by Anita Miles
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 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
So we’ll just kick this conversation off with the understanding that I’m acutely aware that I have the bat and ball aimed at a huge hornet’s nest by taking on the topic I’m about to delve into. It’s a touchy subject, but brace yourself - we’re about to take a swing! Let’s talk about Feminism…
In the beginning of the journey of “Pursuing Virtue,” we each had a brief statement as to why we thought this concept of reaching out to Christian women was an important pursuit. In that statement, I vaguely remember referring to how the influences of the world are seeping into the cracks of the walls of the church. I would have to go back and reread it, to get it all exactly right, but you get the drift. In this post, I would like to expound on what that statement meant, and take a look at how we unwittingly and unknowingly are allowing some of those influences to take hold.
So here’s a question for you: What is your view on Feminism? Is it positive? Is it negative?
You see, as women, we need to decide our answer on this as soon as possible in life. If we don’t know where we stand on this issue, there are going to be decisions that we make in our personal lives that will leave us teetering between Biblical truth and concepts that are driven by Feminism. And it is imperative that we know the difference!
Please understand that Feminism is NOT femininity.
Just so that no one is left confused by the two terms, I will briefly distinguish them. I know that we have a broad range of readers, so I want this to sink in deep and be as clear as we can get it! It is my goal to create stepping stones in this conversation that make coming to a decision very easy, if we truly have a heart that is after God. That also comes with hopes that the distinction will allow each of us to establish roots in our beliefs that are founded in truth - as opposed to accepting a secular teaching that is a concept born out of hearts that are driven to rebel against the Word of God. I apologize in advance if this is rather elementary, but I’m watching too many get caught up in this web of chaos and it’s breaking my heart!
Femininity is the nature of being a woman - acting like a woman is supposed to act; with God given instincts that are natural to women. It is a set of attributes, behaviors and roles generally associated with girls and women. God has ordained that women are to act, dress and conduct themselves as women.
Feminism is defined by Webster as a “theory” that is to politically, socially, and economically equalize women with men. According to Wikipedia, Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal. I do not have the time nor space to go into all of the details, so this is just a superficial skimming.
On the surface, the ideas of Feminism may not seem harmful. I’ll agree - all women want to be treated fairly and want to be considered equally. Frankly, from a Biblical standpoint, I do not believe that God “treated women” differently than He “treated men.” When you take a good look at where women stood in God’s ‘proverbial book,’ I’m going to say out loud that He treated them pretty stinkin’ favorably and honorably!! If He didn’t feel that women were worthy of honor, I can’t imagine that He would have chosen to use a woman to bring forth the ONLY begotten Son of God who would change the world! He wouldn’t have chosen Mary Magdalene to be the first to reveal Christ to after the resurrection. He wouldn’t have chosen the woman at the well to stop by specifically for, to give a new start in life. He wouldn’t have chosen Sarah to be one of the greatest women in Biblical history. He wouldn’t have chosen Esther to be the means by which He would save the entire population of Jews. And that doesn’t even begin to uncover the surface of women that God used to bring forth His plans. I haven’t even mentioned Hannah, Abigail, Rebecca, Leah, Elizabeth, Ruth, and so on… So, hopefully I’ve sufficiently made the argument that God has never treated women unfairly when compared to men.
However, with that being said, God has created and designated specific roles for men and women. God is a God of order and He has designed those roles according to His purposes. And no different than in the Garden of Eden with the serpent and Eve, Feminism has been the tool that Satan has used to whisper in the ear of women and distort God’s ordained boundaries and views of womanhood as though it is somehow dishonorable and downright disdainful!
To bring it a little closer home, Satan uses the woman in our workplace who is giving marital advice and has no concept of what God’s roles and boundaries are in marriage. She is giving her socially acceptable advice - influenced by Feminism - that the husband doesn’t have to be the head of the home and that we should just tell him how it’s going to be. It’s a lot easier to feel warm and fuzzy about what Ms. Coworker has to say as we spout off all of our dislikes, as opposed to opening up to a Godly counselor who is going to remind us that her role is to teach us to love our husband.
As a brief sidenote, if your habit as a Christian woman is to take all of your marital woes to the workplace, I challenge you to learn and practice discretion in this matter. The secular workplace is no place for your personal business between you and your spouse to be discussed. It is a breeding ground for contention and ungodly advice that can be taken home and acted upon.
It is also where seeds are planted for rebellion towards your husband. I shudder to think of the inappropriate emotional and / or adulterous relationships that have been born from these attitudes and environment.
Recently, Sis. Ruth Brimm brought it out so well in one of the PV videos about obeying and submitting to our husbands - and that women are wanting the line “to obey” removed from the vows they recite at their wedding. The Feminist world says that women are equal to men and don’t have to obey. God says “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands are the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” He wasn’t the first ounce vague about His instructions...
In the long run, when there is no clear distinction between what God says and what is currently socially acceptable, the lines between roles begin to blur. When that occurs, the mechanics of how God intended for the family unit to run is no longer working efficiently in our culture because there is no order. What was once a well oiled working machine in the Grand Design, has become a ball of confusion, now operated in disorder and chaos - much to the good pleasure of the serpent who has disguised himself in the name of helping advance the treatment and equality of women.
Feminism has prided itself in its declaration of “no boundaries” and “no commitments,” - now bringing forth a generation of daughters AND sons who no longer know their roles or how to fulfil their God given purposes, and as sad as it is, some are just struggling to figure out their own gender. Its damages are devastating!! This is not just obvious now in the breakdown of the family as a working entity, but it leaks out into our personal lives. It becomes visible by the instability in holding down jobs, the inability to have self discipline, the influx of emotional chaos, etc. Then we sit back, wonder, and scratch our heads - curious what in the world happened or went wrong! We must understand, our society and socially acceptable culture is living life upside down!! We must not allow these influences to have an effect on our lives. We must be rooted in truth to avoid its destruction!!
Prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds among children and young people are at all time high for a REASON!. Divorce rates in the church are equal to the divorce rates outside of the church. Many young people who are of age - men and women - would rather be living in their parents’ house playing video games or watching soap operas than committing to working a regular job, having a spouse and/or bringing up a family. Addictions - whether it be to cell phones, food, nicotine, alcohol, drugs or pornography, you name it - are at an all time high! Even among “Christians!” It is as Isaiah wrote, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14
I’ve dissected all of these matters to remind us that our roles as Christian women should be well defined. If we truly want to live lives that are infused with truth, we must open ourselves up to the place in the pyramid that God has ordained for us. No matter the age or marital status, we are all called to live lives that are “becoming to Holiness, discreet, and chaste.” For the married women, we are called to “love our husbands, love our children, be keepers of the home, and obedient to our husbands” - as Titus 2 tells us. Just those last few sentences set the true Christian woman significantly apart from the woman who is socially acceptable in today’s Feminist culture.
In conclusion, I do not want you to take away from this or let it even be perceived that I’m encouraging or asking anyone to be a doormat. I can’t imagine that the model woman given to us in Proverbs 31 tiptoed around her house like a little humiliated servant, never being given the opportunity to have a coherent or brilliant thought. In fact, it was quite the opposite. She was one of the strongest, motivated, confident, and most successful women mentioned in Scripture - but she didn’t need to be a feminist to prove or display her strength... And please let me me be very clear, in no wise do any of us at PV condone spousal abuse of any kind!
You see, when each role in the home is carried out the way God intended, the fog, the confusion and the chaos clears….giving way to this beautiful thing we call functional families! It’s no longer about who gets to call the shots. It’s all about being part of a team and having a purpose that is actually fulfilling!
So what will it be? Truth? Or a Theory?