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We Have ALL Been Greatly Affected by Feminism

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It is largely up to us on our own to rediscover God’s design for femininity, masculinity, marriage and family. This may require practically wiping the slate clean and building our definitions from scratch in God’s Word.

For a fairly detailed, historical account of the effect of the 3 phases of the feminist movement on the Christian church, our culture and our mindset about gender, marriage and family, I would suggest “Radical Womanhood” by Carolyn McCulley – a former feminist who became a servant of Christ.

The original leaders of the feminist movement did help to alleviate some egregious abuses against women in past generations.  There were problems – severe ones – that needed to be properly addressed. Women were wrongly being mistreated and abused and oppressed many times. That was not ok. (There are still women in other countries, especially, where that is happening even today en masse – how I pray for those nations to find Christ and to learn to treat people with dignity, honor, love and respect!)

Unfortunately, along with addressing the problems women faced at that time, the feminist movement also became a platform at times for some very ungodly and blasphemous messages.

Why does it matter now?

The goals of feminism in the past have become our mainstream thought today. 

Ladies,

Please very carefully compare these ideas to the Bible. My opinions are not important. I am NOT an expert on feminism. I am not a psychologist or counselor or pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. I pray that we might compare everything that anyone says to Scripture and “test the spirits” and be careful to only accept things that are of God. Compare them to the 2 Greatest Commandments Christ gave us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our minds and with all our souls and with all our strength and to love others as we love ourselves. Remember that in John 14:22-24, Jesus said that anyone who loves Him will obey Him and that he who does not love Him will not obey Him.

It’s time for us to identify and strongly reject every ungodly idea that attempts to exalt itself above God, His Word, His commands and His wisdom.

A VERY BRIEF OVERVIEW OF  THE SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL GOALS OF FEMINISM

Goals of the First Wave of Feminism – the Suffrage Movement

  • Granted married women legal rights over property that they didn’t have before that time.
  • Asked for the church to change and allow women into ministry positions and asked for women to have equal opportunities in the work place. “The challenge to church that was raised in (The Declaration of Sentiments in 1848) eventually led to the destruction of biblically defined concepts of God, sin, gender differences, marriage, and more.” (“Radical Womanhood”)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton declared that “It is vain to look for the elevation of women, so long as she is degraded in marriage… I feel that this whole question of women’s rights turns on the point of the marriage relation.” (she was married 54 years and the mother of 7 children) She became an atheist and led the feminist movement in that direction.
  • Stanton targeted and undermined the authority of scripture.

Goals and ideas of the Second Wave of Feminism – “The Second Sex” by Beauvoir and “The Feminine Mystique” by Friedan

  • “Women were ‘imprisoned’ by the roles of wife, mother and sweetheart therefore ‘all forms of socialism, wresting woman away from the family, favor her liberation.'” (Beauvoir quoted by McCulley)
  • Endorsed existentialism where “subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice are championed – ‘truth that is true for me'” (McCulley)
  • Freidan “defined the ‘problem that has no name’ as the ‘voice within women that says: I want more than my husband and my children and my home.'” (Freidan quoted by McCulley)
  • Supported a religion of believing in various goddesses, paganism and polytheism (idolatry).
  • National Organization for Women (NOW) founded and NARAL (pro-abortion political action group) and the National Women’s Political Caucus
  • No Fault Divorce (possibly the biggest impact of this wave of the feminist movement on our society)
  • said that marriage is unnecessary and getting married is not a virtue.
  • approved sex outside of marriage as a great thing.
  • Opposed pornography as degrading to women.
  • Supported abortion. (There have now been over 50 millions abortions in the US since abortion was legalized in 1973. This is NOT a victimless movement.)
  • Supported the birth control pill as “freedom” for women.
  • Supported and promoted sexual liberation.

Goals of the more loosely defined Third Wave of Feminism – began in 1990s as a rebellion against the 2nd wave that promoted white well-to-do women (McCulley)

  • “raunch culture”
  • “porn-positive” or “sex-positive feminism.” “Being involved in making porn is empowering for women.” 
  • Immodesty and blatant, public sensuality is feminine and powerful
  • “Girls Gone Wild”
  • remove biology from the definition of family.
  • remove marriage from the definition of family.
  • Hyperaggressive female sexuality that shocked the 2nd wave feminists. But 3rd wavers rebelled against the “establishment” of the 2nd wave and decided that they wouldn’t let the older women tell them what to do. “Participants in pornography and sex work (prostitution) can be ’empowered.'” (McCulley)
  • “Fluid concept of gender” (It’s a good thing for people to switch genders any time they want to.)
  • “Reject any universal definition of femininity” (McCulley)
  • Very casual attitude towards sex “hooking up” is fine and “won’t hurt anyone.” (McCulley)
  • Many young teenage girls have NEVER heard of the concept of modesty or of saving oneself sexually for marriage.
  • “’embrace the entire range of human sexuality’ including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered sexuality.’ (McCulley)

HOW FEMINISM MAY IMPACT OUR DAILY THOUGHTS AND CORE BELIEFS ABOUT GOD, OURSELVES, WOMEN, MEN, FEMININITY, MASCULINITY, MARRIAGE, CAREER, CHURCH and FAMILY THROUGH SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS LIKE (some of the items on this list are things that were directly taught by various feminists and some of these are things that I have seen many women subconsciously embrace even in the church today that could be extensions of feminist thoughts):

  • Men are the problem with society and marriage.
  • Men are bad/evil.
  • Women are wiser than and better than men.  If only women were in charge, they would fix all the problems in society.
  • Women are good.  Women are not really “wretched sinners.”
  • Women’s sin is “better than” men’s sin in the eyes of God.
  • Men and women are/should be spiritually, emotionally and mentally the same. There should be no spiritual, emotional or biological differences in the way that men and women experience and perceive the world other than the genital tract. Men need the same things and think and feel the same ways as women do – and if they don’t, then they don’t have emotions or they are wrong.
  • A man being masculine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.
  • A woman being feminine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.
  • Women should be aggressive, assertive, domineering and controlling.
  • Men should be passive and allow women to do what they think is best and they should agree with women because women are right.
  • Male leadership in marriage, the family and the church (patriarchy) is oppressive to women.
  • If a man ever has a chance to be in charge, he will be abusive 100% of the time.
  • Husbands must earn respect and if a wife doesn’t “feel like” her husband has earned her respect, she is totally justified to treat him in any disrespectful way she wants to no matter what God’s Word says. A wife has no obligation to obey God if she doesn’t agree with the Bible in her particular circumstances.  She is lord and master of herself. Christ is not to be her LORD.
  • Be your own goddess. What you want is all that matters. Who cares what your husband wants or what he needs and who cares what is ultimately best for your children?
  • Your own happiness is what is really important. If you are not happy, then you are justified to do anything (including sin) in order to try to be happy. Your personal happiness should be the ultimate goal (idol) in your life.
  • The Bible is not authoritative. It was written by men and men are evil. There is no Holy Spirit.
  • God is not a “He” and the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Feminism says that God is female, or there are many goddesses, or you can become a goddess.
  • The Bible is not true and is no longer “culturally relevant.”
  • All of God’s commands and instructions specifically for women in the New Testament are oppressive and culturally irrelevant today.
  • Any authority instituted by God is to be undermined and replaced by women and what women think is best because women know better than God and women know better than the Bible and women know better than men and women should be worshipped, submitted to and served as goddesses.
  • Motherhood and marriage imprison women and keep them from becoming all they are meant to be.
  • Originally, feminism was about women’s suffrage and voting rights. But it didn’t stop with equal rights to vote and equal pay for equal work in the workplace, feminism began to also demand that women were “equal” to men in marriage, that marriage should be egalitarian, that women and men are essentially the same and that the roles/jobs in marriage should be split 50/50 down the middle. Both men and women should be in charge in marriage – but this ended up meaning that ultimately women should be in charge and control their men if the wives don’t agree with their husbands.
  • Husbands should submit to their wives and do what they say without questioning them.
  • Women should not only compete with men in the work place, but they should compete for power and position in marriage, as well even though God clearly designated the husband as the spiritual head of the marriage and home in I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Timothy 3:5 and Titus 2:3-5.
  • Women should assume masculine personality traits at work and in the home. They should look, dress, talk and act more like men.
  • Women don’t need a family, husband or children to find fulfillment.
  • Men should become more feminine and more in touch with their feelings and more domesticated.
  • Children don’t need a mother’s influence.
  • Children don’t need a father in the home.
  • Marriage can be whatever we want it to be.
  • Women should find their worth and identity in their careers, not the prison and drudgery of home-life.
  • Men should be their wives’ helpmeets. Men exist to give women what they want.
  • Women can “have it all!” – career, marriage, children and she won’t have any issue juggling all of those things at one time.
  • Motherhood and/or being a housewife are worthless, meaningless, valueless positions. Your time and work is only valuable if you are paid money.
  • The roles of husband and wife are the same and interchangeable. God’s design in Ephesians 5:22-33 is wrong.

Ladies,

It is time for us to evaluate the thoughts we embrace and where they come from and whether they line up with the Bible or not.  May we reject every heresy and all blasphemy. May we reject every lie, every sinful and ungodly thought. I pray we will only embrace God’s Word as the source of absolute truth and wisdom.

RELATED:

God’s Design for Masculinity and Femininity

Why Are So Many of Us Unprepared to Be Godly Wives?

Is Respect Optional for a Godly Woman?

God’s Design for Spiritual Authority in Marriage

Are Women Spiritually and Morally Superior to Men?

The Biggest Problem in Our Marriages and in Our Spiritual Lives

Ephesians 5:22-33

I Corinthians 11:3

Titus 2:3-5

56 thoughts on “We Have ALL Been Greatly Affected by Feminism

  1. Wow – Tie this in with the post on femininity & modesty & we can see how society has really led us down the wrong path. Here is a link to a 4-part interview that Nancy Leigh DeMoss did with Carolyn McCulley in 2009 on her book, Radical Womanhood. I listened to it awhile back as I don’t have the book & wanted to get a better understanding of what she wrote. Yikes! Hopefully the link will be clickable!

    https://www.reviveourhearts.com/resource-library/Programs/p/Revive%20Our%20Hearts/series/Radical%2520Womanhood%252C%2520with%2520Carolyn%2520McCulley/

    It is chilling to think how much I have bought into what society has said is ok & how it differs so dramatically from God’s Word.

  2. Thank you for this post. I can see how I have been extremly influenced by the feminist movement. I need to be more vigilant about living out Gods standards not the worlds standards. It’s so easy to fall into I’m a strong women and no one will boss me around. And I think my biggest issue is I will respect my husband when I think he deserves it. I truly believe that is the enemy trying to destroy my marriage through my disrepect. You have opened my eyes up to so many things and I can see more and more how the enemy wants to destroy us. I am gonna fight it by living out Gods plan even when it’s hard. Thank you

    1. Kara,

      When I read about some of these feminist ideas, I was in shock. These were ideas that were in my head constantly, and I had no idea where they came from. I didn’t know to question them. They were just in the background of my mind, almost a subconscious thing.

      It is so important that we see the things we are thinking and recognize their source and determine only to accept what is of God and to reject what is of the world.

    1. Miryam2012,

      Thank you for your perspective and for sharing. I would love to hear more about what you witnessed because you saw all of this unfold and could share much with those of us who never knew anything but this way of thinking.

    2. Miryam2012,
      Thanks for the link to one of girlwriteswhat’s videos on feminism. I think I’ve seen every one of her videos and she is deeply critical of feminism. I find she makes a lot of sense.
      We should also bear in mind, as April mentioned, that the ideology of feminism covers a broad spectrum of beliefs and attitudes, from moderate to extreme.
      Also, while anybody can claim to be a feminist and say what they believe, nobody can officially speak for feminism. However, feminism has greatly influenced public policy, often not for the better.
      Unfortunately, I’ve read a lot of the extreme stuff and used to believe a lot of it. I’m still working on getting rid of its negative influence.
      Just some of my thoughts on feminism and hoping this does not become a heated argument.

      1. Eric V,

        Yes there are a wide variety of beliefs and philosophies and many different “brands” of feminism. Very important point! And I appreciate that everyone is speaking respectfully. That is the only kind of discussion I want to have about any topic. 🙂

        Thank you.

  3. Thank you for the brief history lesson. I recently told someone that I’m not a feminist. She asked me if I think women should vote and that, if I do, I am therefore a feminist. I haven’t studied feminism but my impression of it has been not the championing of equal rights but superior rights for women! On a societal level (voting, jobs, etc) I think men and women should have equal access. But on a relational and spiritual level I think we are all equal but have different roles. I don’t know if I’m making any sense. I guess I’m trying to figure out what is god’s plan (and thus what I believe) in case I get into a discussion with someone again!

    1. Jess,

      What you are saying makes total sense to me!

      Men and women ARE equal in value in God’s sight. We are all image bearers of God. Galatians 3:28 says that in Christ, there is no male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile. We are all equal in value and dignity and worth as human beings.

      The voting thing and being paid equally in the work place is great. And giving women some rights so that they were not oppressed and abused was a very good thing.

      But when we are willing to desecrate God’s Word and His authority structure for the church and family and marriage, then we have a big problem.

      Thanks for sharing!!

  4. So, just so you know, I consider myself both Christian and feminist. I find that there is very little truth in your list of ways that feminism affects our thinking.

    Men are the problem with society and marriage.

    No. Men are not the problem. An oppressive patriarchy is the problem.

    Men are bad/evil.

    Absolutely not. All human beings are made in God’s image and likeness.

    Women are wiser than and better than men. If only women were in charge, they would fix all the problems in society.

    Nope. But you have to question if things would be the same if we didn’t systematically exclude ~50% of the available brainpower for centuries!

