I appreciate how so many of you have joined in this very important conversation. I would ask kindly that you read the post in its entirety before commenting. My words have been misconstrued in some cases to say things that I did not say. Where I have felt misunderstood, I have added or reworded a few things to clarify them. I welcome honest disagreement and dialogue but please be kind and respectful of others.  This essay has been in my drafts for four weeks. I have prayed over it, researched, read, wrote,  rewrote, deleted, agonized, soul-searched, etc, ad nauseum.  I let it simmer in my heart a long time before I shared it because words on a page have power and I want to tread lightly and with fear and trembling, especially when dealing with the hearts of my sisters. I love you all and am thankful to share life with you, even the messy parts.

why i'm not a feminist

Early last year, I started writing a book called Why I’m Not a Feminist—a book I’ve since completely abandoned— about women and their place in the postmodern world and church.  I read voraciously about the vocation of woman, mother, and wife. I listened to countless podcasts from biblical scholars on the topic. I read at least 20 books on the subject.  I thought that my perspective might lend something valuable to the discussion.

Here’s why.  I was raised by strong women, went on to join the ranks of the male-dominated world by becoming a medical doctor, and then totally abandoned all that after a life changing epiphany that had me yearning to be home.  I began homeschooling my girls, taught myself to cook, took to the domestic arts like nobody’s business, and fully embraced the often ridiculed ‘traditional’ role of wife and mother.  My decision affected a lot of people.  It changed everything about the way I had lived my life up to that point. If I’m honest—it changed everything about everything.  But something that had always been off-kilter in my heart, slowly slid into place.

 I had come home, in every perfect sense of the word.

I realize now that homecoming is a process mostly of the heart and it is often fraught with pain.  My homecoming brought me home, literally, for a time, but sometimes, homecoming means we have to go to work to help feed our families or maybe it means we start a new company or launch a new blog or a build a well in Uganda.  Sometimes, it means we must come to terms with loss, death, infertility, illness, and heartbreak of every kind.  Homecoming looks different for everyone, but at its essence, it’s that point in your life when you find your real, true self—when you accept your vocation in life and settle into who you were made to be.  I read The Odyssey last year and learned a lot of things about homecoming;  namely, that it will break your heart.  Odysseus came home and all hell broke loose.  He had to fight a hard battle to take his life back.  Not the mention the years he spent as a captive on the island of the sorceress, Circe, who finally let him leave to find his wife and son. My ten years of wandering were finally over too and maybe the sorceress that held me captive was feminism, with her lies of how I could have it all,  how I was the same as a man, and how I should be free from the constraints of living the traditional role of mother and wife. It took me a while to make peace with my demons—to realize that the work I was doing every day was valuable and eternal.  Some days, I still fight to see the joy but I don’t feel conflicted about my role anymore.  I looked the “s” word square in the face and didn’t have any angst.  I fully embraced the beauty of what I was made to do.   If nothing else, all my reading and soul-searching and contemplation had finally  left me comfortable in my own skin.  C.S. Lewis was right,

“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

I stopped trying so hard to grab for my own part.  I’m finally learning what it means to lay down my life for others.  The paradox is—in this surrender, I have found my sweet spot.  The intimacy of this prolonged togetherness with my family has exposed every frail part of me and has left me completely undone—which is precisely the place Christ can finally do His work of remaking me.  In the end, all the things I thought I was giving up were only obstacles to the real work He needed to do in my heart. Those words ring in my head, “Nothing that you have not given away will really be yours.”

Which brings me back to feminism.  It bothers me.  Aren’t we just grabbing for our own part?  Aren’t we missing the greater story? Aren’t we seeing the fleck in someone else’s eye while we walk around with logs in our own? Those are the questions that keep me awake at night.

I abandoned the writing project I mentioned above because the idea of womanhood seemed somehow settled in my mind. I hadn’t even really thought of it much, until about a month ago, when I discovered a genre of bloggers I hadn’t read before that call themselves Christian feminists.  The old wound was resurrected.  These women are smart and articulate and have powerful influence over men and women.  It’s all the rage in our postmodern culture to be progressive, tolerant, and politically correct.  To our modern ears, it almost sounds archaic not to agree with the feminist viewpoint.  I wish for all the world I could get on board.  Their arguments for egalitarianism seem so logical and measured.  But after spending countless hours reading and researching and soul-searching, I’ve come to this conclusion:  I believe this movement in Christianity is dangerous and subversive.  I believe it has long range implications that we can’t even fathom.  I wonder if it may, at its essence, be incompatible with orthodox faith—which asks us all to lay down our weapons.  I believe it compromises the very Gospel of Christ and for these reasons and for the instruction and education of my three daughters, I have labored to articulate my heart on this issue.  I loathe controversy so I post this out of love and duty and thankfulness, for the honor of being a woman in an often angry, postmodern, and gender neutral world.  (You can read part 1 of this series here.)


Marriage is a living confession of who Christ is and who we are in Him.  Like we are the objects of God’s love, so He creates Eve, to be the object of Adam’s love. There was an order to the creation of man and woman.  Everywhere in scripture, God is setting things in an order.  The father is the head of the home, the mother is the head of the children, Christ is the head of the church, the pastor is the head of flock, the teacher is the head of the student.  We are made to live in this community together, each submitting to the other in love and sacrifice.  Christ came to redeem this order, not to do away with it.  And though He was given all authority in heaven, how did He choose to use this headship, this authority  or hierarchy He had established?  He gave Himself over into death for His beloved.  He yielded, He submitted, He loved, even when that love required His very life.  And if Christ uses marriage as a sign of His salvation covenant to us, think of what that means for our marriages?

What is that we, as the bride of Christ,  bring to the table, to this covenant of marriage with Christ?  Sin, death, brokenness, rebellion, hurt, anger.

What does Christ do in this relationship?  Everything.

He does everything to restore us.  He loves us and woos us and sacrifices Himself for us.  And then He gives us fathers and brothers and husbands to stand in His stead and  love us with His love. 

The marriage covenant is a confession of our faith.  Sacrificial love is the cornerstone.  In the podcast, The Gospel and marriage, Dr. Shadday says,

“The institution of marriage is the only thing that survived the fall.  It’s the only thing we bring with us out of the garden of Eden.  What God gave us in marriage was this incredible reflection of who He is and who we are in Him.  And, He gave us His love which enables us to live in that relationship….If we lose the institution of marriage, we lose an intricate, important visual means of confessing our faith in the Gospel.  What we seek to preserve is a reflection of the marriage covenant of salvation.  This is a living confession of who we are and who Jesus is, by the way we love each other.  When he creates marriage, He has in mind how He will save the world.”

But the men in our lives are the sons of Adam and they have let us down.  Maybe you’re like me and the men in your life have often not been trustworthy.  Maybe like me, you’ve  at times been neglected and abused and used and forgotten.  The sin that took the very life of Christ is still killing us today.  Things are not as they should be.  We want love and respect and joy and we often find heartache and loneliness and disregard.  I know.  I, too, have known the anguish of men without chests. But in retaliation, have we waged war in the wrong place? Have we tried to take from the culture what can only be bestowed on us rightly in Christ?  Lewis says of men, in his essay on Priestesses,

We men may often make very bad priests. That is because we are insufficiently masculine. It is no cure to call in those who are not masculine at all. A given man may make a very bad husband; you cannot mend matters by trying to reverse the roles. He may make a bad male partner in a dance. The cure for that is that men should more diligently attend dancing classes; not that the ballroom should henceforward ignore distinctions of sex and treat all dancers as neuter.

Our rallying cry has been equality, as if we want to be interchangeable with men.  We have watched and even cheered as the veil has been torn asunder, the veil that hides the mysteries of man and woman and their union together with God.  It is all being stripped away in rebellion against gender roles and stereotypes.  But the cry of every woman’s heart to be loved will never be answered by equal rights.  We’ll have our part and then we’ll wonder why we’re still haunted with the old ache from the garden of Eden.  Eve seized her own fragmented part, grasping and clutching for shreds of more and then was ashamed and hid herself.  But that Seed—that would strike the head of the Serpent, is the fruit of her womb, her very womanhood.  She was truly saved in childbearing, by the Savior of all mankind, who forgave her rebellion and her selfishness and restored her to her rightful place as the mother of all the living. (I Tim. 2:15)

We have always wanted what we do not need.  God has given us everything in Christ, and yet in our broken, sinful condition, we want the forbidden fruit and we always will.

So, how do we live with each other in a way that honors the Spirit of Christ?

We live in repentance.  We stop trying to get our own way.  We surrender.  We live in the tremendous freedom given us in the Gospel, recognizing that any boundaries placed there by God are there to protect us.  We live our lives in service of our neighbor—whether that neighbor is our husband, our children, the unborn, the orphan, the widow, or the feminists that I don’t happen to agree with. Whether we work or not, homeschool or not, have children or not, we live with our hearts turned toward home, with hands open to receive from our Father the goodness of His care. At last, we as women teach humanity what it means to receive.  We say with the mother of Jesus, “Let it be to me as you have said.”

We submit ourselves fully to Christ, not  because we’re women, but because we’re His.

If we’re fighting for ‘equality’, to be the same as a man, then we’ve set our sights way too low.  Maybe as Lewis says, our desires are not too strong, but too weak:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

This longing that we have—to be seen, to be known, to be loved—will not be answered by egalitarianism.  It will not be fulfilled by a high powered job or by a husband who does half of the housework or by a church that will cave in and let us preach. We are settling for cheap substitutes and they will never fill the emptiness that threatens to shatter us.

Christ has made us all to live surrendered, in communion—with Him, with our spouse, with our children, in a posture of receiving the good gifts He gives, whatever they may be. We submit, like Christ submitted to the Father, and like husbands submit to Christ.  We are in good company when we give ourselves over in life and in death for someone else. The God of the universe, who had all the authority of Heaven to have His way, gave up His rights, His divine power, His very life, for the benefit and salvation of mankind.

It’s that kind of love—self-giving, self-sacrificing— that will change the world.  And as women, this is a trail we can blaze.

One hundred years of feminism has helped to usher in a world that C.S. Lewis prophetically predicted in his book, The Abolition of Man.  If giving women the right to vote is salutary, then let us progress logically until women are emancipated from all that constrains them.  But every step is not the same as the one before.  And the right to vote is not the same as the right to take human life or the right to abdicate our responsibilities to our children or the right to have whatever we want.  Sometimes the next step, the logical progression, leads right  off a cliff.  And just because our culture has made something easy and normative doesn’t mean it’s good for us, or good for the body of Christ.  Feminism has told us the ultimate lie.  You can be like God.  It’s the same lie from the garden and it will always lead to despair.  Like Esau, we have sold our birthright for a bowl of porridge.  It turns out that feminism has not asked for too much, but too little.

We’ve settled for a pittance when Christ offers us “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Ultimately, Christ offers us Himself, as Savior—forgiving us, loving  us, validating us in way that culture and man can never do.

Rest in Him. Let Him love you— for He has made you the crown of His creation.

Let His grace and mercy leave you tender and may you nurture the next generation in His perfect redemption, until He takes His bride home.



Just a few clarifications:

This yielding and surrender that I speak of will look very different in every person’s life.  I believe we are given so much freedom in the Gospel as to how we live out our various vocations.  My surrender meant actually leaving my job and coming home for a time.  But yours may mean just the opposite.  The question we are asking is, “Who is my neighbor and how can I serve him/her?”  There are a million different ways to answer that question that honors Christ.  I’m giving my story but it’s not meant to be your story.  It’s meant to encourage  and challenge us to think of our vocations in light of the cross, not in light of the culture.  It’s not meant to say that you should quit your job to come home and knit dishcloths but it is meant to say that if that’s how you choose to serve your family, then bless you for it.  The words of Christ are impossible to live out, which is why we trust in His perfect submission to the Father.  He is our atonement and we trust in His mercy to redeem us.


Some of the books and posts I’ve read, along with a few great podcasts on the subject of women in church and culture:

Husbands and Wives, by Dr. David Shadday

Priestesses in the Church?  by C.S. Lewis (many thanks to Margitta!) (this one is a must read)

The Vocation of Mother,  Pastor Peter Bender

Order in Church, podcast with Pastor Bill Cwirla of Hacienda Heights Lutheran Church (I highly recommend!)

The Order of Creation, podcast with Dr. David Adams, professor of Old Testament

Feminist Theology, podcast by Dr. Roland Ziegler

The Eternal Woman, by Gertrude Von Le Fort

Evangelical Feminism, podcast with Doug Wilson

When Women Assume the Preaching Office, by Dr. David Scaer   (scroll down to the 3rd podcast)

Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance, by Dr. Frank Beckwith

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a must read about how we relate to each other in Christ)

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”
by Rachel Held Evans  (Evans is an Evangelical Feminist, an incredible writer, and has a huge blog following. I often disagree with her conclusions but I appreciate her scholarship and her dedication to her craft.  Her book has stirred up controversy among conservatives that feel she has a flippant disregard for the Scriptures.   In the book, she embarks on a year-long mission to live out every scriptural reference to women.  Her goal seems to be to prove the absurdity of living in a traditional, Biblical female role.)

A Review of Evan’s book, by Trillia Newbell, on the Desiring God website

The Lost Art of Servanthood (a letter to my feminist sisters), blog post written by Emily Wieranga, that has now received over 500 comments and set off somewhat of an internet fire storm among Christian Feminists.

Video blog Critique of Emily’s blog post,  by Kristen Howerton and Elizabeth Esther (both who called themselves Christian Feminists)

The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say, by Suzanne Venker  (a manifesto of sorts to liberate women from the pervasive influence of feminism)

The Feminization of American Culture, by Ann Douglas, (a very heady book written by a Harvard professor with some startling insights into modern feminism)

Sarah Bessey’s blog and book coming out soon, called Jesus Feminist.  Bessey, like Evans, is a gifted writer and another bright, articulate Christian feminist.

