Don’t be duped

The more I understand about feminism, whether it’s 1st, 2nd, or 3rd wave, the more obvious it becomes that it’s not compatible with God’s idea of femininity; nor is it actually about equality.  And when we’re raised in a culture saturated with a particular idea, it’s bound to permeate some of our views without us realizing it.

To see if a belief you have is rooted in feminism, you just have to contrast it to a principle that Jesus teaches, and see where it leads.  He tells us to use our whole minds in the course of loving him – perhaps part of the reason is so we don’t get duped like the small minded, weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women that Paul wrote about.

Here’s an example of a feminist perspective that, in the past, would’ve appealed to my flesh and fed my victim mentality:

Generally, when writers write, they have a main idea called the topic sentence and they surround it with supporting sentences.  It’s the primary message an author wants to convey to the reader.

BUT, when it comes to the visual messages we find in images or memes, you don’t always plainly see what the creator of the message is actually conveying – there’s no topic sentence.  What you see are the supporting sentences.  Usually presented in a vein that’s catchy, rhyming, romantic or utopian – these are more like sound bites directed at the emotions.

This meme is really about  MEquality

It resonates with romantic feelings of freedom, independence and courage; while the undercurrent belies a truly immature definition of love.  Her claim is actually very self-centered.  It’s an outgoing sentiment that would be better spoken from her man to her or about her  – like in Proverbs 31, when the husband brags about his wife, “Baby, you rock!” (verse 28-29 – paraphrased).

– but what really ramps up the toxic, is the disguise.  It appears that her man is the object of her affection; that he’s the subject of her compliments.  But as you read through, it becomes clearer and clearer that her focus is on what she gets from the relationship.  She’s the focus – not him.

Could the Church say this of Christ?

Doubtful.  I think Christ wants to change and renew His bride; He wants her to grow up by, sanctifying her, by cleansing her by the washing of water with the word, to present her to Himself in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, … she will be holy and blameless. (Eph 5:26-27)

Could the Apostles, who were the first members of The Church (and our example of how to relate in marriage) ever say this of Jesus? I don’t think so. He was training, discipling and even correcting them!  Christ found their behavior unacceptable.  Yes, He loved them unconditionally – but that didn’t mean He was going to leave them in the condition He found them in, rather; He was going to begin the process of changing everything about them through transformation by renewing […]. (Rom 12:2)

It’s more blessed to give compliments than to take them

A meme that would really uplift your man would read more like this:

It truly compliments my husband’s qualities, makes his abilities shine.  I’m able to do my part as a wife better because of him.  You can see the difference in the two mindsets by pressing both of them up against the verse, Acts 20:35; we’re reminded that, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Guard your heart with vigilance

Living in the information age means we intake a lot of diverse data, and sometimes it’s tough to see just how anti-marriage (and anti-God) some of the relationship information is.  This meme might seem insignificant but that’s how it starts – one little meme, then another, and another – and before long you’re thinking, “Our marriage would be better if he would love me without restrictions — if he would listen to what I say and trust meMy life would flow easier if he would just let ME be exactly the way I am and want to be.”

And before you know it, all the problems in your life and marriage are because of your husband.  Nothing’s your fault, you don’t need to change anything – it’s him that needs to change.

The message of self-focus in this meme is actually pretty unhealthy for a wife to consider:

  • That the love she’s receiving has more value than learning to give love without restriction.  ~Titus 2:3-5
  • That the trust she receives has more value than learning to fearlessly give the gift of trust.  ~1 Peter 3:6
  • That the unconditional acceptance she receives has more value than learning to give unconditional acceptance without making demands. ~Ephesians 5:33

We’ve got to guard against little things that appear innocuous, but separate us from our husbands when they’re added up.  We need to trust David’s advice and refuse to take a second look at corrupting and degrading things. Of course, we are going to have deadly information come into our field of vision, we’re living in the world – but that doesn’t mean we have to focus on it and let it corrupt the view of our husbands.

