Any day now, I will become the blessed mother of four daughters. Their ages will be newborn, 18 mod, 7 1/2 yod, and 11 yod (at the end of May.) They are beautiful girls. I know that my newborn will match their beauty, after all, she will be their sister. All of my children have very large blue eyes. It's is what most people use to identify if a child truly belongs to our family. They also smile alot. Each one of them has been given gifts as well as weaknesses. The gifts, we pray, will be use to glorify the Lord. Their weaknesses, the same. For when they are weak, He is strong.
As I sat up last night having a middle night snack to soften the hunger pangs, I sat across from the wall that holds pictures of my children. My girls particularly stood out to me though. I have an inner struggle within me that causes me a great deal of confusion and, well, waffling back in forth about what I believe to be true. It centered around the roll of women in society, the church, and particularly the home. I grew up with the message of feminism all around me. Women can do anything men can do. Women are often smarter than men (as was often played out in the classrooms of my public school where a good portion of the boys were simply not "smart enough" for the honors classes or the top reading groups. They were also in trouble alot.) Women should go to college, get a degree, and work before they marry. If they do marry, there should be a period of time for getting to know your spouse before you have children. A good four years wait is best. When it comes to working in the home, well, that is the job of both spouses, especially if both are working.
So, as I have grown in my faith over the past few years, I found much of what I was learning to be in conflict with what I was reading in scripture. I honestly felt very confused. What do I teach my girls? What direction should I lead them as they grow? College? Being a stay at home daughter? Do you get a job after college - assuming that is the right direction - or do you seek the possibility of marrying right away?
I have relatives that are very insistent that MY girls should go to college and get a degree. And while I have that inner conflict, there is also a part of me that isn't so sure about it. College campuses can be a dangerous place for a young woman these days. Even so called Christian college teach feminism and model it to the girls that attend. Is that really what I want for my girls? Is this what God would want? I did it. I went to a Christian college. I met their father there. Would it be so wrong?
As I prayed last night for my girls, I asked God to give me Biblical conviction for HIS ways. He knows my girls. He know their future. He also gave them to me to raise to be godly women. I do not want to send them mixes messages about what is God's best versus what the world thinks is best.
As I prayed, He brought the very simple, to the point scripture of Titus 2:3-5 to my mind.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.Let me break this down just a bit. First of all, older women are to teach younger women. That is something that is really missing in our day and age. The older woman, having listened to the lies of feminism, has abandoned their responsibility to encourage and teach younger women to be and do certain things as wives and others. I would be an older woman to my own daughters. It is sad to me that so many moms have found that they have no relationship with their growing daughters because they do not pursue them in relationship, nor do they want to. Again, they've believed the lies of feminism, sought to be more fulfilled by pursuing their own agenda, and in the process have lost their daughters. In the process, many of these younger girls, desperate for a mother's teaching, are desperate for someone to teach them the ropes. Who is going to do that? Movie stars? Rock stars? Their own peers who often have no clue either?
I take this command very seriously. I am the older woman to the four young girls given into my care. But what am I to teach them? I think this is where so many moms are very confused. Many of them having grown up under the lies of feminism just simply don't know what to teach their girls. So many times there is compromise rather than a boldness to lead their girls in God's way. .
So what is that we are to teach?
* to love our husbands
* to love our children
* to be self-controlled
* keepers AT home
* submissive to their own husbands
That is a pretty rebellious list of qualities and ideas in our society. Our society often asks: How can a young girl love her husband? She's not even married. And children? Shouldn't she really be set toward getting a career just in case she never marries or has children. Self-control? Pure? Those are such out dated ideas. We should be our own women and not let anyone dictate how we live or act. Keepers AT home? That is for lazy women who just want to live off the government or their husbands and not contribute? Don't even get me started on submissive? It's an antiquated, patriarchal idea that men have used just to control women. That is typically the response women who believe God's word receive, many times from fellow believers who should know better. This is God's very own word to women. This what He has called us to be and do. And if we believe that this Bible is the inerrant Word of God, then we must believe that what He is telling us here is for our very best. We are not called to listen and follow the changing whims of our society. We are called to follow and obey Him.
Why does He ask us to do these things when they are so hard to live out in our society today? This is what made me realize that I already have a Biblical conviction in what to teach my girls. Look at the last part of this verse:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (emphasis mine)Other translations of the Bible use the word blasphemed. According to Webster's 1828 version of the dictionary, blaspheme means:
To speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, or the Holy Spirit.We are representatives of Christ to this fallen world. But if we do not live in a way that brings Him glory but only glorifies ourselves as women, then we have blasphemed the Word of God. As Christian women, if we do not love our husbands or children, remain pure, have self-control, take care of our homes, or are not submissive to our husbands, that is blasphemous. I didn't say it, God did. I don't have the authority; He does!!
So my conclusion last night, as I wrapped up my prayer, is that I am to teach my girls to reject the messages of feminism (which are directly contrary to God's Word) and come along side them to boldly embrace God's call for them to godly women, walking in obedience to what He defines as a godly woman. As I look around our society, I see many aspects of it that just are something that I should not be permitting in my girls. Girl power should have no meaning to a young girl who wants to live in obedience to the Lord. In fact, she will never do any of this truly in her power. As sinful fallen creatures, we can't do anything on our own to obey the Lord. That is why we need a Savior. We need Christ to save us and give us the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may have the power to obey Him. As women, we will always run after the messages of feminism. Eve believed the serpent and thus feminism began. But as redeemed woman of God, He wants us to reject it all, trust, and follow Him. He wants us to believe Him no matter how much it goes again the cultures of our time.
My vision for my daughters just took a new turn. No longer to do I find it necessary to question the counter-cultural way I am taking my daughters. My enthusiasm to teach them a different way, God's way, is growing. And as I draw closer to the moment of my fourth daughter's arrival, it grows even more. As with JB, Schmoo, and Pinky Poo, little LeeLi (as she will affectionately be called now) is a gift given to me by a gracious God. He's got great plans for her life and they include the message of Titus 2. Each one of my daughters will live this out in different ways. But still, it's their message. It's their love letter from their Savior. He wants to take care of His girls. He's given them very special jobs as His girls that will ultimately bring Him glory. And I find it such a privilege to be able to walk on that path with them. Not only do I lead them there, but I am also learning much of these lessons as well. I am walking away from feminism and embracing the call of God on my life to "love (my) husband and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to (my) own husband, that the word of God may not be reviled." What a joy to serve my Savior in such a way.