 God, Gender, and the Pastoral Office

Is Feminism a Heresy?  by Donna Steichen, Crisis Magazine

Jesus and the Feminists, podcast

The Arguments and Outcomes of the Ordination of Women, podcast by Dr. John Pless
The Privilege of Being a Woman, by Alice Von Hildebrand
Man and Woman: A Divine Invention, Alice Von Hildebrand

190 comments on “Why I’m Not A Feminist, part 2::{Christ as Husband}”

  1. Much of what you said reminded me of this…Have you read this before? Especially the paragraph where it starts, “The family is ordained of God” and then goes on to describe our roles. There is also a youtube link at the end, of when the proclamation was first delivered.

    The Family
    A Proclamation to the World

    We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

    In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

    The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

    We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

    Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

    The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

    We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

    We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.


    • Ummm…yeah right….and let’s go back to the days when Joseph Smith was coercing young women into having sex with him via his self-serving “revelations” as in for example D & C 132. Yes, let’s let men run things like good ole Joe Smith did. Joe who told the girls their families wouldn’t get into heaven unless they entered into polygamous “marriage” with Joe or Brigham or Sidney….right. “Marriage” which wasn’t much of a marriage at all.

      Yeah, those Mormons really know what they are talking about on the marriage front. Oh my heck, I am being sarcastic here if you are not getting my tone.

      Ya’all, anyone who might be reading these comments, you really might also want to check out the documentary “Proposition 8: The Mormon Proposition” if you want to get a sense for how deeply dishonest and lacking in true ethics or principles the Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints actually is (yes it IS a corporation).

      You might also want to read up on the history of LDS INC. It is absolutely fascinating, while at the same time extremely disturbing. The Book of Mormon musical hints at what is going on, but Americans should really all do more homework on this American phenomenon. I recommend the websites Mormonthink, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, or Richard Packham’s website. These websites have links to other factual sources about Mormonism (hint: no, it is most definitely not Christianity). Also the print books No Man Knows My History, Under the Banner of Heaven, anything by Grant Palmer is excellent, excellent (a man with more integrity in his little finger than the entire quorum of twelve can muster up between the bunch of them), oh, there’s lots more. Listen to Palmer’s podcast about the history of William and Jane Law in the last year of Joseph Smith’s life. You cannot make this stuff up. If you’re really up for some more nitty gritty information, check out the discussion boards for people trying to get out of The Cult at Post-Mormon.org or Recovery From Mormonism.

      Also good reality check…look up and confirm for yourself statistics on the state of Utah: Among the highest rates of personal bankruptcy, fraud, Multi Level Marketing (pyramid scheme) capital of the USA, online porn downloads, sexual assault (Salt Lake), suicides for young adult men, etc etc. Not a pretty picture.

      It was founded as a scam, pure and simple. Joseph Smith = L. Ron Hubbard, different century.

      I have a family member that got sucked in. I educated myself. I encourage everyone to do the same.

      • Wow, something must have ticked you off. I have my opinions and you have yours, but I don’t go bashing you or your religion. I’m more Christlike than that. I feel sorry for you and hope you can be happy. Of course if you go to anti mormon you are going to get anti mormon info. If people want to know about mormonism and what it’s all about, go to lds.org and mormon.org and see for yourself, or read The Book of Mormon instead of seeing a play of someone’s interpretation of the book. Who are you trying to persuade in your comments? Me?

        If you are reading anti mormon I bet you feel angry and contentious. By reading your comment I felt it. It gets you all riled up. Well, contention is of the devil. Then go to lds.org and read what they are all about. Go to the source.

        I wish you happiness, peace and blessings.

        • Emily, I wish you well too. I wish you peace and joy and freedom and enlightenment. I am sure you are a darling woman.

          Regarding your sources, given above. If you were buying a car, would you only ask the Honda dealer about the Honda? No…you would read Consumer Reports and Car and Driver and ask your neighbor about his experience, etc etc. Don’t be naive, don’t allow yourself to be manipulated in life. You deserve better. Read and think for yourself.

          Grant Palmer is a great source on history….and he is very fastidious not to overstate where the historical evidence does not warrant it. An interesting idea from Grant Palmer: his wish for Mormons is that they could see Joseph Smith through Christ’s eyes instead of Christ through Joseph Smith’s eyes.

          Your response to me was basically an Ad Hominem argument, (you asserted that I am angry and bitter, but you ignore my assertions and offer nothing factual to answer my assertions), Ad Hominem arguments are logical fallacies, such false arguments are fallen back on by people who really have nothing to support their side of a debate. So that’s how I respond back to you.

          Listen darlin’, you responded to my post practically before I even had a chance to breathe the last time, and so I know you are going to do it again, but I have said what I wanted to say and I am going to bed now. Good luck on your journey. Peace be with you.
          I’ve said my piece.

      • When Christ was in the home of Mary and Martha, both women were serving Christ in their own capacity. Mary was sitting at his feet while Martha was “cumbered about much serving”. The rebuke Christ gave to Martha about Mary having chosen the good part didn’t come until after Martha had judged her sister for the way she was choosing to serve Christ. We all serve Christ in our own way and it is not our place to judge how another chooses to serve Our Lord. Each of our paths looks differently, which is beautiful because it shows how Christ knows each of us individually. As true disciples of Christ we must love and build up our fellow man (or woman), not tear each other down.

  2. You go girl! I’m blessed and encouraged in the Lord to read your viewpoint, research, and heartfelt thoughts on the feminism matter. I agree with every word and can only say the the Lord has placed His hand upon you and your “mininstry” for such a time as this. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. I hate to think that any of us would think that we could be like God. I do not believe that anyone man nor woman have the ability to accomplish this. We can strive day to day to be what God wants us to be be but we can never be God. While I am pondering over this piece I do not know how much I agree with and how much I do not agree with. I will admit when it come to my faith I am in a constant path of learning and most of the time I feel like a complete idiot. One of those cases where the more I learn it seems the less I know. Thank You for helping me along my path.

    • Heather, I at one time could not fathom thinking I could be like God because I so respect Him, but once I was in a children’s Sunday School class, and they simply put it this way…when you have children, they grow up to become like you. We are spirit sons and daughters of God, so wouldn’t we expect to grow up and be like our spiritual father? I’m not saying that we would ever be as grand, but we have potential to be like Him because we are His children.

      • I feel there is a good bold line between modeling ourselves after Christ (trying, though often failing) and really thinking we can end up being “like God”. Let’s not forget, this is what satan told Even in the garden when he deceived her, saying “you will be like God” if she was to eat that fruit. We are created, we will never be like God, who is uncreated and omnipotent.

        • Hi Heather,
          Genesis 3:6 and Romans 5:12 make it clear that we can not become God, since we were created subject to the possibility of a fall into sin, which is exactly.
          Of course we can’t become God because God is unchangeable, eternal and perfect, in his being wisdom, holiness, goodness and truth. We were made in him image, in dust, (material) and with a soul that will last forever….that is the image that we are to understand the most….no other creatures that God made were created with souls that last forever. What were our souls made to do? Glorify God and enjoy him forever.
          I appreciate that you wrote this. I think what one of the main issues with writing on theological matters, is that if one is not a trained theologian, often the terminology of the Christian Faith gets used in ways that are not necessarily the way the bible uses the words.
          Even though I love to read C.S. Lewis, I don’t read him to come to a closer understanding of God, I have God’s own words and a good commentary of a trained theologian with reformed views; Like John Calvin, or J Greshem Machen, Bruce Waltke, John Stott, or the like.
          I don’t normally write, in fact hardly ever, in the comments, however you wrote, “One of those cases where the more I learn it seems the less I know.”
          I think that you even wrote that you may disagree with Eddie shows that you do know something, however may not be able to articulate what you are disagreeing with.
          Our God is NOT a God of confusion, he is a God of order and above all else his Word is sufficient for a clear understanding of our salvation and how it is obtained.
          I write this to encourage you to study God’s Word, with good solid commentary, I use the Westminster Larger Catechism a Commentary by J. G. Vos. I can not say enough good about this work as it pulls the whole bible into view and gives a good road map on how to read God’s word, using God’s word as the map, for how to read his own word.
          For instance Eddie writes…” Like we are the objects of God’s love, so He creates Eve, to be the object of Adam’s love. that Eve was the object of Adam’s love” Is that this is not found in scripture anywhere. It is found that Jesus Christ should be the only object of our love.” It is only through grace that we have that, however frail, and it is through faith and faith alone that we can view Jesus Christ in that way. Marriage is a picture, or illustration of Jesus love for the church, however Jesus Christ, sought first the Father’s glory and his will, and out of that he loved the Church, the children that God gave him.
          I think that Eddie wouldn’t disagree with any things that I just wrote, however with blogging, enough is not always said, and leads to misunderstanding.
          Again, I only write so that you will seek God where he says that he is found, and that is in his Word, which is a light unto our path.

          Many Blessings,

        • I disagree in the statement that we will never be “like God”. I fully believe we will be like Gods. Consider this…No lesson is more manifest in nature than that all living things do as the Lord commanded in the Creation. They reproduce “after their own kind.” (See Moses 2:12, 24.) They follow the pattern of their parentage. Everyone knows that; every four-year-old knows that! A bird will not become an animal nor a fish. A mammal will not beget reptiles, nor “do men gather … figs of thistles.” (Matt. 7:16.)

          In the countless billions of opportunities in the reproduction of living things, one kind does not beget another. If a species ever does cross, the offspring cannot reproduce. The pattern for all life is the pattern of the parentage.

          This is demonstrated in so many obvious ways, even an ordinary mind should understand it. Surely no one with reverence for God could believe that His children evolved from slime or from reptiles. (Although one can easily imagine that those who accept the theory of evolution don’t show much enthusiasm for genealogical research!) The theory of evolution, and it is a theory, will have an entirely different dimension when the workings of God in creation are fully revealed.

          Since every living thing follows the pattern of its parentage, are we to suppose that God had some other strange pattern in mind for His offspring? Surely we, His children, are not, in the language of science, a different species than He is?

          read more here: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/11/the-pattern-of-our-parentage?lang=eng

          • Emily, I was beginning to wonder if maybe you were coming from a Mormon perspective 🙂 Definitely a very different faith than that of mine (and Edie’s). I really get what you’re saying, however, it’s important to realize that the Bible teaches us that there is no other God, and there never will be. Everything in this world was created by God–including the idea and ability to reproduce! God is the Alpha and Omega, not bound by the rules of this world He created, He does not reproduce as we do. The idea that we can become gods is clearly rejected over and over again in scripture:

            Isaiah 43:10 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

            Isaiah 44:8 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

            Romans 3:29-30 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

            Ephesians 4:4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

            1 Timothy 2:5 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

            James 2:19 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble!

              • I agree there is no other God! I was merely stating that we are spiritual children of a Heavenly Father with divine qualities to become like Him. We were created in His image. Simple as that. Heather stated that we shouldn’t even think about being “like” God and I disagree. In my own life as a daughter, my mother wants me to be like her, and i want my children to be better than my husband and myself. Wouldnt a loving God want the same for his children? Think about it! And Heather, I appreciate the difference of our faiths, but I think there is a lot we do agree on and having something we believe in that keeps us striving to be Christlike in character to do good in our homes and communities is good for everyone around us. And I’m out! Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

    • I am the Heather of the original post. Thank You ladies so much for your insight. It is truly the knowledge of women such as yourselves along with my friend, Edie, who are helping me along my path of spiritual learning. I think this was a lot of information for me to try to absorb and so I am having to “chew it over ” in my mind a bit. I am sure I will not for days or weeks but for many years to come. I greatly appreciate your kindness toward me in this. I have been keeping up with all the posts from readers and I must say I have been utterly shocked by a few. Each of you though have been very kind in either your agreement or disagreement with my post. I hope others can follow your example. I am surrounded in my life by a multitude of wonderful intellectual women of which I certainly include “Miss Edie” and would hope each of us could emulate the kindness she shows to others. Some may not agree with her but this after all the story of her journey. It is not mine or yours as we each have our own. You are each a blessing and again I thank you.

  4. Oh Edie! This post is so beautiful and spot on and you have articulated so many things I’ve felt in my heart but haven’t been able to put words to. I’m sort of wishing you would write that book after all. You have perfectly pinpointed the reasons I’ve kept a distance from feminism, so eloquently too.

    Keep writing. Its always amazing to see how God can use the darkest parts of our lives to shine light on others.

    • Yes, Edie, just as Heather mentioned above you’ve articulated the feelings that have been bubbling over in my heart as I try to navigate what being a 25 year old Christian woman in a modern world is supposed to look like. I’ve worked hard to be the best I can; pushing through undergraduate and graduate school to fulfill these lofty goals of mine because that’s what I thought I was supposed do. However, I long for a biblical family dynamic and look forward to nurturing a husband and children. Most days I feel strange for not identifying with the feminist movement, so your post certainly struck a chord with me and gave me a sense of relief and understanding I don’t think I would’ve found on my own. Thank you and God Bless!

  5. I’m standing, clapping my hands and saying bravo, Edie! Thank you for speaking this much needed truth into a culture so me centered that we’ve lost our moorings. Like Jesus, we must have hearts willing to lay down our rights, not constantly fighting for self.

  6. As I sit here in tears, I am praising God… This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear/read today! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! A million times thank you!!!!

    I’ve known what you’re saying for awhile now, but walking the walk to so difficult in the fallen world. Hearing it from someone else is always so uplifting to me. I’m going to put on my smile, pull my chin up, and live this day knowing that I am fulfilling my vocation. I am living the life that Christ wants for me.

    Thank you!!!!

    • This was one part of the post I would have liked to hear more about. I’m an Edie fan, and I have many complimentarian friends I respect. But I don’t agree with Edie’s conclusion in this post. I have a feeling we’d all agree on a lot, but throwing phrases like that one you quoted, without an explanation, doesn’t really help the conversation. It seems Edie is talking about a brash feminism which is neither empowering to women nor men … and I’ve seen that! But I think all of this comes down to how we define feminism, equality, and rights.

  7. I am not a bright, articulate young woman, as some you have listed in your studies and resources, so I will not debate here. But I wanted to leave a short, respectful comment to reflect your readership and their views.

    I don’t agree, and hold to the egalitarian doctrine/belief. I respect your scholarship and studies, but respectfully disagree.

    That doesn’t change a fraction my appreciation for your blog. God bless you and thank you for blogging.

