For a while, I thought that maybe the stories of the gospel being denied upfront and directly were just something that would never happen to me. I thought that maybe everyone was actually really nice and didn’t really care if I said that Christ is the only way and that everything in the Bible is God’s word and is absolute truth.
Well, I was wrong.
Last night I stayed up until three or so in the morning, my energy coming from a medium Starbucks coffee, light and sweet, plowing through homework and trying to get as much done as possible so I wouldn’t have to take any home with me. Then I slept and woke up around seven-thirty to spend time with God.
I’ve been reading Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This morning I read the chapter on the lies women believe about marriage. Now, it’s obvious that I’m not married and probably won’t be for some time, depending on what God wants, but I try to read about marriage and what God thinks about it so I develop a godly view of marriage, because it’s so different and so neglected in modern society. Anyway, the two lies I caught sight of were “My Husband is Supposed to Serve Me,” and “If I Submit to My Husband My Life Will Be Miserable.”
Talk about a can of worms.
Using the words “submit” and “husband” in the same sentence is unacceptable in most circles, especially considering the predominantly feminist views existing around us. DeMoss says “In today’s evangelical world, it is ‘politically correct’ to challenge men to go home and serve their wives. However, it is not ‘P.C.’ to talk to women about their responsibility to serve their husbands.” And this is in Christian circles!
While I certainly don’t want to be walked over and what not, I more than that want to be in the safe hands of Christ, who asks, should I follow Him, to submit myself unto Him and let Him be my guide in everything. This includes, when the time comes, being a “suitable helper” to my husband. I know how frighteningly oppressive that might sound to certain pairs of ears, but it’s what God’s word says, so that’s what I’m going on.
Even outside of marriage, God charges women to be servants and to be kind. DeMoss also says “The Truth is that we (both men and women) are never more like Jesus than when we are serving Him or others. There is no higher calling than to be a servant.”
While it’s totally acceptable and encouraged that husbands serve and help and support their wives, women are called directly to submit to and serve their husbands, while husbands, in turn, are to love their wives. By supporting and serving their husbands, wives free them up to pursue God in a way that builds leadership and confidence, fulfilling the role as spiritual head of the wife and of the household. God intended women to be spiritually “protected” by their husbands, and when women desire to be independent of them and desire not to submit to or serve them, they step out from under that protection and therefore deny their husbands the opportunity to grow and develop in their walk with Christ and their relationships with their wives, blocking or delaying the learning of loving her more like Christ loves the church. Women don’t gain any benefits from this.
Here’s what God’s word says:
The “homemaker” and the submissive woman is not oppressed, but is instead, according to Proverbs 31:
Well-dressed (v.22); she and her family have food to eat and enough to share with others (v. 15, 20); she lives a well-ordered life; she is emotionally stable and free from fear about the future (v. 21, 25); her husband is crazy about her, is faithful to her, feels she is ‘one in a million’ and tells her so, and brags about her to his friends (v. 11, 28-29, 31), and her children honor and praise her (v.28). (taken from pages 144-145 of LWB).
Now, I might be quoting this book a lot and I might be quoting much of what DeMoss has been saying, but go look for yourself. Open up a Bible to Proverbs 31 and read what it says. Nowhere does it describe this woman who fears the Lord and submits and supports her husband as oppressed. Now, there are sub-lies about submission like “the wife is not to provide input or express her opinions to her husband” or “the husband is always right” which are entirely untrue. The woman was created as a helper (Genesis 2:18), which means the husband needs her help and her input and insight and support, but this doesn’t make him any less the leader of the household. Also, some Christian women are married to men who are unsaved, which means he’s rejecting Christ and virtually rebelling against God. But women in these situations, according to 1 Peter 3, are charged to live a life dedicated to the Lord while still serving and supporting and loving their husbands, so that they (their husbands) might come to know God. So the husband is not always right, but this doesn’t give a woman the right or venue to be placed in the role God meant for men.
God’s word also never describes women as being of less importance than men. Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Christ loves all of His children and purposes everyone equally, and “shows no partiality” (Romans 2:11).
What’s the point of bringing this up? Well, I’m glad you asked 🙂
World Civ. came and one of my classmates, on the concept of discovering new and contradictory historical evidence (contradicting already accepted evidence of past events), said something like “New evidence of reality scares us because we don’t know how it’s going to change us, so we try and fit it in to what we already know, but if it doesn’t then we forget about and ignore it.”
