Since the beginning of time humans have been controlling and subjugating other humans. Injustice, war, genocide, hatred, and the dehumanization of segments of society is a direct result of the fall of man.
God created humans made in His image, giving us love. Equality. Purpose. Meaning. Intelligence. Creativity. Beauty. Artistic expression. Unity. Life.
The enemy marred God’s image in us, bringing hatred. Power-over. Greed. Purposelessness. Sickness. Destruction. Confusion. Chaos. Arrogance. Death.
We’ve probably all studied different times in history where courageous men and women stood up against vile evil done to other humans, and by their personal sacrifices, they helped bring certain injustices to an end. In more recent history we’ve seen slavery and Hitler’s regime brought down.
Yet humans still cling to their innate desire to believe that some humans are more equal than others. Right now, in our current culture, I believe the front line of the battle is gender descrimination. I know women have the vote, and we’ve got female doctors and lawyers and politicians. That means nothing as long as women are still viewed as Less Than by culture, in general.
Here’s how we know this is the case. You don’t see many institutions with an equal number of male and female leaders. When women speak up in any environment, their voices are more likely to be dismissed. When women express their needs, they get eye rolls and sideways jokes. Women can’t go out of their home without knowing they may be looked over like a hunk of meat to be consumed. They live with cat calls and inuendo on a regular basis. It’s just something we know and accept to be true. But should it be true? Was this God’s intention when He created male and female in His image?
Wherever you have a war, you’ve got spies and lies. You’ve got manipulation and misinformation. You’ve got daggers hidden behind smiles and polite rhetoric. And isn’t that what we’ve got here?
Do you know what I’ve experienced and seen, first hand? I’ve seen women who spent their entire careers raising and homeschooling children, tending to their homes and to their critical, self-centered, arrogant husbands, who finally, tentatively dared to raise their heads up to whisper, “No more.”
And do you know what happened next? They were attacked and maligned by their husbands, their church friends (not their real friends), their elders, and their grown children. This is not just my story. This is the story of hundreds of thousands of women of faith all across this globe. I’m not blowing zwieback bubbles here. I’m in contact with them every single day. Don’t look away.
You would think we’d all want to eradicate injustice and hatred and dehumanizing behavior. Especially those of us who say we love Jesus, the supreme example of this type of life. But nope. We are all (men and women included) so used to living under the presupposition that women are less-than, that we expect them to shut up and do their duty regardless of how they are treated behind closed doors. That is what I once expected of myself.
Many churches teach that women were made for men, to be the wind beneath their wings, instead of made for the glory of God, to do whatever GOD calls them to do as human beings. These places twist the Scripture to control half of the population. If you dare to speak up about this, expect to be reviled. Expect to have your character and good name dragged through the mud. Expect to lose your reputation. Expect people to lie about you in order to steal your credibility.
This happened to me. It’s still happening to me. And guess what? I count it a privilege and honor. The more I am maligned, the more Jesus is glorified in beautiful, unexpected ways. That doesn’t mean it feels good, but it means I’ve learned that pleasing men makes for a quick fix, but ultimately sucks, and pleasing Jesus is pretty uncomfortable, but ultimately ROCKS.
I wrote an article a while ago about the ten steps it takes to climb out of relational hell. I want you to know that since I wrote that article, I’ve heard from dozens of women who are making that climb – some who have reached the top and are now holding their arms down to grab the hands of other brave climbers. Their voices are rising in a crescendo of triumph.
We are overcoming because we’ve got all the power of the Living God on our side. Want to jump into the arena and get your hands dirty? Here are some practical ways you can lob some missiles into enemy territory:
1. Learn the TRUTH found in Scripture about how Jesus views women. Because it goes without saying that if we love and follow Him, we will have His mind in all things, including His mind about women. Here are some great places to begin:
- The Equality Workbook by Helga and Bob Edwards
- The Awake Deborah Podcast
- CBE International blog
- Marg Mowczko’s blog (Just do a search for any hard passage relating to women and you’ll find some great articles here on it!)
- Here’s the Joy blog
- My Only Comfort blog
- Ezer Rising blog
- Split Frame of Reference Podcast
- Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James
- Ten Lies the Church Tells Women by J Lee Grady
- What Paul Really Said About Women by John T Bristow
- Untwisting Scriptures by Rebecca Davis
2. Use your voice! Share good blog articles on social media. Share your opinions. Tell stories. Share your favorite quotes from these books. Tell people what you are learning.
3. Practice good boundaries. If you’ve never read the book Boundaries, now is the time to dig in. Boundaries are the key to just about everything. When you get the hang of living this way, you’ll NEVER go back. Your living example will rock the world around you.
4. Get healthy. Consider joining Flying Free when it opens back up in a couple of weeks. There are dozens of women who have said it’s turned their life upside down, in a good way! If you are still in the middle of your climb out of hell, I’d love to give you the emotional and spiritual support you need to make it from the bottom to the top.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.