Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Further Confessions of a Recovering Feminist, Part 1

A while back I confessed that I am a recovering feminist. I'm still recovering. Hopefully, by God's grace the recovery is farther along than when I first wrote the article—but I remain in recovery nonetheless. For a while I was a blatant feminist, viewing everything through the lens of oppression and freedom from oppression. After conversion I became "tamer." But I still held on to the fact that I could be a Christian and still be an independent woman, free from authority. I didn't need a husband because I was going to do great things for Jesus. Marriage seemed to be a hindrance to these great things.

Thankfully the Lord intervened and opened my eyes to my sin. Apart from his work I would still be wallowing in darkness. In this process of sanctification I have realized that all of us are feminists at heart. And while I am still recovering, I am thankful to be able to say that the recovery has taught me many lessons.

The Lord has woven into my heart a deeper appreciation for marriage, and a greater respect for the married women in my own life. I used to scoff at friends who put their husbands first, but now I see the beauty of a wife who values and treasures the man that God has given her. As a result of seeing this respect lived out, I have grown in more grace in my interactions with men—whether in a dating relationship, friendship, or employer relationship. The Lord has helped me to see that these men are not only created in his image, but also someone else's future (or current) husbands and I must treat them as such.

As a single woman I have learned that the qualities of a godly woman matter for me right now. Marriage does not make someone feminine. Rather, divine design has made me feminine and I must cultivate that femininity now, and flee from feminism. In all of these things, I have learned that it is ultimately not about me and my rights. There is something far greater going on than my meager life. Recovering from feminism has given me greater opportunities to cry out to the Father for more of Christ and less of me, because apart from him I would be lost.
Perhaps you wonder why this sort of response to feminism is warranted. It is very easy to adopt a way of looking at the Bible—a hermeneutic—built around pain and experience (even if you are not a feminist). And because we are so prone to rewrite God into our own image, and thus rewrite who he has created us to be, it is helpful to stop and think through what exactly we are doing when we allow our experience to drive us. As we think through what God has called us to be as men and women, we must ask ourselves if our theology is born out of preconceived ideas or the text itself.

So whether you are reading this as a mature Christian, seasoned through suffering, a new believer wrestling through what it means to be a woman, or a recovering feminist like me (or soon to be) processing how painful experience has shaped your present view of the world, these posts are for you. And as one recovering feminist to, Lord-willing, future (and current) recovering feminists, I pray that you would see the God of the Bible. We all bring our own ideas to the Cross—and the Cross is where our sinful ideologies are shattered by the powerful blood of Christ. In these next two posts I hope to shed light on what we do with our experiences as women—and bring them to the foot of King Jesus at the Cross, where love and mercy meet.

This post originally appeared here

No comments: