Women's Issues

Woman in the Image of God

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Last month, Edith Schaeffer passed away at the age of 98. Despite the potential to have been overshadowed by her husband, Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer, she held her own as a writer and thinker, delivering a message of joi de vivre and teaching a generation of women that there is power in the small moments, that even things like mothering and domesticity are an expression of God’s image. She taught us that when God takes up residency, our homes will be filled with His nature—filled with art and music and beauty and wonder and hospitality and joy.

But something’s happened to Christian women in the subsequent years—something that I’m not sure even Mrs. Schaeffer herself would approve. Over the last several decades, we’ve flipped the paradigm; instead of seeing womanhood (and all that comes with it) as an expression of imago dei, we’ve come to see our womanhood as an end in itself. We’ve come to believe that our core sense of self rests in our gender and our ability to conform to certain paradigms. And in doing so, I’m afraid we’ve developed a bit of identity myopia.

This idea has been rolling around in my head for a while now, but I didn’t quite see it clearly, didn’t quite have the words to speak it, until one day. It was the same day that I resolved to start blogging. It was the same day that I realized that my daughter was growing up.

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Church of England: No female bishops (yet) and a looming constitutional crisis

“Parliament is impatient,” Fittall warned. “Unless the Church of England can show very quickly that it’s capable of sorting itself out, we shall be into a major constitutional crisis in Church-State relations, the outcome of which cannot be predicted with confidence.”

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Mad Men, June Cleaver and Biblical Womanhood

I have a confession to make. Recently, I watched “Mad Men” for the first time.

For some this may sound like a confession of moral laxity; for others it’s a confession of being horribly out of touch and having lived the last five years in a cave. Still, apart from the rampant licentiousness, unchecked greed, and ubiquitous alcoholism, I have to admit that it’s a pretty engaging show, especially as it captures the glamour of mid-20th century Manhattan—the perfect pencil skirts, the tailored three-piece suits, the sleek cars, and the poolside lunches at the Astoria. In its attempt to be historically accurate, “Mad Men” is also quick to make (and overstate) the point that this was a world dominated by men, a world where housewives were vacuous ninnies, and the only women with any sense of power were the “hens” at the office who knew how to get a man to do what they wanted.

Of course “Mad Men” is interesting in itself, but it’s been particularly interesting as my exposure to it coincides with the ramped up conversation surrounding traditional gender roles. With the release of Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womahood, everybody and her cousin seems to be parsing conservative interpretations of gender via the late 1950s and early 60s. Evans explains how she understands conservative mores here:

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My Take: DIY, Pintrest, and the Rise of the New Domesticity

Over the last couple of weeks, my husband and I have been remodeling our basement. When we bought the house, it was “finished” in that classic combination of wood-grained paneling and burnt orange carpet. And while we really do appreciate vintage, we also accept the reality that we’re simply not cool enough to pull it off. On a hipster scale of 1-10, we’re an ironic 3.1415…. So a bit of rewiring, several gallons of paint, and twenty-eight boxes of laminate later, we’re close to having a space that’s hopefully more Pottery Barn and less Brady Bunch. Part of it will be a den and the other half will be devoted to, what I like to call, the creative urge.

In the past when we dreamed of our ideal (then non-existent) house, we always envisioned a room devoted to creating—whether it be crafting, sewing, drawing, writing, or simply playing with play-dough—we wanted a room that invites you to find your inner creative muse and let lose. Instead of fussing at my daughter for yet again cluttering up her room with odd bits of construction paper and glue, I want to be able to point her to cupboard of paints and glitter and chalk and say, “Go for it.”

I don’t know if other people dream of rooms like this, but I have noticed a trend among my generation. More and more of us are devoting our time and energy to things like crafting, cooking, and frugal living. You only have to hop on etsy, pintrest, or any number of DIY blogs to know that this phenomena is larger than any one subset and isn’t contained to the SAHMs among us. Women everywhere—from university-educated vegans to crunchy conservative homeschooling moms—are embracing the domestic.

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Genesis, Submission & Modern Wives

By Georgia Purdom. © Answers in Genesis. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Common Misconceptions

The verses most commonly quoted concerning the wife’s role in relation to the husband’s role are Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22).

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord (Col. 3:18).

Many women struggle with the concept of submission in marriage because they mistakenly equate being submissive with being inferior. From Genesis we know that men and women are equal in God’s eyes because everyone, regardless of gender, is made in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

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