  8. Dear Edie, I’m a long time reader of your blog, but I really want to thank you for these posts on feminism. Thanks for all the reading you’ve done and for adressing this subject so personally.
    I grew up in a conservative christian family/church in southern Germany. Now I’m married and living in perhaps Europes most feminist country (Norway), where 80% of all one year olds are in daycare while mothers return into their jobs. (and often feeling quite alone with me being so politically incorrect 😉 )
    I think you are spot on that it boils down to this old pull to want to be like God. Your post made me think of this quote by Augustine that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Until surrendered to him my deceited heart will look for fulfillment elsewhere. But by loosing my life I’ll gain it. And I’m truly at home. Thanks for this message – I needed it today! 🙂 Margitta

  9. Edie, our paths have been so similar. That homecoming was not easy for me either. The sense that there must be productivity that is tangible…is hard to lay down, when much of the woman’s work in her home is in the quiet deep in the souls of those who harbor there, largely unseen. I often still feel the beast of “the pride of life,” as augustine our old church father would call it, rising up and saying that my labors to keep the haven for our family are worthless, that I deserve importance and position, that my hospitality is wasted when it is offered to those whose acclaim means little in the eyes of the world. That Pride of Life tells me that I can certainly hold my own in that world I left behind, with shiny gadgets and crisp white coats over power clothes and heels, and that I should prove myself again. But in reality, you are so correct that submission to His calling is to kneel in the dirty places and wash the feet like our Saviour did. Wipe the snotty noses and deal with the diapers the piles of dishes crusted over, care for the poor and forgotten rather than those with worldly power. I would link arms with you across these great southern states and stand in our kitchens and in our homes and declare along with that legendary woman in the 31st chapter of that book of wisdom that THESE are the holy places, these are the altars, the hallowed places where we will lay our lives down, and in doing so, we will truly, really live.

    • A powerful post…..I wish all women had the opportunity to read your thoughts on this subject. I have not seen it addressed in a more cohesive way before.Woman have been given the opportunity to be whatever they want and now it seems to be backwards and controversial to want to serve Christ with a cheerful heart. Not all of us want to drink the kool-aid and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for tackling this issue. I look forward to parts 3 & 4.

  10. I’m glad you chose to write this. I’ve read much on this topic lately and appreciate this perspective you have given. I also appreciate your kind, humble approach.
    I will be re-reading this again and thank you for listing more sources to review.

  11. Yes. Simply … yes! TIME published an article about Mother’s Day and gender bias, how insulting it is to mothers. I couldn’t even articulate my thoughts for a comment. Some days I am overwhelmed by this world, gone haywire. But it’s a fallen world and that’s nothing new. Your words arrest my heart — it is relief, “this trail” you have been called to blaze and the fellowship to be found here. Dawn’s comment says it so eloquently: “I agree with every word and can only say the the Lord has placed His hand upon you and your ministry.”

  12. Yes! You nailed it, Edie! 🙂 I have a friend who is struggling mightily with feminist issues and she is seeking validation from everywhere but the right place. She is so unhappy and unsettled and dissatisfied with her life. It seems apparent to me that the things she is seeking so fervently now she would have if she hadn’t rejected so heartily the things she saw as traditional feminine roles. The roles that she thought would oppress her are exactly what she now craves. But she can’t quantify the craving because she has rejected the premise altogether.

  13. As a husband, father, and person of faith, this post is a sad testament to all that keeps weighing down the Christian church and people of faith in U.S. Not only does this point of put emotional and cultural chains around women in the church, it also cripples and limits the church’s ability to have an impact. Thankfully, you’re only preaching to your choir of thought, not reaching new converts for bigotry and sexism in the name of Christ. But there’s hope here… While people with these old fashioned ideals and ungodly beliefs might continue to hold back certain parts of the Church, people cannot hold back Christ or put limitations around the freedom that Christ is about. And you’re right about one thing, this beautiful movement toward equality is dangerous, because the way forward always is dangerous, while holding on to what was is safe, cowardly, and commits a great disservice to the ways of God.

    • “Equality” doesn’t equal “sameness.” Equality asks for equal respect. Feminism usually degrades certain aspects of femininity, and has made many brilliant and hardworking wives/moms/homemakers feel like they have to defend what they’re doing to an increasingly feminist society who cannot understand the importance of their work in the home and family. I am sick and tired of seeing these wonderful women hang their heads and say, “Well, no, I don’t work; I stay at home with my children,” as if this is something shameful, lazy and backward. What has happened to us that we have made them feel this way?! It’s disgusting. By the way, I am married with no children and a work full-time away from my home.

    • Safe and cowardly… I find those to be harsh words for a man of Christ. But I tend to get harsh when my passions are high, so, I proceed carefully.
      … From my own shoes: I have personally had to find a LOT of bravery and strength as the world CONTINUES to put me down for my stay-at-home choices, So I strongly disagree with what you say because I, myself, have received ‘reverse’ bigotry from statements like yours and others.
      and what I see with my own eyes:
      the need to regularly encourage women who are completely torn and heartbroken because of the pressures they have to “be it all” that comes from others vs. their own hearts desire to regularly be with and love their children AND to be actually supported in that role.
      Women in ‘traditional’ roles have very little support in our culture. That is where we are today.

    • It’s quite clear that you attend a “Christian” church that is NOT weighed down by the gospel! With decades of law-enforcement experience, I can testify that women being “unchained” has contributed to the high crime rate, and FEAR that all of America now lives with.” Old-fashioned ideals” would heal the mass brokenness and evil that is running rampant. I spent a decade at a seeker-friendly-cool church, that stresses impact (that I’ve yet to see by the way). Following this type of false teachings of misrepresented grace, tolerance, lack of gospel, sugar coating etc. The church has LOST it’s impact. You should watch accusing any one of “ungodly” beliefs. Compromising is killing the church. God’s word is where you will find truth! Truth is not for the weak!,,and you will find it her on this blog, if you can’t handle it,,leave!

      • Crime has increased, you say? Crimes committed by women? Proportionately no. If women’s emancipation causes men to behave badly then why blame emancipation? Hold the actors responsible for their actions. Violent men reacting violently to their perceived loss of power or control is not the responsibility of emancipated women. That’s classic abuse conditioning. The violent person is responsible for his behavior. Full stop.

  14. Beautifully written!! Thank you for speaking the truth in love!! So many women yearn for their rightful place in the family, but don’t know how to take it. Continue to be an example of what a woman is!!

  15. Just a respectful question. If you weren’t a mother, would you feel the same way? How do your views relate to a married woman without children? Would you be as happy being a homemaker if your husband was your only family? Just curious…

    • Wow… I was about to comment an answer to this… then I read your question.
      I’m that woman. My husband and I both work in high-stress jobs with long hours and I think we’d be much better off if I quit, or pulled WAY back. I don’t quit because there’s some kind of weird security in being able to identify myself by my respectable occupation and find my self-worth by the accomplishments that I make in my field. I’m am terrified to become a stay-at-home wife and/or mom. I am completely in awe of and filled with respect for my friends who have made that choice. I think that they have the most difficult job imaginable, and it is of magnificent importance. I think that this world desperately needs Edies who do what she is doing and share about it so powerfully.

    • I am a stay at home wife (I blog, watch my nephew twice a week, and do an occasional photo shoot–but am far from having a traditional full time or much even part time job) and I feel called to be at home and serve my husband. We do plan to have kids one day, Lord willing, but if for whatever reason couldn’t, I would still stay home. We have been married almost four years and I felt a call to be at home, to take care of my husband, and to be available to my family, friends, and neighbors in a unique way with my gift of time. As you can imagine, people are even more confused that I am at home and DO NOT have kids! It was really hard for me for awhile (and still sometimes is) to be confident and find purpose in what is so opposite of our culture and what is normal of a 28 year old married woman. I have a degree and have many skills that would be used well in the work place but instead I choose that my husband, home, and myself are all worth those skills and that they are not being wasted. But instead they are being used to enrich our home and marriage that also allows us to live a simpler, slower paced life that I would never trade for more money. To sum it all up, my worth is in Christ and I do not have to try to fill myself with anything else of this world. He is all I need.

      Edie–thank you for your courage. Titus 2 comes to mind as the older women are to teach the younger women how to be women of God (but by no means to say you are old–you know what I mean!). I imagine there are other young married women like me who read your blog and find your wisdom and experience as a wife and mother encouraging. Thank you for stepping up and living out that call. I hope to do the same as the next generation of women under me will continue to struggle with the balance of the call of the world versus the call of the Lord.

  16. Edie – I guess this makes me a “member of your choir” but I think this is a moving and wonderfully well thought out series. You know I am a working Mom to three boys, and I personally find no bigotry or sexism in these words, nor do I sense any judgement. Hardly. I do what I have to do and if I could stay home, I absolutely would. Some women would not, and do not, and that is up to them. This series goes a lot deeper than women working outside the home. The choices we’ve made are impacting are molding our futures and our children’s futures.
    I was instantly reminded of 1 Corinthians 10:23 – “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify or build us up.”

    Love your heart and I love the passion and the intention with which this series is written.
    “If we’re fighting for ‘equality’, to be the same as a man, then we’ve set our sights way too low.” Hear, hear.
    xoxo, Claire

  17. I think it is wonderful that you have found a purpose that fulfills you as a human. This is great and I applaud your willingness to ask what Jesus wants you to give up, take action, and become a more mature Christian in the process.

    With that said, I think it is disastrous to impose your ideals onto other women who are undergoing the exact same process and being asked to serve God in the public square, start non-profits, run Fortune 500 companies, cure AIDS, feed homeless, or anything else God empowers them to do. Your interpretation of the Bible is no better (or worse) than theirs, or mine and in the end all any of us really have to fall back on is “we’re right because of verse XXX”…and we’ll have to do better than that. LOTS of GREAT Christian women and their husbands—carefully read their Bibles—and after reflection do not choose your ideals—in fact, they reject your ideas of “how God created men and women” based on what they read in the Bible. They deserve more respect than simply demonizing them because they dont practice marriage like you. Nothing sinful about what they are practicing.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, I am slightly dismayed at your disregard and lack of gratitude for feminists—whose shoulders you unknowingly stand on—as you blog, lead , and champion your cause. A short google search will reveal the faces and names of brave (and many devout) FEMINIST women who have secured many of the rights you now enjoy—one of which I would definitely include is any meaningful influence in public discourse.

    So, please consider that by demonizing the people championing the very same attitudes that won you the right to speak at all, could be considered short sighted at best, and hostile at worst.

    God is still working and speaking on both ‘sides’. I have no doubt that feminist men and women can, as you say: “Rest in Him. Let Him love you— for He has made you the crown of His creation.” without abandoning feminism. After all we are ALL (feminist and non-feminist) made in Gods likeness and image—and God is still at work in both camps…lucky for us all that…

    God needs no ‘middle man’ to judge others…
    or ‘middle woman’ for that matter.

    • Edie is sharing her thoughts, research and heart on this subject, NOT imposing her ideals on anyone. We are all free to reject, accept or contemplate her words, just as we are with everything else we read. If one feels they are being imposed upon, that is an issue within their own heart that they need to examine further.

    • I’ve seen a couple comments here use words like “impose” or “demonize”. I really have to say, I don’t feel Edie was imposing anything on anyone with this post. It reads very much to me like a defense and explanation in response to the feminist pressures we feel from society. I do think the topic of feminism, however, strikes nerves. That’s understandable with such passionate topics, though I don’t think we should jump the gun and pull out words like “demonize” and “judging”. Unless, if you can provide a quote that is evidence from her post? I couldn’t find any myself so I’m not sure what you might be referring to exactly. :-/

      Also, when you say, “Finally, and maybe most importantly, I am slightly dismayed at your disregard and lack of gratitude for feminists—whose shoulders you unknowingly stand on—as you blog, lead , and champion your cause. A short google search will reveal the faces and names of brave (and many devout) FEMINIST women who have secured many of the rights you now enjoy—one of which I would definitely include is any meaningful influence in public discourse.

      So, please consider that by demonizing the people championing the very same attitudes that won you the right to speak at all, could be considered short sighted at best, and hostile at worst.”

      Whew. This statement is putting an awful lot of credit on feminist’s and not much toward God.

      I just feel I must respond to this, the idea that we should be thanking feminism for what it’s done for us. I respectfully disagree. Scripture says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17). Any good thing Edie and I enjoy as women, frankly, are from GOD. Not feminism.

      And furthermore, what I’m about to say may shock you, but I really don’t feel like feminism has done me any favors at all. I would even say that in MY Christian marriage, I’d be okay without the right to vote, because I trust my husband to love me enough to vote with my best interests at heart. The apostle Paul tells husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church” as He “gave himself up for her”. If we truly model our marriages as scripture tells us, you’ll find the drive for equality is just a moot point. (Not that I think it’s WRONG, women’s suffrage, I just don’t find myself indebted to feminism as you imply I should be.) In the same fashion, I don’t feel the need to ensure my equal pay compared to men, because I trust the Lord to provide for us. You see, we need and put our trust in GOD, not feminism. God can do all things for us, and provide for us in all ways. What a small “god” we’d have if we truly needed feminism to be our mouthpiece and muscle for us! I reject this idea. I put my gratitude, and trust, in God alone when it comes to my rights.

      As Edie stated so beautifully, “If we’re fighting for ‘equality’, to be the same as a man, then we’ve set our sights way too low.”

      You see? You try and argue that we should be thankful to feminism for what it’s “done for us”. But there is nothing feminism–a mere human ran activist movement–can do for me that God hasn’t already done.

