The past eight weeks God has been speaking to my spirit and healing many old wounds that were laid open at the hands of the Devil, sin, and deception. True womanhood eluded me for so many years, even the years after conversion. Growing up, all I knew was feminism, the degrading roles of womanhood, and that a career should be my highest aspiration so I could provide for myself.
Later it became more about what I should be doing and what I should not be doing because I am a woman, a wife, a mother. But as I have come to know more of who God is and what He has done and what He has planned for my life, these thoughts and lies could not have been further from the truth. Even as a Christian, I have been deceived in many ways, and with sadness, I realize I deceived many others.
So today, I want to seek forgiveness. I want to apologize for leading women astray. I want to apologize for pushing standards and rules and even submission at you without ultimately pointing you to Christ and what each role represents. I want to apologize for making true womanhood about a list of rules and cookie cutter molds. I was deceived and in turn might have deceived you, and I know I deceived friends in real life.
The past three years God has turned me inside out. Not too long ago, I sat in small group, listening to the stories of marriage and motherhood, and thought to myself, she just needs to submit to her husband; she just needs to stay home and quit making her job her priority; she just needs to take control of her family’s health; she needs to quit whining. I thought I had all the answers because the Bible is so clear about the roles of womanhood. To me, it wasn’t that difficult a decision. I knew what you were supposed to do.
Then, soon after our son was born, my marriage started to follow apart. We couldn’t sit in the same room with one another without breaking out in angry, bullet spitting combat. There was a couple’s night at our small group. We went. Who here has unresolved conflict? The room was silent and we weren’t even facing each other when one of us piped up with the simple but revealing word, “Us.”
My chest tightens just thinking of this evening. It was a turning point in our marriage, in our lives. What proceeded to happen over the next couple of hours was exactly what had gone on in my heart when other women shared their struggles before me. The women began to rally around the Word of God, explaining to me what I was supposed to do – respect my husband, submit, and just trust God. But it’s never that simple. I’ve since learned, it’s never that simple.
True womanhood is a reflection of the very heart of God, the very character that we can rely on day-in and day-out. True womanhood is about drawing people into Christ. True womanhood is about abiding and reflecting.
When the tables turned, I began to see clearly the deception in my heart, the mold that didn’t exist, and the self righteousness of my soul. It wounded, and it was then I knew I had wounded many others in turn.
So I’m sorry for the times I went straight to the symptoms of the circumstances, the fix, the actions without first looking at the main thing, the true purpose, the whole reason we as women struggle with true womanhood. I’m sorry I didn’t point you to Christ who has the power to change the hardened heart, comfort the burdened soul, and revive the weary mind. I’m sorry I made true womanhood about you and me, and not about Him.
God has turned my heart inside out over the last year, and it was through the True Woman 101 Bible Study that the puzzle pieces of who I am as a woman finally began to fall into place. I am humbled by God’s grace to continue the sanctifying process of making me more like His Son each day. I pray He continues.
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