    Women are good. Women are not really “wretched sinners.”

    We are all sinners. Other than some fringe movements in the second wave, feminist thought hasn’t established a hierarchy in which women are superior to men.

    Women’s sin is “better than” men’s sin in the eyes of God.

    No.

    Men and women are/should be spiritually, emotionally and mentally the same. There should be no spiritual, emotional or biological differences in the way that men and women experience and perceive the world other than the genital tract. Men need the same things and think and feel the same ways as women do – and if they don’t, then they don’t have emotions or they are wrong.

    I don’t know any feminist who goes around blaming men for not having emotions. This is one of the ways in which men suffer under the patriarchy, too– they’re not allowed to express their emotions.

    And yes, there are some differences between the sexes, but it’s impossible to know which are innate and which are the result of cultural programming.

    A man being masculine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.
    A woman being feminine in a godly or traditional way is wrong.

    No. It just shouldn’t be presented as the only option.

    Women should be aggressive, assertive, domineering and controlling.

    Not really, and this topic is up for debate. Some feminists would absolutely agree, while others would disagree because those are negative traits that nobody should have.

    Men should be passive and allow women to do what they think is best and they should agree with women because women are right.

    No basis in feminism!

    Male leadership in marriage, the family and the church (patriarchy) is oppressive to women.

    Or at least it has been in the past, and it continues to be.

    If a man ever has a chance to be in charge, he will be abusive 100% of the time.

    Only a very few second wavers ever believed that.

    Husbands must earn respect and if a wife doesn’t “feel like” her husband has earned her respect, she is totally justified to treat him in any disrespectful way she wants to no matter what God’s Word says. A wife has no obligation to obey God if she doesn’t agree with the Bible in her particular circumstances. She is lord and master of herself. Christ is not to be her LORD.

    People need to earn each others’ respect. There’s no need to make this gendered!

    Be your own goddess. What you want is all that matters.

    This is second-wave essentialist nonsense.

    Who cares what your husband wants or what he needs and who cares what is ultimately best for your children?
    Your own happiness is what is really important. If you are not happy, then you are justified to do anything (including sin) in order to try to be happy. Your personal happiness should be the ultimate goal (idol) in your life.

    I’m assuming that this is referring to The Feminine Mystique. I would certainly say that if someone is depressed and unfulfilled in their marriage they should try to figure out why, and take steps to address that problem. It’s possible to seek self-fulfillment without making it an idol.

    The Bible is not authoritative. It was written by men and men are evil. There is no Holy Spirit.

    I think Mary Daly would disagree with you.

    God is not a “He” and the God of the Bible doesn’t exist.

    God transcends gender.

    Feminism says that God is female, or there are many goddesses, or you can become a goddess.

    Feminism doesn’t say anything about God being female.

    The Bible is not true and is no longer “culturally relevant.”
    All of God’s commands and instructions specifically for women in the New Testament are oppressive and culturally irrelevant today.

    No, but we really do need to examine the context of things!

    Any authority instituted by God is to be undermined and replaced by women and what women think is best because women know better than God and women know better than the Bible and women know better than men and women should be worshipped, submitted to and served as goddesses.

    I know of no feminist thought that claims this.

    Motherhood and marriage imprison women and keep them from becoming all they are meant to be.

    When forced into motherhood and marriage, many women can certainly fee like that. Feminism argues that women should be able to choose whether they want to be wives and mothers or not.

    Originally, feminism was about women’s suffrage and voting rights. But it didn’t stop with equal rights to vote and equal pay for equal work in the workplace, feminism began to also demand that women were “equal” to men in marriage, that marriage should be egalitarian, that women and men are essentially the same and that the roles/jobs in marriage should be split 50/50 down the middle. Both men and women should be in charge in marriage – but this ended up meaning that ultimately women should be in charge and control their men if the wives don’t agree with their husbands.

    I see how that follows.

    Husbands should submit to their wives and do what they say without questioning them.

    No. No feminist thought proposes submission like that. That is a total lack of consent.

    Women should not only compete with men in the work place, but they should compete for power and position in marriage, as well even though God clearly designated the husband as the spiritual head of the marriage and home in I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Timothy 3:5 and Titus 2:3-5.

    I think that only applies to Christians!

    Women should assume masculine personality traits at work and in the home. They should look, dress, talk and act more like men.

    No, absolutely not.

    Women don’t need a family, husband or children to find fulfillment.

    Not every woman wants or needs those things.

    Men should become more feminine and more in touch with their feelings and more domesticated.

    Absolutely yes, especially the part about their feelings.

    Children don’t need a mother’s influence.
    Children don’t need a father in the home.

    Children need loving and stable families. The particular setup doesn’t seem to matter that much.

    Marriage can be whatever we want it to be.
    Marriage has changed form so much in human history. It’s hard to see why it shouldn’t continue to evolve.

    Women should find their worth and identity in their careers, not the prison and drudgery of home-life.

    Women should be able to choose their profession!

    Men should be their wives’ helpmeets. Men exist to give women what they want.

    No feminist thought claims this.

    Women can “have it all!” – career, marriage, children and she won’t have any issue juggling all of those things at one time.

    Pop feminism claimed that you can have it all.

    Motherhood and/or being a housewife are worthless, meaningless, valueless positions. Your time and work is only valuable if you are paid money.

    The patriarchy undervalues these professions because they are “women’s work.”

    The roles of husband and wife are the same and interchangeable. God’s design in Ephesians 5:22-33 is wrong.

    Christian values should only be imposed on Christians.

    1. Christine,

      Let me clarify about that last list… Some of the things on that list are things that were taught by certain feminists. But some of the ideas there are things I have seen many Christian women embrace – I suppose that women take the ideas of our culture and add to them or change them on their own at times – and sometimes ideas change over time.
      These are mostly not things that women consciously think. But are possibly at the root of our beliefs if we dig deeply enough.

      Obviously there is a wide variety and spectrum within feminism. My greatest concern is that we do not adopt lies or unbiblical teachings or heresies, but only cling to God’s Word as the only source of absolute truth.

    2. Christine,

      This is a blog for Christians. No one is imposing values on anyone. Christians discuss things relevant to Christians, hence this blog.

      1. Lisa,
        I don’t think Christine was saying I am imposing values on anyone – but that she as a feminist doesn’t believe Christian values should be imposed on unbelievers.

        My hope is to help Christian women examine the core values and beliefs upon which we build our faith and identity as women and our marriages and to reject any ungodly ideas, whatever their original source, and build only on the truth of God’s Word.

        Thanks for the discussion! 🙂

      2. What I was trying to say–albeit clumsily– is that feminist thinkers were working to counter the imposition of a certain set of Christian beliefs on the general population. Since the US is not a theocracy, it’s important to recognize the line between religious belief and law, in order to protect the rights of all.

        And I totally get that Christians discuss things relevant to Christians. That’s why I’m here! 🙂 As a liberal Christian, I think it’s really important to not be alienated from other people within the Body. I may not agree with much of what April says, but I think that we both want to be faithful witnesses of the faith.