          • Very well said, Heather. Man puts too much weight on what he thinks he knows, what he/she thinks he has done without carefully weighing in on the Bible and God’s clear design for how He created things to be. Man corrupts the plan, tries to make a remedy for that corruption, creates a new design for that plan, and then thanks himself for what he has done to try to rescue the plan. When in all actuality, GOD’S design for the plan is best. LOVED this post, Edie. I love it because as a woman I see it, feel it, realize it, and see the pain in women who have been deceived by the power they think is in feminism. I sometimes bend under the weight of being a stay at home mom with no paycheck, no visible “value” for all the work I do all day long…until I see the sleeping forms of my children and the snore of my hard-working husband and know that my value is not determined by green paper. And God often puts that verse into my head when I grow tired, “when saw I you athirst and gave you a cup of water…when you did it unto these, you did it unto me.” Thank you for having the courage to post this and for taking the obvious amount of time and prayer you did, a woman I think is so intelligent and profoundly open to God’s workings in your life. Don’t let any make you despair. Let God be the judge of your words and actions. Better to share truth that hurts than to give lies that sing.

      • You cannot call the things you enjoy as women as being a gift from God then denounce the process God chose to bring those gifts to you. We are to be completely gracious children of God and accept all gifts from him, not spoiled children who pick and chose. God saw what the fallible man did to women, how he suppressed them and made them less than, and brought about a movement in the hearts of very religious women to fight for things to be set right again.

        • Mindy, I suppose I would argue that everything I needed to be free was given to me when Christ died on the cross, taking away the sin of the world, His last words: “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

          You said, “God saw what the fallible man did to women, how he suppressed them and made them less than, and brought about a movement in the hearts of very religious women to fight for things to be set right again.” Can I ask for some scripture to back this up? Because without any, it’s completely arbitrary. The only thing God did that “set right again” the things of this world was when Christ died on the cross.

          Also, you might see the feminist movement as one started by “very religious women”, but the people I think of are those such as Simone de Beauvoir, the famous French feminist who called housewives (like myself) “parasites” and said that we shouldn’t be allowed to stay at home because women will just take advantage of it. Doesn’t sound like a movement MY God would have condoned.

      • Heather, I have to respond to your comment, “I would even say that in MY Christian marriage, I’d be okay without the right to vote…” because it infuriates me. Of course I’m glad you have a healthy, trusting Christian marriage. (I would trust my husband to vote for me too!) But you need to know the rights/laws were not written only for women as well off as you. The right to vote was given to all women and it especially protects women who are single or who don’t trust the man of the house. Maybe you didn’t mean to make a global statement, but it comes across like that. At any rate, giving all the power of governance to one kind of person (male/white/Christian/anything) is incredibly dangerous for those in power AND those under their power. I hope you will consider people in America and around the world who do not have your privileges and blessings when you make political statements.

  18. I have enjoyed your blog for years, but don’t remember commenting before today. I just want to thank you for writing such a well researched and well written post on a tricky topic.
    Your former career gives you such a unique perspective on the topic.

    You beautifully stated the thoughts that have been swimming in my head. It is a conversation that has been needed and I thank you for the courage and obedience to open the door.

  19. You have articulated beautifully the thoughts of so many women who may not have the gift of expressing themselves as eloquently as you. I am one of those women. I appreciate you and your willingness to step out in faith to stand for what you believe.

  20. Oh, Edie, bless you for the courage to write this. I just love you to pieces! May God grant you a blessed Mother’s Day! Keep writing. Keep us thinking. Give us truth. Right out of the WORD!

  21. I was not going to comment until you had finished Edie. I wanted to be able to read everything. I just can’t help myself at this point. Nothing lights a fire under my skin as much as people throwing around words such as bigotry, sexism, and demonizing all because someone has expressed a heartfelt (and well thought out) opinion. I applaud you for sharing and I hope you will not be hurt by some individuals comments. I STAND BESIDE YOU, even though I don’t know if we will completely agree on things. Much Love to you sweet lady!

  22. Edie,
    I love every word.
    Eve wanted to be like God by having the power to decide what is good and what is evil…that is why the tree of knowledge was forbidden. Eve chose her own way, disobeyed, and suffered for it. Mary said YES to God, “be it done unto me according to THY WORD”… Mary’s obedience brought forth our savior. Living in God’s word and His will is the only way to escape the evil pride of self.
    I can’t wait for Part 3.

  23. Edie,
    Thank you for such timely, measured, intelligent, and truthful words. These posts are an encouragement to me in a culture that disdains those who don’t demand “sameness” with men. As women in all sorts of different circumstances, our vocations may look very different, but the foundational submission to God’s design and living for the sake of one’s neighbor can be borne out beautifully in so many different ways. You are an encouragement to me.

  24. See, this is where people get it wrong… feminism is NOT about having it l, doing it all or being as good as a man… feminism is the idea that wome are people… people who can make choices and decide for themselves what is in their heart and how they will walk their path. You are not a stay at home mother because you are being oppressed by your husband, nor are you a work out of home mother because society tells that is what is right, but you do as your heart tells you and it is because of those feminists in the past that fought for your right to do as you please. God bless you.

    • Yes. “feminism is the idea that women are people…” And I would add- people equally deserving of respect. That is not to say that women and men are gifted in exactly the same way, but simply that both are gifted and valued and worthy of love, honor, and respect as children of God created in His image. For me, (Christian) feminism is much less about fighting for MY rights and much more about encouraging the church and our society to recognize the value that my sisters have and the worth of what they have to contribute– no matter what their chosen vocation or calling.

      • I completely agree with Mindy and Sara. I have a minor in Women’s Studies and I am a stay at home mom. I am thankful that I have that option, because many women (my mother included) do not. Women such as my mom HAVE to work and because of feminist efforts they are protected and allowed to use their education, gifts, personality, etc to provide for their family. While feminists are sometimes seen as radical, the contributions they have made to help women have a voice and be seen as a valued member of society is undeniable.
        I am proud to say that being a stay at home wife/mom was the option I chose, and not what was expected or forced upon me because of a lack of rights. Feminists fought, and are still fighting, for the right to have options and abilities to use their unique gifts. Every woman is different, and every family is different; thankfully WE get to choose the path that is best for ourselves and our families.
        With that being said, I loved this post, Edie. Giving up my career for my family was not a simple choice but a heartfelt journey, just as yours was.

        • I’d say all of these view points come close to my own. I can’t help but feel sheepish hearing women (on behalf of other women) say feminism did nothing for them. Of course I believe it was God who gave us these rights and protection. But it happened (as all history does) via people. Good people and bad people. I love Edie, I love her story and her bravery. But we can’t forget that we have come to these conclusions because we’ve been taught to read, empowered to pray, allowed in church … rights that many women still don’t have today. I’m still not saying feminism is the answer. I’m saying that I think God wants us to have many of the opportunities and protections that feminism pioneered. Also, a lot of our assumptions about being a Christian today might be challenged if we looked at the kind of leadership women had in Jesus’s ministry and in the early church. See Pheoebe for one example.

  25. Edie, I’m not June Cleaver or Betty Crocker but I have to say that I loved your post and enjoyed reading your point of view. Strangely, I did not feel any old fashioned ideals or ungodly beliefs were being imposed on me. Oddly, there was no demonizing on your part (can’t say the same for some in the comments section, geez take the plank out of your eye before you point out the splinter in someone else’s eye). Btw, feminists did NOT fight for and win the right for us to have freedom of speech!

  26. Edie, Thanks so much for putting into words what I have found to be true. So suprisingly obviously true. You put it beautifully and I am grateful to you. Lynn

  27. I’m sorry, but I find this so frustrating. God made me. He made me capable and smart and able to do whatever I set my mind to. I don’t for one second believe that I need to stay home and knit dishcloths because I was born female. I’m not a harsh, mean, angry, feminist. I am a feminist. There is no emptiness threatening to shatter me. I was created by a strong, loving God. He made me whole. I feel like this philosophy you’re preaching is dangerous. Just because we’re female doesn’t mean God made as all the same. Quit shaming women into being your idea of a Christian female. I’ll never fit in that “church wife” mold. And I don’t want to. God didn’t make me to. I am good enough the way I am.

    • Yes. Yes. Yes. You are made in the likeness and image of God–and you are powerfully good. Never be shamed by men or women who (on the name of religion) try to confirm you to THEIR image. Become who God wants you to become! Well said. Thank you.

    • britt-
      talk about shaming— “to stay home and knit dishcloths”–what a flippant way to insinuate that you think stay-at-home moms are useless. There was nothing shaming anyone in Edie’s post, and the point of the whole things was hardly even relevant to whether women stay home or not! But what a condescending attitude to have–to describe women who embrace their freedom to stay home and labor in the daily exhausting and meaningful work of raising children as “staying home and knitting dishcloths”–well, I’d say that is a shaming comment.

      There are many very talented and heavily educated woman (I’m friends with several lawyers and doctors like myself) who have been called to lay down their careers in the service of their family. Do we all think that every women must do the same? No. Do we need people like you shaming us with your ridiculous discription of our work in such belittling ways? No, thank you.

      • Sarah…Britt’s comment “to stay home and knit dishcloths” came from Edie’s post. I would imagine she wasn’t being flippant or insinuating anything…simply using words that Edie herself used…which obviously touched a nerve.

  28. This is the best post you’ve ever written. Just because we can do something, just because we are more than able to do as much as any man, does not necessarily mean that we are called to do so in order to prove it to the world. Doing so for the cause of feminism is being led by expectations of man instead of being led by the Lord. Trusting God could lead you in the desires of your heart whether in a star career or a stay at home mom, but too often we don’t dare to chance it in case He leads us in an unpopular direction.

  29. So typical really, if I Agree with you or are considering your words — I am being led by you. Thank you Edie for your thoughtful powerful comments. For a long time this independent career woman, mother of three children and wife to a wonderful man has not embraced feminism because I do not want to be a man, I simply want to be the best reflection of love (read Christ) possible.

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have a career and have made great strides over the last few years in that career. I did not get married until I was 35 and I don’t have children. Thank you for writing this in a way that applies to every woman – not just those with kids. Although, mothers certainly have bigger decisions to make for themselves and their family. I know how hard I work at my career and I can only imagine how it would be if I had children. Something would surely suffer. I struggle with what it means to submit myself fully to Christ. I sometimes think that because I am not a mother, that maybe I don’t have anything to focus on besides work. Even though it is rewarding, I sometimes ask myself: what is this for? Your post opens my eyes to as to who it should be for. Thank you!

  31. As a woman who has fought this battle over and over again I think many us fall into the trap of feminism while we’re actually searching to find our own worth. Our role has been beaten and abused by so many for so long (even so often by our own kind) that it has become hard to recognize the value in our roles as women.
    Thank you for this amazing post and all the resources you’ve listed. They’re an open door to finding the truth.

  32. Ok really, this is the last post I will read from this blog. How you can compare the concept of equal pay for equal work to a woman’s need for love is beyond me. Eve was searching for more; therefore became ashamed and hid! So we should never strive for more without being ashamed? Only to be forgiven through child bearing??? This would be laughable if it was not such a dangerous path of thinking.

    If your CHOICE is to stay at home and raise children that is great. But to insinuate that women should limit themselves, not strive for more, and accept less than equality in the workplace is insane. What in the world would you suggest to women who find themselves in unfair situations or heaven forbid an abusive situation?

    Why in the world do you think that feminism translates into wanting to be a man or even Christ? Maybe you did not intend to criticize women who work but your over all message is that women should be subservient.

    At the very least, you should be thankful for the past feminists who enabled you to be able to go to medical school and make the many choices that you have made throughout your life.

    I will stop here, since I don’t want this reply to become insulting, but really all I can say is I would never want my young daughter to read such a misguided and confused post.

  33. Edie, you must be Missouri Synod Lutheran because your argument is not backed up by ELCA beliefs. I had stated a year ago that you were getting too white high class bourgeois for me but then I started seeing links on other blogs to your cool kitchen and butlers pantry and such and thought I would give your blog another try. My mistake. I’m sorry you feel you were called by God to demean other women. Certainly the God you serve is not the God I serve. Bless you.

  34. I haven’t yet read the preceding comments yet. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Feminism is always something that confuses me. In so many ways, it has caused the breakdown of the American Family. Our children seem to be picking up the tap for the feminists who want to have it all. To become a Mother requires a certain selflessness and commitment. Why not give the very best of yourself, your education and your talents to your family? Women have so much power simply by giving life. I never considered working after I had children. I am 53, so it wasn’t uncommon for moms to stay home and be there for their children and husbands. I think a mother is the logical choice to be at home. A mother has a vested interest in the outcome and absolute well-being of her child. It wasn’t hard for me to give up my job or income. I haven’t earned any money since 1986. My grown children are educated and thriving. I hope they pay it forward. My DIL was educated at one of the top universities in the country, but she is staying home to raise her children. It is the right thing to do as I see it.

  35. Hi Edie,

    Just wanted to let you know that I loved this post and agree so much with your views. Please keep writing from your heart as God leads, and know how much some of us are blessed and encouraged by your words.

  36. Your part 2 is beautiful, too. Thank you for being brave and clinging to Christ. This is going to get harder before it calms down. I will pray for you to hide yourself in Him.

  37. Dear Edie,
    This post went straight to my core. Thank you for sharing your views. I can’t even express the impact this has made for me on this particular day.

  38. Amen, Edie. I am personally so thankful for your writing and blog, because even though I have to work full time, I esteem myself as a homemaker far above my professional role, and find inspiration and reassurance in your writing. Whereas feminism values self promotion, finding your true worth in Christ promotes Him and His glory, which is what Christianity is. Anything else is idolatry, no matter what label society puts on it. I adore your gentle and generous spirit, and pray you feel God’s complete peace on this topic. The harsh words a few have spoken here are absolutely not Christ like, and I hope they will not linger in your heart.
    Thank you for this series, it is one worth re-reading. Hugs!!

  39. First, I want to say, I totally disagree with Edie’s thoughts on this subject.
    BUT for those of you here who also disagree, get a grip.
    Edie is not saying these beliefs are right. She is saying they are right for HER!
    It is her beliefs after long research, thought and prayer.
    She is not putting down those who do not feel this way, or saying it is wrong to think another way. Geez…..even I, who does not practice organized religion or agree with her can see this!
    Edie, you are great woman, and I love your blog and heart. You write beautifully, and your decorating is so much fun. You know your truth, even though it is not everyone else’s truth. This is why I love coming here to visit. When you write on religious issues, I’m fine with that too, because I am confident enough in my own beliefs to not get defensive or care.
    Stay strong Edie and carry on!

