Apr 3, 2018

Biblical Womanhood: Pursuing Christ-Likeness

In two weeks I'll be going back to work, full-time, outside of the home. It's something I've been dreading ever since I quit my job last year as a teacher at a busy charter school. I was newly married and experienced the impossible dynamic of fulfilling job demands while managing the home. While I succeeded at one, the other would suffer and I was perpetually stressed.  Staying home seemed to be the answer, and made me feel like I was truly pursuing biblical womanhood. As a former feminist, working outside of the home reminds me of my old pursuits when I glorified my fleshly desires. I actively pursued everything against the Lord's will.

While attempting to unlearn the sinful beliefs I once held, I found that I would emphasize one aspect of scripture over its entirety. I often emphasized my ideal of what biblical womanhood looked like based on the scriptures that I felt spoke to me most. My guidelines were Proverbs 31 and Titus 2.

Over time I've learned that I have the entirety of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, to guide and shape my pursuit of biblical womanhood. Women aren’t simply relegated to living out biblical principles through the lens of Proverbs 31 and Titus 2. Though these passages are important and play a part in shaping ideas on biblical womanhood, scripture also tells us:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (emphasis mine)

My Ideal

I remember the moments I spent with a Christian homeschooling family. My best friend’s sister-in-law had 3 kids (she now has 6!) and committed herself to teaching them and taking care of the home. At the time, I was an unbeliever and committed to advancing my career by pursuing a Master's degree in mental health counseling.

As a feminist I was taught that this mother’s role was stifling. She'd be better off contributing her skills to society, rather than staying cooped up in a house with a bunch of kids. However, I witnessed something different. She seemed to enjoy her role as wife and mother. Her children were pleasant and obedient; her home was a haven. I visited that family many times and though I wasn't saved, I loved spending time with them. When the Lord saved me, my desires changed. I no longer had a desire for advancing in my career. Instead, I wanted to pursue biblical womanhood by loving my husband and managing the home. I wanted to be a homemaker.

The Reality

The reality is that my decisions as a feminist have limited my choices today. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Both degrees came with a huge amount of debt. While I still desire to be a homemaker, because of our debt, it is best for me to work outside of the home for a time.

I struggled with this decision. I believed that the only way I could pursue biblical womanhood, bless my husband, my home, and honor our Lord was through serving at home. I had only reached this conclusion through my interpretation of Proverbs 31 and Titus 2. I left no room for the biblical truth that applies to all Christian woman, no matter what stage in life we are in.

Biblical womanhood is pursuing Christ-likeness. 

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. -Philippians 2:12-13 
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. - Colossians 1:9-12

As I transition back to working full-time, there is comfort in the freedom of knowing that having Christ as the goal of my journey toward biblical womanhood applies in every aspect of my life.  I will pursue Christ-likeness while working outside the home and serving my husband and home.

I will pursue Christ-likeness in helping my husband, not only through managing my home, but through supplementing his income in order for us to no longer be slave to the lender. I will strive to put Christ first among all the tasks that will pull and tug at my attention on any given day. I will need to fight the urge to lay my burdens on my husband through sinful impatience and poor attitude, simply because I had a "tough day at work." I will honor Christ by relying on Him to do all of these things, knowing that I will fall short time and time again.

Please pray that this transition goes smoothly and that we continue to trust in Christ in this season of life.

How do you currently pursue biblical womanhood? Did you once have false ideals of what biblical womanhood looked like?

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