It was almost one in the afternoon at The Coffee Scene, and my iced coffee sat half drank next to my open Bible and journal. Jacob had just left to pick up Manny, one of the godly guys living in the Pad, leaving me studying my things along with three other ladies, who we’d come to meet up with semi-regularly on the weekends since Jake and I had returned from our honeymoon. As we were sitting there, we started to talk about feelings.
I realize some of you might cringe at this, particularly those of you who are serious thinkers, but this was good, so bear with me.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20)
This verse came up as we talked. We all confessed a deep need and desire to have all of our opinions and thoughts be heard at any given time. If our thoughts remained unknown, we often felt like the people or person involved in conversation with us now lacked the benefits offered by the words we’d been unable to say.
In other words, our need for control in a conversation manifested itself through our inability to control ourselves. Examples of this, we confessed, included not listening to other people, or cutting them off, or trampling over them with our quickness to speak and our impatient approach to listening. None of these, we knew, were particularly Christ-like.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
All of this made me recall the truth of my identity in Christ.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!…Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1, 4)
Oh! That’s why I can be satisfied with being “quick to hear, slow to speak.” Even if my opinions and suggestions and whatnot are not heard, I am not somehow lacking in worth, and yes, “worth” is the right word to use. I do not have to be defined by being heard by others, because God hears me, knows me, and understands what I desire to say better than I could say it myself. He is the One who can truly use my words to benefit others and change the world, if I would put them first.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
I can securely default to listening to others, and have self control in my words (Galatians 5:23), so that, when the right time to speak arises, I can deliver my thoughts lovingly and prayerfully, and the person to whom I am listening can genuinely feel valued and heard. Or, I suppose another thought would be that I get to sacrifice my desire to be heard in order to fulfill that need for someone else.
The reason I’m writing about this in particular is, yes, because of the sudden manifestation of the modern woman’s identity crisis happening in the news. Yes, this is an identity crisis. A woman’s need to be heard and valued has been placed in the wrong thing, and somehow we have confused “right” with “merciful privilege.”
What I mean is this: without Jesus, no one, men or women, have a right to anything, especially being heard by anyone. Why would they? They are condemned before God, cut off from the One who controls and has power over everything, including the political circumstances in Washington D.C..
They are entitled to nothing but a one-way ticket to Hell, and, therefore, complete and eternal separation from the One who loves them most.
So I should have no ability to be heard, especially not by God. And yet, because of Christ, I am heard by the only One who really matters. Those women who desire to be heard by the world are suffering from a lack of knowledge that they are deeply, fully, and intimately heard and known by God, a right and adoption paid for by Christ.
I do not mean that women should never talk. But I do mean that we don’t have to act fearfully and offer panic-stricken demands and cling so desperately to our rights.
Hello, ladies. You do not have to fight your way through politics, through the societal changes of our world, or through the opinions and wrong actions of others. You do not have to operate out of fear, outrage, or panic. There is a God who created you to be so much more than you are right now. He sees you as worth dying for, protecting, hearing, and acting on behalf of. He will be able to make waves in the White House far better than the small ripples of your marches and protests. Your insecurities and fears for the future of our gender can be satisfied in the One who made you to reflect His beauty, gentleness, security, and meek power. Jesus died so that you could have life, and have it abundantly.
Do you truly believe you have that now?