As I was growing up, the message I heard – and adopted for myself – was that women wanted to be respected. To be treated equally to men. To have a career. To be successful. To be beautiful, but only because that gave women power. To get married, but only because that gave women a long-lasting feeling of romantic fulfillment.
So I focused on beauty. And when it got me someone I wanted, I used it to get something I wanted.
I focused on my education and made positively sure that I would have a successful (i.e., lots of moola-producing) career.
I found a man I loved and got married. And then I quickly betrayed him in my heart over and over again.
Now that I will be having a daughter, I’ve been reflecting a lot more on my journey as a woman. I have also been studying womanhood and what the Bible has to say about it. In other words, what is true about women.
And I realized that all of those things I thought were things I wanted? They didn’t bring me respect. They didn’t give me power. They didn’t make me feel loved. Instead, they got me off course from what God really wants in my life: to glorify Him with whatever I do.
These things that were “what women want” – they lied to me. They made me think only of me. They made me only want to satisfy me.
Now that I know the truth – that I was created for God’s glory, I want different things. I want my friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to know Jesus as their Savior. I want to spend time discipling my children so that they will see a clear picture of God’s love for them. I want my marriage to be a picture of how Jesus sacrifices for us so that we can know Him.
I care much less about “my respect” and “my beauty” and “my success”.
I can think of two women who showed these traits to me when I was in the phase of my life where I was ignoring this truth:
1. My mom
My mom wanted to be a stay at home mom. And so of course, I did not want to be that. She loves her children with all of her heart (do any of us not?), and she wanted to be the chief influencer in our lives. At times, she had this privilege, and at times, she worked to help provide for our family.
And now that I’m a working mom, I totally get it! I want to disciple my kids – especially right now while they’re small. It’s one of my greatest desires. But every message I heard growing up was Children are a burden, so don’t have any and get a career instead.
Bottom line: Mom was right, but hers was one tiny voice in a sea of shouters!
2. Gini Craven
Gini is one of the moms at the blog Mom and Mom. She doesn’t know me; I know her daughter (the other “mom”), Holly. Gini spoke about marriage once while I was in college. She said her husband asked her how she wanted to be treated, and she said, “Like a princess. That’s all.”
I was like, That’s all!?!?!?!
Why not ask for the moon, lady!?
She said it like it was expected. The norm. I just want to feel like a princess. Like I am the crowning jewel in your life. Like you have eyes for no one but me. Like I am protected and cared for by you. On purpose.
It rocked my thinking. But I wrote it off because no one else was saying that. Asking to be treated like a princess was ridiculous. Amateur. Subservient.
Now that I’ve been married for almost 9 years – I totally get it!!
I want to be utterly cherished by my husband. I don’t just want respect or to be treated equally or to be looked at as strong and powerful. I want to be his beauty. I want him to call me his bride until we pass on to see Jesus.
Bottom line: Gini was right, but hers was one tiny voice in a sea of shouters!
This is getting long, so I’m going to try to wrap it up:
You may not agree with me. You might agree much more with the old me. And I understand that. But I would ask you to consider the small voices as well as the shouters.
But let’s not just make this about women versus women – that’s not my goal!
I would just ask you to get closer to God. Read His Word more. Memorize it. Seek out Biblical counsel. Love the people in your life like Jesus does.
You might be surprised to see Him transform your desires the same way He transformed mine.