“Glaze and Gloria…”


About a year ago a friend outlined her ideas for launching a new “women’s ministry” in our church: following the traditional model of Titus 2, she suggested getting the “older women” (whoever they are) of the church to hold classes in/teach the “younger women” (whoever they are) about basic household management and domestic duties.  The list included laundry management and stain removal 101, how to balance a checkbook, make out a grocery list, set up a household budget, change diapers, prepare nutritious meals, wax a floor, and so on.  (Where is it written that the busier we are, the closer we are to God?)


My eyes glazed over. 


There’s nothing “wrong” with any of those topics.  But as she ran through the list I couldn’t help thinking, “How are you going to pitch that, and to whom?”


Can you see today’s young women (let’s say age 15+) flocking in droves to a class on How to: get your whites whiter than white, roll out a perfect pie crust, or make a bed with hospital corner sheets?  Can you envision an SRO classroom packed with young career women, corporate executives and college-degreed professionals just dying to hear how to better submit to their husbands, raise angelic children, and use their heads for nothing more than a hat rack?  (My personal favorite along these lines is the “Bible study” that urges wives to “tape a note to your phone when people ask you to volunteer that says, `thanks for calling.  I’ll ask my husband and get back to you.’)


Is that what “biblical womanhood” or “the Proverbs 31 woman” is all about?  The minute she says “I do,” a woman exchanges her brains for a bowl of mush, leaving all cerebral activity and decisions to a husband?  Of course a wife should consult with her husband on outside commitments, but isn’t that primarily a communication issue, a matter of simple common courtesy?  (Let’s not confuse “submission” with waffling indecisiveness or an inability to assume responsibility for one’s own actions or decisions.  That’s not “submission,” that’s cowardice!)


The answer isn’t a blind leap into the opposite pole – ultra “femi-Nazism*,” the combative, acerbic, bitter worldview that equates testosterone with the epitome of evil and urges removing all “gender specific” references to God from Holy Writ. 


There must be something better.  Bigger.  A spiritually healthy, emotionally nourishing, intellectually engaging and biblically sound option to June Cleaver vs. Gloria Steinem.


Where is it?


* There are as many “flavors” of “feminism” as there are ice cream at Baskin Robbins: secular, liberal feminism, radical feminism, Marxist feminism, etc.  Secular feminism rejects the concept of God’s involvement in humanity.  “Christian feminism” focuses on a concern for women’s welfare and advocates the spiritual equality of women as image bearers of God.  In speaking for or against “feminism,” it behooves us to distinguish between these categories and the worldview which they promote.


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