Saturday, May 9, 2020

Empowerment: Are We Sure?

- guest article by Joan Stetler

“Being a wife and mother is akin to being in a comfortable concentration camp.”

So said feminist, Betty Friedan in the 1960s, enlightening women everywhere of their inhumane and unjust victim existence.

Womanhood, motherhood, the home and family have been under attack for a long time. But Betty and her feminist pals weren’t content to keep their deviant brand of sunshine and cheer to themselves. She wrote a book called The Feminine Mystique in 1963 and became an immediate celebrity. In 1976, a New York literary club included it with works by Marx and Mao Zedong in its exhibit on “Books As Troublemakers.” So now we all know who to hang with if we’re looking for a better and more exciting life!

Why did Betty become a sudden celebrity with her new message for women? What was its message of appeal? 
One word - power. 

Forces Against the Family

But there were other forces arrayed against the home and family which had been coming together for over a hundred years that will further explain this loud cacophony of disgruntled women’s voices. Liberal theology, enlightenment, rationalization, modern biblical criticism, social gospel, neo-orthodoxy, and fundamentalist-modernist controversy were influencing seminaries and preachers to make significant changes in practical biblical application in messages to their congregants, thereby affecting society at large. Evolution and atheism began being promoted as the more intellectual and highbrow way to think. Who would be so boring and uninformed to actually want to be guided by truth? 

Margaret Sanger began her twisted push for population control and eugenics, setting the stage for the 1973 legalization of abortion. And perhaps the single most powerful influence on society came from Hollywood. Affairs, workplace infidelity, immodest dress and behavior, partying, smoking, drinking, gambling all began to be glamorized and made sophisticated by the messages sent everyday, all day from the producers of television. Housewives were made to appear as dull drudges. 

Then war happened; women left the home and went to public work to promote the nation’s efforts. The family began to realize the effect of an absent mother. The traditional balance of support and care for one another as husband and wife began to wear away. Men felt freer to pursue their own afterwork interests. Mom was thrown in with male attentions and making her own money, but she had just as much work to be done at home. Women would soon feel this lack of commitment, cohesion and mutual support; they began to exchange their homes and families for sexual freedom, money and careers. Divorces became commonplace. Relationships between husbands, wives, and children were broken. Children suffered emotionally. Young people drank, took drugs, joined gangs and committed suicide. Teenage pregnancy rose. The pill was invented. Soon we were in the middle of an STD, HIV/AIDS epidemic. Something had gone horribly wrong in American society. 

Voices and Dissent

We had many voices warning us of our steep moral decline, voices such as James Dobson, Kevin Leman, Henry Cloud, Phyliss Schlafly. They helped many and salvaged many homes. But women’s quest for empowerment still continues its increasingly aggressive fist-shaking and man-hating. 

We watch in horror as women march in the streets screaming vulgar obscenities, holding up figurative heads of those in authority, wishing them physical harm. We try to look at the daily news online and are met with pornographic litterings of celebrities. Families with small children attend sports events where half-time shows are comprised of shocking, lewd and depraved acts. Then we’re supposed to feel sorrow for those who have used their bodies to obtain sought-after acting roles and then want to charge the directors with rape. I ran onto this terribly frightful quote
So many people think the rise of women and the evisceration of our culture are somehow coincidental. But it’s been calculated and deliberate . . . it is the result of hate - hating God, hating life, hating society, hating men, hating babies, hating our families, hating our white male Founders, hating happiness, hating heterosexuality, hating western civilization.
Why did intelligent, educated women come to these mad, insane conclusions? Why are women still falling for the same old, ancient, satanic, Garden of Eden, “Why don’t you just live a little” line?

The Power of Created Design

Women are intrinsically created by God to be naturally sensitive, intuitive, creative, with limitless potential for love, tenderness and affection. We love beauty, manners, romance, flowers, candlelight, sweet nothings, babies, baby magic baths, and adorable children. We can scream about inconveniences and injustices at the top of our lungs, but all of these wonderful nurturing gifts are undeniably programmed into our innermost beings, our feminine DNA, our complex, intricate hormonal structures, our mental construct of superb multi-tasking abilities, and our ever-changing emotional variants. When we bond in a physical way by choosing to honor our created design, our minds, our emotions and our spiritual components become inseparably, irreparably, and unchangeably intertwined.  (Speaking of empowerment - why, we women have the world eating out of our hands, literally, with all the comfort foods that our families and loved ones consume with much enthusiasm and fondness for favorites. But women do much more than mere cooking and cleaning.)

And when we buck against the created design in us, we’re trying to come up with some warped sense of happiness and fulfillment with power, money and career? No wonder we’re crazy with anger!

God has given women a very strategic and vital role in the delicate balance of society. Women with their innate sensitivity were designed to be the conscience and character of our families. We have the power to create fidelity and virtue by being pure and modest in our thoughts, motives and actions and by instilling the same in our children. When we walk into a room, we either exude wholesome goodness or questionable deportment. The Bible calls this “shamefacedness and sobriety.” When we carry out this essential role, societal ills are kept in check. We maintain a safe and orderly society. Without it, we risk the gradual but sure destabilization of civility. 

Women Who Changed the World

Think about the forever-altered course for humanity that came from Eve’s choice of forbidden fruit in place of quiet, evening conversations in the garden with her husband and God, the Creator Who came to talk with them personally. 

Think about Sarah and the far-reaching implications of bearing Isaac in her old age. 

And Jochebed, with her baby Moses that she hid in the bulrushes, along with his famous babysitting sister, Miriam. Jochebed’s Moses, who is considered the greatest of Jewish leaders and prophets, who authored five books of the Bible. 

Rahab, who intuitively sized up the men of God who had her life in their hands and made a deal with them which protected a nation and her own family by hanging a simple scarlet cord in her window. 

Consider Abigail with her diplomacy skills and picnic lunch that kept a lot of angry men, including the soon to be king, David, from making rash decisions and from perhaps altering his future. 

And then there was Deborah, who was a national leader, judge and military leader over Israel for sixty years.
She judged while sitting under a palm tree - a setting rabbinic tradition maintains that validated her fairness, openness, and refusal to show partiality . . . The Bible records no dissent or rebellion against her leadership. Leadership resides not in gender but in character and gifting. The Israelites recognized her abilities and prospered under her tenure. 
(How’s that for empowerment, girls?) 
Remember Queen Esther and her policy-making, political positioning dinner dates that preserved the life of the nation of Israel and exalted the Jewish status in the Persian kingdom? 

Elizabeth with her son, John the Baptist, the announcer and forerunner of the Messiah? 

And lastly, there was Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - Jesus, whose life was such an history altering event that the ancient calendars were forever changed. We still use Christ’s birth and death (B.C.) and (A.D.), to tabulate time. 

Yes, truly our churches, our schools and our homes are in crises. We, as women, have the ability, the gifting, the skill set; we have this opportunity and this moment in time, to bring back conscience, character and Christianity to our communities, our country, our continent and our world.

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