    3. Christine,

      Finally – I have a few minutes to address your assertions. 🙂 I will have Christine’s words in italics:

      So, just so you know, I consider myself both Christian and feminist. I find that there is very little truth in your list of ways that feminism affects our thinking.

      No. Men are not the problem. An oppressive patriarchy is the problem.

      – According to God’s Word, sin is the problem. God designed patriarchy. Yes, there have been men who have misused their positions of God-given authority. But having men in leadership is God’s design in His Word in I Corinthians 11:3, I Timothy 3:5, Titus 2:3-5, Ephesians 5:22-33, etc. For more on this, please check out “Spiritual Authority”

      Absolutely not. All human beings are made in God’s image and likeness.

      – Yes, all human beings have great value because we are all made in God’s image and likeness. We are all also wretched sinners – men and women. Galatians 3:28 (men and women are of equal value), Romans 3:23 (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God)

      We are all sinners. Other than some fringe movements in the second wave, feminist thought hasn’t established a hierarchy in which women are superior to men.

      – there were some feminists who did teach that women are superior to men, and there are MANY, MANY women, even in the church today, who do believe that they are morally and spiritually superior to their husbands specifically or to men in general. There is a great deal of self-righteousness and pride among Christian women today because of this philosophy. Almost every one of the hundreds of wives I have communicated with began our communication with the belief that she was morally/spiritually “better than” her husband.

      I don’t know any feminist who goes around blaming men for not having emotions. This is one of the ways in which men suffer under the patriarchy, too– they’re not allowed to express their emotions.

      And yes, there are some differences between the sexes, but it’s impossible to know which are innate and which are the result of cultural programming.

      – There are some amazing books on the differences between men and women neurologically and biologically like “His Brain, Her Brain” by Dr. Walt Larimore, and Shaunti Feldhahn’s book “For Women Only” that helps us as women to be able to see and understand how men think very differently from us as women.

      No. It just shouldn’t be presented as the only option.

      – What other options should be presented?

      Women should be aggressive, assertive, domineering and controlling.

      Not really, and this topic is up for debate. Some feminists would absolutely agree, while others would disagree because those are negative traits that nobody should have.

      – I agree with you on that!

      (Men should be passive and allow women to do what they think is best and they should agree with women because women are right._

      No basis in feminism!

      – This is what many women believe and how they live today in their marriages

      (Male leadership in marriage, the family and the church (patriarchy) is oppressive to women.)

      Or at least it has been in the past, and it continues to be.

      – I cannot agree that all male leadership in the past or present was oppressive to women. Of course there have been some who have been. But it is God’s design – for men to have authority in the church and for husbands/fathers to have ultimate spiritual authority/accountability in families. God intends for them to protect, lead in a godly way, honor, love, nurture and care for those in their care and to accomplish God’s purposes and His will. (Spiritual Authority)

      (If a man ever has a chance to be in charge, he will be abusive 100% of the time.)

      Only a very few second wavers ever believed that.

      – There are still women who believe this. I hear from them often.

      (Husbands must earn respect and if a wife doesn’t “feel like” her husband has earned her respect, she is totally justified to treat him in any disrespectful way she wants to no matter what God’s Word says. A wife has no obligation to obey God if she doesn’t agree with the Bible in her particular circumstances. She is lord and master of herself. Christ is not to be her LORD.)

      People need to earn each others’ respect. There’s no need to make this gendered!

      – As believers, we ought to treat all people with respect because of the Spirit of God living in us. But, God does also specifically command that “wives must respect their husbands” and there is no qualification in that command, just like there is no qualification in the command for husbands to love their wives. It is not “Husbands, love your wives if she deserves to be loved in your opinion.” It is not “Wives, respect your husband if he deserves and has earned respect in your opinion.” God commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church and that wives must respect their husbands and honor their husbands’ God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33) and if a wife does not respect her husband and rebels against him, this will malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:5).

      Even if others sin against us, we as believers are not to respond with sin in return. We are to honor God and be empowered by His Spirit in how we treat others – we die to self, we repay evil with good, we bless when we are cursed, we pray for those who mistreat us (Romans 12:9-21)

      (Be your own goddess. What you want is all that matters.)

      This is second-wave essentialist nonsense.

      – Yep.

      (Who cares what your husband wants or what he needs and who cares what is ultimately best for your children?
      Your own happiness is what is really important. If you are not happy, then you are justified to do anything (including sin) in order to try to be happy. Your personal happiness should be the ultimate goal (idol) in your life.)

      I’m assuming that this is referring to The Feminine Mystique. I would certainly say that if someone is depressed and unfulfilled in their marriage they should try to figure out why, and take steps to address that problem. It’s possible to seek self-fulfillment without making it an idol.

      – Of course I agree that women ought to examine the problems and what is wrong if things are not going well in their marriages, but ultimately, we will only find true contentment and fulfillment in Christ. As we obey God’s Word for us and put Christ first, we will have His peace, joy, hope, purpose and contentment, and we will also then have the healthiest marriages as we obey His Word and design.

      (The Bible is not authoritative. It was written by men and men are evil. There is no Holy Spirit.)

      I think Mary Daly would disagree with you.

      – I hope a lot of women would disagree with that statement, but there were feminists who promoted atheism (Elizabeth Cady Stanton) and who also promoted a female Goddess (see Wikipedia) and who promoted the idea that the Bible was written by men and promoted patriarchy and therefore was wrong and did not give women proper dignity. Wikipedia (The Women’s Bible)

      God transcends gender.

      – The God of the Bible presents Himself as masculine. It is not my right to change what He says about Himself. One of the greatest purposes of marriage is that marriage is to display the intimacy between Christ and His bride, the church. Husbands are to represent Christ’s sacrificial, humble, everlasting love for His people and wives are to represent the adoration, biblical submission and reverence of the church for Christ. God is ALWAYS portrayed as masculine in scripture.

      (Feminism says that God is female, or there are many goddesses, or you can become a goddess.)

      Feminism doesn’t say anything about God being female.

      – Some feminists promoted that God is female – the Goddess Movement from the 2nd wave of feminism is described here on Wikipedia

      (The Bible is not true and is no longer “culturally relevant.”
      All of God’s commands and instructions specifically for women in the New Testament are oppressive and culturally irrelevant today.)

      No, but we really do need to examine the context of things!

      – Yes, context is important, but then we are called to obey God regardless of whether His Word is popular or politically correct or socially acceptable. “If anyone loves Me, he will obey Me… He who does not obey Me does not love Me.” John 14:22,24

      (Any authority instituted by God is to be undermined and replaced by women and what women think is best because women know better than God and women know better than the Bible and women know better than men and women should be worshipped, submitted to and served as goddesses.)

      I know of no feminist thought that claims this.

      – This is a line of thinking that I see often among wives. It is not conscious – but it is what drives much controlling/disrespectful behavior.