If what you read, doesn’t lead you to give away the grace that Christ gave you, then it’s leading you to hold it just for yourself.  C.S. Lewis rounds it out nicely when he says,  “There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inchevery split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

A 21st century paraphrase might read: There is no neutral ground in the information age:  Every book you read; every meme, illustration, song and movie you hear and see; every split second on a screen, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.  There’s no fence sitting, the Kingdom of God is either being advanced in you or you’re working to counterclaim it with Satan.

SOUL-ution

  • Don’t just believe it:  Know what it is, why and how you came to believe it and who lead you to it.
  • The grace of Christ is always the litmus test:  Does it lead you to give it or take it?
  • Do look to culture!  Sounds weird I know, but it’s a good place to start examination.  Although we might say, “I belong to Christ” – Do we look like Him or the current culture that surrounds us? Do we walk the talk of the world? Do our views conveniently couple alongside the world?

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6 comments

  1. Yes, yes, yes! Very well said, Mrs. Robyn.

    One of my posts was recently taken to task somewhere because it was -the reader wrote- dripping with “false humility”. Simply because I have taken the position that I will give glory to God first for the joy that is my marriage, and any additional praise I’ll pass on to my husband.

    But here’s the thing. I know how weak and pitiful this makes me sound to the empowered postmodern woman, but I was thinking about this recently; about my mindset, the decisions I was prepared to make, and the path I would have been on if not for my father’s restraint when I was young. He was tough, sometimes harsh even, but boy did he keep me out of a lot of stuff!

    After that came the love, guidance, and strength of my husband whom I met a couple of weeks after my 21st birthday and married 18 months later. He has almost always saved me from the fullness of the weakest parts of my character by refusing to coddle or pedestalize me. I have marveled many a day at how a then 20-year-old man walked in such unapologetic leadership of his wife, but he did.

    All that to say -because there is a point here 😉 – that if I started down the path of mental gymnastics required to pretend that my life is so good because I made good decisions, that would be a blatant and bald-faced lie. I’m totally okay with admitting that, as pitiful as it sounds. To the extent that I did anything right, and I really don’t think I did much worth commending at that stage of my life. What’s worthy that has come since was because of those foundations laid by the men in my life.

    I can’t afford to be duped.

    1. “He has almost always saved me from the fullness of the weakest parts of my character by refusing to coddle or pedestalize me.”

      — SO so so beautiful!! … we’re such romantics 😉

      “dripping with that false humility” …( i think it was a commenter on one Deep Strength’s posts, no?) It really IS hard for the postmodern women, whom are drinking deeply from the fountain of the world, to understand the true beauty of humility.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think it’s actually jealousy or envy that has one woman clawing at another for being submissive to her husband’s leadership and authority. I really do. They know it’s right; but they can’t get their head wrapped around it because their hearts are so darned hard, so they lash out.

      You won’t get duped, not with the type of leadership you’ve got at the helm – you are blessed GF!

      1. My experience (and plugging into our particular homeschool community has exposed me to quite a few women -statistically speaking- who married their first boyfriend) is that there are some women out there who were just good because they were good.

        I too, had a reputation as a good, quiet girl. And it wasn’t like I lived a life that didn’t match the rep. I just know how *not good* I was inside. The stuff in my mind and heart when I was young makes me shudder now.

        Who knows where I might have ended up if not for the grace of God and strong loving men. Men who didn’t express the idea that, “You’re so beautiful and fabulous Els! Be yourself, do you, whatever that is and I’ll be here to catch you when you fall with no judgments.” *moar shudder*

        Basically I had guardrails to keep me safe so my mind, heart and faith had a chance to catch up with my adulthood.

        God was gracious to me.

        1. “I just know how *not good* I was inside. The stuff in my mind and heart when I was young makes me shudder now.”

          I firmly believe that there can be no forward movement in our growth until we look squarely at our hearts and see what we are really like and what we too, might be capable of. Only then can Christ heal how we got that way in the first place.

          I love that He loves me in spite of myself. Whatever would we do without Him!

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