  40. Edie,
    Thank you for this. You put into words what I believe in my heart to be true. This isn’t just about being a working mom or stay at home mom but it’s about our roles as women and our relationship to our husbands. I feel fortunate to have married a man who would support me in whatever I want to do.

    There have been multiple times in our marriage where we disagreed on the direction that our lives were going and where we thought God was taking us. Each time, knowing my husband was seeking the Lord, I submitted to his authority and followed him. Each time the experience was far more exciting, fulfilling and a blessing to us than if we had not gone down that path. I believe with all my heart that because I follow my husbands lead and he in turn seeks the Lord, our lives are blessed beyond measure. It is not easy for me to let go of what I think that right thing to do is. I am not by nature a girl who likes to “submit” but I do it because my husband is the authority.

    I am looking forward to the rest of your series and am thankful you have the courage to speak.

  41. You have such a gift for writing Edie, this is a great post. I think you have perfectly captured where our culture is right now with this subject. The only thing I am left wondering about is women’s roles in the church and as bible teachers. I have recently been listening to a lot of Beth Moore, and I know that she gets a lot of flack for what she does, as I am sure most women bible teachers do. I might be mistaken, but I believe her response to it is that she is specifically a teacher of women, only. This question about our roles specifically in the church has always been a confusing and conflicting spot for me personally; that I go back and forth with. I would absolutely ~love~ to hear more of your thoughts about it.

  42. I’m sorry, but as an atheist, I just can’t stomach this kind of thinking. I was drawn to your blog because of your decorating style and your insights on homeschooling. But, you’ve lost me as a follower. For such an intelligent and articulate woman, religion has severely clouded your reasoning and logic. I hope, in the future, that you will look at your life and what works for you without the bindings of religion. I wish you the best.

    • Suzy,
      The Truth will set you free. Your stomach is sickened by forsaking the Truth. You need to enlighten yourself with the Word of God. Jesus came to save us all if you will choose to believe. Decorating and homeschooling ideas are not the only things you need.

  43. You are so brave for doing this, Edie, and I am so thankful that you did! Every word, spoken in love, spoken so beautifully, will, however, be misunderstood and maligned by a world that, as I know you know, will not love you. But gosh how I admire you and love you for saying them anyway! I can’t wait to read the rest.

  44. Thank you, Edie, for sharing these thoughts and things you’ve learned. I am gratefully a stay-at-home-mom…but I also have been wading through what it is I believe about women’s roles…more at church than any place else. I hope you’ll address that more in a future post?

  45. OK, now I HAVE read all the comments. I will just simplify. It all boils down to the resentment of the haves vs the have nots! Mothers who have the option of staying at home to raise their children and manage their families effectively and efficiently, are often wives of men who are able to support such a lifestyle. What a blessing that is!! It is wonderful to have been able to stay at home taking care of my husband, our children and our home. What a luxury to not have to rush every single morning only to get up and do it all again the next day. I can’t tell you how nice it is to play tennis, shop and garden while the children were in school. I love meeting friends for lunch and volunteering my time to our church and other charities. I loved being a room mother and a chaperone on my children’s field trips. My mind was at ease when my children were sick and I could be with them instead of having to take off work. Yes, we are HAVEs and it is darn wonderful! My kids are finished college and on their own now. I love having my days stretching ahead of me to do exactly what I want. I love helping to care for my elderly mother and grandchildren. I love having our home perfectly organized when my husband comes home from work. Oh, it is a grand life being able to mange well off of one income. No wonder there are so many angry women! I love my life. Wouldn’t change a thing! Our family wasn’t rushed from one thing to another so that I could preach feminism! I do what I want, that is true freedom! Ha!

    • I’m not a have–I’m a have not. My husband is a pastor, so the check he brings home is not very big. But we feel so very strongly that my calling from God is to be home raising our children that we make whatever sacrifices we must so that I can be here. I don’t have lunch with friends or play tennis or have tons of time to volunteer in charities. I am in the trenches cooking three meals a day, keeping our home clean, and educating and parenting our children. Your life sounds like a luxurious dream to me! I think what I want people to know is that you don’t have to be wealthy to stay home and raise your children. If you feel like God is calling you to be home with your children or to serve your husband or to care for your parents, don’t be afraid to step out on faith and do it. If you are doing what God has called you to do, He will provide for your needs and will honor your obedience.

    • It is not a have or have-not argument. It is a heart attitude, regardless of financial circumstances. I remember a couple of years ago I was out shopping and one of the sweet sales ladies in the shop and I started chatting. Her comments remain with me to this day. In discussing today’s consumer society and the need for women to be home to raise our children and the financial reasons why it does not work, etc., etc., she said this: “I went four years without buying a new dress or a pair of shoes because I stayed home with my children.” It blew my mind. And to this day, I am challenged by her sacrifice and encouraged to someday be able to say, I sacrificed my own desires, my own needs for my family. What a beautiful legacy and heritage that I hope to pass on to my daughters! I am an attorney who has chosen to stay home with her children and you know what? I haven’t looked back. I have friends making six-figures and they still don’t have “enough” to be able to “afford” to stay at home. It boils down to a heart attitude and what your top priorities are. Country club set or paycheck-to-paycheck set, what do you value most?

  46. In case anyone missed Edie’s “post edit” above… read it.
    I stand behind my original comment. There was no judgement passed here and it deeply saddens me to read some of these negative comments – especially from those that have an “agenda” in making the comment in the first place. Not because someone might disagree – that’s expected – but that those comments were just not written in love at all and I, again, believe that some clearly missed the true intention with which this post was written:
    “This yielding and surrender that I speak of will look very different in every person’s life. I believe we are given so much freedom in the Gospel as to how we live out our various vocations. My surrender meant actually leaving my job and coming home for a time. But yours may mean just the opposite. ”
    I love this because surrender is an ongoing, daily challenge – not only as women, but as followers of Christ.

  47. Thanks Edie! Amen to your words. They are beautifully written, thought provoking and inspirational! Please continue to speak the truth. The world is hungry for honesty.

  48. Edie-I have read and reread this post. I would live to print it and give it to those I know are struggling with the mundane tasks they face each day, caring for their families.
    I am sending you big hugs. I know that series has been birthed through heartache, tears and sleepless nights. You have shared the truth in love beautifully, without judgement, shaming, or demonizing.
    May God make his face to shine upon you.

  49. I would read all the links in your research, but I am literally limited to a few minutes of reading for pleasure daily. I work hard so I can provide medical insurance and care to a brain damaged child who will need a life of care. My husband and I work opposite shifts to be able to provide our son with a parent at home 24 hours a day. We face extraordinary medical costs that require 2 incomes.
    The reason this post may sting to some, including me, is that it is soaked heavily in luxury, pretentiousness, and a “look down” attitude of upper class.
    I know plenty of good Christian women who would love to submit the burden of being the breadwinner but many of us are living in a world where that is not possible.
    Perhaps if you alluded to some grace in the privilege you have been blessed with instead of using your good fortune to set yourself above your essay would be easier to digest.

    • Amber-
      Beautifully put statement. I am so sorry for your life circumstances and please know, that although I am not in your shoes, I walk a similar path. We, as mothers and caregivers do what we have to, and it is sad that even though many here believe they are not being judgmental, their words perpetuate the linear violence that has plagued women and mothers.

    • Amber,
      it is no ones fault, let alone Edie’s that you have to work. Hospitals will set you up on a payment plan for very little a month. The point is that any child especially one with health problems would be better off by having a mother who is home. There are plenty of poor people who live on one paycheck but the sacrifice is worth it in the end. There are plenty of husbands who work 2 jobs to make ends meet. Let your husband carry the burden of financial support and you take care of the home. Payment plan, coupon, thrift store, grow some veggies, and most of all put your trust in God. Your whole family will benefit more than you can imagine.

      • Kim how is it fair to ” Let your husband carry the burden of financial support and you take care of the home.”?? If a ship is sinking, is it appropriate for me to sit back and let my husband bail the water while I sit there to comfort my children? Maybe if it is a slow leak, but in this analogy, it is a BIG one… and what in that are you actually teaching your children? That it is okay for others to take care of you??

        And YES there are hospitals that will take payment plans, but in most cases that is after another bill has been paid off, and some bills can be outrageous… so then the child has to wait for daddy (the lone provider) to work 2-3 jobs (and might I add never see the child) so that the next procedure can be done.

        Sometimes, much like the childless person at the supermarket who voices what they would do if their child was “acting like that”, it is easy to have all the “answers” (read: non-helpful suggestions) when you aren’t the one in the situation.

        • Mindy,
          This was meant for Amber. You obviously are just trying to reply to as many comments as you can. This does not imply that people should care of me. It is saying that the child is bearing the burden when both parents work especially if they pass each other coming and going. I gave very helpful comments from experience. You should stop the bitterness. The family dynamic where the husband is the provider and the wife is the keeper of the home works. Don’t do it if it’s not for you. By the way, I teach my children to follow Jesus Christ and to serve others. He is the light, the Truth, and the way.

    • I agree with you, and for what’s it’s worth that is not what her denomination teaches either. Feminism is not a result of work. Work is work and we are all called to different works to make our lives glorifying to God. Nowhere in the scriptures does God tell a woman that she can’t work outside her home in order to set forth a good life for her children. In fact it seems from the looks of Eddies life, she traded in being in the noble trade of healing for blog-convention hopping and does a fair share of being out of her house for less than noble causes. I am not judging, I should be doing something else
      other than commenting on someone’s blog I wouldn’t even recognize if I passed her on the street….but sometimes I just get tired with this more subtle type of female feminism.
      When it comes down to it, we are not saved by our works we are saved by Jesus work on the cross, and we each must pick our cross daily and carry it with him as the object of our loving sacrifice.
      May God continue to bless you in your life and to ease your burdens.

  50. God bless you for writing this Edie. I agree with you and feel encouraged by not only what you’ve said here, but by the other (mostly) positive comments that others have left. There isn’t a lot of encouragement in the world, to live our lives as you have described here, so it feels good to know that I am not alone. Thank you for your bravery and thoughtfulness

  51. Hi Edie

    Never commented here before, but this touched my heart! I have been a stay at home/part time working mom with my 5
    children for 25 years, and I still have a 10 and 12 year old at home! It has not been a luxurious life, where I was part of the “HAVES”, I did not garden and play tennis, and do charity work while my children were in school. I worked VERY HARD at home, couponing, thrifting, and researching ways to save money and provide a beautiful home to my family(that’s how I found this wonderful blog world!) I still and didn’t have the best of the best, in terms of material things. But it was, and still worth the sacrifice, that my husband and I thought was right for our family. There are many different situations and dynamics to being a stay at home, for us it was a huge financial difficulty sometimes, but God has always provided. It didn’t always look or feel good! We even sometimes questioned if it we were doing the right thing. I know I am where God wants me, and Edie you just cemented that for me! You are so very inspiring, keep following God’s heart!

  52. For Noelle:

    It is wonderful that you have 5 children. Because my husband and I wanted for our family to have me at home, we did not have any more than three children because that is what we could comfortably afford. Children are a luxury ticket item. They are very expensive and challenge every family financially as well as emotionally. We would not have been able to afford 5 children. We wanted to live within our means. I d want to add that as a family we have known times where things were financially stressed at times, particularly putting three children through college. One year we had all three in at the same time. It is not just the stay at home mom issues which brings about the resentment of the have nots towards the haves. My husband is hard working and responsible. I will not apologize for that. Your children have benefitted by the moms who don’t work and give of their time volunteering in the schools and community. It is often a cop-out that households require two incomes to make ends meet. Staying home and raising children is not always easy and often it would be nice to get away for the day but that would not be in the best interest of the children or the family. Don’t get me started. I see people driving in luxury cars that put their infants in daycare. It’s all very selfish and material driven. I can see right through the sham. I don’t want to pay for anyone’s healthcare, free cell phone, etc. my husband works hard and together we have made sacrifices for the good of our family. Don’t resent me just because we thought things through and had as many children as we could comfortably afford and live within our means!

    • Margaret

      I was not intending to judge you. I was simply showing a different perspective of what my life as a stay at home mom looked like. My husband works very hard for our family and I am thankful for him. Nothing has been given to us, we have worked hard and sacrificed. I have volunteered countless hours in my children’s schools, and always with a servant’s heart. I was happy to help and be present for the mom’s who couldn’t be there for whatever reason. I guess I don’t really view children as “luxury ticket items”, but gifts from a loving God! I am not one to get into conflicts, especially in this kind of forum. I personally didn’t feel this had anything to do with what we have, but more about what we give. I am just thankful for women like Edie who are so willing to encourage!

  53. I have just finished reading all 92 comments. I loved this post and expressed my feelings a few days ago. Some of the negative comments were expected…..but some did hit a nerve. I do understand how women who are the bread winners or those who have to work to pay the basic bills would resent and find condescending the idea that a woman should stay home and serve her family. Edie is expressing her path to serving Christ, it is a personal journey she is sharing with us. I do not feel that she or others who agree are rich, white ladies looking down on the poor peasants that must work. I know that there are many women (my daughter is one) who would love to be able to stay home and not work outside the home. We need the voice of people like Edie to express the other side of the feminist coin. I see no condemnation in Edie’s blog, she is lifting up the idea of serving as an honorable vocation, not an enslaving one.

  54. Thank you for a wonderfully eloquent and heartfelt post, Edie. I too, am saddened by the hateful comments that people are posting. I am actually naive enough to believe that adults should be able to be kind when they disagree, but that’s obviously not the case!
    As for me? I am a wife, mother, home-educator, volunteer and partner in the construction company that my husband and I own. I do all of our accounting, taxes, billing, scheduling, payroll, and other office work. I also teach high-school and college classes. And I am a stay-at-home mom. I, like Edie, feel like my heart is only settled in the right place when I am committed to being available to nurture my family as much as possible. Following through on this commitment has required discipline, sacrifice, perseverance and patience. We are not rich, but I am grateful to be able to do what I do. The feminist movement does not give my vocation worth, it instead stands there expectantly, waiting for me to get a “real” job. And I am tired of it.
    Kudos to you Edie for being courageous enough to articulate what your heart has said all along; that you were created to be more than a just a job.

