The godly woman is:
- a wife
- a mother
- a homemaker
*Disclaimer* I don’t find anything inherently wrong with a woman’s desire to be the above things. If that is what brings you joy … fantastic, keep at it girl! God’s using your talents and desires well! I do have a problem with this being pushed as the mold for a godly woman.
I do not fit the mold. I am not married, nor in any relationship actually (in the negative already!) Also, even when I do get married (for I’d like to eventually) I don’t particularly want children … I know, GASP! This is the Christian American Dream … to get married have kids and teach them the gospel so they can continue the cycle. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but child bearing and rearing has about as much allure to it for me as reliving my middle school years. It’s not that I don’t like kids either (I’m currently working at a camp, it’s part of the job), but I just have other plans for my life.
Also, I don’t really like babies … sure they’re cute, but really when you think about it, those little bundles of joy are NASTY. They constantly have any number of bodily fluids on them, they cry for no reason (or rather an incomprehensible one, because they can’t talk) I can understand my dog’s wants and needs more than that of a baby’s (the reason why I dogsat as a kid instead of babysitting.) So there you have it, I don’t want kids, and in that singular statement alone, the assumed image of a godly, Christian woman mold breaks around me.
I want you to think back with me to youth group nights. (Disclaimer: I loved youth group and think my youth pastors were fantastic – nothing against them here – rather a critique of the whole culture) How many times were the young women at youth group told what great works they were doing for God right then and there? Sure, we were told to wait, and hold out for God’s perfect match for us. Then our life would really begin. How often in Church do you hear about single women and the ministries they run or are a part of? How often are those women even in the front of the church on Sunday?
If your church has a great ministry building up the single woman in what she is doing at this moment, fantastic! However, what I’ve grown to see over the years is quite the opposite. It isn’t that singleness, or childlessness is blatantly stated as lesser, but rather marriage and family making is praised and honored to such an extent that those on the outside are just that, on the outside looking in. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt an outsider in churches because I was alone, because the desire to have children was not in me. I do not fit this mold that Christian culture has set on a pedestal, and it pushes myself, and others out of the community of Christians (which often feels like one is pushed outside the kingdom of God itself). Now I don’t have an answer for how to fix this hurt, I don’t know exactly what needs to be done, but I do know that we could start by changing our understanding and perceptions, of godly women.
If a woman is taught (through explicit instruction, or through the sole glorification of what she is not yet, or will never be) that what she is right now (a woman in pursuit of the desires God has placed in her heart) is not the ideal of a godly woman, what is she to think of herself? Is she just in a holding pattern before marriage, unable to truly be a woman of God, working towards His glory without a ring on her finger? Do you just really not know how to minister to others until you’ve had a child of your own?
By no means! We need to stop this holding pattern … Live in whatever situation you are in at this moment, and glorify God in it. God uses people where they are at because of their relationship with Him, but if we do not accept our full potential here and now, because we are waiting to be that perfect picture our Christian culture has glorified, we will miss the opportunities to truly work in God’s kingdom.
I don’t believe that God creates people with deep desires (or lack there of) without the intention of working through those passions and desires. If I don’t desire children, I don’t need to have them, I am still a woman of God without them, and God will work in ways in my life, I can’t even fathom, because of that facet of my personality.
What I mean to say through these ramblings, is love people as they are… without the caveat that they will become something else. Accept that some of your sisters in Christ are single and working to build the kingdom of God right now in the midst of their life. Acknowledge that God is using them and He’s not waiting for a husband or kids to work through them.
People were created to do different things with their lives. I know my sister is going to be a fantastic Mom, and I know that even though she has that desire, she does in no way shame me for not wanting the same dream as her, and we will both work to see God’s kingdom fulfilled here, just in different ways as God has equipped us.