Are You a Feminist in Remission?

I recently received an email from a friend (thanks Tricia) that excerpted some conversations on biblical womanhood from the girltalk blog. I found it refreshing, but also acknowledge that this is yet another realm in which Christian women have lowered the bar on being the “peculiar people” they are intended to be.

These ideas will no doubt go against the grain for many women.  I’ve said before here on the blog that I feel the door of feminism has swung back to smack “liberated” women in the face.  For women to view their role in the home as a great work, and to content themselves in it has become a foreign concept.  We need to catch the vision again.  We do not find a general mandate for every woman to be a Deborah or an Esther in scripture (although they provide noble examples for us in what God called them to do); but we do find directives for women to be “keepers at home”.    These conversations (links below) help modern women to understand what this looks like for our generation.

Here’s how one discussion opens:

“I’m a feminist in remission,” Julie confessed in her email to us. And aren’t we all, by the grace of God?

She continued:

“Honestly, I still struggle in my role as wife and mother though I’ve lived in it for ten years now. So when I read Carolyn[Mahaney]’s take on the Today Show a few days ago and the new book about sharing the home responsibilities 50/50, I just had a question, or maybe, a dilemma.

I stay at home full time, homeschooling my four children and I do love it. I wouldn’t want to work outside the home even if it was offered to me. But does that really mean that the husband has NO share in the household duties? Does that really mean that he should never wash some dishes, put laundry away, bathe a child, or pick up his own socks? I mean, if stuff needs to be done, should my husband be able to surf the web or watch a game while I tidy up after dinner and get the kids in bed? I guess I’m truly wondering if this is what It means to be a biblical woman? I WANT to be. I want to do my duties without grumbling and complaining. But it’s hard. It’s easy to feel like the maid. So, any words of wisdom in helping me to see this issue clearly and biblically, would be great.”

There was also a portion offered from Carolyn’s book Feminine Appeal. Here is a snip:

“Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, once quipped about his wife: “In domestic affairs I defer to Katie. Otherwise I am led by the Holy Ghost.” While facetious, Luther’s comment holds biblical credibility. As wives, we are to be in charge of domestic affairs.

The command in Titus 2 to be “working at home” is further illuminated by 1 Timothy 5:14 where Paul says: “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander” (emphasis mine).

In the Greek, the phrase “manage their households” carries a strong connotation. It literally means to be the ruler, despot, or master of the house. So we see that “working at home” means we are to function as the home manager—taking full ownership for all the domestic duties of the household.

If you are feeling these struggles as well, here are some great links for your perusal:

Homemaker’s Dilemma Pt. 2

Homemaker’s Dilemma Pt 3

Homemaker’s Dilemma Pt. 4

Homemaker’s Dilemma Pt. 5

Homemaker’s Dilemma Pt. 6

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3 thoughts on “Are You a Feminist in Remission?

  1. I can’t believe I missed this post when I was here earlier! I found your post, as well as the links, very interesting. I’ve struggled with the concept of “God-family-work” balance for years, especially as it relates to my thoughts on wives’ roles in the home. Now that I’m married to a very Christian man (praise God!), I’ve had those thoughts even more so lately.

    There are times where I catch myself wondering about seemingly simple things like the part about whether my husband should help out with dishes (which he does) to the more complex. I’m always torn on this issue, mainly because I used to be a “Go get ’em aspiring Corporate America girl,” especially growing up in a household with my father, a business man who we have to ask when we call him throughout the week, “which country are you in today?”!

    My point is that I respect women focused very much on their career, after all I’m an entrepreneur, but I, too, would like to see more traditional values among families. The key for me is learning more about what is considered “traditional” biblically! Thank you for the post!

  2. Cristina,

    If you follow the links at the bottom of that post, at least one of them deals with working outside of the home and finding a balance in that. Since my husband and I had kids I have been at home with them. We cut a lot of corners (and some parts out of the middle 🙂 ) to make that happen, especially since I also homeschool them. I am very interested in this book by Carolyn Mahaney. Have you been to the girltalk blog? I don’t know what your church affiliations are…the Mahaneys are reformed background; but that does not come through a whole lot in what I’ve read by her. You would probably enjoy what you find there.

    I think the problem with the “career” idea is that it can easily subtract from what a woman ought to be in the home. It can also become a “god” of sorts, for men and women alike. It is one thing when it is necessary in order to supplement income (but even that needs to be scrutinized…if your earned income is getting swallowed up by paying for a babysitter and fuel and lunches out etc., then what exactly is the point? KWIM?), and wholly another when a woman shirks her responsibilities as homemaker in order to make a way for herself apart from her family.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that this post did not raise a bunch of hackles. Maybe the feminist types decided a long time ago that my blog was not a happy place for them. 😉 Glad you visited. Come back and kick your shoes off anytime.

  3. Hola Diane!

    I’m interested in looking into the Carolyn Mahaney book as well! I did visit the girltalk blog when I was on your site and thought it seemed like a very nice group of ladies. I read some brief things here and there, but look forward to going back to it again!

    I chuckled at the part about the feminists not finding happiness at your blog. I truly am all for people pursuing their careers, but well within a balance. When the family life starts to suffer, which is frequently, then that is when I believe the circumstances should be reevaluated. I also agree with you about the income scenarios (e.g., daycare expenses outweighing the income benefit from one spouse working out of the home).

    As for church affiliations, I was raised Catholic, but since 1999 explored non-denominational and Southern Baptist churchers. My husband also led me to a Presbyterian church to visit several times. We were married in the Catholic church and will always support that as our “foundation,” but we find great joy in getting to know Christ better through multiple Christian faith backgrounds.

    I noticed you have a blog affiliation with a Mountain View Baptist Church; are you still a member out there?! I read you were or are their ladies bible study teacher! I already knew I would learn some things visiting your blog, but now I know it for sure! Have a wonderful weekend, smiles!

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