  55. Hi Edie! I love what you wrote and agree with every word. Many have disagreed but none have stopped to see your point. This is sad but indicative of society today. All our issues revert back to the selfishness of man and their desires over seeking God’s plan for us. If we seek His will we will fulfill our hearts desires and have real happiness. Thank you for sharing your heart so thoroughly and eloquently.

  56. Dear Edie,
    Thank you for your thoughtful and moving post. As the wife of a labor attorney who sees countless abuses of women in the workplace I hope I can shed some light on where feminists are coming from when we speak of equality. We do not mean that men and women are literally the same but rather that they should be treated equally under the law. All citizens of this country are entitled to the same rights under the Constitution. As I read through the comments I have noticed a confusion of the two realms of life.
    The public and private spheres of life are different and the same rules cannot be applied to each. Surrender in any personal relationship is invaluable and I completely understand and agree with you with regards to the value of surrender in our personal lives. But such surrender is untenable is public life. The minority population whether they be women, people of color or the disabled, have routinely been denied equal rights under the law and it is only by fighting for them that they have been achieved. I would like to recommend the book “Half the Sky” to you. It may shed some light on why so many of us who love being at home still feel so much needs to done for women’s rights around the world. Thank again for the thoughtful post. It really got me thinking!

  57. Edie, you are one of the most amazing women I don’t know. I wish I knew you. I wish I could sit on your porch and sip something delicious and glean your wisdom and beautiful grace. Luckily, I can sip something delicious and glean from you as I read this blog. Thank you for sharing your beautiful anguish and love and testimony with us. I am not of your faith, but I am a Christian too and love your perspective on the what life is about. It is proof that we are all here to learn from and love each other. To help one another through this existence. And you do that with beauty and grace. Such grace.

  58. Amen and amen Edie. For the readers who thought your blog was about cooking, decorating & a well-appointed life style….now they know. You took THAT step & I loved it.

  59. Thank you for an awesome post. I am not one to post comments so this is a first. Your words, said better than my own, articulate exactly what I have discovered in my own heart to be true. I would add also that feminism has brought about the destruction of man and the purpose of his true being. God calls us to be submissive to our husbands because that it truly the only way that God can work through man as well. Our husbands must learn to lead, protect and ultimately be true fathers to their children. It is in our allowing this, that husbands can work out their calling. At times they fail, however it is in these times that men discover humility and through our support try again. Feminism has tricked us into thinking that women can do it all and as consequence relieved man of their God-given call and responsibilities.

  60. I really appreciate your post. I am an undergraduate student and recently changed my minor to women’s studies. I’ve been reading and studying from successful authors, feminists and entrepreneurs about women in postmodern society. As a Christian I want to approach the conversation of Postmodern Feminism with the heart of Christ. You are the first author I’ve heard that comes to the conversation suggesting service rather than “take what’s ours” from men approach. As a young college student anxious and excited to enter the workforce, your thoughts give me hope that beauty and strength and not dialectic tensions from which I must choose to live out, but through surrendering my whole heart to Christ he will complete his work in me. Thank you for your encouragement.

  61. I absolutely love this post, Edie! When starting out as a wife and mother I viewed all those around us and did the norm of working away from home and just going through life being this tough independent woman. Truth is, I was miserable. I made the jump to work at home and actually find myself in Christ. I don’t think it was the change in work but rather the change in the view of myself. I was able to fulfill my family through my acts of service to them. I love submitting to my husband’s role because it’s not saying that I’m weaker but that I love him and want to serve him and my children. I’m completely embraced in love and understanding that I don’t have to be equal to anyone because I’m the world to my ultimate Father. Knowing that has given me a peace with myself that I would not get seeking the approval of the world. I think seeking to improve ourselves is exactly what we should be doing but fighting to be equal in other’s eyes is selfish and unnecessary. It seems very coveting. I’m not weaker because I’m a housewife, I’m stronger because I know who I am.

  62. AMEN! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but this may be the first time I’m commenting. Thank you for sharing this post and your wisdom and what the Word shows us about true freedom and love and relationships.

    God called me back to Him when I was a 26 year old liberal feminist with a blossoming career in NYC and I’m eternally grateful for how He continues to free and restore me. Now, as a 30 year old faith blogger & housewife in suburban VA I know I still have a lot of room for growth, but I also know I’m closer to”home” than ever before.

    I feel like I’m not articulating any of this nearly as well as you have, but all that to say – I love this post, I relate to it so much, and thank you so much for sharing the word, your experiences, and your faith.

  63. I get the impression from reading this post and the list of sources that inspired you that you have a very skewed understanding of what feminism actually is. Have you actually studied any feminist theory, or just books that are critical of feminism? The fact that you exercised your choice to leave your career and raise your kids (which I think is great), IS a feminist act!
    Feminism is not about a woman being the same as a man, it’s not about trying to be God, it’s not about materialism or competition. It’s about legitimacy, and it’s about agency. It’s about women having the same opportunities as men- the same choices. What makes your story terrific is that YOU made the choice (through plenty of careful soul-searching and prayer) to put your family first. That IS feminism.

    • Yes! Just what I was thinking. Feminism means different things for different people and has changed and developed over the past several decades. I wonder how much you really know about feminism after reading this essay. There seems to be this idea that you can’t be feminine or family focused AND be a feminist. For me, being a feminist means that everyone deserves respect and the chance to fulfill their dreams (just like you did). I don’t feel that I’m grasping or unsatisfied, but that I’m a part of a wonderful web of support and sisterhood. I don’t feel that this web excludes men either. Feminists have helped make so many things possible for you and your daughters (to play sports if they want, to be legally protected from harassment and assault) To hear this called “dangerous and subversive” by you is very hurtful to me as one of your readers.

      If you are open to learning more, I would recommend, as someone else did, reading “Half the Sky”. I would also recommend volunteering for an organization, such as a domestic violence shelter, to understand why feminism is still relevant and important for so many people, if not for you.

  64. Hi Edie. I work. I’m a mom. I’m a Christian. And yes, I’d call myself a feminist. I’m very happy in this role. I don’t have it all, but I’d wager to say no woman, or human, has it all. I don’t agree with you on this issue. But, I appreciate your honesty, and as always, love your heart.

  65. I think you’re referring to an old idea of feminism. I am a proud feminist. Why? Because I want to make my own choices. Feminism is about having a choice in life. If that choice is to work for a living, great. If that choice is to stay home and raise your children, equally great. If the choice is to try to have it all with grace, have at it. It’s not that many years ago that women had little to no choice about their lives. They couldn’t vote. They were expected to marry and have children. They had no choice but to stay home. Without feminism, which at one time would have been call suffragism (just another word for equality) we would never have won the right to vote. It would have been much harder for you to make the choice to go to medical school.

    To say that Feminism is about having it all takes an empowering, full-blooded message of freedom and equality and confines it to the head of a pin. That might have been the rallying cry when we were striving for equality in the 1960’s, but the message has evolved and grown, just as we have grown. I was there. I was part of it all. I don’t know of anyone that looks down on or judges women who stay home to raise their children, which is noble work, indeed – and I work in and around New York City, a place with a huge cross section of Americans.

    I’m sorry if someone in your life has judged you unfairly. But that’s not the world I live in. And those aren’t the kind of women I encounter. But feminism not only gives me the choice to work in my chosen field and to not have children; it equally gives you and many other women the choice to stay home and raise their children. That’s what it’s about.

    And yes, I have a strong spiritual life. I believe in the Christ in each one of us. I was raised as a Christian. As a Lutheran, in fact.

    With respect,

  66. What a breath of fresh air this is! I am in college and have always longed to, once I am married, be a stay-at-home wife and mom, serving my community and neighborhood, being a true servant in the form of a hostess. Unfortunately, though I have abounding support from my home, I find little to no support in any other arena of my life. People look at me like I am stupid, selfish or foolish if I say this to them—even those who serve God! Hearing from one who not only loves God, but loves truth is so refreshing. Thank you for this. I bought your ebook and I think we are kindred spirits! I love all your thoughts. Thanks again!

  67. Awesome series.

    I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I appreciate that a woman can get a job and earn money to support her family if needed. I actually don’t see you saying anything otherwise so I’m not sure what the ‘disagreeing’ posts are about. It seems some are misunderstanding the term ‘feminist’ as you are using it.

    Anywho-I’d love to hear your perspective on the role of men in the continued breakdown of the family. I believe much of the mess we ladies have made of our family life can and should be shown to be a massive pendulum swinging reaction to the lack of responsibility taken by men. Like I said I’m not a feminist apologist, but perhaps the feminist movement was (continues to be?) a sort of backlash. I am thinking of the Chesterton quote on balance in Orthodoxy and wondering if it also applies here. Have you ever read Humanae Vitae? I know you’re not Catholic, but it certainly applies to this discussion on roles of men, women and family life. I think there is also wisdom in the Casti Connubii document. Happy reading and I’ll be praying for your mission trip (and for you to crush it in scrabble!)

    Here’s a quote from a study guide on Humanae Vitae:

    “The Pope here is painting a wider vision of the problem. We think everything belongs to us, but the reality is that we belong to God. “Humanae Vitae” means “Of human life.” Human life came from God, belongs to God, and goes back to God. “You are not your own,” St. Paul declares. “You have been bought, and at a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Sex and having children are aspects of a whole cluster of realities that make up our lives and activities. We suffer from the illusion that all of these activities belong to us. “This is my life, my body, my choice.”

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  69. Dear Edie,
    You have related your experience with love and grace. The truth of your words resonated with me. God has gifted women in many ways, but has also called us to be keepers of the home. It is a noble role to nurture the next generation. The children receive less guidance and care when moms are distracted from the home.

    It is hard in this culture to be a woman willing to make sacrifices to be at home, often without the respect of peers. Sometimes it is lonely. I have spent time praying during the middle of the night and sometimes while walking through the neighborhood. God has met me and has been my help.

    We can help each other by laying down the competitive spirit that is so easy to assume, and cheering each other on.

    Thank-you for this post and all the resources you have listed!

  70. I was seriously so blessed by this beautiful post. Thankyou! You put words to my feelings, and pointed me to Jesus and I am so grateful.

  71. I am reminded of the prophets of the Old Testament who had hard things to say to God’s people. They spoke God’s words and were not well received or well liked by most. Sometimes it is hard to speak to our culture today and not be intimidated by going against the current train of thought. You are brave and kind and obedient to what God asks of you. You write things that mean something in our “fluff” world; our self-absorbed world. May God affirm you and bless you in all the ways that matter most.

  72. I am a long time reader, and although I agree with a great deal of the “thought” behind your post, the over all feeling of what you said leaves me, well sad. Your life and ideas are your own, this forum is yours to do with as you choose. Some will agree with you, some will take what they need and leave the rest, and some will just leave. I am trying to decide today which of the last two are in my future. I feel like I have an idea that you are not judgmental or callous and yet your view on your faith and feminism read to me as something that was no longer a gift available to us all .That the laws as you read them usurped the freely given grace that could empower eachof us in a million different ways. It felt to me that your words were being used to protect the rightness of YOUR choices. It felt designed to make a circle, with you and those like you inside, and others left out. You have had a choice, your way has been right for you, and that is beautiful, but it is as other readers have pointed out a luxury that is not afforded to all. It just feels ungrateful and exclusionary. Two things which I believe are not true of you. Your faith is beautiful, but it is not my faith, and on many points I disagree with you. I suppose before, the strength of your faith felt like a shield, something that you held up as protection, and in this post it felt to me like a weapon. We the uneducated, ballsy feminist masses are misguided, wrong, and selfish. Hmmmm. Faith is a belief in things unseen, and when I see or hear someone who pro ports to have all the answers, who can no longer find any areas of vulnerability or mystery in their life choices, I see someone or something that is for lack of a better word, extreme. Extremism, is in my opinion almost always the wrong choice. If you have all the answers, then stop calling what you do faith. Inside the circle, outside the circle. Belonging is the undeniable need of all Gods children, and in it’s absence there will always be suffering. Reading this I felt outside. People do not suffer because of God, people suffer because of people.

  73. I’ve spent most of my married life unraveling the threads of feminism that I grew up in – in effort to return to a more Biblical role of wife and mother. Your words are brave, Edie, and much appreciated by this Mama!

  74. Amazing post! It is so encouraging to see people such as yourself, boldly sharing the truth and standing for it. We are called to this; to love in truth. One of the greatest ways we can love is by sharing the truth; by sharing about the One who first loved us. We were never called to popularity; to be “apart” of this world. We have been warned in His word about the very opposite; the opposition and persecution that will come.
    But we trust and rest in Him. We speak boldly because we love and want others to know His love and ultimately to bring Him glory.
    Thank you for standing on His word!

  75. Equality doesn’t equal sameness; egalitarianism on steroids is going on in all aspects of our culture today. We are equally loved by God but are different, educational choices can be equally edifying but different, and so on. We do not need to have sameness with men, sameness in schooling, sameness of money, etc. nor were we meant to.

    Feminism? What about Peoplism? Can you imagine the outcry if someone said they were for Masculinism? As a woman, I am for what is best for each person. Therefore, I could never be a Feminist. By definition, ‘feminism’ has an inherent agenda.

    Besides, the ‘feminist’ movement thinks it speaks for all women, but it doesn’t.
    It also vacillates between making fun of feminine beauty and telling women to use their sex appeal to the hilt to assert power.

  76. I am a Christian, a wife and a mother…I also work outside of the home. I completely support those women who decide to and can stay at home. I know that is a role with much difficulty and challenge.

    However, I am just as much of a Christian, wife and mother as any woman who decides to and is able to take on the “traditional role” of wife and mother. I found many comments from those who completely agree with your opinion to be just as dismissive and judgemental as they found many of the opinions of those who do not agree with your’s.

    “Aren’t we seeing the fleck in someone else’s eye while we walk around with logs in our own?”…indeed!

