Cleaver and Conundrums – Lessons Learned

 Why I Don’t Do Women’s Retreats – Part 3 of 3


If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out Parts 1 and 2 for full context.  As always, please feel free to kindly chime in at any point during this thread.



   Lessons Learned:

— June Cleaver and The Proverbs 31 woman are not synonymous.

— Trying to manipulate emotions to generate a contrived “catharsis” is usually invasive and often insulting.

— Trust my best judgment instead of someone else’s – no matter how well-intentioned.  “No” is a perfectly valid response.  Use it.

— Bring a book.  If nothing on the retreat docket interests me, a good book will.

— Avoid going to these events solo if at all possible.  There’s nothing like showing up at a women’s retreat alone when everyone else is “buddied up.”

— I am no less a Christian woman because I choose not to attend women’s retreats than are those who do.  Neither my faith nor my walk with Christ is validated by doing or not doing something just because “everyone else is doing it.”

Retreat planning isn’t for the fainthearted.  It’s not easy planning a retreat “menu” that will nourish a group with such diverse backgrounds, educations, interests, ages, experiences, and perspectives.  Kudos to those hardy souls who undertake this Herculean task. 

Speaking of nourishment, why not spice up the standard “retreat recipe” with some fresh ingredients?  Instead of spooning out a warmed-over brew of Ten Steps to June Cleaverdom, How to Be a Better Wife, Mother, and Haus Frau, or Help-meeting 101 at the next retreat, how about a more filling menu that starts with a question?  (Aw heck, why not several?)  Like, “What IS a woman?”  Not what does she do, but who is she?  Where’s her heart?  What’s her design?  Why did God create Eve?  How has God revealed Himself by creating ishshah, Woman, and what can we learn from Him about How, What, Why, When, Where, and Who we are in Christ? 

With a meal like that on a retreat menu, I just might dive in for another bite!


For a related discussion, click on:


Coming soon: a follow-up post  Ministry to “Other Women.”


Our Christmas-themed series is due to launch on December 15

Don’t forget this month’s read-alongs at December Decisions.


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