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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Feminism: The "Ugly" Head

Feminism seems to be rearing its ugly head everywhere I turn.  I say "ugly" because the older I get, the more convinced I become that this is not a godly way to live.  Call me old-fashioned, that's okay with me.  Honestly, I didn't used to think this way.  I was mostly on board the "feminist bandwagon" not that long ago (never did go the "pro-choice" direction), declaring the injustices and oppression of women and shunning the traditional stereotype of us as "merely" wives and mothers.  After all, we are not just mindless baby-making machines.  We have brains and we don't need a man to complete us!  I remember vividly the day I left for college and my loving, well-intentioned grandfather said, "Now, you go and find yourself a good, Christian young man to marry."  I was so offended!  How dare he?!  I was there to get an education!  I didn't need a man to complete me and that was certainly not the reason I enrolled!  (Though, I did keep my eyes and options open. ;)) 

Whatever you believe, be fair and consistent.  Our society has moved from "equal rights for women" to "no respect for men".  Are you advocating equal rights or gender domination?  If you are a Christian, remember that your husband is the head of your household.  If you hate that you were born a woman or have a problem with male headship, you'll have to take that up with the Creator Himself.

Photo credit:  Women Stomping Man
More cries of inequality, "Equal pay in the workplace!  Husbands should do the same amount of work at home as we women do!  After all, we didn't make those babies by ourselves and we're not the only ones who live here."  Sounds fair, right?  I'm all for fair and there is some legitimacy to these cries...some.  Let's start with equal pay.  Do men take maternity leave?  Typically not, although I'll grant that some have that luxury.  And what of the hospital bill for the birth?  If your kids get sick at school, who typically goes to pick them up?  Each family is different and certainly there are other factors and considerations at play in these situations but generally speaking, can you see how this could affect what salary an employer pays a woman versus a man in the same position?  As a general rule, is the woman doing the same amount of work as the man?  If so, then yes, she should receive equal pay.  But before bemoaning the injustice of it all, I implore you to keep these things in mind. 

Next, housework and caregiving.  This one is addressed more specifically to housewives like me or those who work part-time.  You are at home...working.  Presumably, your husband is working.  If he's not, then you have a legitimate complaint.  He should do more to help out.  I sympathize with those of you with babies at home.  They are demanding.  They are taxing.  By the time your husband comes home, you are worn slap out and there is still dinner, bath, and bedtime left to do before the day is done.  Rejuvenate yourself by napping when they do.  Your husband doesn't usually have this luxury.  In most instances, it could get him fired.  Most days you get to play with your little one(s), too.  It's fun, right?  Not every minute of every day is a burden.  If it is, you've got bigger problems on your hands than "women's oppression".  Does your husband enjoy his job or is he sacrificing to keep a roof over your heads and food on the table?  Again, I'm not saying that your complaint isn't legitimate.  It may very well be.  I'm just asking you to try and see things from your husband's point of view and remind you of the contributions he is already making for you and your family.  Let him know he is appreciated and that his sacrifices and hard work are not in vain.  Instead of beating him up, build him up.  If you don't, who will?  Here is a piece of advice that I've found helpful as well:  Ask for help.  Be direct.  That's not something that many of us women are very good at doing.  I know I wasn't.  I would fume and stew and then Justin would have the audacity to ask, "What's wrong?" 

"Pbbth!  What's wrong??  How dare he?!  If he loved me, he would just know.  I wouldn't have to tell him."  Sound familiar?  Wow.  Talk about unfair.  "How can he not see that I'm drowning in children's tears, dirty dishes, and a sea of unrelenting laundry?"  (Seriously.  He doesn't see it.)  Then you think, "I married an idiot."  Well, guess what?  I'm thankful for my idiot and you should be thankful for yours, too! lol  If he thought like me and came home "seeing" this, he would be just as stressed as I am looking at it.  Two stressed out spouses/parents are one too many!  So, yes.  I'm telling you to be thankful that he has no clue.  I'm telling you to ask for his help (in a kind and thoughtful way).  Despite what the world will tell you, he wants to please you.  Show him how and thank him when he does.  And that brings me to my next point...

Don't treat him like he is stupid.  He's not.  Besides that, if he is stupid, what does that say about you for marrying him?  In relation to that, don't talk to other people about how "stupid" he is either.  (Now you say, "But Stephanie, you just called your husband an idiot on a public platform."  Yes.  Yes, I did.  I did it to prove a point and if you've been married any length of time, I assure you that both of you have thought that about the other at some point in time.  I am an idiot sometimes, too.  Reality is your friend, ladies.  Reality is your friend. ;))  I've witnessed too many women who make a regular habit of making fun of their husbands to other women.  The next time you are tempted to do the same, ask yourself how you would feel if he were to talk to his friends about you that same way.

I hope to write more posts on how to be more godly women, addressing specific challenges many of us face in this day and age.  I haven't mastered any of this, mind you.  I'm a work in progress and will be until the day I die.  So let's just walk this journey together, vowing to be the kind of wife and mother deserving of the praise and adoration of our husbands and children, and confident in our worth and value that only comes from the Lord.

Submitting to your husband does not mean you are less valuable than he is.  It means you value him more than you value yourself.  Let's be holy, God-fearing women of service and devotion, rather than women of selfish pursuit and ambition.  Don't I know that women are people too and deserve to be treated fairly?  Of course.  Now define "fairly".  Don't I know that men do stupid things sometimes?  (I think we've already established my thoughts on that. ;))  Don't I know that men are selfish sometimes?  Newsflash: so are we. 

Treat your man with respect, not ridicule.  If he is any kind of man at all, he will thank you for it naturally, without your nagging or manipulation, and you'll both be better for it.  If not, love him anyway. 

You were made for he wouldn't live alone. 
Not to be his servant, but to be his soul-mate.  What an honor and privilege! 

Jesus came for all of we would live! 
Not to be our servant, but to be our Savior.  But guess what? 
He saved us through His service and submission to God. 

Does Jesus' value not exceed our own?  Wasn't He God in the flesh?  Being equal to God?  If He didn't consider equality something to be grasped, why should we?  Does that mean we are to be doormats?  No.  Was Jesus a doormat?  No.  He knew His worth and so had no need to demand "equal rights".  Instead, he honored and fought for the rights of others.  Women, children, the sick and elderly, the poor and needy.  Oughtn't we do the same?

Photo credit: Airmiles Files

Let's strive to be a soul-mate through our service and submission to our husband, bringing him honor and praise at the city gates.  Peace.