Dear One, thank you for taking this journey with me. My sincere hope is that this last post will provide you with a few words to hold onto when you feel that your femaleness is not enough. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of holding Paul’s declaration of submission against how Jesus treated women. We looked into the cultural context of the letters Paul wrote and finally asked- “why are we telling women to submit to anything other than God?”
In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of holding Paul’s declaration of submission against how Jesus treated women. We looked into the cultural context of the letters Paul wrote and finally asked- “why are we telling women to submit to anything other than God?”
Part I can be found here
This second installment continues with two reasons my husband and I find no place for female submission in our marriage. Expanding on translation issues and the imbalance of power that can be harmful to men as well as women.
A few weeks ago, a colleague approached me at the coffee pot and asked me a pretty simple question, “So what are you doing this weekend?”
This weekend… I was doing a church thing.
My woman’s group hosts an IF: Gathering each year where we join thousands of women across the world for a weekend of powerful speakers and calls to action (IF is a Christian conference, for more information click here.) This was my second year attending, and after the year of spiritual growth I’ve had, I honestly wasn’t sure if the messages would resonate with me in the same way they had in the past. I approached the weekend cautiously optimistic but with very real reservations.
Friday night we watched remotely as Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering shared her personal struggle with 250,000 women worldwide. She asked us: “What is the darkness that comes against you that threaten the flame of your faith?”
When I was 14 years old I went to the beach with some friends from my youth group. Once unpacked, we laid our towels down on the sand and spread out, soaking up the glorious Florida sun. We laughed, passed fruit around, and talked about Jesus.
About 30 minutes in a man came up to us. He pointed up to the pier and told us that there was an old white dude taking pictures of us. When we looked in the direction he was pointing we saw the man quickly put his camera away and walk briskly in the direction of the parking lot. How long had he been there?
Ever hear of Bluma Zeiganick? Yea, I hadn’t either until a few months ago. Bluma Zeiganick was one of the first women in Russia to go to a University. Upon graduating she became one of the first female psychologists in the world. Our dear Bluma discovered the Zeiganick Effect which links memory to incomplete tasks (and she had the audacity to name it after herself!) Basically, your brain remembers uncompleted or interrupted tasks, going back to them again and again. You haven’t finished the laundry, you’re about to fly across the country, and so it stays on your mind all day. Conversely, once you cross an item off your list you’re less likely to remember having done that task. Perhaps this answers why so few of us can remember what we did the other day, but we can remember what we still need to do.
My dance of faith and feminism began when my mother-in-law suggested I read Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter. This book ripped my heart wide open and threw a freaking hand grenade in. My faith and my identity blew up. Everything I was so sure of was ripped from me. I was left with fragmented pieces of faith, sorting through what I wanted to keep and lighting on fire that which I no longer needed. At times, I longed for the security of ignorance.
This story is forcing me to be even more vulnerable and open. But here it goes. I have a deep and constant fear that something or everything will go wrong. Whenever life seems too good- just wait, because something bad will happen and mess it all up.
God is a man.
You’re causing men to stumble.
Women can’t/shouldn’t be pastors.
You’re not enough for your family.
The man is the head of the household.
You’re too emotional.
Whether we learn it in church, from our family, or in all the subtleties of society, we have our limiting beliefs about ourselves that repeat and repeat. They are personally tailored to hold us back. So much of what I want to do with this blog is Re-Image these inane platitudes in religion and faith practice. Along the way I have found that these defeatists thoughts extend beyond religion into our psychology as well. This post is a bit of personal growth and spiritual work as a result.
I participated in my first true act of patriotism on November 12, 2016. I marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, from MacArthur Park to the Federal Building. I marched with 8,000 other women and men. I attended the march on my own–I didn’t go with a group of friends, I didn’t meet anyone there, I didn’t bring my husband along. Months before I flew to DC for The Women’s March, I knew that this was something I needed to do on my own. It was and is a solemn exercise for me, a private act of public defiance