Being a female entering adulthood during the 21st century can be a confusing place sometimes. There are so many different and conflicting things we are told we should be. Mainstream culture either tells us to be a powerful woman who thinks for herself and neither wants nor needs a man’s help for anything. Or the pendulum swings the other way and we are told that we have no value outside of how much a male would want us based on our sex appeal.
Conservative christian culture often promotes a popular message that the peak of female fulfillment is in getting married and baring children. (Yes, I realize that Eve, was created to be a companion for Adam, but last time I checked NO WHERE does it say in the Bible that that is the chief end of woman. Please correct me if I’m wrong). And we should all wait and prepare for the day that we too may join the ranks of women who are fulfilling their purpose in life starting at the marriage alter. Being well educated past high school is oftentimes discouraged being looked on as unnecessary because what use will that be in raising a family? Being goal oriented, independent, or having ambitions outside of being either a stay at home daughter or stay at home mother are all very likely to catch you the label of being “strange” at the least or on a more extreme note, rebellious and/or feminist.
Those are just a few of the messages we are bombarded with. There is every single tweak imaginable added onto those three. Those are just the three which I have observed as being most common.
It seems that at the root of all the choices given, to some degree, they depend upon who we are in relation to men. We should either condescending be treating them as a necessary stupid evil that we must deal with or else we are in some manner totally dependent on them for our value as a person. I believe that is where we have gone wrong. By placing men, in the position that should be held by God.
Before I go any further please repeat after me: “my value as a woman is not dependent on where I am on the ‘human hierarchy scale’ in relation to men.” Say it again if need be. Really let that sink in.
Our value comes from the simple fact that we are wonderful and unique creations of the same Almighty God who created the universe, and decided the world needed us too.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. ” Psalm 139:13 & 14
Having our purpose and value hinging on men may be all good and well for a little while, but as most any female can attest, that really is a delicate balance. It is like walking a tightrope in a way. Even just one thing being off can send us then plunging into depths we never thought possible. Why? Because our value and purpose was too much wrapped up and dependent on men, and not enough on God. This is just one of many reasons why it’s so important that we draw our value and purpose from Christ. Not man. Or woman, child, etc.
Our confidence should come from who we are in relation to God and the fact that He cherishes us. Not from how much smarter and more capable we are than men; by how much a man lusts after us; or what extent we are able to aid men in life.
Our created purpose in life may and probably will include men, BUT there is a vast difference between it including them vs it hinging on them (or anyone else for that matter). Our purpose should hinge on God and who He made us to be.
I believe there is a healthy middle ground between the two extremes. On one hand we have the option of trampling and degrading on men through our words, actions, and attitudes and on the other hand we have elevating them to a position of needing them for our fulfillment and purpose.
What if, we lived lives that instead of being focused on what our position is to men or who they want us to be, rather was focused on who we are in relation to God and who HE wants us to be?
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” – Ephesians 2:10
What if we choose to become a generation of empowered women; women who draw their empowerment, not from the putting down of men but rather from lifting up all the people that God has placed in our lives and by understanding who we are in relation to Christ?
What if we choose to be world changers both inside and outside the home? Outside the home in the years before marriage and children when we still have the flexibility to do so, and inside the home afterwards (if that is the path laid before us)?
What if we choose to be strong women, who don’t require men in the equation. Not to give us value, because we draw that from God. Not to buy us a home and provide for us, because we have the motivation, skills, and savvy to do it ourselves. But despite not needing a man in our lives still wanted a man to be our spiritual leader, provider and protector because that is how God designed for things to be?
This is my challenge to me and you. Let’s think outside the box, stop looking to popular culture, and look to GOD for who we should be, what we should do, and for our fulfillment and purpose as women.