I think this is part of the reason why people hate and are so deeply offended by the gospel, because it’s the most real reality ever to exist and that ever will exist and they can’t fit it in to what they think is reality. It’s too big, yet at the same time it’s also too real to ignore, and this causes great unrest in the human soul, fighting against divine purpose and identity to settle for something more familiar but as detrimental and fatal as cyanide.
After World Civ., I took a quick nap, picked at some more homework, and prayed about Studio, about which I was incredibly nervous. Now, at the beginning of the semester, my professor asked that nobody write about anything political in their stories, and my writing about abortion in one paragraph of my story made me think he might consider that political, even though I simply wrote of one woman’s experience concerning the negative effects of it. But then I reminded myself that some of my classmates wrote about homosexuality and other issues (though in a “socially acceptable” way) that would be considered political, so I figured I’d be safe in writing about this from a different perspective. The purpose of the story, mind you, was not to make a political statement on abortion, at all, whatsoever. It just was part of the story.
Anyway, I read my piece aloud in class, and then the critique began. Several comments were made about point of view, possible avenues of the story, some aesthetics to work on, and other things that kept the content and point of the story at arm’s length, which I thought was interesting.
I left class with a disappointed feeling, the phrase “Nobody got the point” running through my head. I was very discouraged. I just felt like there was no more point in writing the way I was writing if no one was challenged, if no one got it or thought about it. The point of the story was to present God as who He is: a real, living, being who is intimate and wonderful and loving, not a distant divinity living in the sky. It was also to show that, in real life situations, when people go from the top to the bottom, that God goes with them, meets them where they are, and brings them up and out.
I got back to my dorm room and talked to God about it, fighting discouragement with the Truth, which is that God knows the hearts of my classmates and He loves them and wants them to know the freedom of being part of His adopted family, what it’s like to be His son or His daughter. And because He wants to love them fully, I love them too.
I decided to sit down and look at the written critiques. That’s when I saw it.
I read page after page of some of my classmates being infuriated about my mentioning of the negative side effects of abortion, premarital sex, and other things, of their being shocked that a woman would be so dependent on her husband and so intimate with God. Some of them really loved the piece and even found many of the themes powerful and thought-provoking, which was so encouraging. But others thought it was selfish and solipsistic to use a short story as a venue to make a political statement about abortion. They seemed to consider it blasphemous that I’d suggest you had to become a child of God rather than being His child by default. They couldn’t understand why the woman in the story would do something God wanted instead of something she thought would make her happy.
And I smiled.
Do not mistake me: my aim wasn’t at all to start a fight or cause an argument or make anyone angry or frustrated. My aim was to be honest, to tell the Truth, to not hold back, to make people think and in turn understand how they thought and considered these things so I could talk to them in a way that would make sense. And I got it. Most of these responses were totally unexpected because I guess I just hadn’t fully grasped the mindset of those thinking outside of a biblical worldview.
I was not at all offended by what they wrote, but rather excited, because I know that my God is powerful and that He is more than able to enrapture my classmates with His love and grace and wonder, and I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.
When Bree came back to the room, I asked her about what she thought, if she’d believe me if I told her my story wasn’t written to be a political statement (which it wasn’t…at all, though I’m still confused as to why one of my classmates wrote a story with abortion in it and then another one of my classmates wrote about homosexuality and were not reprimanded…). That launched a very long conversation about God and about how God’s word is absolute Truth and none of the words were mine. I had the courage to speak boldly about who God is, what His word says, about the fact that Christ is “the way, the truth, and the light, and no one can come to the Father except through” Him.
After the conversation ended, I went to German, wondering what in the world just happened. Here I’d thought the submission of such a piece brought no fruit, and here God used it in such an obvious and powerful way that I couldn’t help but be in awe of Him.
So here I am, wondering what’s going to happen, but simultaneously okay with not knowing. Wow. This is so cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk to my classmates more about what they think.
Tomorrow I go to the internship and head home right from there, and I really can’t wait to see everyone and to hug everyone and to spend time with them. I’m going to spend forever trying to push through the assignments that I can.
God is just so cool 🙂 He is always intimately active in my life and continues to bring me through nonsense and is, every day, changing my thinking and my heart. I’ll never be perfect, but it’s amazing to know that He’s never leaving, never giving up, and never going to stop loving me. 😀
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” —Acts 4:29-30