moms, becoming Pinterest queens, and cute-apron wearing wifey’s; but I also have close friends who might rather have their left pinky cut off than have children, enjoy the competitive world of business, and can’t bear the thought of staying home all day.
Further, I have close friends who want to do it all. They want to be a great mom, wife, and career woman. They know it will not be easy, but it is a sacrifice they are willing to make to better their family’s lives and to better themselves. Many of these women grew up with very little and desire to give their kids the best lives possible. This path is perhaps the most difficult path and the last thing these women need is ridicule!
I believe women are often “unhappy” because they are not permitted by society to simply be themselves. One woman’s natural habitat is at home, while another woman’s natural habitat is in a courtroom. Some women are mommy-blogging-coupon-lovin’ gurus while other women are medical and financial geniuses using their gifts to help others and earn a living.
The point is that women need to be allowed to make their own choices for their life. For far too long, women have been told what they should be, who they should be, what they should do, and how they should do it. Guess what, women can think for themselves!
Can I be real here? Nothing irks me more than a woman who doesn’t support women unless they do things “her way.” God does not have one specific “way” when it comes to this issue so why do we so often demand our sisters in Christ to think as we do? Can we not be part of stopping the war and choose the highest command of all: to love God and to love others?
Can we not set our opinions aside in the name of love, grace, and a peaceful girl-world? Accepting that our girlfriends can hear from the Lord themselves is key to healthy relationships and mature spirituality. If we are unable to do this, then we have bigger problems such as self-righteousness (one of the very few things Jesus had no tolerance for).
Many try and use the Bible to control women. Guess what folks, there was a female judge in the Bible named Deborah (Judges 4), a business woman named Lydia who made and sold purple cloth (Acts 16:14), and a female Apostle named Junia (Romans 16:7). As a side note: In Bible times, apostles were considered of much higher authority than lead pastors (the famous “Paul’ & “Peter” were apostles).
Were there more females during “Bible times” in the home fashioning their lives after the Proverbs 31 Woman? I would venture to say yes. But in no way does this mean that God has called every woman to replicate this model exactly.
Proverbs 31 is not even speaking of a real-life woman. The passage is a beautiful poetic expression originated in Jewish culture and its purpose is to celebrate how amazing women already are. It was never meant to be some sort of high-bar to try and live up to. It is a celebration of you and me; not a mandate to be some sort of perfect woman. Let go of the striving. Choose freedom. Jesus wants your heart more than your service.
Don’t let anyone put you in some sort of box and then bang you over the head with the Bible. The Bible is meant to be liberating for women; not a big scary rule book that is used to “put us in our place.” Be who you are and tune out the haters. Work towards figuring out your unique natural habitat and make the sacrifices necessary to dwell there. Be an individual. Find your identity and self-confidence in Christ and know that if He is for you girlfriend, who can be against you?
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us (Romans 8:31)?
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