Do you remember or can you imagine the days before women wore pants? Imagine wearing a long, flowing skirt every day, walking freely with your legs unencumbered, sitting upright and closed-legged with grace, and being treated like a lady mainly because you looked and acted like one. Just yesterday, my mom was telling me about her experiences as a young girl; she had to wear long dresses to school every day. On a cold winter’s morning, she would dress thick with leggings or long-johns underneath her skirts so she could trek through the snow on her way to the schoolhouse. Like her, do you remember the days when men greeted you with a tip of the hat and a cordial, “M’am”, and offered you a strong, helping hand? You probably didn’t need his help, but do you remember or can you imagine what it might be like to be honoured with chivalrous deference, treated as a valuable, delicate, and precious woman?
I mourn for those days.
Since the advent of feminism, women are not only “free” to wear whatever they want, to open their own doors, to tie their own shoe when encumbered by a baby belly, but they are also “free” to apply for the "right" to pay a complete stranger for secular education; they are free to vote, to divorce, and to have sex with whomsoever they please (married or not). They are free to murder their unborn and newly born babies, free to submit themselves to strange men in the work force, free to buy a home and to enslave themselves to the bank, free to abandon their children to strangers to teach and raise while they are off somewhere trying to be a modern woman, free to act like men, dress like men, and speak like men. Can these “freedoms” possibly be considered progressive?
So I asked my mom, “Are women happier today than they were before the feminist movement”? She said, “If by happier, you mean divorced, medicated, depressed, suicidal, and unfulfilled, then, yes!” I asked with perplexity, “So, did the feminist movement accomplish anything positive for women at all?” “No,” she said, “Absolutely nothing. Men who were abusive and oppressive then are just as able to be abusive and oppressive now. Women have not improved societal morality, they have become partakers of its immorality.” I have a very wise mother!
We decided that the only thing feminism “moved” was our bowels. Seriously! Products like “Muslix” came out when women did. Women emerged from their precious, God-appointed realm of authority (the home) wearing the pants. They obeyed another woman’s husband by calling him her “boss”. They became “super moms” and no longer had time to eat properly or cook properly. Their stress levels skyrocketed. Psychiatrist’s offices filled up with women, who consume the majority of the nation’s psychotropic and anti-depressant medications.[i] High stress and psychotropic drugs cause constipation; hence, the need for high-fibre powders and bowel-moving aids like Ex-lax or Muslix.
How have women, whose morality is considered by philosophers to indicate the moral health of society at large, been so easily “drawn away of [their] own lust and enticed” (Jas. 1:14)? Certainly the few stalwart leaders of the feminist movement didn’t intend to lead us into corruption and despair, did they? The real culprit is no doubt far more sinister than that. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. How does the devil devour us? By enslaving us to our own preoccupation with “free will”: “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Pet. 2:19). Remember, the devil enslaves us “at his will”, not our own (2 Tim. 2:26). It is when we believe ourselves to be “free to sin” that we have unwittingly become the servants of unrighteousness.
What are we to do in response to the devil’s attempts to seduce us? “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). By becoming servants of righteousness – servants of God – walking in His ways and in His Spirit, we prove ourselves to be His, because “ye are not your own” (1 Cor. 6:19). As such, as submitting ourselves to the will of God, we are out of the devil’s reach. You see, we are not “free” any more than anyone else is. The Bible says that we are all servants; and we all serve one of two masters: “sin unto death” or “obedience unto righteousness” (Rom. 6:16).
We serve God or the devil. We are of the world or we are of heaven. We are of the flesh or of the Spirit. We are in light or in darkness. We either serve the truth or the lie. We cannot do both.
Near the end of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, These Happy Golden Years, Laura tells Almanzo that she will marry him, but she will not obey him. And yet, when he tells her to have his breakfast ready early, it’s ready early. When he tells her to prepare lunch for a handful of men on threshing day, she prepares it. When he expects his laundry to be done and his socks mended, she accomplishes those tasks, too. Not only does she do them, but she enjoys doing them. Her willingness to serve him doesn’t just make their marriage functional, it makes their marriage happy. Although she stoutly claims that she will not repeat the words “love, honour, and obey”, on her wedding day, in practice, she obeys her husband every day.
I’ve met many women today who do the same thing. Although in word, they claim to be independent and intelligent rather than subservient and kind (as if such qualities were mutually exclusive), in reality, they are kind to their husbands as well as obedient. Why? Because their marriage would be a miserable mess if things were otherwise. How can we not only make our marriages functional, but happy? We will be happy and blessed when we choose to be fully dependent on God. If we make the intelligent decision to glorify God by serving our husbands with kindness and meekness, we will fulfill our God-given roles in the home. (Remember, meekness means not easily offended or “unoffendable” - not weak! If you get your nightie tied up in knots and feel enraged because someone dared to offend you, you are the opposite of meek.)
So despite Laura’s protestations against obedience, was she obeying Almanzo? Of course she was! If we refused to obey our husbands based on some hazy principle of “feminist rights”, on what basis could we ever choose to obey Christ? If we rescind our offer to obey our husbands because sometimes they’re wrong, then shouldn’t Christ also be compelled by the same principle – to rescind His offer to die for us because sometimes we’re wrong, too? Having a double standard certainly didn’t help us in the feminine rights department, and it certainly will not improve our situation before Christ. He is faithful to us always. He died for us when we were unredeemed and yet filled with sin. Shouldn’t we, as followers of Him, strive to be as faithful to our husbands as God is to us? Shouldn’t we obey our husbands despite their imperfections, just as we expect them to love us despite ours?
Remember, Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord”. By obeying our husbands, we are obeying God. When we are obedient, we are blessed. The faithful servant was told, “thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Mt. 25:23). Our husbands have been given to us by God to protect, teach, love, and fulfill us. They are our rock.
Many years ago, as I lay in my husband’s arms one night, I said to him, “Thanks for being my rock”. He answered teasingly, “Thanks for being my squishy thing”. Squishy thing! I laughed. Squishy or not, I am truly grateful to an all-powerful, Almighty and all-knowing, loving God for giving me my husband. He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, but God is. If we love God, the Bible says, we will obey Him (Jn. 14:21). How easy is it to obey someone who is perfect? Our perfect God tells us to obey our imperfect husbands. And the same perfect God tells our husbands to love us, their imperfect wives. What a blessing.
Whom do you love?
Whom do you obey?
Thanks for reading!
[i] http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-mental-health-gender-gap-women-far-exceed-men-in-their-use-of-psychotropic-medications-as-utilization-increases-among-both-sexes-143297886.html (Washington, March 19, 2012 by Medco Health Solutions, Inc.) visited February 10, 2014.