I have a confession to make.
I have allowed the world’s view of my role as a woman to override God’s view.
I have gotten caught up in the thinking that women can do anything that men can. I have accepted the mantra that women are powerful, independent individuals who do not need to depend on men for anything.
But I am wrong, and I did not even realize it. I thought it was perfectly fine to believe these things. And if you examine your heart, you, like me, will probably find a trace of this boldness in yourself as well.
You have to be careful what you say these days. Stereotypes about gender roles are very sensitive matters. The idea that women should be homemakers and men should be providers is outdated and even offensive. But I was surprised to discover how Biblical this is.
This summer, I am taking an online psychology course (got to squeeze in those 30 credits a year!). This week, I learned about how the images on the media affect our thoughts and actions. My secular textbook warned that we must be careful how we allow traditional gender roles portrayed on TV to affect our thoughts. However, because my college is a Christian university, the professor had us read Titus 2. (Actually, she had us read it for an entirely different reason, but God used it to teach me this.) Even though I have read Titus before, I was shocked by what I found. Titus 2:3-5 says:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (The Holy Bible; emphasis mine)
If I posted this verse on a popular social media page the world would go crazy. And I have to admit, reading this instantly made me defensive. Thoughts like “women do NOT have to work in the home!” and “women should be able to speak their minds!” immediately came rushing through my mind. But then I caught myself. This is the Word of God. This is my ultimate authority. What makes me so resistant to it?
Could it be that God is telling us that a woman’s primary concern should be her home and her family?
Dannah Gresh, a popular author for young teen girls who writes about purity and femininity, addresses this topic perfectly in her book Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love. When I read this book as a 14 or 15-year-old living in a feminist world, I was taken aback and surprised by what Mrs. Gresh had to say. She says:
All too much of my mind has been programmed by the feminist movement, which has accomplished some good but, sadly, fuels my self-sufficiency and self-power as a woman. This tends to make me self-focused. The idea of women being helpers has been a point of contention for several generations. Our culture programs us to be strong and independent. (Translation: in charge of our own lives!) But God encourages us to let Him be in charge. And that means we have to get over ourselves. (Gresh 134)
Gresh goes on to explain that the Hebrew word translated as “helper” in Genesis about women is the very same word used to describe God as our helper. I highlighted this portion in my copy of the book:
Being a helper is no second-class position. What a privilege we have as females to reflect the concerned helping quality of God our Maker. He certainly does not walk subserviently behind us, but comes tenderly alongside us in a position of strength. That’s what it means to be a helpmate. Yet this beautiful privilege of being a helper within marriage has met with firm resistance from hearts molded by the feminist mentality. Mine included. (Gresh 135)
From reading this explanation of God’s will for us as women, I believe we can safely conclude that many of us have a warped view of our Biblical role. Women are indeed strong; however, their strength comes from their humility and service, not their independence and self-sufficiency. The feminists have it wrong.
I think it is necessary to enter a disclaimer here. When I discuss our biblical role, I am not suggesting that it is God’s will for women to get married and have babies and never voice their opinion or have a career. I am not saying that women can never work and men can never run the home. What I am saying is that I believe the Bible tells women that are primary role is to be a helpmate, whether that be to our husbands, our church, our neighbors, etc. First and foremost, we are to be humbly serving God. So, whether you are a college student, a teenager, or a grandmother, your life (family, schooling, or career) should be in submission and service to God.
So, in conclusion, you and I need to evaluate our hearts. Are we fighting against God’s will for Biblical womanhood? Are we consumed with ourselves and our “rights” as independent women?
Remember, the tender strength with which God helps us along should be the same strength we pour into the people around us. It is a great honor for us to embrace our roles as helpmates to the God of the Universe.