  77. I want to thank you, Edie, for your thoughtful and prayerful insight on this controversial issue. It is very brave to put yourself out there like that! I agree with what you have said, not because I like you and your blog; it is because it is Biblical. God’s Word is our final authority, no matter what our feelings or opinions are. Sometimes that can be difficult to wrestle with – I know it has been for me, too. That said, His ways are always better than our ways, His thoughts are higher than ours – we can try and make Him fit in our little boxes, but He is so much bigger than we can think or imagine! Thank you for reminding me not to listen to this Prince of this world, but to the KIng of Kings. I want to ultimately please Him. Bless you!!

  78. Wow, Sorry that I cannot begin to catch up with the discussion here. Nevertheless, i am going to submit my thoughts.
    I hope it isn’t rehashing the above.
    I feel that in the discussion on womanhood, we want to create black and white descriptions of gender. This was a topic that was very overwhelming for me a few years back. I was in a Bible study that pushed the Masculinity of God to a degree I have never seen before.
    Going through that, I found an article that is short and sweet. You might find it helpful for a nugget or two. The aspect that encouraged me is that truly, the differences of feminity and masculinity are God made and quite miraculous. At one point the writer points out that a man and woman can do the exact same task and still be reflecting their God-made gender.
    I choose to consider carefully the writers that influence me. I am not at this time able to read on the topic because it led me down a frustrating path before. The turning point what when I got on my knees and pleaded with God, “God, who are you!?” He pulled me to the scriptures and quieted my heart. In the months following, I found that the issue of feminism was pushed in the background.
    I am not saying that it isn’t important. However, it may be a diversion for some on their walk with God.

    the article referred to earlier:

  79. Edie – I don’t agree with everything you say. But who cares? I think it’s healthy to share honestly, and debate, and respect each other’s opinions, whether they mirror yours or not. If we all had the same views, how would we learn and grow? Your thoughts are honest, and real. I appreciate your braininess, and your willingness to put it all out there. I don’t believe that the point should be whether or not people agree with you. But the courage to thoughtfully share your truth. THAT inspires people. Plus, your humor and your cuteness ;-). Thanks for inspiring us to dig a little deeper. And to think a little harder. And to stand up a little straighter and say “this is who I am. This is what I believe.”

  80. A friend of mine told me about your blog just after I posted on Facebook about why *I* am not a feminist. I could hardly read your blog without the constant interrupting desire to whoop and holler, “Sing it, Sister!”

    Thanks for posting the various books about this subject. I read 2 that had something to do with this: The Way Home, All the Way Home (Mary Pride). Those books set me free; your blog on this subject encourages me further.

    With that said, I have come to disagree on two small points in your blog:
    1) that the right for us to vote seems to be nominal. I was challenged on this one, so I had to think long and hard on it. Truth is, I now believe that it divided the home. We are no longer standing in agreement with our husbands, but standing in a house divided in many homes. One vote now cancels out another, yet 2 votes really only equal 1. My husband and I now make sure to talk about our votes before we submit them because we want to be in agreement. If not in politics–which affects everyone’s freedom, then where else?
    2) I do believe that it is the preferred place of a woman to be in the home. I do believe that it is sometimes necessary due to the progression that has led to this moment in time, that it is near impossible for some women to be at home, but I do believe that the ultimate goal should be for a woman to be in her home, where she is the most effective to society. (I’d explain this more, but that would be a blog of my own. So for now, I’ll just draw the nasties away from you and onto myself with this very “narrow” view of a woman’s role.)

    In any case, I do so hope that you finish the book on this one. I would love to read it. Thank you for finding the courage to post this. It encourages many who are just now waking up to the nightmare that is feminism.

  81. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I can tell that you have put much time and effort into the writing. I will definitely be looking up the links you listed. This topic of feminism is one I often think about myself. When my oldest daughter was 2, my part-time job was being eliminated. Instead of looking for another one, we looked at our budget and realized that we could pay the bills without my income. I had always felt torn between working and being home to raise my children. What about my degree? What about making money for myself? When I returned to church about five years ago, I remember the sense of relief I felt when I stopped making all the decisions in the house and stepped back to allow my husband to lead us. As an independent woman, learning to surrender has been one of the hardest, but best things I have ever undertaken. Thank you, again, for your words.

  82. I have debated on weighing in here. I don’t claim to be a great writer.
    But with that said, I feel that some important issues regarding feminism have been left out.
    It isn’t just about being a stay at home mom.
    I don’t put down anyone who has to or even wants to work outside the home. But, let’s stop for a moment and think about some other things feminism has caused..
    Abortion is rampant. The divorce rate has increased to 50 – 60% of marriages ending in divorce. There is more depression than ever before. The things that people are working extra for are obviously not making anyone happy.
    One other point for christian women, God wants us to have joy and peace in this otherwise crazy world. It takes time to grow in your faith, to stay in fellowship with the Lord and to be able to hear His voice. I admire you, if you can work, take care of your husbands and children as well as yourself and still have time for the Lord!

  83. Appreciate this. Thank you.
    I’m giving a speech at a women’s conference in a few weeks and my topic is surrender. More specifically surrender in my marriage and the long suffering journey I’ve been on (and remain on) daily for 14 years. It ain’t easy for me and I have a good husband. I’m just head strong.

    In my story i moved from viewing submission/surrender as weakness to an act of great strength and love; out of all Christ’s hours on this earth, the most important ones were the ones he spent in total submission hanging on the cross.

    Thanks again. It’s like an affirmation that as painful and vulnerable as it will be to share my struggles with a group of women; it’s the right story to tell. With so many comments it remains a very hot topic.
    Peace, love and blessings

  84. I so appreciate your honesty/vulnerability in this. I think it makes much more sense to share your story when simultaneously sharing your opinion. Our pasts affect our reality. I also agree that much of Christian feminism is subversive and self-seeking instead of unifying. It follows a pattern of anger and bitterness that does not further the mission of God, which calls for healing and togetherness. I wrote about this very topic on my blog last week, possibly a different approach than what most have heard. A feminism that is inclusive. Here is the link: http://maggiehjohnson.com/2013/06/21/an-unangry-feminist/

  85. Wonderful & transparent post. I don’t think there is much to be said that hasn’t already been said, but I did want to commend a book to you, Edie. “The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Butterfield. The beautiful story of how a leftist, liberal, lesbian tenured professor of Women’s Studies comes to faith in Christ and her journey into learning how to walk in obedience to Him, even when the feelings aren’t always there. It’s a quick read, but beautifully written by an articulate, intelligent and scholarly woman who has lived on both sides of the feminism issue.

  86. Well done Edie!
    This is an excellent treatise on true womanhood.
    I am a Baptist, not a Lutheran, but our doctrine,at its core, is very similar.
    Of course we are “traditional” in fact we are so traditional we go back to the Garden.
    Eve, the Mother of all, in doubting God’s Goodness, usurped her God-given role of blessing and fulfillment. She was deceived by Satan and the deceitful lusts of the heart, in embracing a god-like role of independence from her Creator.
    We have been beating against the bars ever since, failing to realize that true freedom and infinite beauty are within our God-given role.
    You are a gem. Keep up the good fight for the faith!

  87. May I suggest this sermon?

    My irritation comes from what looks to be an ignorance of apparent privilege. I’m bothered that a woman doesn’t recognize that her ability to choose whether or not she gets an education, to homeschool, and to be in a single income family is because of feminism – among other reasons. That lifestyle that you encourage as the correct biblical model for women is only available to a few. Furthermore, your description that feminism is dangerous and subversive is a reason to rejoice. Christianity is dangerous and subversive. It demands change and illogical living. Third, I don’t understand why complimentarians are encouraging of supporting a behaviour that is clearly stated to be part of the curse of the Fall. We are to live as people of the Kingdom. When people argue for Paul saying women to be submissive, I point out that he says the same for slaves. Why is one okay now, but not the other? Why is womanly submissiveness the requirement, but not veiling? Why is wearing make up, gold, and braided hair okay? Why do you consider those to be culturally relevent to the times, but not women being second-rate? And let us be clear, regardless of how you feel – your opinion does put women in a second-rate situation simply by putting them below another group in relation to another group. Your particular view also means that women who chose to be consecrated virgins for life are less than women who are married. Women who are barren are less than women who are fertile. There is no place for women to work positions where perhaps a women would feel more comfortable to be taken care of by another woman (gynocology for example, a therapist for rape trauma as another).

    If you want to be a SAHM that’s wonderful and should be one, but it’s not because it’s the biblical model (there is no such thing). It’s because you have the choice to do so because of women and men who said “no” to patriarch and “yes” to feminism.

    • Spoken like a true feminist. You know what irritates me? This egotistical lie that everything we non-feminist enjoy CAME from feminism when that can’t possibly be farther from the truth.

      Before the feminist movements (apparently there were 3, but many of those who were part of the first movement would be horrified to be coined as feminists), in the beginning of this country, women stayed at home and homeschooled their children to the best that they could (which is CLEARLY better than the current school system does by EVERYONE’S standards that bothers to look at the facts)–so clearly, the ability to homeschool was NOT a gift from feminism. Also, the choice to stay at home is a gift of feminism? Interesting. What do you think women did BEFORE the feminist movement came along? No, what feminism gave us at BEST is a choice to work at home like we always did but with less money (because now it’s even harder for a family to be single income), or else do all that we were already doing to a greatly reduced standard and work, too. Talk about enslavement! This choice only came about after decades of chastising women who DID stay home–even Barbara Walters admits this.

      There’s also this false idea that women are supported in the Bible to be feminist, but there’s so many verses that prove otherwise. Apparently there are those–usually feminist as well as other liberals–who just pick and choose what they follow in the Bible and then have the nerve to tell us that WE are not following the Bible. If confronted with a direct verse that proves them contrary, they simply assign a different meaning to it than the context implies. Talk about dangerous. Also, you took some pretty strange ideas from this post that weren’t there at all. Not once did she say that women who chose to remain celebate or women who where barren were less than those who married or had many children.

      The very word “feminism” is an inclusive term with inclusive roots that excludes men. (Misandry.) If feminist REALLY wanted fairness, they would have either 1) stuck to some of the original women’s description of women’s suffrage (rights), or 2)picked a word that meant fairness and equality. It’s ALWAYS been clear what feminists want–it’s in the name.

      So, your only REAL complaint is that you’d rather be a servant to a workforce and self–whatever the costs–than be a servant to the God of the Bible. That’s fine. That’s your choice. But for many of us, we’ll choose to serve our God.

      • Being a human definitely means I pick and choose verses, as much as I try not to. But, I ask you to answer the questions I post above. I mentioned verses that complimentarians choose to ignore. Can you give me your interpretation of why those things are no longer practiced but womanly submission is? You didn’t address any of those questions. I take your personal attack as an egoist and an ignoring of the questions as meaning you have no answers to those questions. It’s also insulting for you to say that I don’t serve God. I never claimed that of anyone on here, yet you claim it of me. The trump card of “well you don’t believe the Bible.” I love Jesus with all of my heart – which is why I studied for ministry and seminary. To say that I don’t chose to serve God is ad hominem. I am open and encourage honest reflection on my questions, but will say nothing further to attacks on my personhood and place in the Body of Christ.

    • You have some thoughtful points in this post and I will do my feeble attempt to reply from a perspective that sides with Edie’s on the whole. First off, I think claiming that feminism being dangerous and subversive isn’t necessarily a reason to rejoice, because lumping “dangerous and subversive” into a category like Christianity is up to interpretation. There are a lot of things that are dangerous and subversive that are not right. Does that make sense? I am attempting to word it in a clear way, but I fear it’s vague.

      Also, your reference to 1 Peter 3:3-4 about braiding the hair, wearing make up, etc I believe can be answered in the fact that Peter is not saying not to do those things, but for that not to become our soul attention. The New King James Version says “do not let your adornment be MERELY outward.” John McArthur, a theologian I deeply respect, put it like this: “Peter was not here condemning all outward adornment. His condemnation is for incessant preoccupation with the outward to the disregard of one’s character.” In other words, as cliché as it is, don’t let your beauty be skin deep.

      I do not believe that this thinking is putting women below another group. Men are to sacrifice just as women are called to. 1 Peter 3:7 tells husbands to honor their wives.

      I hope this sheds light on some questions. Let me know your thoughts, any clarifications I can make and so on.

      • Thanks, Savannah 🙂
        Referring to the passage in Peter, while the KJV says”merely” the Greek gives no qualifiers. It literally says “let it be not” with no qualifiers using the most basic “be” verb. And then there is, of course the fact that Paul said for women to be silent, and the different interpretations of that. There is the stay-at-home-daughter movement, the quiverfull movement, and other interpretations of complimentarianism that disagree with one another on the role of women. I often see no acknowledgement of this. Women were, of course homeschooling before. There was also a much higher rate of illiteracy because you can only teach what you know. And the wealthy had tutors, and the European sent to convent and monastic schools. Of course no family was ever single income until Victorian urban middle class. Rural families were farms where everyone worked. Urban you were either very wealthy and living off if interest or very poor working in the factories. Nuclear single income is a modern phenomenon, as far as historical time lines are concerned. I didn’t grow up feminist. I was born into a rural denomination of Fundamental Missionary Baptist. I’m fairly sure my great-grandmother thinks I’m going to hell for wearing pants. My change in attitude came the past ten years of studying scripture, the languages, and the history. With healthy doses of uncertainty and prayer. I actually find this entry because it’s going to be talked about on a podcast of Christian Scholars taking about “I’m Not Feminist, But…”

  88. OH! I see where you think I was implying that you don’t serve God. Actually, I was implying that you serve two Gods, the one of the Bible (at least the parts of God that agree with you), and the God of feminism. And, well, you do. But you know what? At some point we all have that struggle of two Gods, and it gets us all in trouble. But, truthfully, YOU said that first. You agree with parts of the Bible, and then disagree with other parts in order to serve feminism–and you spent most of your time serving feminism by arguing it’s supposed virtues. That second God clearly means a lot to you–so much so that you’d chastise us all for not giving it recognition.

    We’re butting heads because I am just as outraged that you’d ask us to serve the god of feminism as you are that we won’t.

  89. Amber wrote: “There is no place for women to work positions where perhaps a women would feel more comfortable to be taken care of by another woman (gynocology for example, a therapist for rape trauma as another).”

