Thursday, August 20, 2009

The power of the feminine…

It can be hard being a girl…no secret there to anyone who IS one.

We have been ordained by God with tremendous power…more power in many cases than men…we carry and bear children, we have the power to influence the flow of culture via the ways we nurture our children, we are by our God-created physiology able to multi-task (its how our brains are programmed to work!) and able to manage complicated relationships (between people, numbers, you name it!).

Most of us have been raised in a culture of feminism…a culture of striving to make us equal to men. There are some shocking women in our shared cultural past that have made it possible for women to do much more in society than they could just 20 years ago. What is interesting to me is that by striving to make women “equal” to men, we may actually have lowered ourselves to a place far below the place we once held.

The culture around the world still largely treats women as second class citizens at best and possessions at worst. The Bible is very clear about where a woman fits…unfortunately, the churches and religions of the world are not so clear. In most religions, including Christianity, the focus has been placed on the headship of men…on how the Bible and other religious texts say that a man should be the head of the household, church, business. For some, being the head is the most powerful position…everyone wants to be the top dog. And, to be fully honest, I believe that being the head IS a man's job.

Somewhere along the way, the concept of headship morphed into a concept that MEN are God, or all powerful or somehow smarter, bolder, more capable...that could not be further from the truth (although they can be physically stronger). Did you know that in the Bible being the HEAD over the woman is the CURSE of Adam - meaning that he didn't WANT the job...but God GAVE it to him and commanded him to fulfill his duty? Its an interesting concept...and accounts for lots of things, if you give it enough thought.

True to humanity, over time morphed the idea of a curse of headship, the responsibility of it all, became a fact upon which males applied their boasting and their pride. Rather that looking at it as a position of responsibility to which they must aspire, it became a special gift bestowed to those born with a penis...tragic, really. Because it created a precident of men being bossy or violent, mean or demanding, tyrants rather than caring, loving, protecting and responsible human beings.

What most people fail to see in the Bible is that women are given tremendous credit for their faith, strength, patience, perseverance, influence, kindness, intellect, cunning…Women were the first to find that Jesus was resurrected, they were called upon repeatedly to hide God’s chosen, provide shelter to home churches, help prophets...God mentions them in the Bible with GREAT significance at a time when women were not mentioned anywhere. By the very mentioning of them and the telling of THEIR stories, He gives clues to how important women are to the fabric of humanity - and not just for bearing babies, cooking and cleaning.

Even if we strip away the religious context, women are imbued with power beyond that which we recognize…the problem is that the power we have isn’t the beat-your-chest-beat-something-into-submission kind that men have…ours is about love and nurturing, about feeding the soul and creativity, about kindness and affection, trust and friendship…it is subtle and strong and solid…it is like the foundation of a building. Do you ever SEE the foundation of a building, except when it is being built? No. But without it, buildings crumble, and fall into decay. The power of the feminine lies in this very fact...we are part of the foundation upon which our very world is built.

What I find the most tragic about being female today is that we are conditioned by the world around us to doubt…we doubt our God-given gifts, we doubt our own strength, we doubt our purpose, we doubt that we look right, sound right, laugh right, feel right…we doubt that we are jewels in the crown, even in all our "equality" we doubt that we are enough to fulfill the needs of those around us…and in that doubt, we get tragically lost. We tend to get caught up in what we are not, rather than focusing on what we are.

I’m no different in this, but sometimes…sometimes, I read something or I hear something and my heart swells with a resounding “THAT’S RIGHT!”

I heard both of these amazing songs in one day…a day, I confess, where I felt utterly powerless, utterly lost and utterly unable to cope with the hand I’d been given. And in each, I recognized a strong message - hopefully they can give you the same shot in the arm they gave me.


1 comment:

Sam said...

Funny you should post this right's something I've been pondering all week. It saddens me to think that as women, we're so busy trying to be "as good as the guys" that we're completely losing the amazing gifts and power that come with being a woman.

I truly believe that our lives and families will be so much more fulfilled and peaceful when we stop fighting against the way God created us to be and embrace it instead!