Now that The Calling of Eve is out in the world, I’m having a lot of conversations around womanhood. I’m seeing more and more confusion and frustration from the many voices that are trying to strip away womanhood in the fight for equality as well as women who grew up in the Church that are reconciling what was passed down as biblical truth or cultural traditions.
I asked on social media for some of the pressures women are feeling when it comes to being a woman today. Here are some responses that I got:
- “Perfection in all things, including perfect adult children living their own perfect, bragable adult lives. It makes ordinary, not so perfect women feel like failures when the stars don’t align.” – Tracy
- “That we should put our kids in all the activities and sports. With little to no time to rest/sabbath. The continual and relentless pursuit of hurry.” – Danielle
- “That we have to somehow have a whole career outside the home; a side hustle; and manage to have Pinterest Perfect parties, lunches, and dinners ready at demand while also looking like we just walked off a magazine cover.” – Lauren
- “I think specifically for single women, the expectation is that I am not happy because I’m single. Or I should be looking for a guy.” – Mary
- “That you aren’t really ‘complete’ unless you are a wife and mother.” – Sarah
- “An expectation of femininity based more on human/cultural traditions instead of actual biblical or godly instruction.” – Karin
- “We have to have it all together all the time, or we’re ‘being emotional.’ And yet, juggling all the things all the time is exhausting.” – Kristen
Woman made in the Image of God
Every woman needs a clear definition of womanhood to guide her life. Though each woman is made uniquely and has a specific story and gifts that she embodies, it is imperative to know and root our identity, purpose, and belonging in the truth of God’s Word as we live in and navigate a continually changing culture around us.
In Genesis 1 and 2 we see that Woman is made with distinction and purpose from our Creator God, who is both all powerful and intimately relational. God gives the same instruction to both the man and the woman (vs.28):
- Blessing Together
- Multiply Together
- Work Together
- Rule together
Marked more by whose you are, than what you do
I noticed a theme in the verses about with the emphasis being on what women ‘do’ instead of ‘who’ they are. There has been a tendency to place worth and value on how much we can get done in a day, what life stage someone has achieved, how accomplished our pedigrees are, or how a woman looks or dresses. All of these characteristics can be good things, and should be things that are fleshed out of a heart that loves God and loves people, but they can not be the things we consistently measure women by.
When the Bible speaks of a woman (or man) being marked by God it uses attributes like patient, wise, loving, and self controlled. A woman of God is someone who has been saved by grace and leverages her gifts and resources for the glory of God, and this happens across different life stages, circumstances, and cultures.
Root Down, Rest, & Remember
Our days and weeks are spinning with to-dos and voices that are whispering of who we are and what to do. In my own life one of the biggest helps has been to consistently schedule into my days, weeks, and months a time for rest and reflection.
- Root Down: I love the imagery we get in Colossians 2:7 to be rooted, established, and firm in Christ. He is the peace, steadiness, and truth that we need. Jesus is and has accomplished all that we need. He is our main pursuit.
- Rest: Without intentional times to seek out God’s truth and allow Him to fight the lies of over productivity and what I’m building false identities on, I continue to get on the hamster wheel of false fulfillments. Schedule in times of silence, journaling, and time to step away from technology and the other voices that are trying to define you.
- Remember: Remember where God has brought you and how He has worked through both your failures and successes. Remember who He is as your Dad and Creator and what your purpose is.
Check out more of how women are a part of God’s redemptive plan in Jacki’s new book The Calling of Eve.
Jacki C. King is a respected and popular Bible teacher, conference speaker, and ministry leader. She has a passion for seeing women fall in love with Jesus and His Word while challenging them to be on mission in their homes, workplaces, and communities. This article was originally published at churchanswers.com on September 2. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer