Well, it’s no surprise that women and politics have made vibrant headlines the last five days. I fear I may just be contributing to more of the internet noise, and let’s be honest, there’s been A LOT. But as a woman raising a daughter, I just can’t ignore what’s going on around me, so on this little corner of space, I’m going to attempt to write honestly and truthfully and vulnerably about what it means to me to be a woman and a mother trying to follow Jesus in a culture where all of those descriptors can carry a lot of baggage.
I’m a woman.
I’m a professional.
I’m a wife.
I’m a mother.
I enjoy all of my roles equally, but some of them hold higher priority in my life. I’ve noticed something, though, which in some ways is a reflection of my own insecurities and judgements, and I have to be willing to own that. But I think it’s also bigger and deeper than me. Should I be made to feel less-than because in this season of my life I am not chasing 6 figures in the corporate world or a position as a CEO? No. Do I have less value or less of a voice because I care both about women’s equality AND the dignity of the unborn? No. Are those things mutually exclusive? No. But if we’re not careful, that is the image we are portraying to our daughters. And I’m afraid that collectively as women in this current feminist culture, we are unintentionally communicating that striving outside the home and putting ourselves and our own rights above anything and everything and anyone else is the new standard of worth and value for females. Isn’t it interesting that this is the same kind of pressure women have been trying to escape under the name of feminism in the first place? Why is it that we can’t find a way to elevate one thing without simultaneously decreasing the importance of something else? That goes against the very definition of equality driving the entire feminist movement. Of course there is nothing wrong with being a powerful woman in leadership! There is nothing wrong with using our voices to influence and our position, whatever it may be, to restore what is broken. We should do that. But we are all made to do that in different ways in different places, and we must be careful in our zeal to assert our rights and our power that we are not accidentally communicating, for example, that there is something inherently wrong with “just” being a wife or “only” being a mom. Or that just because we don’t fully agree about what it means to be women in our current culture that we can’t still see the inherent value in someone different than us.
I think all I’m saying is we might need to step off the emotional gas and take a logical look at what is happening around us, especially as women. Because it’s important. Asking good questions matters. We have to disagree with humility and have stimulating conversations that help all of us see a view we wouldn’t see otherwise. Everyone has a story. And listening more than shouting can only serve to unite and restore and progress.
And isn’t that what we’re after? The truth is, I haven’t done any of this even near perfectly – loving and supporting the women, the HUMANS, around me. But that is why I need Jesus. I need his abundant grace to cover me. I need his example to show me how to love better and how to handle that ever-so-delicate balance of grace and truth.
Maybe, just maybe, as we reflect that balance of truth and grace with unique beauty and boldness…maybe that is when we are truly living out what it means to be a woman.