Author: Renee Heusinger
As a teenager, I was looking for excitement. Having been raised in the church, I was used to the “no dinking, no dancing, no swearing, no hanging around with those who do” rules of behavior. I was left thinking that Christianity was boring. The fun that was allowed often seemed childish, immature. So, I went on a quest for an exciting purpose in life: traveling, enjoying friends and whatever life would present me. As Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Men have been seeking the purpose of life forever. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2: 1-12:
“I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”
Seems we are still trying the same things to satisfy as Solomon: pleasure, laughter, wine, folly, work/success, earthly wealth, songs, sex, wisdom/knowledge, and immediate gratification. Not surprising that we as women are seeking our place in this grand scheme of finding pleasure and purpose. The feminism movement sought to answer the longing by being able to self-define, but just like Solomon found, “it is all vanity.” The sought after equalities and freedoms actually put us in bondage to a different master. God has created us with a sense of adventure, and a desire to be loved and useful. Perhaps though, the finding of this answer is not so much in what we DO, but how we THINK.
In our study, the authors describe our modern view of feminism in terms of what we are used to: a diet familiar to us. We are used to seeing it served up; how it tastes, its consistency and color, its texture, its flavor. We are used to swallowing it. The Bible’s food may not be so familiar and acceptable to us. It may even make you fearful. It may be distasteful, unfamiliar. I don’t eat bugs, but in many cultures, they are a delicacy. It is really all about what we THINK about it.
We can read Proverbs 7, 8, and 9, and agree that we want to choose wisdom. We want the substance of a real, satisfying meal eaten with people whom we share a genuine relationship, but often the facades make the choices more difficult. Which house is it?
What DO we know that God says women are to be like?
- Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
- I Peter 3: 1-12 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
- I Corinthians 11: 1-14 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife[a] is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife[b] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.[c] 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
- I Timothy 1:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
- I Corinthians 14: 34-35 The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
- 1 Timothy 2:9-15 Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; …
- Philippians 4:3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
- 2 Timothy 3:6-7 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
- Proverbs 31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him. What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. The Woman Who Fears the Lord – An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
NO doubt the Bible has many more, but these are some of the common passages about the conduct and attitude women are to have. What taste do they leave in your mouth? What stands out to you? Do the commands to submit and serve seem heavy, or do you focus on the promised blessings? “The Word of God not be reviled.” “Her husband may be won.” “Be precious in God’s sight.” “Obtain a blessing.” “Love life and see good days.” God watches over and commends you. Her husband protects her. She honors and is honored. She is an heir together of the grace of God. She is trustworthy, does good, and works hard, She is strong, wise, kind, prepared, is known, is generous, is entrepreneurial. She is praised! It is not a matter of what is written, but what you think about it.
The question the authors asked was, ”How do you need to adjust your attitude toward womanhood so that it matches his? Our verse this month was Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers (or sisters), by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Replacing erroneous thinking with godly thinking comes only by meditating on God’’s Word. The scientific research that now supports the long time truths of Scripture only adds to the credibility of God’s Word. It is not what we Do, but what we THINK, that drives our actions and attitudes. We will never experience God’s adventure, love and purpose if we are filling our minds with worldly philosophies and values.
God used some trials and blessings in my life to show me that His way is more exciting and purposeful than anything the world has to offer. The external allures of fun, friends, things, education and success (whatever that looks like to each person) has nothing in comparison to the thrill of a relationship with the God who created the universe, humbled Himself and came to earth to redeem me for Himself and asks that I prepare myself as His bride, waiting for that glorious reunion It’s all about how you think about it!
Join the discussion:
How do you need to adjust your attitude toward womanhood so that it matches His?