Wednesday, December 19, 2012
How do you define 'biblical womanhood'?
I love what Rachel Held Evans concluded in her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood which I received for Christmas - yay!
"The Bible does not present us with a single model for womanhood, and the notion that it contains a sort of one-size-fits-all formula for how to be a woman of faith is a myth.
Among the women praised in Scripture are warriors, widows, slaves, sister wives, apostles, teachers, concubines, queens, foreigners, prostitutes, prophets, mothers, and martyrs. What makes these women's stories leap from the page is not the fact that they all conform to some kind of universal ideal, but that, regardless of the culture or context in which they found themselves, they lived their lives with valor. They lived their lives with faith. As much as we may long for the simplicity of a single definition of 'biblical womanhood,' there is no right way to be a woman, no mold into which we must each cram ourselves - not if Deborah, Ruth, Rachel, Tamar, Vashti, Esther, Priscilla, Mary Magdelene, and Tabitha have anything to say about it.
Far too many church leaders have glossed over these stories and attempted to define womanhood by a list of rigid roles. But roles are not fixed. They are not static. Roles come and go; they shift and they change. They are relative to our culture and subject to changing circumstances. It's not our roles that define us, but our character.
A calling, on the other hand, when rooted deep in the soil of one's soul, transcends roles. And I believe that my calling, as a Christian, is the same as that of any other follower of Jesus. My calling is to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus himself said that the rest of Scripture can be rendered down into these two commands. If love was Jesus' definition of 'bilbical,' then perhaps it should be mine." (pg. 295)