    Actually, even under a patriarchy, we had midwives that did just this. They’re mentioned several times, the most notable being the midwives that delivered the Hebrew women in the time of Moses and saved countless babies. They were blessed by God by getting they’re OWN families.

    • And I’m not implying that we should all be seeing midwives. I’m simply pointing out that unmarried women DID in fact, have professions, but once they got married, they devoted their time to their families and the business of running the home because there is simply that much to do–even with modern conveniences.

  90. I’m going to post my response in parts because it might be waiting approval for length for a very long time.

    PART 1
    The only questions I can find are these ones:

    “When people argue for Paul saying women to be submissive, I point out that he says the same for slaves. Why is one okay now, but not the other?”

    Yes, he DOES say something to this effect (so does Proverbs and a few other books, by the way), and if you find yourself in a position where you are serving others in whatever form, you should be submissive. There’s nothing in the Bible to contradict this for ANYONE, male or female, servant or king. There’s no massive servant revolt demanded by God recorded BUT there are the Hebrew people just before the Exodus complying with the strenuous punishments they received from Moses–their God-chosen leader–requesting his people be allowed to worship their God in the right way. There’s also Joseph who was sold into slavery and did his job so well that he was running Potiphar’s house. (Yeah, that’s biblical submissiveness.) There’s too many to post here. So, why is one okay now and not the other? Well, actually, according to the Bible, if you’re in a submissive position, then you be submissive and do it as if serving the Lord, so there is no “one and not the other.” I think your problem is that you don’t understand what biblical submissiveness is and what it isn’t. You’re thinking it’s beneath you and other women, but men are also called to be submissive, so it isn’t beneath anyone, unless, serving where you’re put is beneath you. Jesus was also submissive. The question really is, why do you think that it was okay for Jesus to be submissive and not you? Are you greater than the master? You should really study those who were in slavery in the Bible and how they behaved, and also, read what it is that we are to do in our submissive position to get a better understanding of what it is and isn’t biblical submissiveness.

  91. M Green, Amber,

    Sometimes “The Master” is wrong. An over abundance of emphasis on “obedience” and “submissiveness” is just as dangerous (if not more so) than an overemphasis on “freedom” and “autonomy” untempered by responsibility.

    Freedom plus responsibility should be the focus and is compatible with our modern form of representative, participatory democracy. An overemphasis on obedience comes too dangerously close to a totalitarian culture.

    M Green, You also haven’t addressed the problem that Amber and others have raised here that being a SAHM is an option available to only a few.

    I like your comments very much, Amber.

    • Well, if you think that sometimes the master is wrong, then it’s pretty clear that there’s no more to talk about here regarding what is and is not biblical, because that’s another conversation about worldviews altogether. I worship the God of the Bible, not the god of man–who is based on flawed ideologies of men and got us into this situation to begin with.

      And, yes, I DID address the issue that “it’s only available to a few.” I wrote it in the first response, second paragraph:

      “No, what feminism gave us at BEST is a choice to work at home like we always did but with less money (because now it’s even harder for a family to be single income), or else do all that we were already doing to a greatly reduced standard and work, too. Talk about enslavement! This choice only came about after decades of chastising women who DID stay home–even Barbara Walters admits this.”

      So, let’s go ahead and talk about freedom and responsibility, shall we? If you choose to have a baby out of marriage, you are limiting your abilities to stay home. You still have a husband of sorts–either the government, or the workforce. You’re still serving someone. (This is STILL a better option than killing your child, however, and people who choose to keep their babies in this circumstance have whatever support I can give them and whatever I can drum up. Interesting, though, that you’re concern is that the biblical model isn’t for everyone, but what usually follows is that motherhood isn’t for everyone–those who don’t have enough money should forfeit their right to motherhood–preferably through abortion, or else it’s on them that they live in poverty. I’m not saying that you will say this, but I AM saying I’ve had this conversation before and this is where it typically goes.)

      If you stay married, you CAN stay at home. You just have to do it with less–just like the rest of us do who choose to stay home. It’s amazing what you can live without–I know.

      If you find yourself widowed or divorced, it’s a trajedy, to be sure. And, with our current selfishness in society, divorce is becoming more and more a trajedy. These are the people who have my sympathies and support where ever I can give it, to be sure.

      But, here’s the thing. Only the ardent supporters of feminism would erroneously claim that feminism works for ALL women–because it doesn’t. DECADES went by when women who chose to stay home were considered not only LESS than those women who joined the workforce, but they were considered stupid, disillusioned, not set-free, and even traitorous to their kind. In essence, we were bullied. We finally re-won our right to stay home, but with LESS income than we did before (because why pay a man as much to support his family if he can send his wife out to help out),and what did feminism do? It claimed that we won this right BECAUSE OF THEM. Nice. No sympathies, no apologies. Yeah, you “gave” us the “right” to stay home, after you took it away and then begrudingly gave it back–with less financial support and to less women, by the way.

      No, SAHM is not obtainable for everyone, it never has been completely, and it’s even less now. BUT, feminism didn’t give us this right that we already had. All it did was make us more enslaved. Truthfully, feminism only works for a very few–those who’s worldview lines up with it’s underlying beliefs. You feminists are no less oppressive than you claim us to be.

      • The Master that you write of obedience and submission to can be the husband, authority figure or institution that is abusive, exploitative, or unethical. Blind obedience is immoral and unhealthy.

        Have you ever read the classic essay “The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent”? It’s available online. Although written in the early twentieth century, it is an excellent statement that honors our Christian heritage while also asserting the fundamental morality of rationality and intelligent thought. I think Luther would have been on board with it, given what Luther did vis a vis the prevailing religious institution of his time.

          • Actually, saying that Luther wasn’t submissive to the church isn’t exactly true. He did everything they asked him to do and he followed the protocols for doing it. But, like the midwifes at the time of Moses, and like Paul and all the disciples, they WERE submissive, they weren’t blindly obedient. They followed the laws, and in Paul’s case in particular, he made his petitions respectfully and carefully. He STILL submitted to the laws even when they were abused, and so did Luther.

            BUT, like I said many times already, you’re confusing biblical submissiveness with blind obedience. Biblical submissiveness is submissiveness to God first. We serve, often the unreasonable and hard to serve respectfully and lovingly, but when they ask us to do something that requires us to be disobedient to God, we respectfully and lovingly make our petition–and ultimately, we still don’t do it and suffer the consequences for not doing it while making our appeal to God.

            (It helps, of course, to know the Bible well enough to know where we need to obey. Not doing it, or arguing it doesn’t apply is disobedience and also a lack of submissiveness to God.)

            Please, before you judge us anymore on what you THINK we are saying (and what you’ve been told we’re saying), please read the books I mentioned below so you will KNOW what we are saying.

            • I obey laws and social norms that make sense. As did Luther. I think for myself, though, as did Luther. Where laws and social norms don’t make sense and need to be changed, ethical people who think for themselves speak up.

              If you want to be a stay at home mom, fine. But don’t impose your choices on others. Some women, through no fault or moral shortcoming of their own doing, must work. Life is not fair that way sometimes (and I must say Buddhism addresses that a lot better than Christianity does, BTW). Women who don’t have a choice about working deserve the (hard won) progress that has been made so far for fair and decent treatment in the workplace. Like many others who posted above, I am alarmed at a woman who Does have a choice trivializing the rights of and protections for women who are not equally privileged.

              • First you say: “If you want to be a stay at home mom, fine. But don’t impose your choices on others.”

                THEN, you say: I am alarmed at a woman who Does have a choice trivializing the rights of and protections for women who are not equally privileged.

                This is interesting. I’m not imposing my choices on others anymore than your imposing your judgements on us.

                I have strong opinions about it, and so do you. I argue them, and so do you–yet only *I* am the one who’s imposing my choices on others. Like I said, feminism isn’t at ALL about fairness.

          • What part of “responsibility” don’t you understand? You make a lot of false assumptions and straw man arguments in your response above.

            If you don’t understand personal responsibility then maybe you do need someone else to do your thinking for you.

            • You’re so funny. Well, if that’s the best you can reply, so be it. (I already addressed this particular putdown in my above comments. Funny it’s still going around after all these decades, but here it is again.) We simply don’t agree, and we will be on opposing sides. I wish you well, J. Brown, seriously. Have a great night. Until we meet again.

        • Actually, the master that *I* write of is God, not the husband. Not once did I advocate “blind” obedience. I DID advocate biblical submissiveness. To save space and time, please see my above response titled PART 1.

          Have you ever read these books: The Way Home, by Mary Pride? It talks about the foundations of feminism with direct quotes that are often glossed over by today’s feminist, and also what is and ISN’T biblical submissiveness.

          Also, Doug Wilson’s Reforming Marriage? It explores marriage as set up by God and what submissiveness means and what it DOESN’T mean, as well.

  92. PART 2

    “Why is wearing make up, gold, and braided hair okay?”
    You’re talking about 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3. Look, I’m sorry, but you’re taking those verses out of context. You just are. They can’t be read by themselves. Both these verses and the paragraphs in which they are contained are about being modest–which means dressing neither in rags nor in flashy clothes that brags about your wealth. It’s also about dressing properly and not like the heathens around us to signify that we are set apart–or for the same purposes that they dress the way they dress. It’s VERY apparent if you read the paragraphs in which they are contained. Try Biblegateway to read the paragraphs in full.

    “It’s also insulting for you to say that I don’t serve God….. The trump card of ‘well you don’t believe the Bible’.” Where did I say that? I said that you pick and choose what verses you will follow. I said that people like YOU tell people like US that WE aren’t following the Bible. This is the second time you took offense to something you assumed was there that wasn’t, the first being that the author of this blog said that women who remain celibate or are barren are less than married women with children. You spent a lot of time taking offense to what I replied but you never even apologized for your first misunderstanding.

    “I am open and encourage honest reflection on my questions, but will say nothing further to attacks on my personhood and place in the Body of Christ.” Interesting. What I said was an attack on you, but your words aren’t an attack on us. I should remind you that you STARTED your comment with this little gem: “My irritation comes from what looks to be an ignorance of apparent privilege.” Yeah, that’s right. You said we all look ignorant because we don’t recognize that feminism is the reason we can choose to follow the biblical model of womanhood. But, we aren’t going to bow down to your God of feminism. The biblical model of womanhood–being busy at home–was around LONG before feminism, and we have GOD to thank for that, not feminism.

    What I find sad is that you could come to a blog like this swinging your judgements of our character and then try to walk away claiming to be the victim when someone takes your call to the mat.

    I’m not mad at you and I don’t hate you. I don’t mean any ill will. I honestly don’t think you do, either, but,….wow. Care to try this again without the venom?

  93. You put women back 40 years. A medical doctor? So you learned about evolution, right? So… wow. You are the definition of an idiot. I am glad you found a way to live with yourself.

  94. Feminism is about equality for women. If you don’t believe in equal rights for women and men and all people, you are not a good person. To “yourabitch” you set women back by using the word “bitch”

  95. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I’ve read
    stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just bookmark this site.

  96. Want to go back to the top and read this all again! Would so love to see a book written that affirms this! Millennials are soaking up the Christian Feminist ideology and are letting culture define for them what a woman is instead of leaning in to the truths of the bible. Thanks, edie for your stance and for your grace in handling this issue.

  97. I appear to be over a year late…so I’m fairly sure no one will be reading my comment but I feel compelled to respond anyways.
    I want to start by saying that I was raised by a strong, capable woman who made the decision to leave the medical field (much like the author) and raise 6 children. She stayed home, cooked, cleaned, sewed and did so much more. She created a home that was centered on Christ. For that I am forever grateful. In addition to being all these things (a homemaker, mother, ect) she is also a feminist. She believes that the single most sacred responsibility a woman can have is to her family, however, that does not mean she should be barred from making other choices. No one should have the right to tell ANYONE they must do something, especially because of their gender. At it’s root, that is feminism. The idea that women should get a choice. End of story. That choice could be staying at home, or that choice could be going into the workforce. BOTH are choices feminists fight for the right to make.
    Yes, there are some women who in anger make statements like “stay at home moms are oppressed” under the guise of feminism. This is not feminism in the lease bit! Feminism is empowering women to make the choices that they want.
    While I respect the fact that everyone has a right to their opinion, I do feel like I should point out how harmful anti-feminism is. While you may have a safe, stable marriage with a husband you trust, there are so many women who don’t. A huge part of feminism is empowering women who have suffered abuse or are in danger, by letting them be independent of their abusers. Although I am certainly not personally in a situation of abuse, I recognize that not everyone is so lucky so I feel obligated to fight for them.
    Sorry this was so long, and props to anyone who took the time to read all of it! All I am saying is I strongly believe that God loves his children and wants them all to be treated and treat others with respect.
    Another quick note is the irony behind this post…if it wasn’t for feminist women who fought for the right for education, the author wouldn’t be able to read all those books she sites or write out the post. Just something to consider.
    Anyways, just my opinion on the matter. I really appreciate the discussion on the matter, it is important to talk about. I also think this post makes some really good points, the contribution women make in the home for her husband and children should not be discounted, and a homemaker should never be looked down upon.

  98. Hi Edie! I enjoy your writing style. I came here after reading your guest post on A Holy Experience.

    I’ve read many, but not all, of the comments to this post. I have a one- and two-year-old who are demanding my attention 🙂 so please excuse me if someone has already shared this suggestion.

    My undergrad coursework included a bunch of gender studies and women’s history classes. After studying various feminist theories and their origins (emphasis on various), I’m not convinced that generally addressing “feminism” today is as helpful as discussing specific ideas. As you’ve probably deduced from the comments, our society has convoluted the term “feminism” to the point that it’s a bit of a contentless bubble, filled by individual audience members’ disparate ideas of what that word means. It seems like many of the commenters were trying to articulate just that – what that word meant to them – and probably because. despite its myriad interpretations, “feminism” is a charged word. While there’s surely some value in the discussion of “what feminism means to me”, I think the more meaningful discussion surrounds the specific ideas alluded to in your post (e.g., certain roles of women in the church, etc.). Those lines of thought illicit brainstorming around concrete ideas rather than somehat pedestrian discussions of a word that is too often used mainly to inflame or attract attention.

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