Or even if I did… this still applies!
Growing up in the Conservative Christian Church (CCC) I have listened to all of the teachings about being a daughter at home, waiting for my husband and then becoming a keeper at home in my own home. I have been around countless girls that talk about that magical day sometime after they graduate when they get to experience the bliss of marriage and become a keeper at home, a wife and a mother. I listened to young women talk about their struggles of desiring marriage and being content at home while the Lord had them there. I’ve listened to women tell of their quest of contentment and satisfaction in singleness and finding the Lord as their fulfillment even though their heart’s deepest desire was to have a husband and children…
Yes, I’ve been there in those circles, done that whole sympathetic listening routine. But for me… it was different…
Don’t get me wrong, there were times I thought about, “Yeah, it’d be nice to get married someday.” Or “When I get married I want/hope/would like…” But for the most part, no. I didn’t truly DESIRE marriage. To be completely honest, there were times I almost was vehemently against the idea! There were multiple reasons for this, but I’ll just list a few of the main ones:
–I didn’t like change. I would be fine and dandy for things to stay as they were. Change is difficult and challenging and stressful! Every time I’ve experienced change in my life it wound up being worth it, but it was also hard beyond belief and a lot of work physically, emotionally and spiritually.
–I was scared of sex. Yes… it not only scared the stuffing out of me, I thought it was gross and just… COMPLETELY undesirable! Sex and physical intimacy is being greatly abused in our churches today by their continual pounding out that it is WRONG and a SIN and WICKED and UNHEALTHY… then in tiny print… “outside the bonds of marriage.” I was one of the victims of becoming so terrified of all the BADNESS of sex that I completely skipped over the part that it is GOOD and BEAUTIFUL and ENJOYABLE and something that God intended SHOULD BE DESIRED after marriage!!
–I didn’t want to be chained down. Let’s face it, there is SO much a single Christian young woman can do! So many ministries, job opportunities (even if I limit it to home businesses), friends and family to visit and help out, education experiences… SO much to do and so many exciting things to experience! Why on EARTH would I want to give all of that up to be stuck at home? And just sayin’… it’s not against Scripture to go to college or work outside the home if God leads in that direction… Seriously! Try to find it in the Bible! I’m willing to bet it can’t be found!
–I wasn’t interested in the job description. The whole, “stay at home” wife and mother outlook didn’t appeal to me. In the LEAST. I didn’t like housework, I didn’t like children (with the exception of my younger siblings and the children of close friends and family) and I didn’t like the whole “meek and mousey housewife” picture CCC portrayed. (And before I get jumped over about that statement, please finish hearing me out!)
–I couldn’t fathom being bound to ONE person for the rest of my ENTIRE life! Marriage is such a PERMANENT thing… not only was I VERY apprehensive about living with one man for the rest of my life, I also doubted ANY man’s ability to deal with me for the rest of his!
And the list goes on! I felt like I was the only girl on the planet that felt this way, and I was constantly living with a nagging guilt in the back of my mind that I wasn’t what I was supposed to be. There were points in time where I honestly tried to step out and become what I thought I should be (or what the CCC thought I should be) as a woman, but it generally ended in frustration. I just didn’t like it and didn’t want it! So there was something majorly wrong with me, but guess what? I got to the point where I just decided God would give me the grace to approach each step as it came.
Now, there is nothing wrong with that mindset, but after the past few months I realized my life and walk with Christ isn’t to just walk in the grace Christ gives me for the things I have a hard time with. That’s a big part of it, but God is a GOOD God! He DESIRES to give GOOD gifts to His children! He WANTS me to enjoy, desire and look forward to what He has for me in my life, and His plan for me as a woman is truly beautiful!
My problem is that I didn’t know what God’s plan for me truly was! I want to share my reason why, and Lord willing one of these days I’ll write a series of articles to cover each of the topics I listed above as the Lord leads.
I didn’t understand God’s TRUE biblical plan for womanhood.
Being raised in an ultra-conservative setting, I as a girl was instructed and taught from an early age that the pure purpose and goal of biblical womanhood was that of a wife and mother. The role of keeper at home was the “holy grail” of conservative Christian women world-wide! Now, this IS one of the biblical roles for womanhood, and a beautiful one! But it’s not the only one!
The problem is this… we as a Conservative Christian Church took ONE biblical concept that was pure and good and made it the primary focus of women. We created a list of rules, regulations and expectations to help us achieve this pinnacle of womanhood, and called them doctrine! I am being blown away over and over by discovering things I was raised with as being “scriptural teaching” are NOT SCRIPTURE!! In truth, they are nothing more than concepts and commandments of men taken from or based on Scriptural principals. This isn’t anything new, as even Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for it. Keep in mind, the majority of the Pharisees were TRULY pursuing a godly life, but they became trapped in the methods of men, just as we all do!
“Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” – Mark 7:6-8
While it is true, there are portions of Scripture that teach about women and what they are to do and be, it’s not only a wife and a mother! I won’t go into great detail, but honestly go read through Proverbs 31:10-31 and just see ALL THAT WOMAN DOES!! She’s an entrepreneur, creative, vibrant, known for her good work, not just the keeper at home! She is also the backbone of her home and because of her strength, wisdom and diligence she is known among the merchants in the city and her husband is known in the gates. (Think about it, that verse isn’t thrown in there randomly! Her husband would be known because of his success physically, spiritually and emotionally, which is greatly due to having THAT woman in his life!) This didn’t happen suddenly after she got married y’all! This has been a work in progress God has been establishing in her life for YEARS! Also, in Titus 2 it talks about how women are also to be teachers and multiple times in the New Testament women are noted for following Christ and ministering with Him, for Him and to Him.
Side note: a recent thought that boggled my mind was this… Did I ever learn that every man’s main goal and purpose in life was to be a husband and father? No I didn’t! Yes, it was a goal, but it wasn’t the pinnacle of manhood! Because of Paul and other men in Scripture that did great things while being single, men have a few more “options” in God’s will for them! But back to my main thought…
I as a human being LOVE lists! I like being able to know exactly what’s going on and exactly what I need to do. However, God doesn’t work that way. If He did, I wouldn’t have the blessings of FAITH and TRUST in my relationship with Him! The whole concept of faith is walking forward, following God’s leading and being a wise steward in where I am WHILE trusting Him to bring me where I need to be. I spent most of my life worrying about what God’s will was for my life, and I totally missed out on the truth that God’s will for my life is RIGHT HERE where I am and RIGHT NOW in my life. If I am honestly pursuing my relationship with God and drawing nigh to Him then I AM in His will for my life! The main reason I am missing out on God’s will for my life is because I can’t even see that I am IN IT!!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
God’s plan for me as a woman is the same as any other child of His… to seek Him first in every area of my life and to be sensitive to His leading. There is no cookie-cutter role for women, because He created each one to be an individual and to serve Him in a specific way and specific areas. There may be similarities because He created women with several main similarities, but He did NOT create every woman the same!
What it all boils down to is the HEART. It may be a wife and mother, it may be a daughter at home, it may be a teacher to children every week, it may be a writer, it may be a laborer, it may be any number of things! But the one thing I do know is that as long as I am seeking Him, where I am and where God leads me IS what His will is for me as a woman of God.