      (Motherhood and marriage imprison women and keep them from becoming all they are meant to be.)

      When forced into motherhood and marriage, many women can certainly fee like that. Feminism argues that women should be able to choose whether they want to be wives and mothers or not.

      – Having a choice to marry is a great thing, I totally agree. But the founding feminists of the 1st and 2nd wave of feminism DID say that marriage and motherhood were oppressive: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Beauvoir wrote of this.

      (Husbands should submit to their wives and do what they say without questioning them.)

      No. No feminist thought proposes submission like that. That is a total lack of consent.

      – But there are many women who DO believe that this is how marriage should be today. They don’t say it in words, necessarily, but this is their expectation. That is how I lived in our marriage for the first 14 years. 🙁 It didn’t work very well! That is for sure. I would NEVER have said that is what I believed. But it was what was behind my behavior and motivations. And I have seen it in many other women’s lives, as well. We really live sometimes with SELF as god and expect God and our husbands to submit to us. In fact, many women use Ephesians 5:21 to justify this belief.

      (Women should not only compete with men in the work place, but they should compete for power and position in marriage, as well even though God clearly designated the husband as the spiritual head of the marriage and home in I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Timothy 3:5 and Titus 2:3-5.)

      I think that only applies to Christians!

      – I am talking to Christians. 🙂

      (Women don’t need a family, husband or children to find fulfillment.)

      Not every woman wants or needs those things.

      – True – and God does call some women to singleness. I have no problem with that, neither does Scripture. But, for many women, this idea has translated to mean that they should or could only find fulfillment in a career and that being a housewife or a mother at home is oppression/slavery, etc.. I don’t want to see women believe that!

      (Men should become more feminine and more in touch with their feelings and more domesticated.)

      Absolutely yes, especially the part about their feelings.

      – Why should men become more feminine? Where is that supported in Scripture? What is godly masculinity? What is godly femininity? What are the distinctions? What does God intend the differences to be?

      (Children don’t need a mother’s influence.
      Children don’t need a father in the home.)

      Children need loving and stable families. The particular setup doesn’t seem to matter that much.

      – According to the Bible, the set up of the family DOES matter. God designed a mother and father to be parents together and to demonstrate a godly example of marriage and to train their children in God’s Word and to know Him and they are to live out lives of obedience to God and His Word before their children. One of the reasons God hates divorce so much is that He says He desires for marriages to produce “godly offspring” and it is extremely difficult for children to grow to be godly men and women after living through the aftermath of divorce. (Deut. 6, Malachi 2) Also, God does not prescribe any other marriage arrangement – two mothers, two fathers. God alone has the authority to create marriage and the authority to set the parameters of marriage.

      Are there times when a parent dies or some tragedy happens and children are raised by other relatives and do ok? Yes. But the ideal situation is to have a godly mother and father who train the children by example and in speech and who teach their children God’s Word.

      (Marriage can be whatever we want it to be.)

      Marriage has changed form so much in human history. It’s hard to see why it shouldn’t continue to evolve.

      – This comes back to “Who has the authority and right to define marriage?” According to the Bible, only God has that right.

      (Women should find their worth and identity in their careers, not the prison and drudgery of home-life.)

      Women should be able to choose their profession!

      – Yes. But there can be fulfillment in the home, in family and in raising children – and those things can be a great joy and blessing! They can bring freedom and purpose. They don’t have to be a prison or a drudgery.

      (Men should be their wives’ helpmeets. Men exist to give women what they want.)

      No feminist thought claims this.

      – Possibly, but this is how many women live. They expect marriage to be all about what they want and what they need. I see this over and over and over. It comes largely from the “egalitarian” model of marriage that promotes a husband and wife dividing everything, every chore, every leadership responsibility, every duty “down the middle” which creates a “scorekeeping” mentality that is extremely damaging where a wife focuses on what her husband “owes” her instead of focusing on how she can honor God and bless her husband. Even among Christian singles, this is an issue. Christian single men today tell me this over and over again, that women just want to date and marry them so that the women can have what they want “marriage, family, a wedding” – and that the men feel used, not loved. I have a post about this. And another post here. Many men commented about it.

      (Motherhood and/or being a housewife are worthless, meaningless, valueless positions. Your time and work is only valuable if you are paid money.)

      The patriarchy undervalues these professions because they are “women’s work.”

      – Feminism teaches this. Women can only find fulfillment in a career, not in marriage or motherhood.

      (The roles of husband and wife are the same and interchangeable. God’s design in Ephesians 5:22-33 is wrong.)

      Christian values should only be imposed on Christians.

      – That is who I am speaking to here. However, God’s design for marriage works across cultures and religious beliefs. His wisdom is infinitely above our own.

      Thanks for the discussion!

      With love,
      April

      1. Thanks for your response, April!

        I just want to say, though, that you can’t blame feminism for people’s sinful thinking. In your response, a lot of the time you say things like “A lot of the women I talk to display x behavior.” That’s certainly true, but if no or very few feminist thinkers have said anything like that, it’s not fair to blame them! If I believe that I am superior to men based solely on the biological fact that I’m a woman, that belief flies in the face of current feminist thought.

        Re: men becoming more feminine.– it’s more a matter of some positive traits being gendered as “feminine” in our culture. Compassion and kindness and emotional intelligence are all commonly depicted as feminine, when the truth is that they’re not really gendered, and are good things for everyone to have. Our Father God and Jesus are all depicted as having those traits in a positive fashion.

        Re: the debate between Christian and secular values– the feminist movement as a whole never claimed to reform religions. It was and still is devoted to helping people in civil society. If you want to practice what you see as Biblical headship (which as a fellow Christian I don’t agree with!), that’s certainly your right. But that’s not a solution that’s going to be appropriate to people of other religions, and thus civil society has to protect their rights, also!

        1. Christine,

          True, people are sinners apart from feminism. Feminism doesn’t cause all sinful thinking, to be sure. But I do believe that some of the ideas that have been promoted in feminism help to feed the idea among women that “I am always right. I am more spiritual than my husband. I am better than he is. He is always wrong.” Because feminism supports women being much more independent from their husbands and promotes that women should be “equally in charge” and that women need not respect their husbands’ God-given authority – it does encourage these ideas, in my view. I don’t think it is much of a jump to go from the ideas of being a goddess and making life all about self and undermining scripture’s commands for believers and women to these prideful, self-righteous, disrespectful ideas being commonplace in marriage.

          The feminist movement – first wave – DID intend to reform the Christian church. That was a large part of their purpose – to allow women to have “equal access” to becoming ministers, even though scripture taught against that idea. McCulley spent quite a bit of time in Radical Womanhood talking about just how profoundly feminism impacted the church and Christian faith in our culture.

          Thanks for your comments! 🙂

        2. Christine,
          You are most welcome here. You have added a lot of important points to this discussion. I am grateful and thankful for you and pray for God’s greatest glory in your life! 🙂

        3. Christine –

          I mulled over much of what you wrote and the conversations that were spurred after. I’m not going to respond to much of what you said specifically since others have already done so. I will, however, say that I am grateful to see the discussion carried out in a way that is respectful and even loving. Just how sisters should behave when they disagree!

