Some days I find being an evangelical, conservative woman exhausting and perplexing. Today’s secular narrative blows in my face through social media and cultural trends, choking me more than helping me breathe. Critics—from within and without—ax away at the fabric of Christianity in the name of liberation, feminism, and secular equality. They tell me what I am from their perspective—dominated, suppressed, used—but could it be that I am just led, taught, and promoted? For each heart-wrenching story of abuse and mistreatment in churches, I know of floods of others of comfort, support, and encouragement from local churches. For all the terribly mistreated women, there are countless others who are not. For all the seen #metoo’s, there are many unseen #notmee’s, as well. But who takes notice of them? Would you believe me if I told you that there are more conservative evangelical women who are silently contented and thriving in their roles (in church and at home) than those who are loudly discontented in them?
Since when is only a liberal, progressive woman “free” and “fulfilled”? Who decides that only egalitarian women should ever contend to be happy, accomplished, successful, intelligent—hailed heroines of their Christendom? Is biblical freedom obtained through faith in Christ, or through a usurpation of men’s roles?
Is Christianity supposed to be the woman’s “borrowed stage”—this climbing spiritual leader to their own fame, feministic ideals, celebrity? Is it not that, as evangelical women, we are to work in the readied fields, serving others, and dying to self daily? Are we to become cultural celebrities, or kingdom servants?
Is a Christian woman’s ultimate goal to reach a pulpit, or reach holiness? Is the pulpit a woman’s crown, her self-expression her gospel, and popularity her kingdom? Shouldn’t our ultimate desire be Christ, rather than earthly positions and places?
Does God have a say in it at all?
Elisabeth Elliot pleaded with her feminist-ridden generation to let her be a woman. I plead with the self-appointed critics in the secular and evangelical circles: let my womanhood be Christian! Let me live in submission to God, His Word, and the appointed people in my life, by my own accord. Let me live as a complementarian who believes women ought not preach and men ought not abuse women, by my own accord. Let me live as a wife who is happy, fulfilled, intelligent, and strong while serving my husband and nurturing my children, by my own accord. Let me teach the Bible with passion and see that others learn it well, by my own accord. Let me live out my growing faith within the denomination of my choice even when it does not satisfy the secular bullet points of our age, by my own accord.
Let me be this Christian woman!