As a woman, who is a stay at home mom pursuing a ministry degree, and has been a stay at home mom for nearly nine years, I am irritated by anyone telling me what I can and cannot do. I am frustrated that male leadership in America has continually attempted to tell women what their “role” is. I am frustrated that women place restrictions on one another based on what they feel the feminine role is. I am seriously annoyed when anyone claims to have the down low on what every person of a certain gender should or should not be. It is entirely ridiculous and completely untrue.
I just finished watching the PBS documentary Makers: Women Who Make America and I suggest each of you watch it. Yes, it tells the story of the women’s liberation movement, but it also tells the stories of countless women who disagreed with them. I found it particularly refreshing that they showed both sides of a problem that continues to grow today, and once it was finished I kept thinking about how the problem really comes from certain people, telling other people, how to be human. We think we have to define humanity by what we do, by what we believe, and by who we are. But I would like to suggest a different alternative; let us be defined by WHOSE we are, and ask God to lead us.
Men, women, children, and all races are capable of doing what God will call them to do. As a human being, we all possess the inherent relation of being a child of God, regardless of whether or not we believe that is the case. When we talk about what women should or should not do, we attempt to define that on human terms without really ever asking God for input, while turning to a few specific bible verses to proof text our opinions. In this way of interpreting the Bible, we do not begin with asking God how to interpret Scripture, we are telling God what our opinion is then seeing if the Lord agrees. Is this Biblical? Is this what the Bible was written for? Again, this is not asking God who He is, but instead telling God who we want Him to be. The God I serve can never be so small.
Just as God is unfathomable to the human mind, I believe that humanity can be anything that God has created it to be. Women can be leaders, mothers, teachers, CEO’s, or choose to be at home with their children. Men can be these things as well, while caring for their children just as well as their female counterparts. Just as God can be our Father, Mother, Brother and Sister, humanity reflects God’s purpose in this: we can be anything that the Lord calls us to be. My purpose is fulfilled in my Creator, not in the role I play with the created.
For reasons I cannot explain, I grew up believing in my inherent ability to do what God calls me to do. I never felt pressured to be or do certain things, or fulfill certain roles. I pray that I can raise my children to be the same while unapologetically living out this truth in their lives; that God can and will equip them for every aspect of godly living no matter what “role” they may find themselves in.