Recently, a friend of mine told me, “I get my mail from God now.” She was saying that she doesn’t do things because other people tell her to. She gets her mail from God, Himself. Directly. No liaison or go-between. No catalyst.
That’s because only one catalyst was needed, and His name is Jesus Christ. His death on the cross gave all of us, regardless of gender or marital status, direct access to Him. His Holy Spirit lives in us when we put our trust in Him. We all have access to His Words through Scripture. He speaks directly to anyone who has a relationship with Him through His Word and His Spirit, neither of which contradict one another.
Women Don’t Get Mail?
But I was just thinking the other day how, in my former Christian circles, the woman is told that God speaks to her through her “authority.” Her authority as an unmarried woman is her father. Her authority as a married woman is her husband.
According to this thinking, a man hears from God directly. While he is living at home, God speaks through his parents, but when he grows up and leaves, he gets his mail directly from God.
Let’s boil this down:
1. Men hear from God.
2. Women don’t.
Aside from the fact that this is totally $%&$#$, it’s pretty darn convenient for abusive men. If they married a woman with a tender conscience, all they need to do is say, “You are this” or “You are that.” or “Do this” or “Don’t do that.” And the woman must assume it’s coming directly from God, Himself. There is no discussion because that would be like arguing with God.
Narcissistic abusers love the church. And why wouldn’t they? They already have themselves on the throne of their lives. Religious conservatives holding to patriarchy simply affirm them in their delusions of Godhood.
And women never grow up.
Seriously. Think about it. If you buy into this, like I did, you get to be a little kid your whole life long. A little girl who is safe as long as she’s got a Daddy to take care of her. Who needs the real God as long as you’ve got a human demi-god watching over your every move?
This system seems to work when a woman has a “good daddy.” A good daddy is actually like Christ, and there is freedom of expression and creativity. There is mutual respect and love. There is kindness and empathy and conflict resolution.
Danger Ditch One: Pride
I say “seems to work” only because sometimes, SOMETIMES (I’m not saying always) a woman with a good daddy can get a little pompous. She may believe all women have good daddy’s if they are good enough little girls. The ones who seem to have issues with their daddies are probably not very good. Probably rebellious and cantankerous. Probably demanding and naggy. Unlike her. A good little girl with a good daddy. Then when she has contact with the “naughty girls,” she can feel pretty smug.
Danger Ditch Two: Fear
This little-girl mentality is dangerous in another way. It prevents us from standing up against evil. It makes us susceptible to believing lies. (Cuz I’m sorry – no matter how good a man is, he isn’t God.) It keeps us fearful because, after all, without a daddy’s protection, we will be exposed to Satanic influences and fall away from God. It fosters a sense of panic in young women who believe that they must be married to enjoy God’s full-fledged protection and involvement in their lives.
I know from personal experience how this thinking can warp a girl’s perspective. Even though I would not have been able to articulate it at the time, I remember being a single woman at age 23 and feeling that I wasn’t protected by God. Being on my own was highly dangerous. I had to find a man—or else. I didn’t think I was truly complete without a man by my side and babies at my feet.
You Are COMPLETE in Christ!
Don’t get me wrong here. I believe in the institution of marriage. I believe in having children. These are good gifts from a good God, and this is how healthy societies function and grow. What I’m trying to communicate is that if you don’t have a husband or children, you are still a WHOLE person. You are still intact. You still have a magnificent purpose on the face of this earth. You are complete IN CHRIST ONLY. No matter what your marital or parenting status is, you will always, always, always have Christ. Nothing can separate you from His love. His power. His plan for you.
Let’s jump out of our “Christian” boxes and jump into the ocean of God’s creative plans for each one of us.
He’s got a few more ideas than you might think, and they’re waiting in YOUR mailbox.