          1. moj8668,

            I agree!! I appreciate Christine’s respectful and loving way of approaching this issue so much. 🙂 Great job, Christine! I was thinking about that yesterday. Thanks for bringing it up, moj8668.

  5. This was an eye opener to me at the start of my submission journey. It still gives me the chills now. 🙁

    This journey we are in, sisters, is a very “outmoded” one. Women will be vile towards us for going the submissive route, which is the Biblical route. But, may we be steadfast in our faith. We are not after popularity, but the Truth.

    Thanks for writing about this, April! This is a godsend.

    God bless us all!

  6. With regard to the issues brought up I believe you answered them well April. Ir’s been my experience in life that the best and biggest lies of the enemy, are the implied ones. Every good lie, has a little truth in it. Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

    1. Ted C.,
      It is the implied lies that are the hardest to see and pinpoint and deal with. So much of what I used to base my faith on and my core beliefs about myself, God, femininity and marriage were not things I had vpever even consciously articulated to myself. It is difficult to correct what we don’t acknowledge and see.

      It takes doing a very sweeping spiritual inventory and digging up all of our actual beliefs and values and comparing them to God’s Word to know where we actually stand in relation to God.

      The human heart is so incredibly deceitful. We can deceive ourselves. I sure did. And I was totally blind to all of my pride, self-righteousness, direspect toward Greg, disrespect toward God, idolatry and bitterness. Yet, I thought I was the best Christian wife ever. :(. I did not have the fruit of God’s Spirit. I was anxious, worried, fearful and lonely. I didn’t have God’s peace.

      How I long for every believer to walk in the power of God’s Spirit, to seek to obey Him in everything, to know Him and to live in His peace, joy, contentment and purpose. There is nothing better in this world!

  7. I tend to think that “liberal Christian” = “selectively Christian”.

    There is really only one reason that a person would qualify their willingness to submit to the Lord’s word. And that reason is because certain teachings are inconvenient for how they choose to live their lives, or how they prefer to position themselves socially.

    To use Renatas excellent analysis, let us look at it in terms of the male sin of hedonism, and the female sin of idolatry:

    When men want to adopt a so-called “enlightened” version of Christianity, it is usually so they can engage in a preferred sin (i.e.: hedonism). More often than not, it is tied to sexual immorality. 1960s era men went all-in on Roe-V-Wade because it promised more sexual liberty.

    When women want to adopt a so-called “enlightened” version of Christianity, it is usually about idolatry: “no man is going to tell me what I can do with my body”. Idolatry of self, and one’s own will. These same women have no problem telling other people what they are allowed to do with their bodies, and have no problem placing every manner of constraint on men.

    Liberal Christianity is having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof. It is about tailoring God’s law so that it more correctly fits the opinions and preferences of the liberal Christian. This is probably even worse than atheism, because it allows the person to believe they are in submission to God while actually they are in full rebellion. Better to be in full rebellion to God and admit it, than lie to oneself.

    I have a long list of things that I wish God would change His mind about. However, God is who He is, and I am going to have to get used to submitting to His laws, and not trying to find ways to substitute my own.

    Many Christians probably think they are “improving” God’s laws by adding their own enlightened opinions:

    “God couldn’t have meant that” (because that would mean I am wrong)

    “I don’t think that XYZ thing is wrong to do” (because that would hurt my pride)

    “I think doing XYZ is okay in these modern times” (i’ve done XYZ, and I do not want to feel convicted about it).

    “Jesus would want me to be happy” (so I can bend God’s laws in order to bring pleasure to my pride)

    Nominal Christians who do not submit to the Lord have something in common with the staunches of atheists – both are acting as their own God. But the atheist is actually more truthful about that fact.

  8. Good article – I do not believe however that it is ‘just’ a Christian concept with the issues of feminism – I would point toward the legal system and aspects that arise where fathers are treated like villains and the courts are abused to procure ALL out rights for the woman — even if it be detrimental to the children to remain in the mothers custody.
    I would also like to refer the situation of posters being displayed around university compasses that ask young men ‘not to be that guy’ (who rapes) vehemently implying that all men are rapists and need us to teach them to be otherwise? (the repercussions of such messages for WOMAN and MEN is volatile)
    Men have become the enemy in the GREATER scheme – and womans rights are beginning to overshadow basic HUMAN rights.
    Society has tilted dangerously in favour of asserting favour to woman over and above the line of equality and fair play. I also think – we are skating on dangerously thin ice and should not underestimate the wisdom and power of our young men who are being scarred and mistreated in the system…it is a lose lose equation….and for woman — well it is a win win.
    Thank you again for highlighting this issue all be it from a Christian perspective – it is social dilemma and atrocities ARE being committed in the name of womens rights in a secular environment as the world in which we live IS.

      1. Hello, April. Wonderful post. Idiotwriter is a friend who directed me here. I have a book coming out next month, the first in a two-book work, that might be of interest to you. No cost, no strings if you’re interested, no worries if you aren’t.

        There’s a reason that feminists behave the way they do. The basis to their wickedness is actually easy to explain and easy to understand.

        God bless.

  9. If I decide I am a believer but am exempt from obeying God’s Word – I am putting myself above God.

    I have done this! I put myself above having to forgive people for the first 14+ years of our marriage. I felt justified in not following my husband if I didn’t agree with him, even if what he was asking me to do was not sinful.

    When I put myself in a position of deciding what I want to obey in the Bible – Jesus is not my Lord. I am my own lord. I am my own god.

    To have Christ as LORD of my life means I obey Him in EVERYTHING. I do not say to Him, “No, Lord.”

    I owe Him “BILLIONS of sin dollars.” He has forgiven me for infinitely more sin than I could ever repay. And Jesus took the full wrath of God upon Himself on the cross that I deserved. How can I know all of that and say anything but, “Yes, Lord!”

    I don’t obey Him to try to go to heaven. I can’t earn my way to heaven. I obey Him because I am so thankful and grateful for all He has done for me and I long to please Him more than anything else in the world.

  10. IW-

    On the other thread I pointed out that I believe that this unbalanced social system that is downright abusive of men is going to lead – sooner rather than later – to the widespread dismantling of much of feminism.

    There is only so long huge numbers of men can be put on the losing end of every social situation and sit still for it.

    The anti-feminist wave is building with intense power in the world of secular, unsaved men. What might a huge number of unbelievers do when they suddenly, as a group, come to the conclusion that feminism is their enemy?

    For starters, they might over-react and decide that women are the enemy (which is wrong). But large groups have a tendency to over-react when they finally have had enough.

    Feminists are playing a dangerous game of social Russian Roulette, thinking that they can continue to put pressure on men to pay for the sins of generations of long ago, and that the modern woman, who has never suffered those wrongs is nonetheless appointed to be the recipient of generous reparations to make “team woman” whole for their grievances – real or imagined.

    Christian men better get on board soon, or the anti-feminist backlash will be 100% a mob of unbelieving men.

    Better for the Christian men to guide the relationship between the sexes gently back to some semblance of balance than let a group of sinners do it by force.

    When I read the attitude that is starting to form in the minds of many young men, I worry that sooner or later there will be trouble. The Church must have a viable alternative course for them, that does not basically amount to, “suck it up and behave, because men, bla, bla, patriarchy, bla, bla, oppression, bla, stop-looking-at-porn, bla, bla”.

    If this is the best the Church can do, troubled young men will seek leadership from the only men providing it – the pickup artists, aggressive anti-feminists, and the men who are willing to leave women to their fate.

    I would rather help save womens’ souls than save their egos.

    1. Jack – You and Navigator should link up. You have nailed it spot on – very well said. It is exactly what I see commencing in the hearts of many I encounter. Thank you for putting into words what I was struggling to.

  11. Feminism is powered by covetousness….

    The Pursuit of fairness and equality is a ongoing part of the human condition dating back to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. If you think about it, in the biblical account of the first sin, the serpent tempted the woman with a simular type of liberal class envy. In Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He was implying “just do this and you will be equal to God and things will be fair”. God is keeping you in the dark, and you deserve to know what he knows!

    It’s the exact same lie commonly used of today – virtually always coming out of the mouth of Democrats… “if we just take from higher income folks, and give it back to the “less fortunate” then everything will be fair and equal.”. We never became “like god” by doing the wrong thing and theft of one mans earning via the tax code so that society can give to someone else is immoral and in need of strong condemnation! The idea to do so was conceived of in sin (covetousness) and carried out in another sin (theft). In the same way the sin of covetousness failed to make man like God, income redistribution has also demonstrably failed to make anyone equal in this country – and always will. Yet the reply to this is we have not transfered enough wealth yet. If we just do more, it will become equal and fair at some point. It’s a never ending cycle built around this timeless lie, tailored to appeal to the basic human weakness of covetousness.

    It’s one of the easiest things to coax someone into covetousness, and, once they fall for the premise that things can be “made fair”, it’s nowhere but downhill from there. It is the entire basis of “community organizing”. Convince people who don’t normally pay a wits worth of attention that someone has denied them something – and that’s just not fair. Then give them marching orders as to who to vote for, what to vote for, and all will become fair. A never ending cycle of lies stacked on top of more lies for the purpose of producing lemmings who will carry out a perverse political agenda.

    The sin of “covetousness” (#10 in the 10 commandments)… throughout human history has been one of our greatest temptations. It often is the impetuous to many of the other sins such as murder and the making of false gods. It’s also important to note that Women seem (as a group) to be even more easily tempted by this particular sin then men (also as a group). The most common word spoken by modern women these days is “fairness” or “equality” – the basic foundation of feminism (any/all waves!). It’s become a standard buzzword of virtually all modern females. If one examines the country’s historical time-line, we find that welfare spending started kicking in a few years after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment as women started to discover their new right to vote. Prior to that time, the Federal Government ran budget surpluses except during wartime. In the biblical account of Genesis, the serpent separated the woman from the man and tempted her alone first, separate from her husband. Do you suppose the serpent knew something about the tendencies of the sexes when he decided how to proceed? Then once she had fallen, he used her as a vehicle to tempt the man into falling for the same trap. Is there some big lesson in here for men?

    At the same time, we see that women as a group vote more conservative when they are married. Single women vote significantly more liberal than their married counterparts. George Gilder in his book Sexual Suicide (1973, revised and reissued as Men and Marriage in 1986) makes the case that single men and their unbridled sexual drive are dangerous to society at large for a variety of reasons. While agreeing with that, I would also assert that unmarried women have done at least as much damage as men could ever hope to do. Without “the vote” the damage of women could be contained and minimized . But now, in the 21 century, women are attending college in larger numbers than men, demanding every right to be had, and in many places voting more than men. This is leading to the constant decline of our culture that can be seen in many different areas. Virtually all modern women reading my assertions above will quip “So you just think females are too stupid to vote then?”. Instantly Jumping to the intelligence quotient, as the reason for this belief. This is, in and of it’s self – a manipulation tactic to garner sympathy against this point of view. They will never stop for even a brief moment to consider that prior to the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920, limiting the vote to males of certain age was done for reasons well rooted in understanding of basic human nature among the sexes.

    We still limit voting by age. Is this just because those under 18 years of age are too short? Or is it because anyone who has not yet celebrated their 18th birthday has zero knowledge about politics? I for one was more than qualified to vote prior to my big 18th birthday, but was not allowed to vote in 1984 when President Reagan was running for a second term. I turned 18 shortly AFTER that election. Perhaps there really is a wider wisdom in force here? Perhaps it can be said, as a group, human beings who who lived less than 18 years on this planet, make poor decisions based upon biases and lack of understanding in the nature of life. It’s not to say that every single person under 18 is totally incapable of being an informed voter – just that as a group, they make very poor voters. Perhaps the limitations of not allowing females “the vote” prior to 1920 was based more upon natural tendencies of women as a voting block – and had no more to do with their intelligence or their value, than their height? Once again, not to say that every single woman is incapable of making informed decisions based upon what is best for society at large and not in their own self-interest. Rather, that they, as a group, strongly tend to vote in their own perceived short-term self interest – which is very bad point of view for the greater civil society. The results of which are now, 90+ years later, very apparent to anyone interested in looking objectively at the facts of history.

    This is also not to say, that males, by the virtue of having a penis always make the best, and informed decision based solely on what is best for their community and not themselves. In fact, at the founding of this country, there were far more limitations placed upon voters than just sex, age and/or the color of their skin. Voters had to not only be citizens of the fledging republic, but also had to be land owners.This was because it was believed a good voter had to be “invested” in his community. Also it has been argued that when a woman votes for that property tax levy for a playground at the local park, if passed, she has asserted authority over every working man in that tax zone by forcing him to pay for something he otherwise would not.

    In the early days, it was also assumed that males would spend time in prayer seeking wisdom from above as to how they should vote – or make any other monumental decisions in their life and that of their family. Wise men are well aware that God has placed them in authority over their wives in family. Further, truly wise men know that on their own, they are totally lacking in the needed wisdom for that task and rely on divine guidance sought through prayer on a daily basis. At the time of the founding of this country a large percentage of the population thought this way.

    John Adams famously quoted as saying: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We’ve removed the moral and God fearing component – is it any wonder we’re witnessing the fall of the greatest nation to ever exist on this planet?

    Bruce

    1. Bruce,

      Truly men and women are all wretched sinners apart from Christ! and we are all capable of making quite a mess of things.

      How I pray our nation and especially believers might repent and return to God. Christ is the only hope for us. He is the only One who can fix this mess. How I pray we will turn to Him!

      Thanks.

  12. April,

    Thank you for posting this.

