I'm seeing pop-feminism absorbed in pursuit of worldly things... more money, more power, more attention, more self-esteem... And I'm reading story after story about the women of my denominational heritage, women who stepped gracefully into their kingdom value and made history not just for women, but for the world. I'm reading about women who opened their homes to the Underground Railroad... women who taught and nursed and led through a war that tore us in half... women who faced the same threats we face and threats we can't imagine living with in America today... women who walked into slander, courts, prisons, and battle zones to save lives and spirits... women who actualized public discourse on women's rights to do things women were already going to do anyway because they were our God-given strengths.
The textbooks don't paint the full picture, of course. We don't know everything about what was said or who was involved or how they went about it or how many bitter tears were cried. But I've gotta tell ya... of those women who, say, traveled to the first Women's Rights Convention, fostered in a little Wesleyan chapel in New York in 1848... just sayin'... I'm guessing those women did not show up in vagina costumes, threatening to blow up our nation, screaming slurs against our President or calling our First Lady a stupid b****.
Some will say this is "judging" or "condemning" others for their behavior. No. This is making wise decisions about our own behavior. This is not the Pharisee's prayer: Lord, don't let me be like that other sinner. This is a heart cry for our nation's deliverance... not deliverance from circumstances, deliverance from sin.
Please, Lord, lift us up from this disgrace... all of us, as a whole, as a body... Not just whatever "others" we think are wrong on whatever issue of the day, but all of us, all of us, who are wrong and blind and hardened in hundreds of nameless ways... and especially, Lord, be with us and lead us if we think we are right...
Let's not let all the noise and imagery become who we are in our own eyes. This is not us. Let's show each other our best, not our worst. Let's stop arguing for worldly things and step into our kingdom value. We need not ask to be accommodated to do that. We need no one's permission. We have already been given freedom in grace. Let's take up what is already ours. Let's be women worthy of the honor we claim.
If any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words... when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." ~ I Peter 3:1-4
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." ~ Proverbs 31:25
Take up that garment and put it on, ladies. Let's clothe ourselves in strength and dignity. Let's be women of reason and grace. Let's win the world with the beauty of the Spirit.
What unites us in part divides us from the whole. And "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:25). We're all going to unite around something. So let's fix our eyes on higher things... and leave the rest. God has a way of working out the rest, when our own house is in order.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become 'fools' so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight." ~ I Corinthians 3:18-19
Looking back at this week in our nation's history, have we been bold? Sure. Have we been strong? Perhaps. Have we been women of wisdom? Have we shown dignity? Sisters... have we shown dignity?
Let's ask the question. Let's ask it of ourselves, and let's ask God. Let's not "debate" about it or "think" about it... let's pray about it. And let's act on the answer we each hear back.