On May 8th many women in our nation participated in a “Day Without Women.” I chose not to participate. I’m sure my presence in the corporate world wouldn’t be missed. God graciously revealed to me that I needed to work less and focus on family more about two years ago. So, he led me out of full time work and I haven’t looked back…too much. (Let’s be honest, I am sometimes tempted by the financial security, and I miss the society.) As a stay at home mom and a minister’s wife, taking a day off to bring recognition to myself seemed counterproductive, and selfish. I’m not judging anyone for participating, but I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on the women’s rights movement and the “Day Without Women,” therefore a day without ME. (No politics ahead, only encouragement.)
First of all, let me just say that I wish EVERY DAY could be a day without me! How amazing would that be!? No me, just Jesus. Just my family. Just those around me. Just loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind, and my neighbor as myself. That would be amazing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Most of my days are just chocked FULL of ME.
You know, the struggle of today’s women was predicted in the very earliest pages of the Bible. No, seriously. It’s there in Genesis 3:16b
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (NIV)
What we learn is that Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God affected not only their relationship with Him, but their relationship with one another. Eve’s legacy to women is that they will desire attention and recognition from men. Adam’s legacy to men is not that they would have a position of leadership, but that their fallen hearts would translate that responsibility into domination or “rule.” In one rebellious bite, Adam and Eve have transformed perfect fellowship into a battle of the sexes. Woman will constantly crave attention and recognition, and that clawing desire will only feed man’s ego in an ungodly desire to dominate her. Some might argue that this verse is speaking only of physical and emotional desire on the woman’s part, but a quick review of Samson and Delilah’s story will reveal how effective sexual desire can be in gaining control. And, there you have it. It’s all about CONTROL. The struggle is real. What this tells us is that women today are not struggling against men who would hold them back and push them down. They are struggling with the fallen, fleshly desires of people living in a fallen world, both women and men. That is not to say that there aren’t times where awareness and action are warranted. However, we must realize that men and women are equally capable of victimizing one another.
The good news is that this was never God’s intention. Our struggle is not with each other, but with our own fallen flesh! With God’s grace and the help of the Holy Spirit we can regain that perfect fellowship with one another. But, there is one very important caveat. Proverbs 31:30 says that “A woman who fears the Lord will be praised.”
I know what you’re thinking: “I thought we weren’t looking for praise and recognition.” Read Proverbs 31: 10-31 and you’ll see that this woman is praised not for her accomplishments, but for her faithfulness to God and her service to her family. That is a far cry from what the world is preaching to women today. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating any particular life choice, like being a stay at home mom or a working mom. I honestly believe that a woman may be many different kinds of wife and mother in her lifetime. God will lead you to the right choices in each season of life. The important thing is that we humbly accept that role, seeking to honor God rather than self. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus admonishes us, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In this case, “all these things” are the love and appreciation and peace that women long for, and these are the Godly counterparts to what the world is selling as female success. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman. She has so much to offer. She is smart and successful both inside the home and out. Yet, her focus is on her family and her community, not on self. She makes sure that every day “with” her is a day “without.” She provides a wonderful example for us to follow. As I said before, the goal really should be to make every day a “day without me.”