Feminism & Biblical Womanhood….. Where do they meet?

This is a topic I’ve been working on for a long time. I guess it started a couple of years ago at an RUF conference when I was at MTSU. I was browsing around the book table that they always have set up in back, courtesy of GoodTheology.com, and I came across several books discussing the role of women in the Bible and how that meshes (and IF it meshes) with today’s woman.  As a Christian woman standing in the midst of a society demanding equality,  women’s rights, and freedom from the homeplace, this is an important topic. People say that the feminist movement is dead and that women have received the rights they demanded, but I don’t necessarily agree.  The feminist movement didn’t end when women received the right to vote, and its amazing how many people assume that suffrage was the only issue at hand for women. It’s alive and well and thriving in today’s society if you take a look around.  That day at the book table, I guess I came to the realization that I was getting to the point where I was being classified with that group – "women," that is. I guess I hadn’t really thought about the issue much since it didn’t really apply to me yet, particularly so in the church.  I was part of the kids’ program, then the youth group (in which the teaching seemed to always focus on dating), then the "college & career" group. I hadn’t really made it up the ladder to being considered a "woman" in the church. But I realized that I was about to be. Especially since I was going to be getting married soon (you get married and people suddenly start treating you like an adult, whether you feel like one or not!). I picked up those books, read the backs, and started thinking about what my opinions were on the subject. I don’t think women are inferior to men. I think they’re pretty much up there together. Oh no, does that make me a feminist? That seems so liberal. But then, I don’t necessarily think that men and women are equal either. Because they’re not….they’re different. Very different.  That doesn’t sound like feminist thinking. Obviously, I came to no clear conclusions. So I bought the books. Lots of them (I have a tendancy to do that). Since then, I’ve been reading on the subject whenever I get a chance.  With school, that didn’t happen much because I was reading so many other books, but I worked on it as I could. Ive still got a few that I bought that day that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I’m working on it. It also doesn’t help that I tend to read several at a time because I feel guilty if a book is sitting in the bedroom not being read. I mean, I dont want to play favorites or anything. Don’t ask what’s wrong with me, just accept that it’s how I am.

So I went on this quest to find out about women. I even took some womens history classes and womens lit classes. I started joining some WIC programs at my church in Tennessee.  I asked my friends what their opinions were. I led a book study for my campus ministry that dealt with it. But I’m still searching.  Maybe this isn’t something that anyone ever completely figures out. I know I havent. But my thoughts on it are that God made me a woman. He gave me His Word. Surely He told me something about it in there to give me some guidance. He also gave me lots and lots of wise men and women who are passionate about the issue.  And since he apparently gave me my passion for this issue as well, I should see what they have to say about it. 

So the search continues.  And I’ll keep you updated.  If you want to search along with me, please do and let me know what you find. Here are some things I’ve read or are reading on the topic if you want to know more:

Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt

By Design by Susan Hunt

Leadership for Women in the Church by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson

Eve’s Revenge

True Woman by Susan Hunt

Men and Women in Biblical Perspective By Jim Hurley

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper

Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem