I just read a post by a fellow blogger entitled, “Role Confusion and the Modern Woman” and started writing a comment but as I kept writing and writing (and writing) I thought that maybe this was getting a tad long for a mere comment. Since the questions that she raises are good, thought-provoking ones I thought that instead of commenting I would write my own post in response.
In order to fully appreciate where I am now, one must understand where I came from. Before I met Chuck and got married I led the “ideal” feminist life. While still in my early twenties I worked for a Fortune 500 company jet-setting and leaving my mark on the world. (For the complete story on my transformation take a look at my three-part series: The Farm: Part 1, The Farm: Part 2, and The Farm: Part 3). Now I am a part-time stay-stay-at-home wife; going to work two days a week, selling Pampered Chef on the side, and relishing every moment at home with my baby girl.
I think that part of the confusion of a woman’s/wife’s role, like Lindsey touched on, is the “feminist” view that our generations tend to be indoctrinated with. The denotations and connotations of words like submissive and housewife have become completely garbled up. I touched on this in my Submission is Strength post but, since I am on a role expressing unpopular views (like about modesty) I figure I’ll go ahead and expound a bit.
In Genesis 2:18 we are clearly told the reason of woman’s creation. It says, “Then The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'” (ESV, italics added). First, we were created to be a “helper”, second we were “fit”-we were expressly made and customized (like a pair of couture pants) for our husband! What attention and detail our God gave us!
The problem that seems to grate most is that pesky word “helper”, or “help-meet” in some translations. Before that spur under your saddle digs too deeply, pause for a moment and read Proverbs 31:10-31. REALLY read it, don’t get overwhelmed at all that she does but rather look at the woman that she is; at her qualities or characteristics. Here we have a woman who could easily put all those “feminist” views to rest.
The P31 woman is business-savy (what!?!): vs 16a, “She considers a field and buys it; …]”. She is compassionate (vs 20) and fashionable (vs 21-22). She is hard-working (vs 15) and dignified (vs 25). She has a sense of humor (vs 25) and is well thought of by everyone (vs 31). She is loved by her family (vs 28) and known for her kindness (vs 26).
Now, tell me, exactly what part of this woman is weak? Yes, we are called to submit to our husbands but this does not equal “lesser than”. Is an employee “less than” their boss because they submit to authority? Uhm, no. Each is an equally important member of the organization. The feminist view has contorted the true image of a godly wife and turned her into a voiceless pansy when in reality she is anything but.
So why, then, do we tend shun the biblical role of wife? I think that, at least for me initially, it was a culmination of multiple factors. First, I didn’t truly understand who this P31 woman was. Second, part of me dreaded the responses and looks that I would (and still) get from those who equate choosing to be a housewife (in the capacity that I can) with “wasting” my degree or life. Third, self-doubt; how can I be a “productive member of society” while sitting at home making muffins (even if they ARE really good)?
I wish I knew an instant cure to helping women feel confident in their role as a “helper”. Unfortunately, there are moments when I will see the world’s view of myself, remember who I was, and begin to doubt. But, it is during those moments that God will show me the rightness of His plan. It may be something simple, like the freedom of my schedule allowing me to pick up feed for the mules saving my weary, hard-working man an extra trip to town.
Or, on one of the days that I do work, Hila Fay wrapping her arms tightly around my neck telling me that I’m “‘posed” (supposed) to stay home with her. Sometimes, it’s the way Chuck wraps his strong arms around me when I’m there to greet him after a long day at work, or the way Hila Fay will shout out, “BEST. DAY. EVER!” when we go for a walk.
I may not get paid in monetary terms or promotions for the work I do around the house, and my voice may be a minority-a whisper in the midst of a roaring gale. But I KNOW that the only way for my marriage to buck the growing trends of divorce and to truly be a happy one, is to follow His way. God has allowed our marriage to overcome odds that in this world’s view should have torn us apart. Yet, here we are. We celebrated our eighth anniversary this past February, Chuck really is my best friend, my face still lights up when I think, write or talk about him AND I still get butterflies when he steals a kiss.
Now, if you’ll forgive me it’s my day off and I have some coloring to do…and then maybe I’ll make some muffins.