    The dangers of feminism are rampant even in our churches. I see Christian women that claim to be holy, yet they belittle their husbands on a daily basis. Or, they form a sense of sisterhood, where their female friends become the source of their spiritual fulfillment rather than God or their husbands and children. I think we need to encourage all wives to focus first on God, then their husbands, and then their children. Charity starts at home!

    Fondly,
    Mrs. G.

    1. Mrs. G.,

      Yes, we even in the church have been very influenced by the world and our ungodly culture. In my experience, most Christian women who belittle their husbands believe they are justified in so doing because they believe they are “right.” But – what we don’t realize when we do this is that we disgrace the name of Christ and the gospel and we damage our marriages and we alienate ourselves from Christ because of our pride, self-righteousness and rebellion against God’s Word. I don’t think most women purposely try to hurt their husbands. They just often have no idea what they are doing is so destructive. I pray God will open our eyes!

      Yes, the people who should benefit the most from our faith in Christ and His Spirit living in us should be our husbands and children. And if God is not in his rightful place, everything else will be a mess.

      Thank you, Mrs. G!

  13. Praise the Lord that we have truth found in the word of God for our lives in how to think, live, act ,speak and not having to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

  14. Thank you for this post, April! You are spot on in your observations. I know I subconsciously harbored many of the beliefs you listed, particularly the ones about marriage, motherhood, and home life being prisons for women. Feminism explicitly and formally teaches this. The idea that marriage and/or motherhood could be fulfilling is presented as a “myth,” a lie purposely told to entrap women and keep men in power. Ringing endorsements for family life! If you will permit me, these quotes are from one of my college text books (I graduated in 2012, so these are not old examples):

    “Recently, scholars have studied so-called ‘myths of motherhood’ – how the ideology of patriarchal cultures supports and maintains women in the incredibly demanding, low-status, uncompensated work of mothering.”

    “This brings us to the issue of the nature of many child-rearing tasks themselves. Not only are these tasks not a significant source of power, money, or prestige in the larger society, but they are also inherently onerous. They involve tremendous responsibility, constant demands, deprivation from other identities, isolation from other adults, disappointment with unhelpful spouses, and guilt about not measuring up to the ideal. They do not confer power on people and people with power do not perform them. We know that few men do these tasks with or without pay, and women do not perform them for pay when they have other options. Whatever rewards there are in mothering – and as mothers, the three authors know them well – the fact is that child-rearing is not regarded as a desirable job for those who are not the mothers of the children. Hollingsworth made this point as early as 1916, in her ground-breaking and myth-exploding early study of mothering, in which she cited the long years of exacting labor and self-sacrifice, and also the ‘drudgery, the monotonous labor, and other disagreeable features of childbearing are minimized by “the social guardians.” On the other hand, the joys and compensations of motherhood are magnified…the tendency is to create an illusion whereby motherhood will appear to consist of compensation only, and thus come to be desired by those for whom the illusion is intended.'”

    “…something about being ‘just a housewife’ contributes to unhappiness and dissatisfaction in women. Even for people who enjoy keeping house, housework is frequently boring, repetitive, and physically demanding. It often involves serving other people and taking their needs, tastes, and perspectives into account. It receives practically no recognition or respect from people outside the home and, all too frequently, little from those within the home who benefit from it most directly. It is unpaid and never-ending. Historically, housework is the work of women and the poor, people with little power and status.”

    1. Liz,

      Wow! Thank you for sharing these quotes. I am so sad that motherhood and being a home-maker are presented in such a negative, derogatory light. 🙁 That breaks my heart!

      How I wish that young women could learn that in God’s design, being a wife and mother and caring for a home can be a source of incredible joy, accomplishment, fulfillment, excitement and adventure. What job is more important on earth than raising a new generation to know and love God and to make the home a place of peace, love, nurturing and a place of safety and welcome.

      I appreciate your willingness to share what is being taught in college today. What class was this?

      1. April,

        The class was called “Psychology of Gender” and the book is “Engendering Psychology: Women and Gender Revisited.” I majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and took classes on marriage and parenting as well, but I don’t have those books anymore. They were similar in tone, particularly the marriage one.

        It makes me incredibly sad, too, that this is the kind of thing young people are being taught, (with no counter viewpoint offered – because it is assumed that the greater culture serves as the counter view, even though in actuality it does not) and that I believed for most of my life. I am so grateful to you (and other women I’ve found on the internet) who’ve opened my eyes to an entirely different way of seeing things!!

        And yes, of course you may use my comment if you wish to.

        1. “It makes me incredibly sad, too, that this is the kind of thing young people are being taught, (with no counter viewpoint offered – because it is assumed that the greater culture serves as the counter view, even though in actuality it does not)”

          I took seven psych classes thinking it would be my major, and this is exactly why I couldn’t stand it. Even if these attitudes were presented as the modern American viewpoint, well nonsense, they preach it like the modern American way is the only way.

          Taking even a glance at Eastern culture offers great perspective, for one thing. 😉

          Isn’t it incredible, though, the audacity of today’s claims that we’re the enlightened generation (just one broad look at the world should show otherwise) while condemning the whole of cultures in the past human history?

          1. JC,

            Thank you for sharing. 🙂
            You know, I took “The Psychology of Marriage” in college. Wish I still had my textbook. I don’t recall questioning anything that was said.

          2. I thought I was going to go CRAZY during psych!!! (ironic, I know)

            I can’t believe they claim to be a science. It’s mostly a bunch of self-fulfilling “study” born from popular culture.

            The fundamental flaw in the premise of psychology is the idea that some 90% of people are “normal.” The rest who don’t conform must be flawed in some way. Now, some people want to compare (also in foolish ways) mental health to physical health, while the latter is arguably a lot more straightforward in terms of whether one is in ideal health or not. But some of the “scientific conclusions” of psychology are just limited to a single culture’s way of doing things–i.e. if you’re normal from a different time and/or place, you’re going to be mentally ill.

            It’s not all compost. I REALLY appreciated the MBTI–based on some ingenious discoveries by Carl Jung (nutball that he was).

            My stomach turns whenever I feel believers interpreting their Bibles via their culture and not vice-versa. Humanity is fickle but God’s word is not.

            I’d rather have more in common with Peter or Paul than anyone I know today . . . of course, we’re going to say we’re all aiming to be Christ-like, but the point being that those people from a different era were timeless in their ways of thinking. 😉

        2. Liz,

          Thank you for sharing which class that was and the text book name. It is so easy to assume that anything we learn in a Psychology class must be “true.” But there is definitely a great need for us to carefully examine everything under the lens of Scripture before we accept it as truth.

          Thanks so much!

  15. Thank you so much for this!!! I’ve always had a desire to get married and have children but people always made me feel guilty about it. And I do want to raise my kids no day care or babysitters. But my friends and family make it seem as if that is the end of the world. As if that if I choose this life I loose every opportunity to be “successful”. I do understand not making these desires an idol though, because then they become toxic. I pray to God to help me with this because at times I do. But once again thank u so much!!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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